Tagged stories

“Blurtso huffs and puffs”

Clippety clop, clippety clop, clippety clop went Blurtso on his happy little hoofs as he started up the hill. The stones in the road were rough and uneven, but Blurtso hardly noticed as he skipped along his way. Clippety clop, clippety clop, clippety… clop… clippety… clop… clippety… clippety… clop… clop… clop… clop… clop… as the hill grew steeper Blurtso could feel the pull in his haunches and the pull in his shoulders and the setting sun made an orange glow on the inside of his ears. Clop clop clop clop clop… whew! thought Blurtso as he looked at the darkening road in front of him. The uneven stones cast little shadows on the other uneven stones, and Blurtso cast a big shadow that made his legs look long and slender. When the sun was gone he saw a light up the hill.

As he made his way up the ever-steepening road he could no longer see the stones that clopped beneath him, and his hoofs became less audible with the pounding in his temples and chest, and the puffing that came from his lungs. When he reached the light he discovered it was the light of a store. He paused for a moment to catch his breath and let the breeze cool the sweat on his back and his sides, then he peeked in the door and saw a man drinking a drink, and another man sitting on a stool. Just then a mule clippety clopped to where Blurtso was standing and stopped to let its riders dismount. Burtso was astonished that the animal was not breathing hard and gave off no scent of sweat. The man and woman who were riding the mule went into the shop for a moment and could not be seen. Then Blurtso saw them at the counter with a bag of potatoes and the man on the stool rose to attend them. Blurtso heard their voices and there appeared to be a problem. The coins the couple had put on the counter were not sufficient to pay for the potatoes. There was a pause as the man and the woman and the shopkeeper stared at the coins on the table, then stared at the potatoes, then stared at the coins. They stood a long time until the man who had been drinking reached out and put more coins on the table. The figures that had been frozen broke into life and began to smile and chatter and nod to the stranger. Then the man and the woman took their potatoes and said good night to the shopkeeper, nodded to the stranger, and left the store. Blurtso felt the excitement of the couple as they stood next to him, tying their potatoes to the back of their mule, but instead of mounting the animal as Blurtso had expected, the couple stood and waited. When the man who had supplied the coins emerged from the shop the man and the woman who were waiting nodded to him and said, “Gracias.” The man smiled and nodded back, then started up the hill. The couple mounted their mule and started down the hill.

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Blurtso waited until he could neither hear nor see the people nor the mule, and while he waited he looked at the lights of the town in the valley below.

“Blurtso and the books” (III)

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“Welcome to tonight’s roundtable discussion sponsored by ‘The Campus Institute of Political Seriousness for Enhanced Living in an Unenhanced World.’ I’m your host, Jonathan Wellborn Truington III, and joining us this evening is Mr. Blurtso Lundif, a former diversity fellow at Harvard College who has come to speak about his new novel.
“As I recall, Mr. Lundif, the last time we visited you were making a name for yourself by standing in the snow.”
“Yes,” said Blurtso.
“Perhaps you could describe your novel. What’s it about?”
“It’s about an eighteenth-century pirate donkey,” said Blurtso, “who sails the Mediterranean in search of fortune and fame.”
“I see,” said Mr. Truington, “and why does he stand in the snow?”
“He doesn’t,” said Blurtso.
“He doesn’t?” said Mr. Truington.
“No,” said Blurtso.
“Then what is so special about him?”
“He’s an eighteenth-century pirate donkey,” said Blurtso, “who sails the Mediterranean in search of fortune and fame.”
“Does he give the booty he steals to the poor?”
“No,” said Blurtso.
“Does he help overthrow the tyrannical king, Louis XVI of France?”
“No,” said Blurtso.
“Does he choose a female donkey as his first mate, and promote feminist reform in the equine world?”
“No,” said Blurtso.
“Does he give his life to a cause greater than himself, discover a cure for cancer or found a new religion?
“No,” said Blurtso.
“Then why,” said Mr. Truington, “should anyone buy your book?”
“They shouldn’t,” said Blurtso.
“They shouldn’t?” said Mr. Truington.
“No,” said Blurtso.
“Why not?” said Mr. Truington.
“Because,” said Blurtso, “people shouldn’t buy things they don’t really need.”
“I see,” said Mr. Truington. “Well, ladies and gentlemen, there you have it. Thank you, Mr. Lundif, for taking time out of your busy schedule to speak to us about your extraordinarily uneventful novel. I’m sure the audience will join me in wishing you well in your future endeavors, and in hoping that your second novel will be more interesting than your first.”

get Blurtso’s novel at Amazon Books

“Blurtso takes his friends to Walden” (I)

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What are you doing with so many pumpkins? said Blurtso. We’re swapping them, said Pablo, for food and supplies… the cellar is already full. Is Harlan coming tonight? Yes, said Blurtso, he and Alexandra are taking the train. Good, said Pablo. I hope they like pumpkin pie.

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What a lovely cabin, said Alex. Yes, said Harlan, it’s very sturdy. I’m glad you like it, said Pablo, Bonny and I are happy you could come. How long have you lived here? said Alex. Seven months, said Bonny. Do you miss the city? said Alex. Boston? said Bonny. No, not really. Concord has all we need. Like what? said Alex. Like paints and canvass, said Bonny. We produce everything else. What do you do for entertainment? said Alex. We sing, said Bonny, or read, or tell stories around the fire. That sounds great, said Harlan. Can we hear a story tonight? Of course, said Bonny, Pablo knows some really scary ones. Scary? said Harlan. Yes, said Bonny, but not too scary… Ditto gets nightmares.

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Once upon a time, not long ago, there was a donkey, a giraffe, an elephant, and an insane woodsman.

“Morton’s Pond” (XXIV)

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“Thoughts” – It’s hard to believe Thoreau became famous for doing this. Living in these woods and writing down his thoughts. I guess a lot of people say they would like to live in the woods, but almost none of them do it. Maybe that’s why he became famous—because people can continue to live in their big houses in the city and can read about living in a cabin. They can experience it without doing it. Maybe that’s what humans are looking for in life, to experience things without really doing them. That would explain all the televisions and computers and iPhones.

“Roman Clair” (VIII)

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“There was nothing there and everything. There were no words of love and no words for love. There were no words. He was in his and she was in hers. And hers was everything when hers was in his. But his was nothing when his was in hers.”