Monday, April 30, 2007

Dancing Queen

I had it all. I had the shoes, I had the dress. I had the wiggle, and I sure as heck had the giggle. I was ready for my debut.

For an hour, I waited patiently. Song after song, I sang along in my head and barely swiveled my shoulders in my seat. My feet tapped impatiently, but I grabbed my knee and calmed them down. Soon, soon.

During intermission, I walked around calmly to keep my muscles limber. I looked at the orchestra and flitted between bathroom lines and my seats. It was almost time.

Another hour went by, and the music swelled to a crescendo. The audience jumped up in a standing ovation. It was time.

"You can dance, you can dance, having the time of your life."

My hips erupted into a shaking frenzy as my entire body began to wiggle about. My shoulders shook, my arms rolled and my feet took tiny steps all around. It had happened--I had become a dancing queen.

"Looking out for another, anyone will do, you're in the mood for a dance, and when you get the chance...."

Ignoring my husband's bemused looks and my mother's amused smile, I sauntered into the aisle. There, it was just me and the girls on stage as we moved to the beat. We were not merely performers, we were dancing queens.

"You are the dancing queen, young and sweet only 17, dancing queen, feel the beat from the tambourine!"

As I moved joyfully to the music, everything around me swirled into the notes of the music. The lights were blaring from the stage and synchronized piano keys filled my ears. Two girls behind me jumped into the aisle, and other women jumped up and began to move to the music. I now had a court of dancing queens.

"You can dance, you can dance, having the time of your life, see that girl, watch that scene, digging the dancing queen!"

As the music slowed, I took my final steps and waited in the silence as the applause roared around me. Then, as the notes hit the air I launched into my second performance. I danced until the lights came on and the people pushed me out of the aisle. In the sunlight, my feet still moved to the side and side in a swaying step. Ben shook his head.

"You're the only person I've seen that can dance anywhere," he said. "Office max, the grocery store, the bank....It's unbelievable. You're a dancing fool."

"No," I corrected him gravely, "I am a dancing queen." And with that said, I danced my way to the car.

***Invisible Friends, stay tuned tomorrow! Brand new Land of the Flowered Bed--a mysterious character returns!****

Lyrics from Abba's "Dancing Queen"

Thursday, April 26, 2007

The Peeping Bug(s)

Dear Peeping Bug 1 and Peeping Bug 2,

I am offended. I am outraged. I am not amused. Why you ever got it into your microscopic brains that it was ok to invade my shower is beyond me. I don't care if it was raining and you didn't want your little buggie feet to get wet. That is not my problem. Besides, if you didn't want to get wet, why would you have invaded my shower? Don't give me that excuse. You weren't looking for the grocery store. You were looking for thrills, that's what you were looking for. Perverted insects--you should all be locked up!

You, my gross little friends, are peeping bugs. You're one step above the grout you're scurrying about in. To invade someone's personal, warm shower and stare at them while they get ready is creepy. You're already creepy, because you're a bug. Bugs creep. They don't walk, they creep. But what you've done has gone beyond buggy creepiness. You're on fungi level of grossness.

Peeping Bug 1, I have a bit more sympathy for you. You seemed so lost and confused when I crushed you with my fingernail. In my mind, I thought I heard a squeak of alarm. I almost felt bad when I ground you into the tile. But I got over it pretty quick.

However, Peeping Bug 2, you should have known better. Peeping Bug 1's corpse was still on the opposite side of the shower! Yet, you have the nerve to scurry over to my side right near my face and taunt me as you dash from tile to tile.

If you want to see naked people, go open up your own little buggie smut magazine. Appoint yourselves the next Bug Befner and have fun at it. Just don't come in my Pond. The next bug that invades my shower is going to get the long pointy fingernail of justice--and let me tell you, it ain't pretty.

So before your millions of family members crawl to me and accuse me of cruelty, let me just say this. Aren't showers supposed to be places of peace and cleanliness? Is it not true that showers are a personal and private event? When a person experiences a Peeping Bug, it is a traumatic event. Let's remember who the real victim is here. After all, I almost got soap in my eye when I squished Peeping Bug 2. And that would have been a real tragedy.

Huffily yours,

The Now Paranoid Blonde Duck

Other shower victims of Peeping Bugs can contact (1800) BAD-BUGG. A counselor is waiting on the phone to listen to your emotional crises now. Donations are always welcome.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

I know why you're fat

Such a arrogant statement from the normally bubbly Blonde Duck! But it's true! I know why the world is going fat.

