One summer morning I was wandering through the woods when I came across a small stream and decided to soak my weary feet in the cool water. I sat beneath a sprawling Oak tree next to the inviting water. I removed my shoes and socks uncovering my tired pink toes.
“Ahem” I heard someone say. I looked, but I could not see anyone.
“Ahem” the voice said again. “That certainly is not perfume I smell. In fact I smell a smell that is awfully stale.”
I looked again but still there was no one to see.
“Ahem” the voice said again. “That certainly is not perfume I smell. In fact I smell a smell that is awfully stale.”
I looked again but still there was no one to see.
“I’m sorry” I said. “I thought I was alone. Where are you?”
“Up here,” the voice said. “Above you.”
I looked up to see who that was above me. I coughed and sputtered, snorted and gagged because I could not believe who I could see in the tree above me.
Not a word did I say so the voice in the tree above me said, “What is wrong? Have you never seen an elephant in a tree?”
“Of course not,” I replied. Elephants do not belong in trees and are never seen in trees” “Certainly you cannot climb a tree.” “How did you get in the tree,” I asked?
“I put myself here,” he replied.
“How so,” I said. “I cannot believe that you could put yourself in a tree.” “But, if you did, why would an elephant want to be in a tree?”
“I did put myself in this tree and I did so to hide from the little boy that lives over that way,” the elephant replied indignantly pointing through the trees with his trunk.
Then I heard a tiny young voice echoing through the woods, “Oh, Mr. Elephant, where are you?”
“Shush” the elephant said.
I put my shoes and socks back on my stinky feet and left the two friends to finish their game of hide and seek.
I walked back toward the place I called home. I came across another part of the little stream and decided that I still needed to soak my weary feet. I sat on a rock and looked into the tree above just to make sure there wasn't another elephant in a tree.
I removed my shoes and socks and placed my weary tired feet into the cool water and sat and thought about the elephant in the tree.
No, I thought, you didn't see an elephant in a tree and I convinced myself that was in fact true. I could not have seen an elephant in a tree. I was just tired. I must have fallen asleep and was dreaming.
As I relaxed and my feet began to feel better and then I heard the little boy’s voice again.
“Oh, mister elephant, where are you?’
Oh, no, I thought. Maybe I wasn't dreaming.
I listened to his searching voice hoping he would go into another direction. But his voice got closer and stronger.
“Oh mister Elephant, where are you?”
Then he was upon me and gasped in his surprise to see me dangling my bare feet in the running water.
He paused for a moment and then decided it was okay to speak to me. I am sure he thought I could be of no harm to him with my bare feet dangling in the water.
“Have you seen an elephant?” he asked.
“As a matter of fact I have,” I replied
/ / / / /
/ / / / /
“Could you tell me where he is?” he said.
“I am not sure if I should,” I answered.
“Why not?” He demanded. “It is important that I find him.”
“I sort of promised mister elephant that I would keep his secret,” I replied.
He came closer and said in a soft low voice, “If you tell me where he is, I won’t tell him that you told me.”
“That wouldn't be honest,” I answered.
Well, maybe not, but I have to find him and I have looked everywhere,” he said.
“I am very sure you haven’t looked everywhere,” I said. “Have you looked under the rocks or in the bottom of the brook or even in the trees?”
“That’s stupid,” he laughed. “I know you’re teasing me because an elephant is too big to hide under a rock and an elephant is too big to hide in a small stream and an elephant cannot climb a tree.”
“Maybe and maybe not,” I replied. “He could be a magic elephant. Maybe he used his big ears and flew up into a tree.”
He paused for a few seconds and then he took his shoes and socks off and dangled his feet in the water about 10 feet from where I was dangling me feet in the water.
“My mother told me never to get to close to strangers,” he said. Do you suppose this is far enough away? I am not to close, am I?”
“No,” I smiled. “I am pretty sure you’re safe where you are.”
He was thoughtful for a few moments and then said, “I never considered an elephant flying with his ears. Do you really think they can do that?”
“It’s possible,” I said. “Elephants are not supposed to talk either, but mister elephant talked to me.”
His eyes got wider, “Really, what did he say?”
“He doesn't like my stinky feet.”
“Is that why you’re washing them?”
“No, they were sore, but they feel better now.”
“If you will tell me where he is I will give you half of my peanut butter and jelly sandwich.”
“Do you have any potato chips”?
“No, but I have two Oreo Cookies. I will give you one of those.”
I decided I had teased him long enough so we struck the bargain for the cookie and we went back down the path to find mister elephant in the tree.
“Is he really in a tree?” the boy asked. “How did he get in a tree?”
“Yes,” I answered. “He told me he put himself in the tree.”
“Oh,” was all the boy could say.
The boy and I walked side by looking for the tree with mister elephant.
When we arrived at the elephant tree, mister elephant said, “Oh it’s you mister stinky feet. I guess now I will have to call you mister squealer with the stinky feet.”
“I guess that’s true. I did show the boy where you were, but he was very worried about you.”
“He sold you out for a cookie,” the boy chirped in.
/ / / / /
“Hey elephant,” a strange voice said. “What are you doing in a tree?”
“Oh, hello donkey,” mister elephant said. “I’m hiding from the boy.”
“It looks like he found you,” the donkey said.
“No he didn't ” mister elephant answered. “The man with the stinky feet sold me out for a cookie.”
“He must be a politician,” the donkey said
“I am not a politician. I was just concerned for the boy.”
“You’re it mister elephant,” the boy said. “It’s my turn to hide. You count to one hundred while I hide.”
“I can’t,” mister elephant said.
“You can’t count to one hundred mister elephant“, the boy and the donkey said in unison.
“Don’t be ridiculous, I can count to one hundred,” mister elephant said with disdain. “But, I cannot get myself out of the tree.”
“Why not?” I asked. “You put yourself in the tree so you should be able to get yourself out of the tree.”
“That is not necessarily true,” mister elephant replied. “Just because I was able to put myself in a tree doesn't mean that I can put myself out of the tree. Cats do it all the time.”
“This is not good,” the donkey said.
“Let’s call the fire department,” the boy said.
“No,” both the donkey and mister elephant yelled in unison.
“Why not?” the boy asked.
The donkey said, “It’s because of the press.”
“What does ‘the press’ mean?” the boy said.
“The press is the newspapers and the TV news,” I answered.
“Are they bad?” he asked.
“No, they are not bad,” mister elephant said. “But, they will tell the world about me in this tree and donkey on the ground and then someone will say donkey put me in the tree because I represent the Republicans.”
“And then someone else will say it’s not fair for mister elephant to be higher up than me,” donkey said. “Then someone will put me in a tree.”
“Then,” mister elephant said, “They will put me higher up the tree until the branches won’t hold me anymore and they will break and I will fall out of the tree. Then someone will blame donkey because he represents the Democrats. I would rather stay in the tree.”
“What are we going to do?” the boy said
“I’m hungry,” mister elephant said. “And I’m thirsty.”
“You can have my peanut butter and jelly sandwich and Oreo cookie,” the boy said.
“I ate my Oreo cookie,” I added. “But, I’ll get you a hat full of water.”
