Boxing Clever

 

Free to Good Home. That’s what the sign read, in a curious, somewhat loopy antique scrawl.

A pair of eyes looked up appealingly. That the eyes happened to belong to an unknown creature in a dark box was neither here nor there.

‘Is it, uh, house-trained?’

The stallholder looked offended and made a great show of adjusting his jeweled turban. Even his pointy slippers curled beneath his long swooshy robe. ‘Effendi – is he house-trained? You ask me this! You could not ask for a better –’ he appeared to hesitate – ‘companion! You take him, yes? Good, I knew you would. Here – here is collar, and lead also, and favourite chew-toy. Sorry to have to part with him, you betcha. Goo’bye  – so long – so long!’

The last so long seemed to linger in the air a moment.

A pair of clawed, for want of a better word, paws gripped the side of the box and a head was now poking out over the top of it.

‘You’ve got to be kidding me.’

M-rawr?’ queried the creature in the box.

‘Don’t look at me like that … What do you eat anyway? No, wait, forget I asked that … Pardon me, friend, but what’s his – name … ?’

The stallholder had gone. The stall was gone. There was only a lingering aroma of Persian carpets and sugared dates and a patch of bare sand stretching between stalls selling fruit and ornamental brassware to indicate that any other stallholder had ever been there.

Did you ever have one of those days?

The man from the brass stall sidled up, somehow contriving to walk about six inches shorter than his natural height. ‘Pardon me, O wanderer from afar, I could not help but observe thy charitable deed in giving a home to this poor, defenceless creature – pray accept this attractive brass lamp as a reward for thy goodness—’

There was a growl. A long, low, rumbling growl, followed by a rise in the temperature even on that dusty-dry desert day, and a hint of acrid smoke. The man from the brass stall eyed the box nervously.

‘Better luck next time?’ I suggested. ‘Don’t worry,’ I shifted my grip on the box and patted his arm companionably, ‘I’m sure the other one born every minute will be along directly.’

I looked down at my newfound pet again as the brass man shuffled back behind his stall, muttering. I smiled as I walked away, and bought a bag of dates from a young lady whose smile cheered me up. Every now and then I passed one down into the box, from whence there proceeded a muffled ’ulp each time I did.

‘I think I’ll call you Draggi,’ I told him, scritching behind his ears. His back leg tried to keep time with my scratching. ‘Seems like a good name for a dragon, don’t you think? By the way, just how big do you grow to?’

Draggi shrugged his shoulders expansively. Ah, well, a worry for another day.

I didn’t even notice the curious round heavy glass bottle with the deep, swirling smoke inside it until I got back home. The lamp-seller must have slipped it in there while he was distracting me with the Aladdin’s lamp. (That had to be it. It couldn’t be the girl with the dark eyes and the cheerful smile.)

Getting a dragon shipped back home wasn’t easy, let me tell you. For some reason, though, he held on to that bottle – but that is another story …

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  1. Internet's Hank Contributor
    Internet's Hank
    @HankRhody

    Andrew Miller: Getting a dragon shipped back home wasn’t easy, let me tell you.

    Compared to convincing the TSA that it’s your emotional support terror lizard?

    • #1
  2. Andrew Miller Member
    Andrew Miller
    @AndrewMiller

    Internet's Hank (View Comment):

    Andrew Miller: Getting a dragon shipped back home wasn’t easy, let me tell you.

    Compared to convincing the [authorities that it’s just a little dragon, really]?

    Little-known fact, dragons tend to have to go by sea. 

    • #2
  3. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    Andrew Miller (View Comment):
    Little-known fact, dragons tend to have to go by sea.

    In a metal boat. Wooden boats are a no-no.

    • #3
  4. Internet's Hank Contributor
    Internet's Hank
    @HankRhody

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Andrew Miller (View Comment):
    Little-known fact, dragons tend to have to go by sea.

    In a metal boat. Wooden boats are a no-no.

    Hitch a ride on an oil tanker, I dare you.

    • #4
  5. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    Internet's Hank (View Comment):

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Andrew Miller (View Comment):
    Little-known fact, dragons tend to have to go by sea.

    In a metal boat. Wooden boats are a no-no.

    Hitch a ride on an oil tanker, I dare you.

    Just keep him out of the hold.

    • #5
  6. Andrew Miller Member
    Andrew Miller
    @AndrewMiller

    Arahant (View Comment):
    Just keep him out of the hold.