I've been pondering this question since last week, when we went to Dave's going away party. The party began at 9 at a restaurant, which was nearly overflowing with diners. At first I thought, 'They must be here for a desert, or perhaps drinks.' Wrong. These people were double fisting hamburgers and chicken fried steaks the size of my head down their gullet faster than I can finish this sentence, their plates heaping with enormous servings of fries. They washed their meals down with three or four glasses of wine and picked at the queso and chips they had snacked on earlier. After all this, they order a huge slice of chocolate cake for every person at the table!

I stared at these people in shock. It was Wednesday night. It wasn't even a weekend. And these people were eating as thought they might never eat again! Now, I can put away food with the best of them. If you even try to take a bite of my food, I've been known to stab people with forks. This isn't a hypercritical observation. It just boggles my mind that people eat like this then whine about being fat.

Perhaps I was being unfair. I pulled aside a waiter and asked if it was always like this so late at night. They said it was, and that this was actually unusually calm. CALM? There were people squeezing out of every crack of the restaurant! It literally boggled my mind. I didn't get it.

So all week, this has been bothering me. "Why?", I asked myself, "Do people whine about being fat when they eat like bears going into hibernation on a daily basis?" Now to be fair, there are people that work out, eat right and don't lose weight. Those people have a genetic issue or metabolism problems. I'm discussing the people that think a chef salad the size of a flying saucer is a light lunch and then whine that they have some extra pudge.

Since I'm now the temporary editor of a medical newspaper at work, I was thinking of a editorial to write. Then the answer to the world's obesity problems came to me. So here, in it's entirety, is the editorial. I hope you enjoy it.

Hedonism: Darwin's Tasty Plan
Beefy. Husky. Plump. Large. Voluptuous. Teddy Bear. Call it whatever you want, it all boils down to one harsh, three letter word: FAT. The entire world is getting fat, and no one seems to know why.

Depending on what day of the week it is, health officials have a new excuse for why people can’t fit in airplane seats and on X-Ray machine tables. Some say it’s due to longer working hours and sedentary lifestyles peppered with fast food bags. Others blame expensive produce prices for making it hard for lower income families to get healthy food. Some believe it’s our pre-historic fat storing tendencies, and one British researcher has found a fat gene. Then there are those who believe that temptations of the suburbs full of restaurants and devoid of sidewalks have replaced people’s ability to walk with a commuter’s lifestyle full of soccer games and piano lessons.

With obesity rates are rising all over the world and a estimated 1.1 billion people in the world overweight and 312 million are obese, there’s obviously a problem. Even over 10 percent pre-schoolers from 2 to 5-years-old are obese, which is a terrifying fact. Three-year-olds shouldn’t have to worry about diabetes and hypertension; they should worry about Timmy trying to take their favorite doll.

But why are we gaining so fat? At first, doctors chalked it up to American’s love of fattening foods. Now even South Africans are becoming obese as quickly as we are, proving that at least not all the children in Africa are starving.

As I asked various people at various weights why they thought people were fat, the majority of them automatically replied they were lazy. They didn’t enjoy exercising, they didn’t enjoy walking and it was easier to go eat out at a restaurant than fix a meal at home. After a long day of work, the last thing they wanted to do was get on a treadmill. They wanted a cookie.

Perhaps the answer is that as a nation and city, we turn to food for comfort. Depressed? Drown your sorrows in cheese enchiladas! Bad day? Cheesecake, here I come! While that may explain some people’s weight troubles, not all obese people are depressed. So that obviously isn’t the sole answer. Genetics can’t be entirely blamed either, even though it plays a part. Not everyone is born weighing 400 pounds.

Then suddenly, it all made sense. The world has gone fat because we’ve all become hedonists, and this is nature’s way of weeding us out! People naturally want to indulge themselves, and this generation doesn’t have the struggles past generations have dealt with. We don’t suffer from food rations, most of us have plenty of money when we’re not dropping it at the mall and healthcare is more available than ever. Since nature can’t kill us with a case of small pox, they’ve had to look inside for the answers. There they discovered our fat cells that were more than happy to plump up with McDonalds and ice cream.