“Great,” mister elephant said. “A baseball hat full of water, an Oreo cookie and a peanut butter and jelly sandwich are not what I would call a gourmet meal for an elephant!” All of that should last me about thirty seconds. Look at me folks I am an elephant. E-L-E-P-H-A-N-T…elephant. I usually get about a ton of hay per day.”
“I wouldn't be so uppity if I were you,” I said. “You put yourself in the tree. You only have yourself to blame. You do not want us to call someone that could help so you’ll have to eat what we can give you until we figure out how to get you out of the tree.”
Another voice was heard from below the tree. It was the boy’s mother and she was very, very upset. “Young man, you were supposed to be home one hour ago. I was worried and upset.”
The boy, testifying in his own defense, said that he was helping his friend, mister elephant.
The mother was leery, very leery. “I do not see an elephant. All I can see is a mangy old donkey, and a man with a wet baseball cap.”
Mister elephant said from the tree above her, “Ma’am, do you suppose you could fix me a few peanut butter and jelly sandwiches?”
The mother looked up and saw mister elephant in the tree above her and fainted.
“Oh great,” the donkey said. “Now we have an elephant in a tree and a dead woman under the tree.” We better hope the fire department doesn't show up now. We will all be arrested for murder.”
“Is my mother dead?” the boy gasped.
/ / / / / /
“No,” I replied. “She just passed out. Sprinkle some water on her face and she should be okay.”
The boy was very gentle. He did not sprinkle water on her. He took his shirt off and got it wet from the brook and slowly wiped her brow until she woke up.
She sat up and looked back into the tree. “Oh my God,” She said. “There is an elephant in the tree. For lands sake how did an elephant get in the tree?”
“I put myself here,” said mister elephant. “How many times do I have to say it? Do you have any more of those peanut butter and jelly sandwiches? I am really, really hungry. But, I don’t want any more of those Oreo cookies. I seem to be allergic to chocolate.”
Then he sneezed and the whole tree shook.
Of course the donkey couldn't resist. “Now I suppose we will have to call the doctor? If the doctor comes then he will call the paramedics and they will call the fire department and they will call the police and the police will call the reporters and the next thing you know, we will have fifty news vans parked everywhere. Man, talk about an ecological disaster.”
Mister elephant was becoming agitated. “Be quiet donkey. Why don’t you take the boy’s mom to make me some peanut butter and jelly sandwiches? I think about three hundred should do it.”
“That’s the solution,” donkey said. “We’ll just feed him until his fat rear end breaks all the branches and he falls out of the tree.”
“That’s just fine by me,” mister elephant snorted. “Just get me food, any food. But, I really want some more of those peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.”
The boy’s mom took the boy and they went to find some food for mister elephant.
I could hear her muttering to herself about going to the store for bread and peanut butter.
Mister elephant said, “Please hurry, my stomachs killing me.”
I sat down by the brook and said, “I've got a head ache and my feet are still killing me.”
Mister elephant said, “Don’t take off your shoes and socks again. I don’t want to smell your stinky feet. I didn't think you politicians ever did anything but talk. Are you trying to illegally register the boy so he can vote for you?”
“I am not a politician,” I yelled up at him. “I am a retired undertaker.”
“Great,” Donkey said. “Take your shoes and socks off and let your stinky feet kill him. When he falls out of the tree, you can bury him and we can all go home.”
“Funny, funny, funny,” mister elephant groaned. “I don’t have to smell his feet; your jokes are killing me."
Just then one of the boy’s friends came to the tree and started laughing.
“It’s really true,” he giggled. “There is an elephant in a tree, and an ugly donkey.”
“Are you really a politician?” He asked me.
“I am not ugly,” donkey said.
“I am not a politician,” I groaned.
“Yes you are,” mister elephant and donkey said in unison. “You sold out for one lousy Oreo cookie.”
The boy’s friend couldn't wait to tell everyone about the elephant in the tree, the ugly donkey and the politician. They never had a politician in their neighborhood and certainly not an elephant in a tree.
The boy’s friend told his mom. His mom called her brother who was a local newspaper reporter. The reporter came with a photographer and the evening paper had a picture of a frightened hungry elephant setting in a tree.
The headlines read: “LOCAL POLITICIAN PUTS ELEPHANT IN TREE”.
Naturally the story was picked up by the evening TV news and before dark there were news vans from every major news source in the world.
Nobody bothered to feed the poor hungry elephant. Everyone wanted an interview. Every person in the neighborhood was on one channel or another all across America and the rest of the world.
Animal cruelty was being reported.
Political tricks were being reported.
The donkey was accused of kicking his political rival into the tree.
I was asked what office I held. I was asked to run for Governor and finally one group wanted me to run for president.
Everyone knew the “real” story and every “real” story was different than the other “real” stories and they were all wrong.
However, that didn't bother the news media because each and every one of them had a “scoop”.
The Republicans accused the Democrats of demeaning their national symbol.
The Democrats put an ad on TV disavowing the “ugly donkey” as their symbol.
Their handsome donkey was somewhere in Maine stumping for an election in that state.
The Republicans adopted the “elephant in a tree” as their new campaign slogan to show the entire world the cruelty of the democrats.
The Democrats accused the Republicans of campaign lies.
The elephant was still hungry and decided no one was going to bring him any peanut butter and jelly sandwiches so he decided to do what he should have done before the whole mess began.
He put himself out of the tree simply by jumping.
He landed with a great thud but all the news people were so busy gathering news that they did not see or hear the only news that was happening.
Mister elephant walked away without a word to anyone.
I could hear him mumbling to himself as he walked away, “I wondered if she made my peanut butter and jelly sandwiches yet?"
The donkey followed behind mumbling something about being called ugly.
When the news media finally figured out that the elephant and the donkey were gone they all took off in different directions looking for the terrorists that had captured the symbols of our fine and upstanding political parties and were holding them for ransom.
Since I was no longer part of the donkey and elephant story and I was not of the correct ethnic group, I was not considered important anymore.
I took my shoes and socks off and resumed soaking my stinky feet in the cool water.
/ / / / / /
CHAPTER II - The Hunt
I sat with my feet in the water thinking about what I had just witnessed. “Ridiculous, I thought, there is no logical way anything like that could have happened. Maybe you are having flash backs from sucking in too many embalming fumes.”
Yes, I agreed with my mind. What had happened did not happen. Then my mind decided that I should stick my head in the cold water just to make sure I cleared out all of what I had seen and then I could never tell anyone such a ridiculous story and embarrass it.
This time I disagreed with my mind. I did not think I would relate the story to anyone I knew except maybe my grand children when we were sitting by a fire on a summer evening.
I dried my feet with my socks, put on my socks and put my feet into my shoes and began my walk homeward.
I would be glad to finally relax with a cold soda and a snack or maybe I would have some Oreo cookies with a cold glass of milk.
With that thought I realized that I had the taste of an Oreo cookie in my mouth. I rubbed my mouth with the back of my hand and there was chocolate residue on my hand.
I was really confused. Did I or Didn't I see an elephant in a tree and an ugly donkey? Maybe it was just the boy and maybe we shared the Oreo cookies. I couldn't have seen the elephant in a tree or the ugly donkey.
Of course, that was it. I was not crazy. I just had a crazy dream. Maybe there was a boy and the cookies but certainly not an elephant and an ugly donkey
“Hey, Mr. Politician, Squealer, Undertaker, would you like some of these peanut butter and jelly sandwiches? My eyes were bigger than my belly.”
