I’m depressed, said Blurtso. Depressed? said Pablo. Yes, said Blurtso, I went all the way to California and I didn’t find Mister Ed. Mister Ed? said Pablo. The talking horse, said Blurtso. Oh, said Pablo, the great white whale. What? said Blurtso. The great white whale, said Pablo. The agonizing obsession, Moby Dick, the one thing you cannot have… the thing that takes over your life until all your pastimes and pleasures lose their appeal. Yes, said Blurtso, that’s it… even the last pumpkin pie I ate… well… it tasted like a head of lettuce. Yes, said Pablo, the agonizing obsession. What can I do? said Blurtso. The thing to do, said Pablo, is not to focus on the object of the obsession, but on the process. The process? said Blurtso. Yes, said Pablo. You went to California. You must have discovered some things along the way. Oh yes, said Blurtso, I saw many marvelous sights, and I met many animals and people. Well then, said Pablo, those are the fruits of your obsession. Yes, said Blurtso, it was a great trip… you know… I feel better already. So do I, said Pablo. I’m hungry, said Blurtso, let’s have a pumpkin pie!
Well then, said the psychiatrist, what seems to be the problem? I can’t find Mister Ed, said Blurtso. Mister Ed? said the psychiatrist. The talking horse, said Blurtso. I see, said the psychiatrist, and how long have you been looking for him? I went all the way to California and back, said Blurtso, and he was nowhere to be found, though I did meet Rocinazo. Rocinazo? said the psychiatrist. Yes, said Blurtso, a distant relative of Don Quijote’s horse, Rocinante. I see, said the psychiatrist, and did you meet any other horses? Well, said Blurtso, I looked for Little Joe’s horse, Cochise, on the Ponderosa, but I couldn’t find him. And I would have liked to meet Zorro’s horse, Tornado, and of course the Lone Ranger’s horse, Silver, but most of all I wanted to meet Mister Ed. I see, said the psychiatrist. I think I can make a diagnosis. Really? said Blurtso. Yes, said the psychiatrist, I’m afraid you have a serious case of “horse envy.”
Are you really a descendant of Don Quijote’s Rocinante?! Oh boy! Oh boy! Oh boy! I’ve never met a celebrity before! Do you mind if I walk along? Oh boy! Oh boy! Oh boy! A real live celebrity! I’ll bet you’ve got a million stories! Oh boy! Oh boy! Oh boy! A descendant of Don Quijote’s Rocinante! Do you mind if I walk along? Oh boy! Oh boy! Oh boy! Will you tell me a story?! Will you tell me a story?! Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy! A real live celebrity!
Ahhhh, thought Blurtso, drinking the water the sprinklers had left in the gutter. What a lovely morning! Let’s see… what shall I have for breakfast? The grass looks tasty. Mmmm, juicy and fresh, and a little bit spicey! Hello officer, said Blurtso when his friend walked by. Hello Blurtso, said the policeman. Have a nice day! said Blurtso. You too! said the officer. And as the day passed, Blurtso became more and more enamored of his space, chatting with the people, watching the cars, and enjoying the grass beneath his nose. This place has everything! thought Blurtso, settling down for the night. Fresh water, green grass, friendly people… and warm pavement to sleep on. No wonder people love California!
Wow! thought Blurtso. Hollywood! I can hardly wait to see Mr. Ed! I wonder where he is? Let’s see… the sun is setting, so I think I’ll try Sunset Boulevard. And off he went, up and down the street, clippety cloppeting, cloppety clippeting, forth and back and back and forth, looking for Mister Ed. I’m tired, said Blurtso after several hours of searching. I think I’ll take a nap.
Hello, said a policeman. Hello, said Blurtso. May I ask what you’re doing? I’m napping on the grass, said Blurtso. It’s against the law to nap on the grass. Really? said Blurtso. Really, said the officer. O.k., said Blurtso, I’ll find another place. And off he went, up and down the street, clippety cloppeting, cloppety clippeting, forth and back and back and forth, looking for a new place to nap. Eventually he returned to where he started. Hmmm, he thought, watching the cars arrive, park, and drive away… I know what I’ll do! I’ll nap in the street! And when the next parking space opened, Blurtso grabbed it. Ahhhh, that’s just perfect, he thought, resting his street-heavy hooves.
Hello, said the policeman. Hello, said Blurtso. May I ask what you’re doing? I’m napping in my parking space, said Blurtso. Your parking space? said the officer. Yes, said Blurtso. But you haven’t put any money in the meter. Money?said Blurtso. Yes, said the officer, $5.00 per hour per vehicle. Am I a vehicle? said Blurtso. No, said the officer, I suppose not. So I can stay? said Blurtso. Yes, said the officer, I suppose so. Thank you, said Blurtso. You’re welcome, said the officer. And so it was, after four days on the train and another day in the hills of Hollywood, that Blurtso lay down in his parking space and slipped, as the sun set slowly on West Sunset Boulevard, into a deep and dreamless sleep.
“A horse is a horse, of course of course, and this one will talk ‘til his voice is hoarse. You’ve never heard of a talking horse? Well, listen to Mister Ed.”
I sure would like to meet Mister Ed, thought Blurtso. Maybe I should take a trip to Hollywood…
“Third boxcar, midnight train, heading west from Bangor, Maine. Grey donkey with worn-out hooves, I don’t pay for a thing I use, I’m a burro of means by no means, king of the road…”