That’s Why

MetalCat

 

A plastic dog came up to me.
He asked for five; I gave him three.
I guess that was all right, since he
Accepted that instead.

A metal cat went up to you.
She asked for ten – what did you do?
I heard you only gave her two.
I guess that’s why you’re dead.

 

Bene scribete.

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The Grumpy Sparrow and the Unfortunate Trees

Why am I like this.


 

Sparrow

 

It was a Sunday full of wine and sprinkles for all but the poor and the poorly, and the animals in the forest rejoiced but for a grumpy little sparrow who fluttered about, searching for some sweet, sweet white to abate his surly demeanor.

“Sir Sparrow!” called a canary from a branch above.  “Why so somber on such a beautiful day?”

The sparrow settled on another branch.  “It is a medium day at best – at the very best – and, if you must know, I’ve had not a bite to eat for its entirety.”

“Ah, well, there are some crickets in the underbrush just east of here!”

The sparrow glowered.  “I’ve had my fill of cricket.  Begone with your sunny feathers and lackluster suggestions.”

“Suit yourself, then!”  The canary took her leave.

It was in that moment that the sparrow noticed a leaf to his left of precisely the wrong shade of yellow-green.  Properly offended, he bent down and plucked the unsightly thing from his perch.  Doing so, however, created an imbalance with the other side of the branch, so he plucked a second leaf to even things out.

Several minutes later, the branch was laid bare.

Please do not remove all of my leaves, Mr. Sparrow, said the tree in a language made of rustles.  I need them to photosynthesize.

The sparrow pecked the tree in irritation, then took to the air.  But in his haste to be on with his search, he neglected to pay sufficient mind to overhead clearance, and promptly bonked his head upon a higher branch and plummeted to the earth below.

He awoke sometime later to the gentle shake of a thin brown squirrel.  “Are you all right?” asked the squirrel, nosing him when he stirred.  “Come on – let’s get you up before a fox comes around and spots you like this.”

The sparrow hopped to his feet and stretched out his wings, which felt intact.  “I’m fine.  I was merely seeing what it must feel like to be one of those stupid birds who falls to the ground for no good reason at all.  To see if I could better sympathize with them, you understand.”

“Oh!  Did it work?”

“No.”

“Haha!  You’re a funny one, sparrow.”

“I’m hungry, is what I am.  I can’t seem to find a spec of sugar anywhere.”

The squirrel’s eyes brightened and he clapped his paws together.  “Oh!  You’re in luck!  I have a big pile of it in my tree.”  He gestured to a knothole in a nearby oak.  “I’ll tell you what – if you help me gather a couple of the hard-to-reach acorns up there, you can have as much of it as you want!”

The sparrow considered this for a moment, and then ended the squirrel’s life.

Slipping into the oak, the sparrow instantly noticed the heap of glorious snowy powder tucked away in one corner of the hole.  Wasting not another moment, he thrust his beak into it, but then immediately recoiled.

The sparrow puffed up, pregnant with rage, for it was not sugar at all, but saccharin – a devious impostor created by man.  He knew this, for as well as grumpy he was a clever sparrow.  In fact, a human child had once tried to feed him saccharin.  A child who had concluded that day with fewer fingers than she had begun it.

The sparrow thwacked the atrocious substance with a wing, sending up a billow of grievous white dust which settled upon his feathers.

A squirrel was a low-quality creature, he reminded himself.


 

Bene scribete.

The Bag of Promises

No.


 

bag

 

Somewhere deep within the Forest of Meaning there lay a bag filled with promises for every creature, great and small.

On one bright and meaningful day, as woodland critters gathered around to await their chances at it, a nervous brown squirrel approached and ruffled through the bag as though, one might say, he were rooting for acorns.  When at last he found his, it promised him:

Your tail will grow much larger this summer.

This pleased the squirrel greatly, for he had chosen a very large tree as his home to compensate for the lack of confidence his currently meager tail provided him.  A large home and a large tail?   Well, the squirrelettes wouldn’t be able to resist him then.  He thanked the bag and moved on.

Next, it was the turn of a fluffy white bunny.  She sniffed around in the bag and quickly located her promise:

Your hops will be bouncier than ever this week, and by its end, you will find your one true rabbity love.

The bunny hopped in excitement and nuzzled the bag with gratitude, then bounded away.

A deer came afterward.  She hoofed around the bag and located a promise just for her:

You will run with more grace and speed than you thought possible, and avoid the jaws of the wolf.

This was, of course, splendid news.  The deer had a very young fawn and would not like to see him orphaned.  Well, naturally she wouldn’t see him orphaned, as in such a scenario she would be deceased.  The opposite was entirely preferable.  She sighed in relief and trotted off.

A cricket followed.  He crawled into the bag and searched around.  He dug through all the promises, explored every corner, scoured every inch, but could find no promise meant for him.

The cricket was crestfallen.  “Dear bag,” he pleaded, “have you nothing to promise me?”

“I’m certain I must,” replied the bag – the bag can speak when it suits it, let’s say.  “Did you try looking harder?”

It was an astute suggestion.  The cricket tried looking harder, but still uncovered no promise for himself.  “I see nothing, o magnificent bag.”  The cricket was quite despondent.

“That is so very unlike me,” mourned the bag.  “I can think of not a single reason why I would have nothing to promise you.”

It was then – exactly then – that a grumpy and impatient sparrow fluttered down, snapped the cricket up, and ate him bodily.  It was not very satisfying.

“Oh,” said the bag, relieved.  “That would be why.”  The world made sense again.

The sparrow eyed the bag suspiciously.  “Have you anything for me, bag?”

“I don’t see why not!”

The sparrow shuffled through the bag and found a promise all his own:

You will find no sugar this week.

“That is a terrible promise,” grumbled the sparrow.

“I am sorry, Mr. Sparrow.”

“I feel this entire ordeal has been quite meaningless.”

“I understand, Mr. Sparrow.”

“Just a waste of everyone’s time.”  The sparrow pecked the bag in irritation.

“Please do not peck me, Mr. Sparrow.”

Thoroughly displeased with the day’s events, the sparrow took his leave.


 

Bene scribete.