Hmmm, thought Blurtso, what shall I write? Maybe a story? Maybe a tale? Maybe an epic tale, one of adventure and intrigue? Yes, an epic tale with a tragic hero… a brave and chivalrous donkey, a Renaissance donkey who sails the seas in search of fortune and fame… Hmmm, I’d better find a good opening line… yes… an opening line that makes it impossible not to read on… an irresistible line… yes, an irresistible line… Hmmm, thought Blurtso, thinking long and hard what to write… I’ve got it!…
“Blurtseau Lundif, the Renaissance donkey, thought long and hard what to write… but what words to address the King? What words indeed, from the pen of a renegade donkey exiled from happiness and home. Exiled, from the sight and embrace of the one who holds his heart, the purest of pure, the sweetest of sweet, the tender and ravishing Blurtsoiselle…”
“Qu’est-ce qu’on doit faire?!” shouted the cook, breaking into the galley. “Voilà qu’y viene le tempest!!”
“What shall we do?!” snapped Blurtseau, rising from the écrivan. “We shall do as always! We shall turn and face the storm!” No sooner had Blurtseau capped the inkwell and stored his pen than he heard the first wave crash on the foredeck.
“Mon Capitaine!” cried the First Mate. “Nous avons besoin de vous!”
The chaos and confusion ceased the moment the crew spied the tip of Blurtseau’s nose, and by the time his ears and eyes came on deck the sailors were in line and standing at attention. Blurtseau paused for a moment in the hurricane gale, staring into the eyes of his terrified crew, then he walked slowly and steadily to the prow where he turned and cried with a voice louder than the storm, “To your posts and ride out the wind!”
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These look delicious! said Blurtso to the cook who had just made a batch of scones. Mmm, said Blurtso, biting into the steaming pillow that was dripping with honey. The cook frowned, and continued to frown as Blurtso enjoyed the scone. I think I’ll have another, said Blurtso, biting into a second steaming pillow and letting the honey trickle down his throat. The cook scowled with a glance of hatred and fury. That calls for another, said Blurtso, taking and eating a third, and a fourth, and a fifth. And on it went, Blurtso eating and the cook scowling, until Blurtso reached the last scone which he plopped into his mouth and finished in one bite. Mmmm, said Blurtso, licking the honey off his mouth and hooves. Fine! shouted the cook, picking up the empty plate and throwing it against the wall. Now, what will you give me?! What will I give you? said Blurtso, still licking the honey from his hooves… I will give you the understanding that your reluctance to share, is more selfish than my insistence to take.
Off I go, said Blurtso, following my shadow. Off I go, following my flat friend, painting and unpainting the prairie, darkening each step I take. Off I go, farther and farther, stretching to a place… where darkness… meets darkness.
Ooops, I stepped on a crack… that’s bad luck. I wonder if anyone saw me? It’s not bad luck if no one sees you. But I saw me. I should really try to be more oblivious.
I’d better make sure everything I use is recyclable, thought Blurtso. Let’s see… I use my eyes and my ears and my nose and my hooves, and I sometimes even use my tail. Yep, said Blurtso, I’m completely recyclable.
Look at that mountain, said Blurtso, mountains can be exciting! Yes, they can, said Pablo. From the top of that mountain you can see the whole valley! said Blurtso. Yes, said Pablo, but you can’t see the mountain.
The road was dark and the trees were tall and the wind was still. Blurtso walked quickly, keeping to the edge of the road where the grass muffled the clippety clop of his hooves. The moon in the trees threw shards of light on the ground and Blurtso could hear himself breathe. I must try to breathe more quietly, he thought, I must move swiftly without haste. At the edge of the road the branch of a tree occasionally grazed his flank. The wind began to rise and the jagged shadows moved on the ground. The wind will mask the sound of my breath, thought Blurtso, moving swiftly without haste. The sound of the wind and the shadows of the trees are good friends, he thought, good friends indeed…
Yes, that’s how it is, thought Blurtso, walking a mile in his hooves. That’s how it is and I know that’s how it is, he said, walking, the only way he could walk, in his hooves. I might pretend to know your hooves and you mine, one hoof after another, after all, until we fall, you in yours and me in mine.
What a nice stream, thought Ditto. I wonder where it’s going? I wonder where it’s been? I wonder if it’s happy or sad? I wonder if it started as a small stream and made friends along the way, or lost friends along the way? It’s hard to tell… if a river is laughing or crying.