Mark and the Creature

Mark and the Creature

by Mark Lyons

Image by JamesDeMers from Pixabay

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            “Honey, we have something living in the backyard!” says Mark as he rushes into the house. “I think it’s living in our super cool, mini-wildlife sanctuary. What do I do?”

            Sally looks up from the book she is reading and says, “By wildlife sanctuary you mean the pile of old Christmas trees you threw out in the backyard every year because you never got around to chopping them up? And now things are living there?”

            “Uh, yes, but every time I go out there to work on the mini-wildlife sanctuary, my old teacher injury flares up,” responds Mark.

            “What old teacher injury?” asks Sally.

            “You know the one I incurred while selflessly imparting knowledge gathered and honed by countless scholars who came before me,” replies Mark.

            “You mean your bad shoulder caused by writing on the chalkboard too much?” says Sally.

            “Never mind,” says Mark. “I don’t want to talk about it. But now, what do we do about the creature? We don’t have any more trees, I mean, wildlife sanctuary habitat material.”

            “You could put out some old leaves,” says Sally. “There are plenty of them in the front yard.”

            “Ooooh, that’s good!” says Mark. “There are a lot of leaves in the front yard because I never rake them. Left on the ground in their natural state is the best thing to do to provide organically significant ground cover to keep in the moisture which is often lacking here in Texas. Plus, it’s hard to rake them up because, you know, my old teacher injury.”

            “Uh-huh,” says Sally.

            Mark heads out the front door. He gathers a bunch of leaves, puts them in several large trash bags, and takes them through the back gate into the backyard. As he approaches the pile of old trees, uh, the mini-wildlife sanctuary, Mark spots something rustling in the branches of the old trees, stopping him dead in his tracks. “This is big,” whispers Mark. “Could be a coyote, a wolf, a mountain lion, a wild boar, or even a bear!”

            The sanctuary rustles even more violently. Then everything stops. All is quiet. Mark starts to take a step forward when suddenly a furry creature bolts from the mini-wildlife sanctuary and makes a beeline straight toward Mark. He lets out a hair-raising shriek, throws the bags of leaves in the general direction on the sanctuary, turns 180 degrees, and streaks through the gate while banging it closed on his way out. “I think I will go inside and do my taxes!”

            Meanwhile, back at the wildlife sanctuary, a cute little bunny stops by the gate, looks at the retreating figure of Mark, and says to himself, “That is some crazy guy.”

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