As people gained more discretionary income, food became a source of entertainment and comfort rather than substance. Since we didn’t have to head out to the woods everyday, traditions were built around specific dishes that have become more elaborate over time. Since sugar and butter are no longer scarce, pies and cakes are no longer a cherished treat but standard every day fare. The more we indulge ourselves in our food obsessions, the faster we kill ourselves off. It’s Darwin’s poisoned chocolate bar—it’s sure tasty, but too many bites will kill you.

So while you shouldn’t starve yourself like the Brazilian models, reign in your hedonistic practices every once in awhile. It’s not like it will kill you.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

We like the Turtles

Within our Pond and the Land of the Flowered Bed, we have discovered our very own pond. While the ducks still languish in my bathtub until they get their private backyard pond, I can at least content myself with visiting another pond.

Ben's work is a very nice, landscaped building and has lots of areas of greenery and landscaping. Imagine his surprise to find a large pond with catfish, turtles and DUCKS! It also has a bench and several cute tables, perfect for picnicking or daydreaming on a cool crisp evening. Needless to say, we enjoy escaping to the pond and feeding the critters within it.

The Invisible Friends interrupt. "Excuse me," they bellow, "Don't you have enough critters to feed at home?"

My response to this is there is never too many critters. I could live in a zoo and I'd still add more critters.

Anyway, we enjoy visiting the pond after work. We take a baggie full of old bread slices and creep quietly to the pond. By the time the first crumb hits the water, the catfish have begun to froth the water about. Their giant mouths open to the sky as they grab for the tiniest crumb, greedy to eat as much bread as they can. Their flopping tails knock aside the turtles, who are swimming as fast as their stubby limbs can. The turtles adore the bread.

We stand on the edge of the pond, feeding the turtles. Ben has mastered the art of holding a large chunk of bread down and having the turtles bite chunks off. Their small pink mouths open wides as they delicately tear off a chunk, then pop back in their shells to eat it.

My eyes widen as Ben turns to deal with the three ducks who are waddling towards us as quickly as their webbed feet can go.


"Oh my God, these ducks are greedy," Ben laughs as the ducks fight over the small chunks of bread, quacking loudly and wiggling their tails. I tug on his sleeve.

"Hey Ben--"

"Now come on, that was hers," he scolds a particularly greedy duck.

"Ben!" I yell, rolling my eyes. "The turtles are invading us!"

"Huh?" Ben says, whirling around. Then he sees what I see and grins. "Holy crap!" he yells happily, forgetting about the ducks to get a closer look. The turtles are crawling slowly on land towards us, and at least 20 are hobbling our way. The catfish are thrashing about in the water, sending turtles flying and almost drowning the small ones. The bread has sent the animals in a frenzy.

I turn to see three expectant ducks staring at me.

"Quackquackquackquack," one says, coming toward me closely. I throw bread at them as the draw nearer and nearer. Soon, I'm on the edge of the bank, where the turtles are unsuccessfully pawing at the thick tree roots with their stubby limbs. I'm surrounded, and I'm out of bread.

Ben has also run out of bread. We look at each other, and nod. "Run!" Ben yells, as we run from the shore, a frenzy of ducks, fish and turtles behind us.

"We're sorry!" I yell behind us, distraught at the looks of utter desolation on the ducks and turtle's faces. "We ran out of food!"

As we head home, we're both smiling happily. "We should do that again soon," I said, gently patting Ben's arm.

"It's a lot of fun," Ben said. "I like the turtles."

"I like the ducks," I said. "I like the turtles too. Don't like the fish so much."

"We like the turtles," Ben grins humming to himself. "We like the turtles."

Next time, we'll bring more bread.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

3:00 p.m.

The gnat flew by and saw him sitting on a piece of paper. He was sitting intently, not moving at all. The gnat looked to see what the spider was staring at. He flew around to the other side and looked down. All he saw was the back of a picture frame and a side of a bottle of Pepto Bismal. The gnat was confused.

"Excuse me," the gnat called out. "What are you doing?"

"Waiting," the spider replied. The gnat looked. There weren't any bugs nearby crawling about and besides himself, there weren't any flying bugs.

"On what?" the gnat asked, completely confused. "There's nothing to wait on."

"Yes there is," the spider replied calmly.

"What is there to wait on?" the gnat asked.

"3:00 p.m." the spider said.

