Aftermath - Cover


Copyright© 2010 by Pedant

Chapter 8

We left Patrick with Martha when we went off to shop in the morning. When we got back, I cleaned out the residue in the grill, loaded it with charcoal and some gum, and seasoned the lamb. I then rescued Patrick to give Martha time to make herself beautiful (only five or six hours to go) and Weena an opportunity to straighten things a bit, put together a snack lunch, and get herself ready.

I had just settled down when the phone rang. "Hey, Willy! How are you? How's the old man ... and the Mooney? You are? I'll tell Weena, we think she is, too. Let me talk to Evans and then you can talk to Weena. Okay? Well, well, old man. So you figured it out. Yeah. Weena as well, we think. No, no one's phoned yesterday or today. They are? Couldn't befall a more suspect crew! No, I'll keep it hush-hush until someone 'notifies' me. Well, I hate them, too. Let me get Weena so the girls can talk." I covered the mouthpiece. "Weena! Pick it up! It's Willy." I heard her pick up and I put my receiver down.

"Well, Patrick. What do you think?"

"Mommy talk to Willy?"


"They come here?"

"No. They're far away."

"Take flying emu?"

"Not soon. But we're getting a visitor later. A friend of Martha's. He writes ... uh ... stories."

"Dream stories?"

"I don't know. We'll have to ask him."

"'Kay. You read story now?"

"Sure. You want to get a book?"

"'Kay. Down." I put him down and he toddled into his room. He came back with two books. The Elephant's Child and The Beginning of the Armadillos.

"That's two, Patrick."

"Read el'fant. Dillo just in case."

"In case you can get me to read both?"


I sat down, Patrick sat on my knee, and I began. "In the High and Far-Off Times the Elephant, O Best Beloved, had no trunk. He had only a blackish, bulgy nose, as big as a boot, that he could wriggle about from side to side; but he couldn't pick up things with it. But there was one Elephant--a new Elephant--an Elephant's Child--who was full of 'satiable curtiosity, and that means he asked ever so many questions."

Weena came downstairs. "I know a little boy with a 'satiable curtiosity," she said. "And I bet he wants some lunch."

"First daddy read more, then lunch."

"Okay." Weena went into the kitchen and I continued to read. For some reason the "precession of the equinoxes" didn't perturb Patrick, but when I got to the kolokolo bird telling the elephant to 'Go to the banks of the great grey-green, greasy Limpopo River, all set about with fever-trees, and find out, ' he wanted to know where the "popo river" was.

"In Africa."

"Where's that?"

"You know the beach?" He nodded. "Well, far away on the other side of that water is Africa."

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