“That’s impossible,” the donkey said.
“Shush donkey, I’m having a conversation with the politician”
I couldn't believe my eyes and ears.
The elephant and the donkey were sitting under a big Elm tree. I shook my head, blinked my eyes and turned to walk away. I thought that I was having a dream but maybe I wasn't. I turned to look again and they were still sitting there.
They were both back on their haunches like a dog and I almost burst out laughing but I still wasn't sure if what I was seeing was real.
I decided that it didn't matter if I was dreaming or seeing the real thing because either way, I didn't want any part of it.
“Don’t go, Mr. Politician,” the elephant said. “We need a place to stay tonight and we were hoping you would let us stay at your place.”
“Yeah, sure, my wife would really go for that. Honey, guess who’s coming to dinner?"
“Will she fix me peanut butter and jelly sandwiches?”
“I can see that you don’t understand sarcasm.”
“He doesn't understand much. That’s why the republicans chose him as their symbol,” the donkey snickered. Then he brayed in delight.
“Will you stop that stupid braying? You sound like Biden trying to explain foreign policy.”
"Well you sound like Limberg with all his brains tied behind his back," the donkey replied.
I could feel a headache starting to fester somewhere in the middle of my head.
“Quit talking to me. You are not real. You do not exist. You are just a nightmare I’m having. I’m going to wake up and take a cold shower.” I moaned.
“If you don’t think we’re real, then go ahead and pinch yourself and see if it hurts.”
“Absolutely,” the donkey said. “Pinch real hard just to make sure. You are right. You’re not having a nightmare; you’re having a daydonkey and a dayelephant…a real tired and a real hungry daydonkey and a stuffed dayelephant.”
“Punjably, donkey, now you’re beginning to sound like a politician,” the elephant groaned.
"Punjably?...You can use a word like that and call me a Politician? Maybe you should be running for president."
"Punjably is a perfectly normal word where I come from."
While they were squabbling I did pinch myself and it did hurt. They were real. At least I was seeing them and hearing them. Maybe embalming fluid did have LSD side effects.
“Well, I have an idea,” I replied. “You, mister donkey can eat the rest of the peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and then you can both lie down and take a long nap and I’ll just go on home to a quiet dinner without a donkey and an elephant.
By the way, what happened to the boy and his mother?”
“It was his bed time so they went home.
"We're tired too but, we can’t sleep out here in the open,” they both said in unison.
"Why can't you sleep in the open? The open is where animals sleep."
"That's true but if we sleep in the open the reporters will find us.
“Where did you come from?”
“Overthere", they both said in unison and then they both pointed in the same direction. The elephant used his snout and the donkey used his ears.
“Where in the bejeebees is ‘over there’," I asked?
“Overthere is over there,” they both said in unison again and again pointing as they did before.
“Does ‘over there’ have a name?” My headache was getting stronger.
“Now I’m sure you’re a politician,” the elephant snorted. “You do not listen.
Read my lips. The name of ‘Overthere is Overthere’ and it is spelled O-V-E-R-T-H-E-R-E.”
“I like ‘bejeebees’. That’s what we can name our new city,” the donkey brayed
“Overthere is a place, not a direction,” continued the donkey. “You politicians are all the same. You only hear what you want to hear. You probably asked Bush what kind of flowers he sprouted or even worse, peed on his pant leg.”
“I am not a politician and I have never asked Bush anything. And, I sure as tootin I wouldn't pee on him. However, I do have an idea where you guys can sleep tonight.”
“Where?” again in unison…and they both continued in an exasperated tone, “What in the name of heck is ‘tootin’”.
I ignored the question of ‘tootin’ and wasn't even about to get started on ‘bejeebees’.
“Overthere,” I said pointing in the direction of the mysterious ‘Overthere’. ´”Go back to ‘Overthere’ and sleep wherever you sleep when you are in ‘Overthere’”.
“No, we are migrating from ’Overthere’ to a place called ‘Overyonder’.”
The donkey had a low baritone voice that sounded like Don Ho when Don Ho was singing and the elephant’s voice had a higher tone of an Irish Tenor. When they chanted in unison their voices created a sound that made your back bone vibrate. I looked around to see if someone was poking me with a stick from behind.
“Why do you chant in unison, like that?”
“We were trained in the Political Icon School, “Icon U”
‘Icon U’, peeing on the president, and the joke about Biden. I used ‘tootin’, bejeebees’...terms my father had used. I had to be dreaming. Maybe I should have stuck my head into the cold stream. If I ignored them and pretended that they were not there, I could go on home to my nice warm dinner.
/ / /
I started to walk away from the elephant and the donkey that I hoped were not there..
“Don’t leave Mr. Politician,” the donkey repeated. “We need a place to stay”.
“Yes.” The elephant echoed. “We really, really, really need a place to stay.
“What’s wrong with where you are? It doesn't seem unreasonable to me for a donkey and an elephant to sleep under an Elm tree.”
“Maybe,” said the elephant. “Maybe not.”
“Why not? A lot of animals sleep under trees and I have never heard them complain.”
“They cannot talk so how could they complain and you've never heard an elephant and a donkey talk before either but here we are talking and here we are complaining. Besides it’s not about sleeping under a tree; it’s about hiding.”
“Hiding?”…Hiding from who?”
“Oh, there you are.” A short fat man with reading glasses on the end of his nose was waddling towards us. “I have been looking all over for you.”
He had on a baseball cap that he wore sideways and looked like a shorter, dumpier, Michael Moore, if that is even possible?
He was waving a small notebook. He took a pencil out of his pocket, licked the end of it and started asking question.
“Let’s see now, oh yes…who do you belong to? How did you escape? Are they on their way to pick you up? Why did you escape? Were they mistreating you? That’s the angle. Do you have any marks to show where you were beaten? I know a good lawyer. We can sue those lousy animal abusers for everything they are worth.”
He took a deep breath, looked around.
“Where’s that idiot photographer? I need pictures, thousands of pictures, maybe millions…you cannot get to many pictures. He better get here or I’ll have his rear end sent to Iraq or better yet, Iran…They’ll throw his butt in jail for 30 years.
He stopped asking questions and looked over the top of his glasses, licked his pencil again and waited for someone to answer his questions.
“That’s who.” The elephant groaned
“We don’t have any idea what you’re talking about,” he replied to the inquisitor.
The short fat man pushed the glasses back on his face with his middle finger. I wondered if he knew what it was like to have an elephant mad at him.
“Trunk him,” the donkey said.
Trunk who?” the elephant said.
“That squatty ‘Michael Moore’ looking jerk standing in front of us that just gave you the finger,” donkey snorted. “I don’t like him.”
The reporter ignored the donkey and turned to me and asked if I owned the two animals.
“No, I don’t think anyone owns them.”
“That can’t be. Someone had to bring the elephant here from Africa.”
“I’m an Asian elephant, and I do not belong to anyone.”
“I am a donkey and no man or woman can tell me what to do”
“What if I were to call animal control?”
“Won’t work.” The elephant said. “We used to be part of a circus but it went broke and the owner closed it. When we asked him about us, he said ‘as far as he was concerned we were free to do whatever we pleased.’ So you see…we were emancipated. We are free to go and do as we please.”