"3:00 p.m.?" the gnat echoed.

"3:00 p.m." the spider confirmed.

"You're going to wait here until 3:00 p.m.?" the gnat asked sceptically.

"Yup," the spider said.

"Why?" the gnat asked.

"You'll see." the spider said in a short, confident tone. The gnat rolled his eyes and settled into to watch the spider. The afternoon crept slowly by. Suddenly, the spider began to wiggle in excitement.

"What is it?" the gnat asked, peering down anxiously.

"Almost," the spider whispered to himself. "Almost...."

Suddenly, the girl opened a drawer and placed a jar of peanut butter on the desk. The spider waited anxiously until the lid was off the peanut butter and waited until the girl's attention was focused elsewhere.

"Now!" he gasped, propelling himself at rapid speed toward the peanut butter. He ran across the desk as fast as his little legs could carry him. As he neared the peanut butter, he saw the hand coming down upon him.

"No!!!" he cried, trying to reach the lid as quickly as possible. "I'm so close! So close!"

Before he could reach the edge, the giant hand reached up and picked up the lid, screwing onto the peanut butter. As he watched in desperation, the peanut butter disappeared into the drawer below.

Sighing, the spider returned to his post on the paper.

"What are you doing now?" the gnat asked in exasperation.

"Waiting," the spider said.

"For what?" the gnat asked.

"3:00 p.m." the spider said.

Monday, April 16, 2007

The Quest for a Gift

There is nothing harder in the world than trying to find the perfect gift. Whether a birthday gift, anniversary gift, wedding gift or Mother's Day gift, finding a perfect gift is the top of the impossible journeys.

"Excuse me?" the Invisible Friends are sighing. "It is soooo easy to find a gift. Just buy a gift certificate! Duh! Don't you know anything?"

Well, that was the problem. In the past, I was content to simply plunk down a $20 for some crap from Old Navy, a DVD or whatever happened to be on a registry under $50. In college in particularly, shopping was a chore I dreaded. It hovered around the same spot on my list of exciting things as going to the dentist.

Now, something has changed in me. I'm not sure if it's being surrounded by and writing about boutiques that have a quaint charm, or the fact that we're officially "nesting." There's just something about these stores filled with adorable notecards, charming candles and art that you know would look wonderful on your wall--if you had a completely different house to go with it. At Anthropologie, for example, I drool over the soft table linens and adorable dishes. "I could fill my house with these dishes!"I think with excitement, imagining myself hosting elaborate dinner parties. Then, as the dreamy haze wears off, reality sets in that: 1 ) we don't have many friends here (yet) 2) I have no place for the dishes and 3) I'm not an elaborate person.

So lately, I've taken my whimsical and indulgent approach to all things cute and redirected into gifts for various people. Perhaps this is really what gifts are, after all. Instead of being for the other person, gifts might just be an extension of ourselves buying something we'd really like to have and tweaking it at the last second for the other person. Or for some, perhaps it's the idea that they place themselves in this person's shoes and think of all the lovely things they would dream of, and set to purchase those.

For example if I was buying for a chef, I'd want to buy him gorgeous dishes, rich table linens and elegant knives. It's like whenever I walk into Williams and Sonoma, I have the sudden urge to quit my job and open a bakery. I can picture myself in a large kitchen with ceramic pots and elegant table linens as I prepare all sorts of delicious creations that are of course, iced perfectly. What my fantasy neglects to mention is the disaster of ruined icing, broken cookies and my inability to figure out complicated pots. Williams and Sonoma I am not.

I haven't gotten quite into the art of wrapping yet, but I am into the hunt of finding a gift. It's this urge to find something for a person they will treasure for a lifetime and fall in love with at first sight. Like falling in love with people, this is more likely not to happen than not. But that one moment--that one brief moment when the recipient is filled with pure delight and joy, that is what I'm searching for. Maybe I'm nesting, maybe I'm just getting weird. I just don't want to give crappy gifts anymore and see that look of disappointment, that look of, "Oh, whatever, she made me a collage frame. And a candle. Whatever." I want to see joy and happiness. I want to see pure delight. I'm just not sure you can find delight at Best Buy or Target.

The search continues..................

Thursday, April 12, 2007


In the movie "Fools Rush In", Salma Hayek plays a woman who heavily believes in signs. Her belief rubs off on Matthew Perry, who sees "signs" everywhere when his heart wants to return to her and her head doesn't. Even though I'm not a religious nor spiritual nut job, I believe in signs.

