And they gathered before him and said, “Free us.”
And Blurtso replied, “You are free.”
And they remained where they were, freely.
Did you stash the treasure? said Ditto. The treasure? said Virginia. Yes, said Ditto, the gold coins. I don’t have any gold coins, said Virginia. Splendid, said Ditto, I knew I could depend on you not to tell… now, if we could only get out of this refrigeration car before we freeze… did you bring the nail polish remover? Nail polish remover? said Virginia. Yes, said Ditto, to dissolve the teeth on the tumblers in the lock… hey… what was that?! What was what? said Virginia. That noise, said Ditto, it sounded like a wild boar gnawing on a human bone. I think it’s a squirrel on the roof, said Virginia. Yes, said Ditto, a whole family of wild boars launching themselves madly at the train… it’s a good thing I worked with wild boars in the circus, and can reproduce the high-pitched squeal that halts them in their tracks… quick, the nail polish remover…
I didn’t know you were Irish, said Pablo. Actually, said Bonny, I’m Irish, Scottish, Welsh, and English. My oldest ancestors arrived in the Isles around 400 B.C. and lived in all the various regions. I used to celebrate Saint Andrew’s Day on November 30th, Saint David’s Day on March 1st, and Saint George’s Day on April 23rd, but now I celebrate them all on Saint Patrick’s Day on March 17th. Does that mean you have to drink four times as much beer? said Blurtso.
“By yon bonny banks and by yon bonny brays…”
Isn’t this exciting? said Ditto. We’re not moving, said Virginia. Sure we are, said Ditto, can’t you hear the rumbling of the wheels, and the click of the rails? No, said Virginia, I can’t hear anything. I wonder where we’re going? said Ditto. We’re not going anywhere, said Virginia. Just think of the places we’ll see, said Ditto, and the adventures we’ll have. In an empty boxcar, said Virginia, on an abandoned track? I think I’ll ring for the porter, said Ditto, would you like an hors d’oeuvres or cocktail, or perhaps an extra pillow? A pillow would be nice, said Viriginia. And a blanket for your feet? Yes, said Virginia. I’m going to order a pumpkin colada, said Ditto, with a hay omelette and a side of sprouts. I’ll have a bowl of strawberries and cream, said Virginia, if they haven’t run out. Mmm, said Ditto, me too. Where do you think we’re going? said Virginia. I’m not sure, said Ditto, but it’s bound to be exciting, and an amazing adventure.
I can hear the last train… the night animals will be out. Tomorrow I’ll see their tracks in the snow. It must be exciting, moving quietly, feeling the pulse in your temples, seeing the hills in the grey light, and hearing the slender sound of the creek…
Maybe I should go for a walk.
The ice is melting… it will soon be spring.
Pablo? What are you doing? Please come back to bed…