“No one can emancipate an animal.”
“The circus owner did.”
“That’s not legal. It takes an act of congress to emancipate someone.”
“I’m not someone; I’m an elephant.”
“And I’m a donkey and there’s nothing in the constitution that says an animal cannot be free.”
“Animals cannot roam about the country free to do as they please. There are laws to stop that sort of thing.”
“Oh yeah,” donkey said. “What about the Moose's in Alaska. They are allowed to walk around the city anytime they desire to.”
“That’s right,” the elephant said…”and the polar bears up north roam around in the cities and humans don’t lock them up. They take pictures.
The reporter took his glasses off the end of his nose and pointed at the two emancipated animals. “OK, if you’re so free, what are your names and where do you live?”
“Wight and Wong,” they both said in unison…”and we use to live in ‘Overthere’, but now we’re migrating to Overyonder.”
“Wight and Wong?” The reported replied. “Who’s Wight and who’s Wong and where is over there?”
I groaned and waited for the ‘Overthere’ dialogue to be repeated. However, I was tortured with a different dialogue from my newly acquired friends.
The donkey pointed at the elephant and the elephant pointed at the donkey and again they spoke in unison.
Then each one pointed at himself or herself (since I wasn't sure if either of both were male or female) and said in Unison, “I’m Wight.”
My back bone was vibrating like a tuning fork.
“No, you numskull,” the elephant said to the donkey. I’m Wight and you’re Wong.
“Not so, dung for brains.” the donkey snorted. I've always been Wight and you have always been Wong.”
“Your both idiots,” said the reporter.
“Who’s an idiot,” said a tall gawky man that just seem to pop up from nowhere.
He looked like a cross between Ichabod Crane and Nancy Pelosi. Or rather, he looked like an Ichabod and talked like a Pelosi. His Adam’s apple stuck out almost as far as his long pointy nose and it seemed to announce that he was going to speak. His mouth opened and then his Adam’s apple bobbed up and down three or four times and then a high pitched groaning noise came out of his cavernous mouth and hit you in the face like a blast of stale air from an animal farm.
“Sorry, I got lost,” he told the writer.
“They’re idiots,” the report said, pointing towards the two emancipated animals…“And so is the politician.”
“There ya go,” the donkey mumble. “Politicians and reporters are always right. If you don’t agree with them, you’re an idiot.”
“Get some pictures. I’m going to get a Pulitzer for this one. It can’t get better. An ugly, wacky donkey, an elephant that thinks elephants and donkeys have been emancipated and a politician using the poor stupid animals to gain the governor’s office.”
“I’m not ugly and wacky.”
“I am emancipated.”
“I’m not a politician and I am not running for Governor.”
The photographer ran around snapping pictures at every angle he could get into, under, over, around, behind, above…his camera hummed like a hive of angry bees. He drooled every time the camera whirred. His Adam’s apple worked overtime because he was constantly talking to himself.
The reporter began humming ‘Proud Mary’ in a tone that was worse than the chanting of the elephant and the donkey. From a satchel that he carried over his shoulder he pulled out a cell phone, a portable desk and a lap top computer. He said “office” in to the phone and someone on the other end said, “Got something good?”
“A Pulitzer, that’s what I've got, a real Pulitzer. I’ll start transmitting in a sec.”
He turned to the photographer, “Are those pictures going direct?”
“They’re on their way, boss. They can be on the tube right now if the shot’s want to release them.”
The elephant sidled over to me. “You gotta get us out of here. Please, sneak us out of here and hide us.”
“Sure, sneak an elephant and a donkey away from an elm tree in an open meadow… yep, I can do that.”
“Good, let’s get going.”
“Still don’t have a handle on sarcasm, do you?”
“Look,” the donkey whispered. They’re arguing over something on that computer.”
The donkey was right. The writer and the photographer were in a deep discussion about something or maybe they were arguing. It didn't matter. They were distracted.
The three of us just strolled away and they didn't notice us leaving or even miss us until we were way out of their site.
“Where are we going?” The donkey said
“Yes, where?” The elephant echoed.
I groaned. “I guess my house. I’ll hide you in the garage for tonight but you’re outta there first thing in the morning and for heaven’s sake, keep quiet. If my wife hears you, we’re all going to be in tomorrow’s hash.
/ / /
The dumpy reporter and the strange photographer were not in a discussion. They were in a very heated argument. They were arguing over how they were going to split the Pulitzer money.
The reporter was sure he deserved it all and the photographer was sure that he deserved at least half, if not more.
“Don’t be ridiculous, the Pulitzer is a writer’s award. If you want an award, you can submit your pictures for consideration to thousands of different places. There is only one Pulitzer and it’s for writing not taking your stupid pictures.”
“That’s a laugh. If you didn't have my pictures, you wouldn't have a story. Why do you think they always send me with you? Haven’t you heard about the picture-word ratio? The way you write, one of my pictures is worth a whole book. You need my pictures so that people will understand your stories.”
Naturally the writer was very upset with the stupid photographer. What did a photographer know about writing? Anyone could point a camera and push a button.
His cell rang.
“How’s the interview coming? We need statements.”
Both men looked at where the elephant, donkey and the retired undertaker had been sitting.
“It’s almost ready boss. Just a few more questions and I’ll post the story.”
“Post what?" The photog said. "It looks to me like they have vanished again. Who are you going to ask what?"
“Why don’t you go find them? I need to write the story.”
“Story? What story? Lies, all lies. Just like all of your crap.”
“I’ll write the story as I see it. You need to get more pictures. Let me know when you've found them.”
“The Pulitzer money?”
“We’ll split it.”
“Write whatever you want!”
The writer’s fingers moved across his lap top. The words streamed directly to his news room and the editor drooled over every word. The half truths, the made up interview, the outrages lies, spit into the newsroom with amazing speed. The editor had the words put on the big screen and the entire staff was able to read the writer’s made up story. It captivated them as if they were watching overtime in a Super bowl.
“Wow, he may get a Pulitzer for this one.”
“Have you seen the pictures?”
“That’s the ugliest donkey I have ever seen.”
“Is it true the elephant can climb trees?”
“Is the guy running for governor”?
“What party does he belong to?”
“What state is it?”
The editor rolled into the room. He had sat on his butt for so long that has body looked like an over sized pear. He had to slide sideways through the office doors. He had cup of coffee in one hand and a day old doughnut in the other. There were crumbs on his belly and two day old raspberry stains on the left sleeve of his shirt where he had wiped his mouth.
“OK, people this is a biggie. We need to get on it….fast.”
“What about Squats? It looks to me like he’s doing a good job. I mean that it’s his story. Well, you know…it’s his story.” The speaker’s voice trailed off at the as he realized he was not being well received.
“To big for Squats! We need full coverage. I want a team for every one of those Terrorists.”
“Terrorists? Squat’s story didn't mention terrorism.”
“That’s what I mean. He’s not seeing the big story. A talking elephant that climbs trees has to be a spy or a terrorist. Why else would he climb trees? And that ugly donkey…being friends with an elephant…that’s subversive…an elephant and a donkey…friends?...that’s un-American…and a politician that says he doesn't lie…that has to be unconstitutional.”
