From Journeys

“Blurtso stops for refreshment”


Hmm, thought Blurtso, would you look at that… an abandoned tavern. A place where firelight once flickered on the walls and ceiling, where animals and people stopped for refreshment, exchanged words and glances, then continued on their way.

“Blurtso thinks about the future”


I wonder what I should be when I grow up? I can’t be a student forever. Unless I go to grad school. But grad students look terrible. They have rings under their eyes like they’ve been living in a cave. I guess they’re worried about their grades. And when they graduate they worry about getting a job. And when they get a job they worry about getting promoted. And when they get promoted they worry about retirement. All because they can’t eat grass.

“Bonny and Ditto share some quality time” (XI)


No, said Bonny, the stream never flows back.

“Blurtso follows a star”


And they came from near and they came from far,
bearing gifts of frankincense, myrrh, and pumpkin pie.

“Blurtso announces the opening of his store”


My store is open! said Blurtso.


I don’t know, said Pablo, you may need more flags.

Visit Blurtso’s store at Blurtsobarn

“Blurtso moves in the same direction”


I wonder if I’m going the right direction? thought Blurtso, walking across the field. I wonder if I’m making progress? If the world is round, the direction forward is also the direction back. And vice versa. Hmmm, I wonder who invented the idea of progress?

“Blurtso goes around and comes around”


Off I go, said Blurtso, thinking he was going some place. And off he went, traipsing across the field on his way to where he was going, coming from where he had been. This will really be something, thought Blurtso, when I get to where I’m going. It will surely be worth the effort it will take to get there. There will be so many things where I’m going that aren’t like the things from where I’m coming. And on he went, hoof after hoof after hoof, and hoof after hoof after hoof. The sun was shining, then the sun was setting, then the moon was rising, then the moon was setting, and on he went. I’ve got to keep going until I get there, he thought, when his stumpy little legs grew weary. And on he went, hoof after hoof after hoof, and hoof after hoof after hoof. Whew, thought Blurtso, I must be coming closer if I keep on going farther. And on he went, farther and farther, and closer and closer, and farther and farther, and closer and closer. When he could go no farther, he stopped and looked back at the trail of where he had been, and forward at the trail of where he was going. Blurtso, he said to himself, you silly ass, you’ll never get to where you’re going, nor back to where you’ve been, for you’re always at the beginning of where you’re going, and at the end of where you’ve been.

“Blurtso lets go”


Here I go! said Blurtso, looking down at what lay below him. Here I go! he said again, still looking at all the things that lay below. Blurtso’s boney little hooves clung tightly to the rocky spine on which he stood, and his pin-point eyes were bright and full of frenzy. Here I go! he said a little more quietly, and with much less conviction. Here I go! Here I go! Here I go! he repeated, and clung even more tightly to the spine that began to cut into his hooves and make them bleed. Here I go! he said more loudly, but with no conviction at all. Here… I… and off he went, slipping, sliding, and tumbling into the only future that awaited him.

“Blurtso gets caught in the rain”


Hmm… it’s starting to rain. I wonder if I should go into a shop. If I do I’ll probably miss my bus, and then I’ll have to wait for the next one. And if it keeps raining I’ll miss that one and have to wait for the next one, and the next one… hmm… and then it’ll get dark, and the shop will close, and they’ll throw me out after the last bus leaves, and I’ll have to spend the night in the rain, and in the dark… hmm… unless I hitch-hike, but no one will stop for a wet donkey, not with a new car, unless someone does, someone with an old car that smells worse than a wet donkey… hmm… or someone who doesn’t bathe, or has bad intentions, or has a rifle, or owns a forced-labor copper mine… and I’ll be donkey-napped and flown to the mine on a private jet smuggling contraband, and military secrets, and I’ll be forced to work in the mine day and night, living on coca leaves and betel nut… hmm… knowing that the future of the world lays in my hooves if I can only escape and steal back the secrets, and I’ll have to bribe the guards, or sneak away while they’re smoking, and slip into the hills and build a raft, and sail it to the sea where I’ll board a steamer… hmm… and I’ll cross the Atlantic, until the ship hits an ice burg and sinks, and I’ll climb into a lifeboat which I’ll sail through the wreckage pulling out survivors… hmm… and they’ll all be grateful, all except one, the one who is a guard from the mine and has been following me, and is going to kill me the minute we reach Greenland…


Hey… it stopped raining.