Thursday, June 26, 2008
Once upon a time, there was a mushroom. A red mushroom. And it sat on top a small green hill. There were lots of blades of grass on the hill. And also some worms. And some stones.
But no other mushrooms.
One day, a bird flew over head. It was a Shwifee bird. He was large – at least two feet long – and had sixteen claws, eight on each foot. He waved his purple plumes in the air and called out with a loud “shwi shwi!”
The mushroom slunk up together in an effort to go unseen. He distrusted this loud green bird with the purple plumes. If he could have, he would have uprooted himself and rolled away down the hill. But he couldn’t. So he stayed.
The bird flew over and then over again. Clearly, he was looking for something. The mushroom hoped it wasn’t himself. The bird paused in the sky…and dived.
A clump of daisies stood together under an oak tree. They sang softly to themselves as they watched the sun travel the sky. Suddenly, a shadow fell over them, blocking the sun from their sight. A chill breeze blew up. The daisies closed their eyes tight. When they opened them again, the shadow had gone, and so had a friendly turnip which had been growing nearby them.
The daisies shivered and sang sad songs for the poor turnip who had disappeared so swiftly.
The mushroom perked up again after a bit. He wasn’t squashed of crunched or flying through the air. Therefore, the strange bird must have left him alone, he reasoned. He surveyed the skies but saw nothing of the bird. He decided the bird had gone.
A week later, the mushroom still sat on top of the small green hill. A mole had joined the worms and the stones and the blades of grass. The mole dug holes into the hill. But there were still no other mushrooms.
A loud noise sent the mole scurrying into a recently dug tunnel. The mushroom looked around.
“Shwi shwi!” the loud noise came again. The green bird was back again. He looked larger than before and greener than ever.
The mushroom would have covered his ears and cowered to the ground if he had ears to cover or could cower. Instead, he got as small as he could and hoped his red color had faded somewhat.
The tomatoes scarcely even saw it happen. They were busy growing as large and as red as they could. There were five of them together. Then a breeze sped through them and there were only four tomatoes left.
The four remaining tomatoes stared at the empty place on the vine where the fifth had just recently resided. They forgot to grow for a whole hour because of the shock.
Two days later, a great downpour of rain fell. The mushroom sat on the hill and let the water run over his sides. He enjoyed the sound the great drops of water made when they fell on him.
A tiny mouse ran by. Then the mouse returned. He shivered in the rain and asked humbly for shelter from the mushroom.
The mushroom agreed with the condition that the mouse did not nibble at him. mouse looked shocked. He declared he would never nibble at the mushroom. Did not the mushroom know he was poisonous to little creatures?
The mushroom was surprised. He had not known this. He wondered why he had not known this. But only for a short while.
The rain stopped and the mouse, thanking the mushroom, ran off. The mushroom sat deep in thought.
Three days later, the mushroom was larger and redder than he had ever been before. He still sat amongst the blades of grass and the small stones. The mole had chased the worms, but the worms were cleverer. There were more of them than there had been five days ago. But there were still no other mushrooms.
“Shwi Shwi!” The horrible bird soared over head once again. The mushroom crouched down between the blades of grass. The mole paused in his worm chase. The worms paid no heed.
Fifteen heads of corn were bobbing in the sun. Their yellow tassels shone gold, proclaiming their ripeness. They felt proud of their full kernels which were becoming larger with each passing day.
The sun paled and twelve heads bobbed golden tassels in astonishment. Then indignation overtook them at the desecration of their pleasant field. Three full heads had disappeared.
How long shall this continue? The mushroom thought to himself. This can’t go on, he continued, echoing the cry of many a beast and vegetable.
The mushroom had made friends with the tiny mouse. He felt slightly less lonely now, though there were still no other mushrooms to grace the little green hill. They discussed the inroads made by the great dreadful green and purple bird frequently.
Three days later, the mushroom sat by himself on the hill. The mole had gone to visit some friends and the worms had gone to sleep. The mushroom was contemplating many things.
A cry interrupted his thoughts. “Shwi Shwi!” the bird was back.
The mushroom thought for one second. Then he stood up at his tallest and best. He spread out his sides as far as they could go and let his pleasant aroma fill the air around him.
The hill sat empty. The worms were asleep and the mole was still away. Only the blades of grass and the small stones mourned the passing of the mushroom.
A week later, the tiny mouse came back to visit his friend the mushroom. He had exciting things to tell him. The terrible green bird with purple plumes and large claws would trouble them no longer. He had been found lying on his back with his claws in the air by a little brook. The bird was dead.
The mouse ran up the small green hill. The mushroom, his friend was gone.
But there sat four little round red mushrooms in his place.
Copyright 2008 by Kirsten T.