The meek reporter knew he had just screwed up but saw has chance to redeem himself. He didn't get all the way to staff writer by being totally stupid. He had studied ‘sucking up’ in college and realized ‘sucking up’ was the best way to move up in the ranks of reporter. Therefore, that’s what he did…”sucked up”!
“By all that is honorable in the press, you are absolutely, 100 percent on the nose. Maybe snipers?...sure that has to be…I’ll bet that they’re going to kill someone…maybe even the president.”
“Oh, my God…the President?” someone else gasped.
“Suck up,” someone else muttered.
“He’s right! Good thinking, Slumbutt. We’ll need to really brain storm this one. I want two teams to cover every one of those lousy subversives. “
“Yes two teams. Two writers, two camera people, two vans, two drivers...I want everything covered by two’s. Call the camera pool. Get more doughnuts and coffee. We’ll meet in the staff room in thirty minutes.”
“Should we notify the authorities…the police…the FBI…the CIA…maybe even the president…?
“For God’s sake… no…this is too big…even for the president. The police, the FBI, the CIA and even the president’s office have more leaks than a rice colander. If we call any of those people every other news organization, Russian intelligence, British Intelligence, Israeli Intelligence and even those stinking desert rats will find out what’s happening and we will lose our advantage.”
“Will you back off about the president? He’s a big boy and has plenty of people to take care of him. We need to worry about us. I’m sure there’s a Pulitzer in this one.”
“Wouldn't that belong to Squats?”
The editor’s black squinty eyes became large and round. He glared at the inquisitor.
“Squats?...I’m taking him off of this one. He’s not seasoned enough. I’ll take this one myself. Get me a ghost writer….the good looking one with the…well you know what I want.”
“She doesn't like you.”
“She likes money. She likes the power I have. She’ll look at this as an opportunity to stab me in the back. She’ll come. Get us first class tickets, a limo and a five-star hotel.”
He paused for a moment and then added:
“Better make it two rooms. I don’t want to be too pushy…at first.”
“OK…..is everyone flying first class?”
“No one else is flying. They’re all driving…straight through. We can’t afford motels or plane tickets. If they want to motel it when they get there, they are on their own. Find everyone a cheap boarding house.”
“They don’t have boarding houses anymore.”
“OK, I’ll pop for a motel but, a cheap one like 'Motel Two'".
“You mean ‘Six’, don’t you?”
“I mean ‘Two’.”
The staff room was a mad house. Writers and photographers were choosing up sides with who they wanted to be with but, the editor wasn't about to let the teams be anything other than what he wanted. He wanted their help but he didn't want any team able to write something better than his ghost. This was his chance to go down in history.
He assigned teams to the donkey, the elephant, the politician, the circus, the circus owner and the town that the ugly donkey and elephant came from.
“I want to know everything about these people, er...ah, animals…you know who I’m talking about… I want to know their friends, their families, their politics..OK people, let’s do it…stat.”
“Stat?...Stat?...Why are you yelling stat? We’re not doctors.”
“No, we’re not doctors, but were going to cut these traitors apart like we were.”
While the editor was planning his assault on his new found prey and a disadvantaged well endowed ghost writer, his trusted writing staff was calling their moles inside the FBI, CIA and the president’s Staff to return information favors.
The next morning, half of D.C. was investigating the ugly donkey, the elephant and an upstart politician. The only people that did not know they were being investigated as subversives, traitors, and terrorists were the ugly donkey, the elephant and a naive retired undertaker.
/ / / / /
The elephant, the donkey and the confused undertaker had walked away from the elm tree while Ichabod Pelosi and Squats Moore argued over how to split the Pulitzer money.
“Just what is a Pulitzer?” the donkey asked.
“Beats me,” the elephant answered. “What about it Mr. Politician, do you know what a Pulitzer is?”
“In their case, it would be an award for good journalism. However, I have no ideas what the rules are.”
“If it’s for ‘creative journalism’, they should win,” donkey replied.
“True,” said the elephant. “They are not having any problem creating whatever words they want to. For some reason I have a very strange feeling about all of this.”
“Your strange feelings come from eating too many peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Where are you going to hide us Mr. Politician?”
“I’m sorry but I have decided that I can’t take you to my house. My wife would have a kitten. You tell me where I can hide a donkey and an elephant?”
“A barn,” they both said in unison. “There’s one just over that little hill.”
“Yes, that barn would be a great place to hide you guys, but the old goat that owns it doesn’t want any company. He just bought the place and he keeps to himself.
Why don’t you go ask him to hide you and leave me out of it? “
“We don’t know him,” the donkey said.
“You don’t know me either.”
“Yes we do, you’re a politician. We have no idea who he is.”
“OK, I’ll take you over and introduce you.”
“You don’t think that he works for the law, do you?”
“Why, are you hiding from the law?”
“Sort of, what does ‘sort of’ mean? How can you ‘sort of’ hide from the law?”
“We’re not really hiding from the law. We’re hiding from the politicians.”
“The politicians? What politicians?
“That’s right, we are fugitives from the politicians,” the elephant added.
“Fugitives, You never said anything about being fugitives?”
“We’re don't think that we really are fugitives. The political parties say we belong to them but the circus owner freed us when he took their money and disappeared.”
“I think you need to start again. Begin with that grand old town of ’Overthere’.”
The donkey looked at the elephant and their eyes met. They shrugged their shoulders and started telling their story. They spoke in turns. First the donkey would speak and then the elephant would follow. One would say a line and the other would say the next line. Sometimes, one would start a sentence and the other would interrupt and finish it. They didn’t always agree with how the other one told the story or even the facts of the story.
“Can we begin with ‘Once upon a time’? We like once upon a time stories.”
“Once upon a time stories are made up stories. You’re supposed to be telling me a true story.”
“You mean like testifying at a trial?”
“Yes, Mr. Elephant, tell me the whole truth and nothing but the truth.”
“Do you have a bible?”
“We don’t need a bible.”
“Reading from the bible never hurt anyone,” he answered.
“Bibles and God aren’t allowed in courts of law,” the donkey snickered.
“Just tell your story or I’m going home and you can hide yourselves.”
We started walking towards barn.
“Okay, okay,” Mr. Elephant said. “Our story began when the circus owner bought me from the Republican Party and then bought this mangy, ugly donkey from the Democratic Party.”
“That’s not right. Our story began when those lousy politicians wanted to send us to the glue factory because they acquired younger healthier iconic animals. They did not want to pay for our vet bills when we got old.”
“”That’s right! I forgot about them dumping us.”
“Well, they did and then some of the older, ornerier cusses decided they should make some money on us.”
“That’s right! Just think of all we did for them and then they dumped us.”
“Hey, this is my part of the story. They contacted the circus owner and forced him to buy us. They told him that we would be great for business. We would bring in a lot of customers and besides if he didn’t buy us, they would take away his license and shut him down.”
“Of course he didn’t want to shut down so he bought us.
“You’re butting in again. He didn’t buy us. He came up with a counter offer.”
“That’s right; he came up with a counter offer. What is a counter offer again?”
“You are really getting on my nerves. Just keep quiet until we end up in the circus and then you can butt in a gain. Where was I? Oh yes, the counter offer! Yes, he proposed a different bargain.
