listen to “The Devil’s Sister”:
Do you think we’re early? said Morton.
I don’t want to appear anxious, said Emma Lou.
Neither do I, said Chelsea.
How long should we wait? said Morton.
Until it’s time, said Emma Lou.
How will we know? said Morton.
They’ll tell us, said Emma Lou.
What if they don’t? said Morton.
Then we’ll never know, said Chelsea.
They’ll tell us, said Emma Lou, if they want us to know.
And if they don’t? said Morton.
Then they won’t tell us, said Emma Lou.
That makes sense, said Chelsea.
Where are the others? said Morton.
They’re waiting for us to decide, said Chelsea.
They don’t want to appear anxious, said Emma Lou.
What’s wrong with appearing anxious? said Morton.
It makes you look greedy, said Emma Lou.
Even if you’re willing to share? said Morton.
Maybe they want us to wait, said Chelsea.
Why? said Morton.
Because anticipation increases desire, said Emma Lou.
Yes, said Chelsea, like in the Kama Sutra.
The Kama Sutra? said Morton.
The Kama Sutra, said Chelsea, is one of the books on our reading list.
The one the moose keeps hogging? said Morton.
Yes, said Chelsea, but I managed to sneak a peak.
What does it say? said Morton.
It says that withholding pleasure increases desire, and increasing desire increases pleasure.
What if you don’t get what you desire? said Morton.
Then you still get the pleasure of anticipating, said Chelsea.
The pleasure of anticipating? said Morton.
Yes, said Chelsea, like when you spend the winter anticipating the spring fashions, and when the fashions come out, you’re a little disappointed, but at least you had the pleasure of anticipating them.
That happens for me, said Emma Lou, every season of the year.
But sometimes when you get something, said Morton, it’s as good as what you had hoped for.
That’s true, said Chelsea, but getting it doesn’t diminish the pleasure you got from anticipating it.
It teaches you, said Emma Lou, to enjoy the journey and not focus on the destination.
The destination? said Morton.
The object of desire, said Emma Lou.
We’ve waited long enough, said Morton.
You may be right, said Emma Lou.
I wonder if the others are enjoying the wait? said Chelsea.
Birds can be very patient, said Emma Lou.
That’s true, said Morton, I watched Frank sit on a fence for five hours yesterday.
You watched him for five hours? said Chelsea.
Yes, said Morton.
And you didn’t get impatient? said Chelsea.
No, said Morton, I didn’t want to eat him.
So you’re only impatient, said Emma Lou, with things you want to consume?
Yes, said Morton.
What if you’re not hungry? said Emma Lou.
There are some things I want to consume, said Morton, whether I’m hungry or not.
That’s not very healthy, said Emma Lou.
I know, said Morton.
Do you smell that? said Chelsea.
Yes, said Emma Lou, I do.
It must be time, said Chelsea.
Yes, said Emma Lou, it must be time.
Really? said Morton, I was just starting to enjoy the anticipation.
Hello, said Pablo and Bonny. Hello, said Blurtso. What are you doing? We’re taking veggies to our cabin, said Pablo. How about you? I’m going to class, said Blurtso. Really? said Bonny. Why don’t you come visit when you’re done? Ditto would love to see you. Ditto? said Blurtso. Ditto is Bonny’s stuffed animal, said Pablo. Oh, said Blurtso. But he’s remarkably intelligent, said Bonny. I’m sure he is, said Blurtso. So you’ll come? said Bonny. I don’t think so, said Blurtso, I’ve got an exam tomorrow. That’s too bad, said Pablo, we could go for a swim. With the ducks? said Blurtso. Of course, said Pablo. Hmm, said Blurtso, do you know anything about the underlying causes of World War One? No, said Pablo, but I’m sure we can figure it out. Great! said Blurtso. I’ll see you after class.
No one’s home… except for Bonny’s stuffed animal. He sure is funny-looking. Rabbit-sized ears, boxing-glove nose, two eyes that may as well be one. I wonder what he’s supposed to be? His hooves are wrong for a rabbit… and his nose is wrong for a rhino… maybe he’s a camel or a mouse… or an overstuffed rat… I wonder if he can swim… maybe he’s a sea creature who’s stranded on land… or a land creature who yearns for the sea… Hah! He sure looks funny! But even so… he’s really quite handsome.
I see, said Blurtso. So it was the result of a series of diplomatic clashes over European and colonial issues that stemmed from the changing balance of power after 1867. Exactly, said Pablo.