Part 1: The Test Begins
. Standing at the edge of the abyss, I shake myself to chase the chill. When you gaze down into the depths from here it all seems SO impossible. So all my good intentions of a few minutes or even a week ago are slipping away…
. Who will help me? I can not do this alone- who will be willing to help me push on?
. Looking around I see no one, and hear, very faintly, the sound of a tiny rustling in the nearby shrub. I had not seen her before, but now I do; the tiniest of tiny owls, complete with the pointy little owl hat they are know to wear.
. “Hellooo. Whut r ya dooin? “, she ventured.
. I walked in a circle around her, taking in the tiny golden tree on who’s branch she now perches.
. ” My dear Tiny Owl, where are you from?”
. ” And what is your plan here, my dear Tiny Owl?”
. ” Of what help can you be on your tiny-ness? This abyss is unknow in depth, unknown in source. What could your tiny self possibly do to help me?
. “Ooooo!”, she said, ruffling herself so she looked less like a tiny owl, and more like an extremely fluffy tiny owl, “Ooooo, you don’t know how powerful I am! See here!”
With those words she burst into action, flying like an arrow straight at my forehead! Bop!
“Ahhhh!!!”, I squealed, falling unceremoniously onto my bum, landing in a mud puddle. “Owww!! Why did you do that?!” I rubbed my forehead incredulously on my foreleg, looking to see if she had drawn blood.
” Ooooo, surprised you, didn’t I? Now, lets get on with this!” She grabbed her tiny cross-body travel pouch, filled it with a few tiny dead mice, then turned to me and asked what I wanted for lunch. Seeing that her pouch was filled to the brim with nothing but mice, I declined any food .
. “NO! YOU MUST TAKE SOMETHING: otherwise I get VERY OFFENDED!”, her eye’s flashed yellow with displeasure at the thought.
. ” Well, Ok…How about a T-bone, medium rare, and a baked sweet potato with sour cream, no, make it loaded- make sure its well done, I hate it hard, and…”
Tiny was staring a hole right through me. “What are you doing? You think this if funny, goofball? Pick something reasonable before I flip out on you! ”
. I was really nervous about now, and a bead of sweat traced it’s path down my muzzle…”Got any gourmet macaroons?” I looked down at my hooves, sheepishly.
” That’s better. How many packages ?”
. Here I hesitated, now wanting to over-trot my boundary: “Maybe, 32?” Trying to gauge her response , I quickly reduced the number, “31?”
. “Very well, I hope that’s enough so you don’t get hungry later… I don’t share my mice…”
. Before I knew it I was high stepping down the Interstate, Tiny riding on my head like a mini Napoleon , right down to her wing tuck across her creamy feathered chest. The abyss was 350 miles to the north, and I thought we were making good time, since I didn’t have to save the Zing till Wednesday. No, that’s not a misprint. He commanded last August that he be called Zing Kebra in order not to insult his dyslexic subjects. Since 99.9 percent of his 100 subjects were dyslexic, it made real political sense. I just so happened to be the one. Yep, THE ONE.
As a filly, I tried to hide the fact that I was not one of THEM. I knew what had happened to past “Regulars” like me. The “Regs” (as we were commonly called) were so few and far between…wait, I did it again, So far and few between…wait…DARN! Regs were not born very often is what I mean to say, and when we are The Zing is always the first to know. It’s like a puper sower, I mean Super Power! (I can see this is going to take some real effort on my part, so you understand…)
. My Dad is a very fine Stud, and all the Kebra mares know it, but Mom is the only true love of his life. Actually, the Males of the herd are quite gallant. But when the Touble Droubles came the Zing knew he had to have a Reg, like me. ( There had been one other, a century before, a mighty Reg, sent to find the Holy Wounge Tagger, but he returned a wild-eyed mess, his stripes all gone and his coat nothing but the pinkest pink. They said the Zing put him out to pasture, and he was never seen again.) Yes, I am a young filly, some say too young to find the Holy Wounge Tagger, but I left proudly, to save Mom, Dad, the rest of the herd, and (sigh) The Zing of Kebraland.
. “Don’t you ever shut up?” (Bop!)
. “OW! Don’t do that!”, I shied sideways when she poked me, I was very sensitive between my ears. ,”Was I talking out loud? I thought I was thinking.”
. “How Goofy can you be? (Bop! Bop bop!) “Thinking you were thinking” that’s the goofiest thing I ever heard!” Tiny, adjusted her little hat, I heard the little Rubber band snap! it into place.