For instance, my butterflies are a sign. Yes, I know, these are whimsical creatures who are really on a search for pollen and food and could give a damn less about my need for validation or comfort. But while part of my brain believes that, I just can't accept that. How else could a butterfly have flitted gently by in the cold winds of winter, when they should have been hibernating? Whenever I've been upset or disheartened about my frustration with getting published or work, they've always appeared, gently fluttering around me and making their presence known.

There's been other signs too. The sunshine, a flower growing next to my window, things of that nature. But every since I started my journey of life after high school, one guiding sign has been constant throughout my life. And that sign is Legally Blond.

Legally Blond was playing on the television in the college bookstore when I purchased my books. It was playing when I decided to change my major for the first time. It was playing when we got engaged, and every time had had some significant epiphany during college. It played right before I started my job. Most recently, it played when I was disheartened and discouraged after receiving two rejection letters. I was frustrated and felt like a fraud. I had worked myself into a wallow of pity, wailing that I would never get published and would always be a washed up "aspiring author."

Then, she came. Elle Wood's perky blond face stared back at me right as all the Harvard people kicked her out of their study group. If Elle Woods could face down a pack of self-righteous Yankees, I could get published, I vowed. My validation came two days later, when I decided to revise my book and streamline it to make it more marketable. She was back again, battling Callahan in the courtroom. "I can do it," I thought. "If Elle Woods can win a trial knowing about perms, I can get published."

So, I believe in signs, and I also believe in plans. After all--what good is a plan if you don't have directions to help you along the way?

Monday, April 09, 2007

Easter Piggie

Easter was a joyous celebration in the Land of the Flowered Animals. The animals awoke to Easter baskets filled with goodies and treats: a enormous chocolate Easter bunny for Pumble with dozens of jelly beans and marshmallow concoctions; Cadberry eggs for Hairy; white chocolate mice for Cookies; and gummy salmon for the seals. The ducks dined on fresh bread and quacked happily.

"A delightful Easter!" cried the first duck.

"A splendid holiday!" cried the second duck.

"This is good," mumbled the third duck, who was hoarding the bread.

Hairy hosted an egg hunt, and the animals ran around the room wildly looking for eggs. Cookies found the most, and spent the rest of the afternoon bragging about his "eagle eyes." The seals played happily with their new candy as they hid it about in places that were sure to be stepped on and squished between toes. Pumble passed out from a sugar overload and laid snoring on the floor, his face covered with chocolate. Occasionally, a burp would interrupt his snores.

Hairy was reading a new book he'd gotten when he felt a tap on his shoulder. He turned to see a pig with wings standing behind him.

"Excuse me," the pig asked politely, "May I have some of your grass? It looks quite tasty."

"Who are you?" Cookies bellowed from across the room before Hairy could reply. "And why do you have wings? You can't fly!"

"I can actually," the pig said, smiling. "I'm a flying pig. "

"I don't believe you!" Cookies said. "Prove it!"

"Why are you here?" Hairy asked. "Are you visiting? This is the Land of the Flowered Bed. We have a spa if you're interested."

"He better not be interested!" the first duck quacked from the bathtub.

"I refuse to share my tub!" the second duck bellowed.

"There's always room for one more," the third duck said sweetly.

"Actually, I'm the Easter Pig," the pig smiled. "The Easter bunny sent me here."

The animals all stared at the pig. Pumble snorted, woke up, looked at the pig, blinked and immediately went back to sleep.

"I'm sorry, but we must be mistaken," Hairy said. "You're the Easter pig?"

"Yes," the pig said.

"There is no such thing as the Easter Pig," Cookies said.

"There is, because I am the Easter Pig," the pig said patiently.

"Prove it!" Cookies said, folding his arms.

"I can't prove it, I just am," the pig said.

"I'm very confused," Hairy said. The seals nodded in agreement.

"If you can't prove you're an Easter Pig, you can't fly either," Cookies said. "You're a lying pig."

"I can prove I can fly," the pig said. "How about this: if I prove I can fly, you believe I'm an Easter Pig?"

"Well, I guess," Hairy said doubtfully.

"I probably won't anyway but go ahead and try," Cookies said, smirking at the pig. "He'll get an inch off the ground and fall on his butt."

