October 1, 2002
It is rumored that a photographer will visit our village this month! If so it may come to pass that I can trade one of our cooking hens for a photograph of myself which I will send!
I hope you will not be horrified. I have an honest face but am not toothsome.
Your Best Friend Who is Far Away,
P.S. I have been reading aloud to Old Auntie "The Noiseless, Patient Spider." It is one of Old Auntie's favorites, as it teaches humility. The poem is composed by our favorite poet, your own Mr. Walter Whitman.
Do you know of whom I speak? He has a winsome beard!
World Logic Class.
Ben is up at the front of the room and is wearing his red pleated smock and matching red beret with the little nib on top. Ben is sticking the miniature little flags all over the globe. He is full of bliss. This is because sticking those little miniature flags all over the globe is Ben's favorite job.
When Ben wears that beret the kids call him Nipple Head.
Snooples just passed me this note:
Lunch Tme. Mom packed a pickled pigs foot. Also some jello with banana slices.
Chessie has hot chicken soup. Also Triscuits. Chessie holds the soup spoon with her fist. She puts a Triscuit on the spoon. Then down goes the Triscuit into the soup. The Triscuit becomes soggy. Then Chessie sucks the Triscuit off the spoon.
Everyone is mesmerized by this.
Except for Snooples. Snooples is watching a pine siskin hopping along the teeter totters. Snooples is daydreaming and sucking a baby carrot.
There is a nice big leg bone in that soup.
HEY CHESSIE DO YOU WANT THAT BONE.
No WAY I cannot abide it! It is preposterous!
At the School Library
Looking through the farm animal books for a Tilapia cow.
The library windows are taped all over with snow mens which the little kids scissored out of construction paper and decorated with pipe cleaners. Chessies snowman is 52 snowballs stacked haphazzardly and dwindling up to a tiny snowball about a mile in the air with a black pipecleaner X for each eye. The mouth resembles a sink drain. The snowman has no arms.
No Tilapia cows in this book. Only some spotty cows with bodies the size of Australia and legs 2 inches long.
Chickenloaf would like these cows.
However I do not think a Tilapia is actually a cow.
Quantum Mechanics Class. Chickenloaf's perpetual motion machine is whirring and clacking at the front of the room. It drops beans into little stemmed wine glasses which go around on a conveyor belt.
Ms. WYSIWYG is asking has anybody seen Bing Hamton or Bucky Lawless. They have been absent from school for a week and a half.
Nobody says a thing. All you can hear is the big school clock tunking on the wall.
Pia just passed me this note
OUT CHASING DOES
I wrote back
OUT CHASING DOES WHAT?
Pia wadded up my note and tossed it over her shoulder into the tank where the 3 hermit crabs live.
You do not do
You do not do
Maybe I should start over.
It is the Mad Poets assignment. Must write poem in manner of mad poets. Is difficult as am not actually mad. Am not even mildly annoyed at the moment.
Have to stop now as is supper time. We are having sausages. Also black eyed peas. Chessie is eating her peas with a enormous wooden spoon.
Almost forgot good news: No punkins on the front portch this year as Mom and Dad are trying to cut expenses.
I am glad as I dislike punkins.
Mad Poets Class.
Still no Bucky Lawless or Bing Hamton. The two graffitti-riddled desks are Ominously Empty.
Chickenloaf is up at the front of the classroom reading aloud "How Doth the Little Busy Bee." Chessie is lying unconscious on the floor nearby. Pages of "American Pie" are scattered all around. Chessie always faints when attempting to speak in front of the class.
October 13, 2002
Oh boy a photograph I cannot wait.
What do you know about a Tilapia. Write back ASAP with any information. I believe it is a type of turkey.
PS Yup I know Walter Whitman. He is our school bus driver. I did not know Walter Whitman wrote poems. That is kind of weird when you think about it. Mostly Walter Whitman belches.
Today we get to meet the 4-H animals. I have figured out that a Tilapia is a type of a goat. I have brought a nice red bell to tie on the neck of the goat.
Maybe I will get to take my Tilapia Goat home on the school bus. If not I guess I will have to walk home and lead my Tilapia Goat on a leash. Which is bad on account of there are punkins setting around in front of every damned house.
Must be careful climbing school bus steps. On account of cannot see foots. Am carrying large plastic tub full of Tilapia pups which are not goats but fish.
HEY WALTER DO YOU KNOW YOU ARE A FAMOUS POET.
YOU DON'T SAY BELCH.
I spilled all 380 Tilapia pups all over the school bus and they rolled every which way depending on whether we were heading uphill or downhill or going around a sharp turn. But they are in the bathtub now and are OK.
Am trying to teach Tilapia pups some tricks. Such as tossig rubber balls back and forth. But all 760 eyes just stare up out of the bathtub.
Must be patient as they are young .
What the hell. I got off the school bus last night and 3 big punkins were setting around the front door like old Mafiosos. One was wearing dark glasses.
Still no Bucky Lawless or Bing Hampton. Chessie believes that they are dead. Chessie is wearing black lace. She looks like a widowed Chiuaua.
Chessie has placed a paper heart on each of those deers desks along with a special poem. Also a single yellow rose.
CHESSIE THEY WILL JUST EAT THOSE.
But Chessie does not listen.
Am trying to teach Tilapia pups live saving techniques, as they are large enough now to take on some responsibility. The Tilapia pups just stare in manner of glum baby owls.
A psychologist/big game hunter is going to talk to the class today about the life and death of white tail deers. On account of a lot of the little kids are having nightmares. Bedwetting is on the rise.
That psychologist/big game hunter's talk was a very interesting talk. It was all about the Great Web of Life. The psychologist/big game hunter said that when one refrigerator lightbulb goes out somewheres in the world another refrigerator lightbulb lights up somewheres else.
I never thought of it that way.
Then he handed out some nice venison recipes. Nini will like these.
But then Pia raised her paw and said if deers come and go like froot flies then how come Walter Whitman is still the school bus driver after 22 years. Walter Whitman is a mule deer but that is not the point.
That psychologist/big game hunter, he knew the answer right off! He explained that this is because Walter Whitman is a Bhuddist and a Vegetarian.
I did not know Filterless Camels and Moosehead Ale are vegetables. That is Walter Whitman's strict diet.
All the little kids are piling flowers and paper hearts and handwritten poems and song lyrics all over the desks and chairs of Bucky Lawless and Bing Hampton. This resembles a large compost pile at one end of the classroom.
HEY WALTER DID YOU KNOW YOU ARE A VEGETARIAN.
BELCH YOU DON'T SAY.
Now I am pressing my nose against the school bus window. I am watching the woods glide past. The first snowflakes of winter are swirling down amongst the dark, bare limbs. A single oak leaf falls.
This is just like a really good movie. Except no heroic soundtrack.
Also no white tail deers.
Bucky Lawless and Bing Hampton showed up today. It turns out they stold a El Camino and went out West for a while.
October 31 , 2002
How fortunate for you that the finest of American poets drives your school bus! What a truly amazing country you live in.
But now I have something for you. Enclosed is a photograph of me and the rest of my village! I am the third from the left hand! Next to the oxen!
The photograph did not turn out so well I think, as a cape buffalo rampaged directly over the photographer just as he was bursting the flash bulb. We are making beautiful jewelry from the camera pieces which we will sell in the market. I will send you earrings!
Your Best Friend Who is Far Away,Muffin