This time is sacred and god-thanking has been delivered unto, and into and whereto begin except here of course at this all-sourcing all-producing beginning. This is story and this is beginning and for gosh sakes here we go. Silence is called for by all involved knowing that great attention, as any seed-sowing gesture, equals eventual (hopeful) finality in the form of great fruition. Thusly and primly with invitations towards enjoyment extended just go ahead and listen already geez.

This is Saint Nate. He being the presently protagonistic, the for-now focal figure, the elephant. This elephant (ya this story is about an elephant be calm) who in snug aloneness dwells, near pinegroves of just correct density and shade-throwing ability, was simply, honestly, just too much the cutest. Meaning to say more cleanly that Saint Nate be petite, portly in design, pearl-pale all over. Four feet tall he toddles to and frowards, forwards being his commonest direction of navigation. With dusty brown blanket over back and dried sunflower behind rightest ear, his are the days filled brimfull, often with slow plantation and eventual (hopeful) harvesting of bitter mustard plants from outta backyard drysoil.

This day, Saint Nate, during heavy plodding, across previously mentioned precious land-plot, through pines all looking twin-like, sees something stark and stand-out from the similarness. Saint Nate stops his moving. His breath inhalations advancing newly in quick expressions, he retracts two-ish paces to peek covered safely. The sight disturbs.

It is looming strange, this structure unrecognized in the memory of Nate. A dome all bulbous, all smoother arches side-round. Nate knows the smell of it. Nate is thinking of under-sofa spaces and weekend grandma visitations that go on for just too long gosh darn it. With caution Nate sidles its sides. It makes no movement, its only utterance cotton-thick silence as, look out! nearer comes our smallest elephant. Confident steps lead to courageous progress. And now we’re here.

What are we looking at? Well you know Nate, bankrupt of answers, seldomly helpful. But come on, we know better. Our suitcases carry combination locks, we smirk with the confidence of airline miles, I mean, at this point we’re way past the pinegrove man. We know what we’re looking at. Saint Nate you dummy, you’re looking at the all-hollow house-sized head of dead dino. Duh.

Nate, skull-spelunking downwards with all intentions towards deepness, is finding each new cavern cool quiet. There are no whispers, no whispers from the bone-marble. And Nate is alert, exhilarated by any strange newness. But with baby-genes not yet expended, Nate is still a tyke. His bedtime far behind him, the elephant is pooped. Now he is curled up and now he is sleeping, lulled to z’s by the all quiet everything.

Now if sir would be so kind, imagine these events so synchronized.

Saint Nate sleeps down the skull, very Merlin-entombed, very pin-pricked princess of nursery styles. Now the advancing seabird calls, in the house-guest sense, he is scaling the road. Jefeferiah: the bird-brained (in many senses) gull is the next to enter, if you’re going to get thespian about it. This he-bird hopping, once admiral in his day, gone gray and loony from a marooning years back, now goes to see his mother, who lives miles down the track. And as I said, he hops. Being short one winglet, the bird does not fly. And being flightless, he worries, is barely a bird. Compensation being called for we see Jefeferiah now, a mom-bound barnacle on seabird stilts.

Now passing the skull-sleeper, Jefeferiah goes, not shook by the dino head, this monument he knows. Saint Nate still fast asleep and deep, snores of course. Huge baby snores, rebounding til thick in the head, now explode from forth the ever-agapeness fixed in the skull’s face. The snore is roaring. The snore is doom booming scary trust me. Jefeferiah hears and knows to himself, that this is how old birds die. He turns. He hears again. Oh dear Gosh – it’s alive.

Striking fervent prayerfulness in posture, stilts down in supplication, the old gull cries for mercy. Mercy above all with the harmful withheld. This prayer repeating. This prayer repeating. New animals now, all hearing all wondering just what the heck? Jefeferiah wailing high with the skull-snore still low-going. What are we hearing? And the new animals come running. The skull shakes, possessed by sound. All animals stop grounded in equal fear to the bird now crying:

Tribute! Lay down your chow, lay down your sins! Divest of all grub from kitchens gone greedy! Let the flavorful be turned over! Let the scrumptious be spent! The skull now awakened must be put back to bed! Render unto Golgotha til he reclaims his sleep! Bring and bring and bring til he ceases to sing!

So all animals go flying. In rage like lateness they gather and give, until a food-hill lies before the mouth of the head. Then dispersing they leave, silent together, thinking about themselves all the way home. Jefeferiah staying longer, maybe thinking, maybe slower. But he leaves, as he has to. Mom is waiting. He wants snacks.

So now we’re later, after napping done with dreams and the sun settling sweetly. Saint Nate awake is missing the pinegrove but, surprised most happily, chows down on this food-find. The pile all munched is gone, and the elephant is too. We are story and we are ending, happy that we came. The silence holds no questions so stop asking ya silly, our eyes are all closing. Back into sinking shadows, plodding homeward without hurry. This belly is full and I’m tired from the telling. We walk home the quietest by porch-lights never off.

from the desk of the arby’s witch.


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