The pig climbed to the top of the bed and walked to the middle. He took a running start towards the end of the bed.

"Close your eyes, seals!" Cookies yelled. "This pig is going to splat!" The seals covered their eyes with their tails. Hairy clapped his hands over his face and peeked through his interlaced fingers. The pig ran to the edge of the bed and leaped.

"Timber!" Cookies yelled, then stared at the sky confused. Hairy peeked through his fingers and grinned, dropping his hands. "You can look," he told the seals. The seals opened their eyes and clapped in delight. The pig was flying!

The pig swooped around the room, doing circles and dipping and turning through the air. He landed triumphantly in front of Cookies and took a bow.

"You cheated," Cookies glared. "I'm going to prove it." He stalked off to sulk, and Hairy turned to the pig.

"A flying pig," he said admiringly as the seals began to construct their own wings out of hangers. "I never thought I'd see a flying pig."

"An Easter Pig at that," the Pig said smugly.

"True," Hairy agreed. "So what's your name?"

"I'm Chick," the Pig said, extending his hand. "Chick the Easter Pig."

"Well, Chick the Easter Pig," Hairy said, "Happy Easter!"

Thursday, April 05, 2007


Being the generous Blonde Duck that I am, I compiled a list of all the questions the Turtle Guru of the Other Pond received from the animals of the Land of the Flowered Bed. Some were deep, some were dumb and others were just.....interesting. Dear Invisible Friends, I hope you enjoy reading these as much as I did. Oh--and a Land of the Flowered Bed story is on it's way soon!
The Q&A with the Turtle Guru

The Ducks at the Spa in the Land of the Flowered Bed

Q: Why are there no turtles in our spa? We deserve turtles! Why do the ducks in the Other Pond get turtles and we don't? That's unconstitutional and segregation! We demand turtles!

A: Have you ever asked some turtles to come over? I'm sure if you ask nicely, they will come. Or just have a lot of bread crumbs. That works too.

Pumble the Bee

Q: Everytime the girl goes to the grocery store, she buys a large gallon of ice cream. Three days later, the ice cream is gone and I have to wait until the girl goes back to the store! I know they're not eating it--she's as annoyed as I am. How do I find out who is stealing my ice cream? I think it's the owl. He would do something like that, the jerk.

A: Perhaps you should look at your own stomach. Maybe you're snacking more than you realize. If you really want to find out who is stealing your ice cream, just set up a security camera. Good luck with that!

Hairy the Mayor

Q: I want to host an Easter egg hunt for Easter, but am not sure whether to use hardboiled or plastic eggs. What's your advice?

A: Plastic. These are animals, remember.

The Ladybug

Q: Everytime the girl goes to the grocery store, she buys a gallon of ice cream. Three days later, the ice cream is gone and I have to wait until next week for some more! I think someone is stealing my ice cream! How do I find out who is stealing my ice cream? I think it's the seals. They have a sweet tooth. Oh, and don't tell Pumble I'm here. I'm going to surprise him.

A: Um, I would ask Pumble about his ice cream habits.

Cookies the Owl

Q: I demand to know why you are called the Turtle Guru. I am a OWL! I am the wisest creature of them all. What gives you the right to think you are wise? You're nothing but a phony! Why do you think you're so brilliant? Is that because of your hard outer shell? You're nothing but a fraud?

A:........Was that a question?

The Seals (as translated by Hairy)

Q: Do you have any salmon? If you do, can we have it? We do adore salmon. We like tuna too. Not dolphins though. We have relatives for dolphins. Crazy Aunt do you have any salmon?

A: I know of where you can get catfish, no salmon. So sorry to disappoint. I personally prefer bread crumbs from the County Line myself, rather than fish.

Mazzy the Munny

Q: Ever since relocating to Austin to follow my dream of becoming a singer, I've noticed there aren't any other Munnys. Does that mean I'm the Queen of the Munnys?

A: If you would like to be, you are the Queen of the Munnys. Be sure to adorn yourself in a velvet cloak and do charity work. A specter and crown never hurt, either.


Q: Hello! Where are you going today?

A: Nowhere. I live at the other pond.

Q: Fascinating! I'm a GLUG you know. Do you have a cool name?

A: No. I'm a turtle.

Q: Well that's dull. Why don't you have a cool name?