First, he went to the republicans and said that if they would pay him he would put me out where everyone could see me and they would talk where I could hear them. I could tell the republicans what the people were saying and they could use that information for their polling data. Then they wouldn’t have to pay for all the polling data they were paying millions for. They could save those millions and have an inside track on the democrats. The republicans bought the plan and gave the circus owner ten million dollars and demanded he sign a non-disclosure agreement. He signed the agreement the same morning he went over and sold the same deal to the Democrats.”
“Boy he really put one over on them. He cheated them out of 20 million, didn’t he?”
“Of course not! He never cheated them, because he never disclosed to either party that he also sold the idea to the other party.
"He cheated them when he closed his circus down three months after he took their money."
"But. he didn't really cheat them because they didn't think to put in a time limit in the deal. He gave us our freedom as he drove away in his new BMW.”
“That’s right and we were stuck in the awful smelling town of “Overthere”
“What made it smell so awful?”
/ / /
“That’s right…pigs. Don’t get me wrong, it wasn't their fault. Some of my best friends have been pigs. But, when you get hundreds of thousands of pigs in one place and not one person willing to stoop low enough to clean up after them…well you can better believe that the smell was awful.”
“How does one town get that many pigs?
“Go ahead donkey, tell him how it happened. After all it was your party’s idea to create the "'Utopian city of ‘Overthere’.”
“Well it was your party’s idea not to allow people that wanted to work into the town.”
“That’s called negotiating. Your party wanted one thing and my party wanted another so they negotiated. Don’t try to blame the conservatives. ‘Overthere’ was a liberal idea.”
“Will you two quit bickering and get on with the story.”
“Yes, donkey, you wanted to butt in so badly when it was my turn, so get on with it.”
“I will do exactly that”, the donkey said. And he did.
“So the politicians created ‘Overthere’, the dream town. They created a town of prosperity and happiness. There was no poverty and no ultra rich. Every person was everyone else’s equal. All the houses and all the businesses and all the cars were exactly the same.”
The elephant could not keep quiet, so he took the next line.
I felt like they were rehearsing a play
Elephant -“Everyone worked for the government. The only businesses that were required were a newspaper, grocery stores, drug stores, clothing stores, farmers and an electric car repair shop and they were all owned by the government.”
Donkey – “At first, things were good. Everyone was happy living in Overthere. But then there was a water shortage and then a food shortage because there was not enough water to grow crops.”
Elephant – “The town council (which was everyone because they were all equal) had a meeting and someone suggested that they ban garbage disposals.
‘Why ban garbage disposals someone else asked?’
‘Garbage disposals take a lot of water,’ was the answer.
‘What do we do with the garbage,’ someone asked?
‘We could feed it to the pigs,’ someone else answered
‘We don’t have any pigs!’
Donkey – “So an ordinance was passed. In order to save water, no garbage disposals will be allowed. In order to get rid of the garbage, the town will buy some pigs and feed the garbage to the pigs.”
Elephant – “But that created another problem. What would they do with the pigs? They had to have another meeting.”
‘Slaughter them and eat them.’
Donkey – “So they invested in a new slaughter house with brand new printed money furnished by the politicians and everyone was excited about the town’s first real business. They were going to grow and kill pigs. They would be able to feed the world.”
Elephant – “But when they advertised for pig slaughterers and pig butcherers no one applied for the job.”
Donkey – “When anyone was asked to take the pig killing job, they always replied:”
‘I don’t need a job; I work for the government already.’"
Elephant – “So they had another meeting and someone suggested:”
‘Bring in some outside labor!’"
"Can’t, it’s against the town ordinance!"
Donkey – “So the pig population grew and the pig population’s leavings grew because no one needed work.”
Elephant – “The politicians argued and bickered but could never agree on a solution.”
‘You can’t bring in outside labor to take a tax payers job.’
‘But, nobody that lives in Overthere wants the job.’
‘They will if they get hungry enough.’
‘Why would they get hungry? They all work for the government and can buy all the food they want.’
Donkey – “The bickering went on and on and the pig population grew and grew and the awful smell became a trade mark of the city.”
Elephant – “So we decided to leave.”
The donkey groaned.
“You can’t finish the story there. He has to know why we’re fugitives.”
“I think that’s what I asked you to begin with,” I said.
“Cheeeesh,” squeaked the elephant. “All this butting- in is driving me nuts.”
“You butt in when I’m talking.”
“That’s different, you need reminding and I don’t.”
“Why do I always need reminding?”
“Did you forget? I represent the liberals and therefore I’m smarter. You represent the republicans and therefore you need to be reminded of everything.”
"You're also referred to as an ass and I think that is why you became the liberal icon.”
"Gentlemen, gentlemen," I interrupted again. "You both really represent the reason why nothing ever gets done in Washington. Why are you fugitives?"
"Gentlemen?" the donkey snorted. “We are not people so how can we be gentlemen. How about calling us "gentledonkey" and “gentleelephant?"
"Those words do not exist,” I said.
"They do now," the elephant trumped.
"How about saying 'gentle souls'," the donkey said, flicking his tail to swat a fly.
"Can't do that," the elephant said.
"Why?" The donkey and I said in unison.
"Because animals do not have souls."
"Sure we do," donkey brayed very loudly.
"Sure you do," I said. "What makes you think you do not have souls?"
"The church and the human's God said so."
"Which church?" "What God?"
"I'm not sure, but some church and I really don't know anything about human Gods."
"What happens to us when we die?" the donkey wondered. "I once heard a human say that 'good people go to heaven, bad people, politicians, and lawyers all go to hell,' but where do we go?"
"OK, Mr. undertaker-politician, where do you send animals when you undertake them?"
"Undertakers do not undertake animals, or people. We prepare them for burial, and we are not responsible for sending them anywhere."
The donkey had the last question, and true to their behavior, the elephant asked the next one and they preceded to rope-a-doped me about God, heaven, hell, souls and preparing humans for burial.
"Do animals have Gods?"
"How would I know?"
"When humans go to heaven, where is it?"
I don’t know where it is."
"I don’t know that either."
"Why don't we have souls?"
"I didn't say that."
"How do you prepare humans for burial?"
"You don't really want to know."
"Why don't you undertake animals?"
"I really don't know."
"What do you do with animals when they die?"
"Bury them or burn them and sometimes we eat them."
"You eat donkeys?
"Some people do, but I don't. Or at least, I never have. However, right now I'm getting a great desire for some donkey and elephant steaks."
My humor completely escaped them.
"What about human steaks? Do you eat human steaks?
"What's a cannibal?"
They were very good at starting to answer a question and never getting to the point. They never answered a question directly. They had been well trained by their respective political parties.
“Will you two knock it off and answer my question. Why are you two fugitives?”
“Oh,” both replied.
“OK, donkey…you tell him.”
“Well, it’s really simple. Both parties say that we still belong to them. They want to find us and hide us so that we can’t tell anyone what we know.”
“Know about what?”
“The fake polling information that both parties have been reporting,” they said in unison.
/ / /
In Washington both party chairmen were greatly concerned over the mascot issue. What if they were found out? Both parties were sure they needed to find their mascots, the ugly democratic donkey and the less than smart republican elephant before the news media did. If they didn't, there was sure to be another Watergate type scandal.
Neither party was aware that the other party had also been cooking the polls so they spared no effort in trying to locate the subversive beasts.