    For fear that he might make a little lair among people’s treasures? 

    • #6
  7. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    Andrew Miller (View Comment):

    Arahant (View Comment):
    Just keep him out of the hold.

    For fear that he might make a little lair among people’s treasures?

    No, for fear he’ll set the petroleum on fire.

    • #7
  8. Andrew Miller Member
    Andrew Miller
    @AndrewMiller

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Andrew Miller (View Comment):

    Arahant (View Comment):
    Just keep him out of the hold.

    For fear that he might make a little lair among people’s treasures?

    No, for fear [of a misplaced sneeze].

    Maybe there’s an old steamship still plying that route. 

    • #8
  9. kedavis Coolidge
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    • #9
  10. Andrew Miller Member
    Andrew Miller
    @AndrewMiller

    kedavis (View Comment):

    “Schrodinger, where have you been!”

    • #10
  11. Judge Mental Member
    Judge Mental
    @JudgeMental

    Andrew Miller (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    “Schrodinger, where have you been!”

    He’s alive, and he’s not happy.

    • #11
  12. Judge Mental Member
    Judge Mental
    @JudgeMental

    Why didn’t he take the lamp?  Doesn’t everyone want a genie?

    • #12
  13. Internet's Hank Contributor
    Internet's Hank
    @HankRhody

    Judge Mental (View Comment):

    Why didn’t he take the lamp? Doesn’t everyone want a genie?

    Not every genie is genial.

    • #13
  14. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    Andrew Miller (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    “Schrodinger, where have you been!”

    “Here and there.”

    • #14
  15. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    Percival (View Comment):

    Andrew Miller (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    “Schrodinger, where have you been!”

    “Here and there.”

    “Simultaneously.”

    • #15
  16. Andrew Miller Member
    Andrew Miller
    @AndrewMiller

    Internet’s Hank (View Comment):

    Judge Mental (View Comment):

    Why didn’t he take the lamp? Doesn’t everyone want a genie?

    Not every genie is genial.

    Also, who’s to say that that particular lamp still had a genie in it? You could end up with a djinn that’s no tonic, for example.

    • #16
  17. Andrew Miller Member
    Andrew Miller
    @AndrewMiller

    Percival (View Comment):

    Percival (View Comment):

    Andrew Miller (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    “Schrodinger, where have you been!”

    “Here and there.”

    “Simultaneously.”

    “Why is the inside of this box covered with equations . . . ?”

    • #17
  18. She Member
    She
    @She

    Andrew Miller (View Comment):

    Internet’s Hank (View Comment):

    Andrew Miller: Getting a dragon shipped back home wasn’t easy, let me tell you.

    Compared to convincing the [authorities that it’s just a little dragon, really]?

    Little-known fact, dragons tend to have to go by sea.

    Once a well-known fact, but–sadly–these days, not so much. 

     

    • #18
  19. GLDIII Purveyor of Splendid Malpropisms Reagan
    GLDIII Purveyor of Splendid Malpropisms
    @GLDIII

    It been done before…

    • #19
  20. Clifford A. Brown Contributor
    Clifford A. Brown
    @CliffordBrown

    Thanks to Andrew for volunteering on short notice, kicking off this month’s theme writing project with another slightly mind-bending work of fiction, I believe.

    This conversation is part of our Group Writing Series under the July 2022 Group Writing Theme: “Liberty or Freedom.” Stop by to sign up and share your own observations on folly of one sort or another.

    There are two major monthly Group Writing projects. One is the Quote of the Day project, managed by @lillyb. This is the other project, in which Ricochet members claim one day of the coming month to write on an announced theme. This is an easy way to expose your writing to a general audience, with a bit of accountability and topical guidance to encourage writing for its own sake.

    Interested in Group Writing topics that came before? See the handy compendium of monthly themes. Check out links in the Group Writing Group. You can also join the group to get a notification when a new monthly theme is posted.

    • #20
  21. Andrew Miller Member
    Andrew Miller
    @AndrewMiller

    Clifford A. Brown (View Comment):
    Thanks to Andrew for volunteering on short notice, kicking off this month’s theme writing project with another slightly mind-bending work of fiction, I believe.

    Fiction? Ah, yes, yes of course. By the by, does anybody know where I could get good Welsh pit coal wholesale— ?

    • #21
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