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Have to hurry up. Get this drafted so I can set it aside. A trip to the feed store is necessary. If they don’t have what I need, I guess I’ll stop by the grocery to pick up as many heads of lettuce as the produce manager will allow. Everyone jittery about the need to COVID-hoard, don’t want to give anyone the wrong idea.
After two years, the kangaroos I purchased arrived. Took this long for paperwork, quarantines, and such to unwind so Fed Ex could deliver. You didn’t know they could do that did you?1
I have a plan. A maniacal laugh goes here, but I’m at a loss to spell it. Training these two darlings to recognize rabbits2 as their enemies, competition for the lettuce and other munchies I’ve been feeding them, has been in progress for the last three weeks. It’s my hope we’re ready to go by spring.
Don’t think me evil. My new pets aren’t expected to exterminate the local rabbit population. I’ll leave that to them. I’d be content if Joe and Matilda just scare resident rabbits into moving back to the open fields, well-away from the subdivision and my yard. How those rabbits vote in the next presidential election is up to them.
Been training with pictures and an old specimen from a taxidermist buddy. Pretty certain now, my mob of western greys will think rabbits are wallabies, poachers on their turf, and kick their little cotton tails down the road. Or, like I said, across the street.
So as far as the neighbors are concerned, Joe and Matilda are just oversized rabbits. Already scared the hell out of the Red Tail Hawk that lives in the woods across the street.
We don’t get stray dogs often. That’s not an issue. However, one joyfully unexpected benefit has been that local doggies, dragging their owners on leashes and considering my side yard their toilet are intimidated by my new pets. One Doberman, poised to make a deposit last Thursday took off, if you’ll pardon the phrase, like a scalded dog, mid-poop, when it saw Joey coming to investigate. Dobie’s owner’s feet didn’t touch ground until Dobie got home. Everybody learning lessons here.
You may remember… “What single word might in a bit of wordplay be interpreted as an undressed formic quartet?”
I promised I’d deliver the answer. Today, I decided not to. Seems no one is interested. Probably no one noticed. Or it was too easy, and everyone got it right away. Either case, I risk boring folks again, so I’m not gonna provide the answer. That makes me a liar – you pick, a Repullican or Dimocrat – entirely up to you but since I’m ready to…
“Hey. You the fella wrote that ‘Today’s Special’ blog?”
“I am. You looking to complain of sexism, ageism, or insensitivity?”
“Nah. I want the answer.”
“Which one of life’s mysteries you want the answer for?”
“That ‘what’s the word’ thing.”
“You mean nobody nailed it?”
“None of the British wordsmiths were interested.”
“You know, England.”
“What, you think me some kind of ignoramus?”
“Oh, heavens no!”
“None of them interested?”
“They read your stuff?”
“When they’re bored. Or as penance, I’m not sure which.”
“You gonna tell them anyway?”
“Might. Not sure.”
“Well can you tell me? Now?”
“You can’t wait until the next post?”
“You have a guess?”
“Nah. What’s the word?”
“It’s in the post.”
“Saw that. Couldn’t find that either.”
“Just tell me.”
“How about you figure it out?”
“Just want the answer.”
“You can do this.”
“This be quick?”
“Sure. Mind if I write this down?”
“Explain it to both of my followers.”
“Be okay, I guess.”
“Let’s do it one word at a time.”
“What’s a word for ‘undressed’?”
“Some kinda acid?”
“Yes, but no. Formic.”
“No. One word. Quartet.”
“Right. Bare Ants Four. What’s that?”
“Try, ants. Four. Bare.”
“Four Bare Ants?”
“Four bare ants?”
“No. Say Four, bare, ants. Quickly.”
“Yup. That’s it.”
“Didn’t say it made sense. It’s a game.”
Back to work
My visitor left. Disappointed, I think. That dispensed with, I went back to work. Strategizing. Good thing. I’ve determined it’s in the best interests of all concerned that I stick to a Monday, Wednesday, Friday post schedule. I mean, I’m all out of doggie pics. Looked through my photo archives and see where I don’t have any pictures of kitties doing tricks or looking kitty-cute. Don’t hammer me because I posted the “rabbit” carny pose. That’s legit.
I mean I might have to start writing stuff of substance. Probably should get back to the commercial stuff anyway. Looked into the beaten-to-death “Working” folder and thought it’s time to…
“You, again! What do you want now?”
“I looked for that “vision” piece.”
“Did you like it?”
“Couldn’t find it?”
“Off the home page. In ‘Writing.’ Under ‘Flash Fiction.’”
“You needa put a link to it in your post.”
“Why not? Make it easy.”
“Figure if you’re interested, you’ll find it.”
“Not quantum physics. Navigate.”
“Too much trouble.”
“Easy as youboob and facepages.”
“That’s work. Make it easy.”
Good thing he left. He’d have stayed, and I continued transcribing our exchange, I’d have to dig up the “NSFW” logo.
If he looks for that piece and he finds it, he won’t like it. It’s flash, but long flash, almost one thousand words. Doesn’t look so bad spelled-out. Write it as ‘1000 words,’ or worse, ‘1,000 words,’ now that looks to be too much.
Maybe I ought to condense it. You know, down to two hundred-fifty words. Then to one hundred. Nope. Not a story you want to leave readers to imagine. Has a specific point, a surprise ending. Sorta.
— Notes —
1 Don’t be silly. Of course, they don’t deliver kangaroos. Do they?
2 If you’ve followed my posts any length of time (only been here now eight months) especially if you’ve (unlike my afternoon visitor) mindlessly wandered my creative pieces, you know I’ve a running territorial conflict with the local varmint population. Because the hood is home to several PETA-types and because the Boss monitors my outdoor activities, I’ve resorted to various methods to discourage emigration of former woods and grassland denizens into my tiny prairie. Varmints presently hold a numerical advantage. Misguided types don’t allow nature’s forces to play out according to the original plan. They demand metro agencies remove, for example, foxes from our landscape. In the name of orderliness, they require the city eliminate natural “wild” perimeter refuges where hawks, falcons, owls, and snakes would take up residence. Natural predators for squirrels, rabbits, chipmunks, possums, raccoons, and froufrou doggies are unwelcome. I merely seek balance.