. ” Why don’t you come down from there, and fly ahead where I can see you?” I wanted fair warning before she pecked me again…
. “HA! How Goofy do you think I am? I’m not getting near those chompers of yours! They look like HORSE TEETH! So Goofy lookin'”
. Sigh..I could see she had a thing for the word “goofy”…
. “Well, if you really must know, we Kebras’ share DNA with some of the finest…”
. “DONT SAY IT. DONT SAY ANOTHER WORD!”
I stopped short in my tracks at this booming voice, all my hair standing on end, ears pointed, muscles quivering…
. “what the-“, whispered Tiny.
. “shhhhhh… ” I took a shaky breath, ” um, hello? Can we help yo-”
” DONT SAY IT. DONT SAY ANOTHER WORD!’
. Just then, bursting out of the thicket came a creature I had never seen, and I was sure I never wanted to see! It was a giant, lumbering Lady bug! LADY BUG?
. ‘LADY BUG?!!!”, Tiny and I exclaimed in unison.
. ” DONT SAY IT. DON’T SAY ANOTHER WORD!’ It scowled down at us, and I gave a nervous little whinny.
. ” what don’t you want us to say Ma’am?” I ventured.
. “AAAAGGHHH!!! You SAID IT! You called me ‘MA’AM’ !!!! Aaaagh!” It proceeded to spout rivers of lime green tears, soaking the bushes , even splashing on us!
. ” Come, come, now! There’s no need for such drama! And I don’t like limeade, it’s making my feathers sticky!!!!” Tiny scolded. “What IS the problem? You’re a lovely little, er, large-ish, Lady Bug.”
. The tears squirted higher, “ WHAAAAAA! WHAAAAA! I’m NOT A LADY! I’M NOT A LAYYYYDEEEEE!”
” Oh, dear,” said I.
. “Oh, DEAR,” said Tiny.
. “WELL, Honey, neither am I. Back in my day I used to fly pretty free, I was a real “NIGHT OWL”, Har,Har,har!!!”‘
. This just could not get any more bizzare, I thought to myself. Am I trippin’?
” No, you’re not tripping Goofy.”
. “Oh, God, please let me wake up.” I think I was thinking now.
. The huge Lady Bug was now more upset than before, hiccuping and wiping it’s nose, it’s beak, um, it’s facial appendages, with its foot, or claw, or whatever that part was.
” Please, just tell us what’s so bad about a some harmless fun when a little Bug is young? I’M sure you are still a Lady in many ways-”
“NO! NO! NO, I am NOT A LADYBUG! I am NOT a LADY BUG.”
. It looked like it was going to chew my head off, so I backed up, ready to take off…
. “ I am a MAN LADY BUG.”
. “ahhhh….” I felt a tiny breeze as Tiny blew past my right ear in a dead faint, landing with a little *pouf* of feathers.
. ” Oh, don’t mind Tiny (My God, My God, A Man Bug, A MAN BUG) I’m sure she’s just tired…(MAN LADY BUG, MANNY BUG, LADY MANNISH BUGohmyohmyohmy) ” Just take it easy, don’t freak out. ” It’s so nice to meet you Mr. Bug….Mister Lady…. Buggy Man.”
. I tried a feeble smile, and gave another nervous whinny. “A ha haha ha…”
Mr. Bug Lady looked kind of sheepish (like that’s even possible) and tried to grin , which, in actuality, was more like a great white shark grinning, if only it’s teeth were black.
” Uh, so you like me? “(I didn’t say that buddy) ” You don’t mind that I’m a Guy Lady?” “I’m really nice to have around if you grow roses… Do you grow roses?”
. “Whew! I had a wicked bad dream there Goof-Oh! It’s real…I mean Hi Ho There!” Tiny fluffled herself and flew back onto my head.
. “nice save, tiny…”
. “shut up Goofy”
. “Do you guys have any aphids? I’m starving!! I could eat 565, 672 Aphids , right about now…”
“Ah, no, no aphids here, you Tiny?”
. Tiny rooted in his little rucksack , “Well, look-a-here! Aphids! I have a pack of fifty thousand, that do ya?”
. “Sure! Thanks a million…I mean Thanks fifty thousand…ar AR AR…”
. I didn’t waste any time; ” Well, we better get this show on the road, Tiny. I do have an errand to run, and only 53 years to finish it! Bye Mr. Lady! ” I high stepped it out of there, tail flying in the breeze.
. Tiny waved her little wing, and off we went. Mr. Lady waved an appendage and sat down to mascerate his aphids. Whew, what a day.
TO BE CONTINUED…