Both parties received the information on the where a bouts of the animals from their ‘inside’ sources at the CIA, FBI, Pentagon, Israeli intelligence, and the White House staff.
However, the CIA, the FBI and the Pentagon, Israeli Intelligence and the White House staff had no idea where the terrorists were. They would never admit that they had lost track of the subversive group so they just sent out reports pinpointing the group living in the small red neck town of “Elephant Tree”
Both parties were in a panic. They had to retrieve the animals before the CIA or the FBI or the Pentagon or the White staff did or their nasty little secret would be set free upon the world which would set loose a chain of events that could or would reveal hundreds or thousands or maybe millions of nasty little secrets that both parties had been hiding from the voters for decades.
Both parties hired big game hunters and sent them to the town of “Elephant Tree” where they could begin tracking them. Their instructions were very explicit in political terms. ‘Locate the beasts and take them out’.
The hunters were given First Class tickets on the first plane available. They were seated directly behind the editor and the well endowed ‘ghostwriter’.
The CIA’s finest were seated directly in front of editor and the well endowed ‘ghost writer’. Their directive was to seek and destroy a group of subversives that were seeking to kill the president. Their second directive was not to inform those sneaky bastards over at the FBI.
The FBI agents were seated across from the editor and the well endowed ‘ghost writer’. There directive was to seek and destroy a group of subversives that were seeking to kill the president. Their second directive was not to inform those sneaky bastards over at the CIA.
The White House and the Pentagon only sent spies to make sure they were kept up to date on the entire operation. The spies were seated directly behind the FBI agents.
Every agent, every spy and the editor knew of the other spies and agents and the editor and all were equally sure that no one was aware of who they were except of the course the editor who introduced his ‘ghost writer’ to all the spies and agents with a wink and an explanation that they were on their way to write a Pulitzer prize winning story about some breaking news that he wasn't allowed to divulge at the moment. No one heard a word he was saying because they were all concentrating on the cleavage being exposed by the ‘ghost write’.
Every agent and every spy had the same thoughts about the ‘ghost writer’; you can write my story any night you want.
Also, every agent and every spy had their maps out trying to locate the town of “Elephant Tree. No one had the nerve or the sense to ask any of the others where the small town might be located.
/ / /
The photographer that looked like Ichabod Crane and sounded like Nancy Pelosi left the writer to search for the elephant, the donkey and the retired undertaker. However, his primary thought was not about the three escapees. His primary thought was on making money and the easiest and quickest way for him to make money was to sell his pictures.
It didn't matter to him that the photos really belonged to the newspaper that he was working for; he was going to sell copies of them to the sleaze papers. The sleaze papers had no qualms about the legality of photos. They could claim that they sent their own photographer to take the pictures.
When Ichaposi resumed his search, his subjects were not hard to follow. Elephant tracks, donkey tracks and an undertaker tracks are not hidden very easily, especially if the track makers are not trying to hide them.
Why would they hide them? They were not aware that anyone would actually want to track them as if they were being hunted by real hunters. They were only aware of the writer and photographer, but they were merely nuisances and offered no real danger to them.
The photographer caught up with them as they were knocking on the farm house door.
He called the writer and started taking telephoto shots.
The farmer opened the door and gasped in surprise. “What are you doing here?” He said to the elephant and the donkey. Then in almost the same breath he turned to the undertaker and said, “Who are you?”
The donkey and the elephant gasped in surprise and replied to him but not in unison. The donkey was one word ahead of the elephant so it sounded like someone speaking into a canyon with an instant echo.
“What...what ..are…are …you…you …doing…doing …here?…here?”
“I asked you first,” the farmer said.
“So what,” the donkey said. “We asked you second and last, so you need to answer first.”
The farmer just stared. He had no answer for that kind of logic, so he gave in.
“I live here.”
“Why?” the elephant said.
I was tired of their strange talk so I butted in.
“They need a place to hide from a writer and a photographer.”
“Not here!” The farmer replied.
“Why not?” All three visitors replied in unison.
“Because this is my hiding place.”
Now the meeting on the farmer’s porch became more of an inquisition than an introduction. The visitors fired questions at the farmer in turns.
First the elephant, then the donkey.
“Why do you need a hiding place?”
“None of your business.”
“Who are you hiding from?”
“None of your business.”
“What do you farm on this land?”
“Nothing, it’s just a hiding place.”
“Why are you hiding?”
“None of your business.”
“Who are you hiding from?”
“None of your business.”
“You could grow peanuts,” the elephant offered
“I don’t want to grow peanuts or anything else. Now just go away and leave me alone.”
I was frustrated.
“Look, we’re just talking in circles and an elephant and a donkey standing in your front yard is going to cause people to start asking questions. Why don’t we go into your barn and have our talking circle there?”
“OK,” the farmer said.
“It’s my turn to ask a question,” the donkey said.
“Do you think your wife would make me some peanut butter and jelly sandwiches?” The elephant said.
“You were just complaining about eating too much,” I said.
They took their circle of talk to the barn and once inside the donkey said, “Where were we? Or, rather, where was I? Oh yes, it’s my turn to ask a question. Um, let’s see now. What would be a good question?”
I interrupted him, “Why don’t we begin by someone telling me how you know each other?”
/ / /
Ichaposi had already found an opening in the back of the barn and was taking thousand s of pictures. His camera was streaming photos through satellite to the paper that paid him with copies going to “The Sleaze Revue”.
He called the writer to report that he had found the elephant, the donkey and politician and to see how the story was coming. After all, he now had vested interest in the story because he was getting half of the Pulitzer money. The writer told him to go do something to himself but he wasn't sure what he was supposed to do because the writer’s words were garbled and then the phone went dead.
He called again to ask the writer what he had said.
“We've been fired, you idiot. Fired! F-I-R-E-D!! There’s not going to be a Pulitzer. That fat slob fired us.”
“Something about the story being too big and we would just screw it up.”
Ichaposi was too stunned to talk. Fired? Why? He understood that he wasn't the smartest rock in the pile but he wasn't totally stupid either. Too Big! Just how big was it? He called his connection at The "Sleaze Revue” and asked him to nose around.
The pictures coming into the Revue weren't creating any great interest. Nobody had even bothered to ask why or what about them. But then one of the editors received the phone call from Ichaposi. He listened to what ‘Possi’ had to say and told him that he would get back to him.
He went to the streaming room and looked at the photos. He told the photo department to put a lid on them and not tell anyone that they had them. Then he went to the top sleaze.
The two men in the photo department immediately started shopping the photos to every sleaze paper in US and Europe.
“What’s up?” The Editor of the paper mumbled through a jelly doughnut.
“I’m not sure, but something is going on. The big boys just dumped Stumpy and Ichaposi on that stupid elephant story. They said it was too big for them.”
The Sleaze Editor's eyebrows rose. He walked across the room and looked out the window of his fifteenth story office. He was looking at the top floor of the sixty story building near the river. His mind was calculating. What kind of story would be too big? What is too big? That elephant and donkey story was just a fun fluke. He was sure someone had played a pretty clever trick on the titans of the newspaper and TV world. An elephant that climbed trees?...Hogwash! But what was so big? And what did it have to do with the elephant or the donkey or maybe even both? And wasn't there some kind of politician involved. Maybe there was some political hanky-panky going on? Maybe a scandal they wanted to get at first and keep hidden until they had all the juicy details?
