October 2, 2011

The frail mitten, threadbare, a hole in her thumb, unraveling at the wrist, staggered through the black night cruelty of an ice storm. Collapsing against the door of an inn, she managed three feeble taps before fainting away to slide down a smooth path of delirium toward death. Fortunately, a burly wren hopping by noticed the mitten’s plight, picked her up, and shouldered the door open with brutal force.

“Hey, innkeeper! Soak this mitten in gin and hurry up about it,” snarled the burly wren.

“Say, keep your socks on, buddy, and close that door. Was you born in a barn?” offered the proprietor, a small, but feisty, hamster.

“Listen, pal, as a matter of fact, I was. Get me?” said the burly wren, slamming the door, leaping behind the bar, fetching a jug of gin, soaking the mitten therein.

“Thanks, I needed that,” whispered the grateful mitten, smiling her fetching smile for the first time in a long time.

“Say, kid, you’re all right,” said the wren.

“Who’s gonna pay for that?” asked the hamster in a none too friendly manner.

“You donated it, pal,” said the burly wren evenly, flexing both of his heavily muscled wings.

“Oh, yeah, so I did, so I did,” grinned the hamster, falling all over himself, so to speak.

And the burly wren and the frail mitten lived together happily for many years, and they lived together unhappily for a few years, too.


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