Listen to “The Devil’s Sister”
Hello, said Blurtso. Hello, said the devil. Come in, said Blurtso. Thank you, said the devil. I wasn’t sure you’d come, said Blurtso. I wasn’t sure you’d be here, said the devil. Here I am, said Blurtso. And I, said the devil. The bet is, said Blurtso, to see who can eat the most pumpkin pies. Yes, said the devil. And if I win? said Blurtso. You will have an endless supply of pumpkin pies. And if I lose? said Blurtso. You will relinquish your soul. Very well, said Blurtso, shall we begin with the pie on the table? Yes, said the devil, that looks like a perfectly good pie. Would you like to go first? asked Blurtso. No, said the devil, I wouldn’t dream of it. Very well, said Blurtso, sitting down to the pie. Blurtso cut the pie, slowly, into six equal slices, then proceeded to eat them, one by one, relishing every pumpkin-filled bite. When he finished he licked the tin and pushed it toward the devil. That’s enough for me, said Blurtso. Only one? said the devil, that’s no competition at all. Perhaps, said Blurtso. O.k., said the devil, now it’s my turn. Go ahead, said Blurtso. Where’s my pie? asked the devil. I’m sorry, said Blurtso, I ate the last one.
Hello, said the devil. Hello, said Blurtso. I see you’ve come to buy a trombone. Have I? said Blurtso. You must have, said the devil. I don’t think I need a trombone, said Blurtso. You don’t? said the devil. I already have two, said Blurtso. Two trombones! said the devil, you must be very happy! Yes, said Blurtso, I am. Do you want to give me one of your trombones? Absolutely not, said Blurtso. You are happier with two trombones instead of one? said the devil. Yes, said Blurtso, I’m fond of my trombones. Well, said the devil, if you are happier with two instead of one, it stands to reason that you would be happier with three instead of two. Yes, said Blurtso, that stands to reason. And if three makes you happier than two, four would make you happier than three. Four trombones? said Blurtso. Absolutely, said the devil, and five and six. I’m not sure, said Blurtso, there must be a point of diminishing trombones. Diminishing trombones? said the devil. When more becomes less, said Blurtso. More becomes less? said the devil, that makes no sense. I suppose it doesn’t, said Blurtso, admiring a trombone out of the corner of his eye.