Friday, December 17, 2010

Just A Little Exercise

NOTE: Felt like anthropomorphism tonight.

Mole stood on top of the rotting pumpkin.


Above, Chylus perched on a thin beam of evergreen irreverently poking through the canopy of a quaken aspen.


On the barbed wire, tipping their tails as they cursed at cowering sparrows, Magda and Vox waited, as did the others.


Mel and Rosie, their countless brood squirming in the tunnels directly behind them, trembled like soon to be popped corks as they watched, awaiting the signal for action.




“Damn that sun,” Mole cursed. “Ninety-three million miles away and it’s still strong enough to burn the skin off your bottom.”

Chylus started from the branch, but checked his flight and jostled heavily to his perch when he realized Mole’s noises had been a curse in general, not the curse which would start the attack. The jolt of his landing loosed two pinecones, which thwocked on the ground practically on the heads of Rosie and Mel.

“Oy! Watch i’ up there, ya burnt crumb, er I’ll smack yo wi’ me stick, I will!”

“Rosie,” Mel crooned, “Please calm down.”

“Shut up, yewself!”

Mole rolled his eyes.

Magda preened her white feathered eapulets.

“After this, anting, I say,” Vox said. “Anting, anting after this, yes?”

Magda opened her beak to speak.


Mole leaped from his pumpkin perch into the thick bramble of weeds and vines. Chylus darted from his branch and swooped low over the fallow pasture. Mel and Rosie picked themselves up off the trampled ground and tried to brush the dust and tiny shrew paw prints off their backs after their brood had popped from their holes to answer the mole’s cry of war. A cloud of dust and shrill shrieks marked the spot where their hundreds of tiny shrews were clawing their way through weeds and bracken. Vox and Magda, with final dips of their tails, leaped into the air to follow the shimmering wingtips Chylus so eagerly flapped through the air.

Mole leaned against a cucumber vine, chuckling.

“Oh, a fine army you are,” he said, laughing still. The shrew brood stopped charging and were now fighting and rolling and scamering in the thick pine needles. The birds, still airborne, wheeled quickly at the mole's cackling and lit on a barbed wire fence.

“You said attack,” Vox said petulantly, dipping his tail in time with his mate.

“Aye, I did,” Mole said. “But did you know what you was to attack before you took off like you did?”

“Well, maybe it was an attack in a general sense,” Mel said, shuffling his feet.

“Mole, we'll know,” Chylus said. “We'll know what to attack. He'll be here. We'll see him. And we'll attack him! That's what we're training for, right? That's what we're all wanting to do, right?”

“Aye,” Mole said. “And there he is!”

The shrews dove back underground in puffs of dust. Chylus squawked and leaped into the air, followed quickly by Magda and Vox. Chylus flew in a tight circle, just below the treetops, watching.

“Mole!” he shouted. “That's the scarecrow! You've got us jumping at scarecrows! I am NOT jumping at scarecrows!” He wheeled in the air and flew a straight line into the cupola atop the barn, where he hid his nest.

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