A: Turtles like to be dull. It's like mud. We like mud because it's dull. We're dull because we live in mud. Mud is generally just--dull.

The Babies of the Big Pond

Q: Have you seen our buckets?

A: I'm afraid not. I hope you find them!

Arthur the Dog

Q: Can I eat you? You look tasty.

A: No.

The Other Ladybug

Q: Could you tell me a story? I like stories!

A: Sure! Have a seat and I'll tell you a tale. There was once a very curious lady bug. She met a very strange turtle. The end.

The Butterflies

Q: Do you ever regret the trappings of your physical body? The slow movements and thick outer shell, the twisted reptilian skin?

A: No. It would be like you regretting your wings and ability to whisk through the air.

Q: Indeed.

A: Indeed.

Henry the Lizard

Q: Do you ever have Giants shouting at you? I hate when Giants shout at me!

A: There's always someone bigger, stronger and better than you. Louder, too.

Ernie the Earthworm

Q: Excuse me! Do you have a spring hat? I have a spring hat!

A: Even better- I have a spring shell that doubles as a hat and a house!

The Flying Pigs

Q: Pardon me! Is your grass tasty at the Other Pond?

A: The grass is always greener on the other side.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

The Other Pond

At another pond, far away from the Land of the Flowered Bed, a turtle sat on a rock, sunning himself on the crisp spring day.

"Who is that?" a doe asked her mother.

"That is the Turtle Guru," the deer answered. "Ducks, geese, squirrels and animals from all around come to ask his advice. He is the wisest turtle in the land."

"Wow," the doe said. "Why is he so wise?"

"I'm not really sure," the deer answered. "They say that he was a normal turtle. Then one day, he suddenly realized all the answers to every question imaginable. They say it was like lightening hit him. From then on, he was the Turtle Guru."

The doe was dutifully impressed. As her mother continued to munch on leaves, the doe crept down to the shores of the pond to hear what was going on.

Three ducks were protesting loudly, swimming in circles and flapping their wings gently. The commotion was over a piece of bread in the water, and the three ducks were literally banging their heads together in attempt to get the bread.

"Mineminemineminemineminemine!" one duck cried, taking a chunk out of the bread.

"Mineminemineminemineminemineminemine," another duck cried, taking a chunk out of the bread.

The third duck, a female, quacked delicately. "Mine," she said simply, sneaking a large bite.

"Mine," a deep voice said, as a catfish surfaced and swallowed the remaining bread. The ducks looked at each other in shock.

"Ruderuderuderuderuderude!" one duck shouted, swimming after him.

"Get him get him get him!" the second duck squalled, pecking the water violently.

The female just sighed and shook her head. "I really wish they would have gone to college," she muttered, looking at her sons in affectionate exasperation.

The ducks stopped in front of the turtle, indignantly flapping and quacking.

"Turtle Guru," one duck whined, "That bread was mine. Minemineminemineminemine."

"No, it was mine," the other duck complained. "Minemineminemineminemine."

"They don't own a piece of bread," the catfish said disdainfully. "It was mine."

"Tell us who is wrong," the first duck whined.

"Yea, tell the catfish he has to give us some more bread," the second duck complained.

"Like I have a bread machine underwater," the catfish rolled his eyes.

"Mine!" the first duck retorted. Then they all sat and watched the Turtle Guru impatiently.

The Turtle Guru opened his eyes and surveyed the three critters.

"The bread belonged to no one," he said simply. "Whoever got there first was in possession of the bread."

"I got there first!" the first duck crowed. "Minemineminemine!"

"No, I did!" the second duck argued. "Mineminemineminemine!"

"Rather than worrying about who owned the bread, why not find some new bread?" the Turtle Guru suggested. "Like over there?" The Turtle Guru gestured to the end of the pond with a stubbly arm, where a little girl sat throwing bread into the water.

The ducks looked at each other and took off swimming.

"Mineminemineminemine!" they both cried, racing for the edge.

The Turtle Guru smiled and went back to sunning himself. The doe scampered over to her mother.

"Mom?" she asked. "The Turtle Guru doesn't seem that wise. He just seems to have common sense."

"My dear," her mother said, swallowing a mouthful of leaves, "Sometimes that's all wisdom is."

Have a question for the Turtle Guru? Leave a comment for the Blonde Duck, and she'll pass on all questions to the Guru!