Hey there, kiddos. Okay, I’ll be honest with you. I was thinking this afternoon about the fact that I had to write a story this evening, and I came up with an idea that I thought was funny. Not so much a story, but just an idea for a story. And the more I thought about it, the more I said to myself, “hey, stupid. The point of the SotWC is that you don’t think about it beforehand.” So in order to stay true to my original intent, and also to mix things up, here I am sitting down to write the story and I’ve just decided to completely jettison the idea I thought of earlier. Perhaps it will recur sometime in the future as a spontaneous recollection that I’ll feel good about using at that time. Kind of like the idea of horses and monsters I rejected so long ago.
This one’s for you, Mr. Judd.
THE HORSE AND THE SCARY MONSTER
One sunny Thursday, a horse named Peruvia was out happily trotting around, like horses do, when all of a sudden he had a thought. Not exactly an earth shattering thought, but since his usual thoughts went something like “trot trot trot trot trot I want some hay trot trot gallop gallop whinny get off my back ha ha ha ha ha ha ha trot trot trot,” this one was a pretty interesting one for him. He wanted very badly to tell someone his pretty interesting thought, so he trotted on over to the stable to talk to his friend Gertrude. She was also a horse. Which is why she was in the stable.
“Hey, Gertrude!” Peruvia said.
“Yes?” she replied, munching on some hay.
“I totally just had a thought!” Peruvia whinnied excitedly.
“Oh my gosh! Me too!” Gertrude exclaimed.
“No,” Peruvia said, ” I mean like I had a REAL thought! Like not just ‘hay tastes good,’ or something like that. Like a real thought!”
“Yeah, me too!” said Gertrude.
“Really?” said Peruvia. “What was your thought?”
“I thought ‘Hay tastes good,'” she said.
He looked at her for a moment. “That’s what I just said,” he told her sadly.
“Oh, that was your thought, too?” she asked.
“No,” he said, “it completely was not. Were you even listening to me at all?”
“Sure I was!” she responded. “You said something!”
“Never mind,” said Peruvia, turning to trot away.
“Hay tastes good,” Gertrude said to no one in particular.
Trotting away from the stable, Peruvia decided that he better find someone to tell his thought to soon or he might forget it. He knew what he should probably do was write it down, but having no opposable thumbs made gripping a pen so difficult. He decided he should go over to the farmhouse and tell one of the children there. They had opposable thumbs and could write things down! Adults couldn’t hear animals speak, but children still believed in magic, so Peruvia was sure that one of the children would understand him and write down his thought.
As he approached the back porch, he saw that he was in luck! The youngest girl, whose name was Pie-Crust, was sitting there scribbling in a coloring book.
“Hello!” Peruvia said excitedly. Pie-Crust looked up at him. “I’m so pleased to see you have a writing utensil,” Peruvia continued,” for I have just had a thought, better than most of my usual ordinary horse thoughts, and I would love it if you would write it down for me so I would not forget it!”
In no time at all, Pie-Crust peed her pants and ran inside screaming.
“Hm,” Peruvia grunted to himself, ” maybe that wasn’t such a hot idea.”
Turning around again, he trotted dejectedly past the stable (Gertrude called out “Hey! I like hay! Hey! Hay!” and then laughed so hard that she choked a little. But she was fine, don’t worry.) and out into the surrounding fields. Before long, Peruvia found himself at the edge of a forest. He gasped and looked around, realizing he was at the edge of “Scary Scary Bo-Berry” forest, so named because it was supposedly haunted, but also had some delicious gooseberry bushes. The “Bo” just made it sound cute.
“Oh my gosh,” Peruvia whispered out loud, “I’m so scared I may just forget my thought!”
Suddenly a voice off to his right said, “well, why don’t you tell me your thought and I’ll help you remember it?”
“Oh, that would be so kind of you,” Peruvia responded, turning towards the sound, “I would really appreciate if someone would AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!”
Standing there not ten feet away from Peruvia was the most hideous and scary monster he had ever seen. It had evil eyes, long gangly limbs, big sharp teeth and plenty of other scary things any good artist could think up on his own. And it was wearing boxer shorts with little hearts on them.
“Whoa, dude,” the scary monster said.
“Are you gonna kill me?” Peruvia whinnied, his knees knocking together. All four of them. It was quite a racket.
“Kill you?” asked the scary monster. “Now, why would I do that?”
“Cuz you’re a big scary monster,” Peruvia replied.
“Well, yeah,” said the scary monster, “but I mean besides that.”
“Uh,” said Peruvia, and that was all he managed to say.
“Okay, look, here’s the deal,” said the big scary monster. “My name is Kirby and I kind of like living in this forest by myself, partially because I got tired of folks screaming at me but mainly because the gooseberries in here are so darn good. So I let people think I’m all scary and bad and that the forest is haunted because it keeps out all the dooftopodes. But you seem like a nice horse, so I wanna help you out.”
“Wow,” said Peruvia, “that’s pretty swell of you.”
“I know,” said Kirby. “Playing against type, but still interesting to look at, that’s me all over. So, what was this thought you had?”
“Oh!” said Peruvia. “Yes! My thought! It was very exciting. I just had it not too long ago! Not just an ordinary thought, either! A really good one! Not like ‘hay tastes good,’ or anything like that. No sir, Mr. Monster-friend of mine. This was a doozy, at least by horse standards.”
“Okay, sounds great,” said Kirby. “Lay it on me.”
“All right,” said Peruvia. “I was just thinking that our earth is but a small star in a great universe. Yet of it we can make, if we choose, a planet unvexed by war, untroubled by hunger or fear, undivided by senseless distinctions of race, color or theory.”
Kirby looked at Peruvia for a long time. Peruvia smiled and waited for a response. “Well?” he said finally.
“You didn’t write that,” said Kirby eventually. “That was written by Stephen Vincent Benét, author of The Devil and Daniel Webster. That quote is like a hundred years old. You’re a thief and a plagiarist.”
“Like I can read,” Peruvia said.
“Oh, yeah, good point,” said Kirby.
Returning home after a lovely evening of chatting and eating gooseberry pies, Peruvia went to the stables to tell Gertrude what fun he had been having. Upon entering, though, he found that she was gone. “Hey!” he called out. “Where’s Gertrude?”
A sound at his hoof made him look down. It was a little mouse named Giorgio, squeaking sadly.
“They took her away,” he said.
“Why?” Peruvia asked.
“The little girl-child told her parents that the horses could talk, so they took her away to sell her to the circus.”
“They sold Gertrude to the circus?” Peruvia asked in disbelief.
“No,” said Giorgio, “they sold the little girl to the circus. They just rode Gertrude to get there.”
“Oh,” said Peruvia. “Wait, then why are you so sad?”
“Because I’ve never eaten a gooseberry pie or seen a monster,” said the sad little mouse.
“Gee, that sucks for you,” said Peruvia.
“Yeah, well,” said Giorgio, “at least I can take comfort in the knowledge that nobody I know has either.”
“Uhhh, sure you can,” said Peruvia.
“So,” said Giorgio, shaking it off, “what did you do tonight?”
“Hay tastes good,” said Peruvia.
Well, thanks for reading. Or for listening, if you put this story into one of those computer programs that reads text for you. Hey, if you did that, tell me how it pronounced “dooftopodes.” I bet it was funny.
See you in seven,