He suddenly turned and punched his intercom.
“Get me that mole we planted over at the Post.”
Within five minutes he was informed that something really big was going on. Someone was out to assassinate the President. The CIA and the FBI, the White House and both political parties were looking for the elephant, the donkey and the politician. Plus, a real strong rumor was going around that the subversive bastards were on someone's hit list.
He pondered. Why those three? They couldn't be that dangerous. Maybe, just maybe the Post people were trying to make him look like a fool because he hadn't fallen for the elephant in the tree scenario.
All the big papers and those assholes at the TV networks had really fallen for the scam. First an elephant, a donkey and a politician were pulling some kind of political stunt. He had heard all sorts of thoughts and rumors about what they were up to. The one he really liked was posed by a panel of talking heads on TV. He liked to call them ‘Pinheads’. They never had the least clue as what was really going on but they could talk, debate and argue for hours and the American public would sit with their fat butts on the edge of their overpriced sofas and easy chairs lapping up every word. Forty-nine percent believed every word and forty-nine percent said it was all a bunch of bull shit...no matter what politcal B.S. they were spinning.
The other two percent were the ones that bought his brand of breaking news. They didn't believe anything but dirt or conspiracy theories.
The one theory the "Pinheads" had offered that really tweaked his interest was that they were forming a third political party that was united and could and would work together in the best interests of the people and the future of America.
However, he couldn't figure any smut angles with the story and then the elephant, the donkey and the politician had just disappeared. He lost interest. But now they had resurfaced but they had not resurfaced as a political party. They had resurfaced as subversives out to kill the president.
He smiled. They really could be forming a third political party and the other two parties had banned together to smash them. He really had to admire the devious bastards that ran the two major parties. He wished he could have thought of calling the elephant, the donkey and the politician traitors, subversives and terrorists out to kill the president. They had no idea how dirty the game of politics really was. Their party was finished before it even got off the ground.
But he didn't think of that angle and the sixty-story jerks were way ahead of him.
He punched the intercom.
“I want a conference call with that funny little writer and the weird camera guy that have been covering the elephant story!”
Within fifteen minutes he had his conference call.
“Were you really canned?
“Do you know where the nasty little group of subversives is?”
“Have you told anyone else where they are?”
“Excellent! Now, this is what I want you to do.”
“Money? Pulitzer? Money is not a problem. If you guys play along with the Revue, you can have all the money you need.”
“One hundred thousand each plus expenses?
“Yes, if the damned story wins the Pulitzer you get the credit.”
“Now the first thing I want you do is hide the elephant, the donkey and the politician.”
“Why wouldn't they want to hide?”
“I don’t care. Pay them whatever you have to but hide them and don’t tell me or anyone else where they are until I call you.”
“Who else is looking for them? Just the FBI, the CIA, the White House, the Pentagon and every news media in the entire world”
"…and…tell them that it is in their best interests to hide because there are snipers on the way to shoot there fat asses to hell."
/ / /
The plane carrying the editor, his well endowed ghost writer, the CIA, the FBI, the White House spies, the Pentagon Spies landed at small airport near where the elephant had been hiding in the tree.
The limo driver for the editor was instructed to take them directly to the town of Elephant Tree.
"Sir, there is no town of Elephant Tree," the editor was informed.
"There sure as hell is," replied the editor. "My staff is on their way right now so you better damn well punch it in your GPS and let's get going."
"I have sir and there is no such town."
The editor was fuming and looked as if he was going to explode but before he could open his mouth to scream obscenities at the driver, the well endowed ghost writer said, "Just take us to where they saw the elephant in the tree. That would be the logical place to start."
The editor said, "That's exactly what I was just going to say."
The FBI, the CIA, the White House spies, the Pentagon Spies and all their moles didn't think to have limos waiting for them so each group grabbed and airport taxi…
"Follow the limo…"
"Follow that taxi…"
Etc…etc…etc…(however may etceteras necessary to cover all the taxis necessary to cover a plane load of government employees.)
It is not necessary to discuss who was paying for it.
The procession of a limo and a bunch of taxis sped through the town causing everyone to wonder what was going on and soon half the town was following the Editor's limo and the government agent's taxis to the elephant tree.
The taxis were all being driven by Iraqi, Iranian, and Afghanistan refugees and they all called their families back home to tell them of the excitement they were involved in. Every one of their phones was bugged and soon all of the middles east were aware of the subversive elephant and donkey.
When the editor pulled up to the elephant tree he said, "Oh my god, it's worse than I thought. Those lousy subversive bastards have taken the whole town with them. Call our local affiliation and have them get their news chopper in the air. I want it connected directly to me and no one else."
The limo driver, who was a mole for Boss Sleaze and had already patched into his phone into Boss Sleasze, called the local paper and within minutes "Sky 86" was in direct contact with the editor and his well endowed ghost writer and Boss Sleaze, the CIA, the FBI, the White House spies, the Pentagon spies and was also live on Aljazeera.
When all of the taxis pulled up next to the limo, everyone said, “Oh my god it’s worse than we thought. Those lousy subversive bastards have taken the whole town with them. Call the office and get some helicopters out here on the double.
The president, who really didn't need all of the other government people to keep him informed, was having a cool drink in the oval office listening to every word that was being said on his smart phone.
The president hit all of his intercom buttons and said, “It’s worse than we thought. The subversive bastards have taken the whole town with them.
The taxi drivers all agreed that there would never be a subversive camel.
/ / /
Boss Sleaze was licking his lips and squeezing his hands as he thought about the coup he was about to pull off. But, then he started wondering where the two idiots were going to hide an elephant and a donkey.
"Get that fat writer on the phone," he ordered.
"Where the hell are your hiding those subversive bastards?"
"You told me not to tell."
"Well now I'm telling you to tell!"
"It's only been an hour. We haven't moved them anywhere."
"Where are they?"
"You told me not to tell"
"Goddamn you, Stumpy. You're working for me and I want to know where they are."
The CIA, the FBI, the White House spies, the Pentagon spies and all of Aljazeera's viewers were waiting for the answer.
Stumpy was not stupid. Giving out what he knew about the subversive elephant and donkey got him fired from his last job.
"Screw you. I'm not going to tell you anything until I see some money."
"How am I going to pay you if I don't know where you are?"
"Wire it to my Swiss bank account."
"You have a Swiss bank account? Why the hell do you have a swill bank account?"
"Doesn't everyone in New York have a Swiss bank account?"
"What about Ichaposi's money."
"Send it there too."
"Doesn't he have his own account?"
"A photographer? Where would he steal enough money to open a Swiss bank account?"
"Okay I'll get my finance department to send it right away. Now where are they?"
"Damn sleaze, haven't you ever heard of the turnip truck theory. When I'm notified that the money is there, I'll call you."
The simple word "shit" could be heard from Boss Sleaze, the limo, all the taxis and the White House.
Boss Sleaze, the CIA, the FBI, the White House spies, the Pentagon spies, the White House and the owners of Aljazeera all sent money to Stumpy's Swiss bank account and waited for him to reveal the location of the subversive Mr. elephant, the ugly donkey and one upstart politician.
/ / /