Monday, May 17, 2010


One bright Saturday morning, George noticed an oddly shaped sprinkler in his front yard. He didn't remember installing one, and didn't think anyone else would have. Who would install a sprinkler on artificial grass? It wasn't April Fool's or his birthday. And his nieces and nephews hadn't visited for ages.

He stared at it, munching Cheerios thoughtfully, and stood up to get a clearer look. Now, isn't that an odd one? Never seen a sprinkler with that big of a nozzle. Promotion, maybe? No, they wouldn't install without his permission, and Dorothy was on a retreat. And besides, she wouldn't pull a prank like this. Maybe some rotten teenagers? Yeah, he'd go down to the Kenny's later and see what the twins'd been doing lately. Should probably check it out. After breakfast--definitely suspicious.

One more glance--hang on a moment. George froze in mid-glance, mouth, paused, open to receive another milk-soggy bite. Hang a moment, his eyes were perfectly fine, weren't they? Right, right. Not delusional, certainly, but maybe he was just tired--yeah, that's all. Just tired. There's now way it could have--

It shivered.

It was too quick, and he wasn't sure he'd seen it. But--hey! Did it again. Kinda like a wet cat shaking off water.

He went outside in his bathrobe and bare feet, nearing until less than five feet away from the... thing. How'd he think it was a sprinkler, anyway? Didn't look anything like one, now that he could see it up close. Looked like one of those ancient pyramid things, with the boxes stacked on top of each other? Yeah, like a little pyramid. Except green.

He nudged it with his big toe--just poked it slightly--and hey! It shivered again! And dug further into the grass. Sank till there was one layer less. And it looked at him--two little beady eyes he hadn't noticed before blinked at him. Some sort of animal? What animal was that?

"Well--" George said. But he couldn't think of anything to say after that. Should he call animal control? Or maybe the yard guy? Or the zoo? Or maybe the alien society (there was one, right?)? Couldn't make up his mind. Maybe he'd just try all of them. He ran inside, grabbed his cell phone, and ran back out, to make sure the little guy didn't get away. And waitasec! He'd forgotten the phone book! He returned back inside for the phone book and came back out, huffing. Man, he really had to get back into shape.

He called animal control first, since it was 'a' and in the beginning.

"Hello, this is Muller Animal Control. If you would like to learn about our prices and rates, press 1. If you would like to leave your address and phone number, press 2. If you would like to talk to an employee, press 3."

George pressed 3. Waited while the cheesy classical music played.

"Hello, how may I help you?"

"I've got a... thing." Words failed him now, of all times.


"A thing. I've got this thing. It's ah..."

"Is it a snake?"

"No, no, no, it's not a snake. It's kind of like a box."

"A box, sir?"

"Well, actually, like..."

Heck, the little thing kept staring at him! How was he supposed to focus?

"Like what, sir?"

"Like a couple of boxes."

"... Excuse me?"

"It's like one of those ancient things--you know, the pyramids, except like boxes stacked on each other. And it's green."

"I'm... sorry, sir, I don't know of any animal that looks like that."

"Neither do I."

"Are you sure it's an animal?"

"Yeah--well, no, but it's got eyes."

"Maybe you should call somewhere else, sir."

"Maybe I should."

"Well, thank you, sir."


That wasn't helpful. Couldn't animal control do its job around here? Maybe he should call the zoo. Tell them that there's a weird new animal on his front lawn. Yeah, that would do it. That would take care of the problem. He flipped open the phonebook to zoo--that's 'm' for 'Mulberry Park Zoo'--and dialed the number.

The thing made a weird noise, like the cross between a squeal and a snort. He imagined that you might get the same sound if you tickled a hedgehog on the stomach.

"One thing for certain," George said. "I can't keep you."

It just looked at him.

A/N: Was that weird or what? I DON'T KNOW WHAT SPURNED THIS.

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