August 20, 2009

The plank considered itself lucky to be the topmost plank on the pile of planks in the hold of the ship. Its constant yapping about its mountain origins and its trip through the sawmill and the long bumpy ride on the wagon and being swung aboard by some kind of pulley contraption was, to put it mildly, an annoyance to the rest of the lumber. The plank didn’t notice. Truth, it was excited to be on a great adventure. It speculated aloud and on and on about where they were going and what would become of them.

“I can see myself as a part of a wall, that I certainly can,” it said. “Maybe in a parlor, where there would be a piano and music. That would be good. But of course I don’t want to limit myself or be too uppity. I wouldn’t mind at all being part of a sidewalk in, say, Nome, Alaska. Perhaps just outside the swinging doors of a saloon. A lot of interesting action there, I can bet. Hey, even the floor of a cabin would be all right with me. I wouldn’t like rugs on me, though. That would never do.”

The plank rattled on. It was a wonder to hear. The other planks were appalled, and yet at the same time amazed, at the plank’s endless imaginings. And so it was that a kind of bliss settled over the lumber pile when a square shaft of light opened above, two men came down, the plank was carried up and away, and the square shaft of light was snuffed.

The plank was speechless with fear when it found itself shoved out over the side of the ship and partially hanging over the sea. It heard muttering and many drawn out pronunciations of the letter ‘r’. Boots walked along its length. A splash followed and more and louder pronunciations of the letter ‘r’. The plank was roughly tossed into the sea. It wondered if it would wash up on a desert island and make part of a shelter. It certainly hoped so.


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