The sun had not yet peeked over the horizon and already Bill had moved a cord of wood blocking the canal. A hard day’s work never bothered Bill much. “A Beaver has got to do what a Beaver does best,” he always said.
“Break Time!”, Chuck yelled, jingling his thermos.
“What’s up Chuck?”
“I hate it when you say that; you know I have a weak stomach.”
“It’s probably from drinking all that nettle and dandelion tea.” Bill instantly regretted his last remark; knowing it would only provoke Chuck into an endless conversation about his multitude of ailments and how nature has a cure for everything.
“I added some ginger root today to help with my Irritable Bowl Syndrome; it really helps settle the tubing down. You know, if …”
A black bear jumped out from the bushes and stopped the woodchuck mid-sentence.
“You scared the scat right out of me Barry!”
Bark brew sprayed out of Bill’s mouth and Barry fell to the ground laughing, as the woodchuck stepped away from a fresh pile of droppings. “Looks like the tubing is working just fine to me,” Bill joked.
Chuck just shook his head. Getting teased was just part of the morning ritual.
“Quick get up, some hotties are coming!” Barry ushered. “Chuck look,” pointing to a pair of cinnamon bears headed down to the water’s edge. “How could anyone be a vegetarian with Grade A pieces of rump like that at the pond?”
“Ladies, ladies, if you are thirsty why don’t you head back to my den for a taste of some chocolate love?” The pair of grizzlies sized him up and made a joke about his small stature before they sauntered off.
“What is it with you and the big girls?” Bill questioned. “Too much of a good thing if you ask me.”
“What can I say? I like big humps and I cannot lie!” The friends laughed at Barry’s comment.
“Speaking of ladies that are too much to handle,” the black bear continued, “I heard that skunk Shirley came over to your place last night.”
“That dang wife of mine, always so sympathetic towards the riffraff. She let that rotten old bag come into our house and gave her the last piece of my pie; that I was saving for my lunch.”
The friends settled down on some tree stumps with their morning beverages and listened intently to Bill’s story.
“That bitter hag complained for an hour about how my daily wood work is keeping her up in the morning. As if it is my fault she was out all hours of the night; probably hissing at the moon with those other witches she hangs out with.”
“She was eating each spoonful slowly, making all these gross moaning noises, telling the wife how amazing she is and how I had better appreciate her. She sat there, taunting me with my pie and flirting with my old lady.”
“So, I flashed her a little side tooth, let her know I was on to her, and you would not believe what that nasty skunk did next.”
Bill’s face tensed up, his hair spiking further with each word. “She farted, right there, in my chair, eating my pie!”
“Oops! Excuse me, she says, like she let that noxious odor out on accident. I swear, she left her mark all around the house when she left. My nose hairs are still burning from her presence.”
“These woods would smell a lot sweeter if someone skewered that skunk!“
“Dad! We sprung a leak again!” Bill’s rage was interrupted by the frazzled call of his teenage son, Woody.
Stay tuned this week for the rest of the story.
Reflections in the Pond is an allegorical and satirical, forest fable; where the only lessons you take from the story are the ones you are ready to learn.
(Your comments are greatly appreciated, as I haven’t written a story since grade school.)
Written for my niece: May you see something different every time you read it.
All posts in 1000 words are stories inspired by photos; this story inspired by the header picture my husband took of a lakeside reflection.