Friday, April 16, 2010

Petey And Muggs Discuss Evolution -- a #fridayflash story

By John McDonnell

“The sign says don’t throw peanuts to the lions,” Muggs said.

“This one ain’t interested anyway,” Petey said, pointing to the huge male who was pacing back and forth in his cage inside the lion house, his shoulder muscles rippling with every step. “This boy wants his steak dinner.”

They had come into the lion house following a short man in a blue suit and a white straw hat, who was holding the arm of a young woman in a red pleated dress that stopped an inch above the knee. The man and woman were leaning against a railing near one of the cages at the far end of the corridor. There were six male lions, each with his own cage, and they were all pacing back and forth, waiting for their dinner. Every once in awhile, one of them would let out a deep, moaning roar, which echoed like thunder in the tiled building. The air was thick with their animal smell.

“So is that Mrs. Fishburn?” Muggs said, pointing to the woman in the red dress.

“That, my friend, is not Mrs. Fishburn,” Petey said. “But that is the reason Mr. Fishburn has been fiddling Mr. Donovan’s books. He’s got a chippie.”

“That ain’t right,” Muggs said.

“Aw, marriage ain’t natural anyway,” Petey said. “Look at them lions. They don’t get married, do they?”

“Animals and people is different.”

“No they ain’t. Ain’t you heard of evolution? They’re havin’ a big trial about it right now in Tennessee. All them Bible people want to convict a teacher named Scopes for teachin’ that we came from monkeys.”

“I didn’t come from no monkey.”

“You sure about that? I think I seen some of your relatives in the gorilla house.”

“Hey, what’s he doing down there?” Muggs said.

The man in the straw boater was throwing peanuts at a lion. He was throwing one peanut after another. He hit the big cat in the eye, and the lion roared. The man in the hat roared back, laughing and making a fist at the lion. The girl next to him giggled at the game he was playing.

“That ain’t right,” Muggs said.
                                           * * *

The Packard was in the shop, so they had to walk back uptown.

“Funny how them lions got so excited,” Petey said.

“It was loud in there,” Muggs said. “My ears still hurt.”

“You probably shouldn’t have pressed Mr. Fishburn’s head against the cage. I thought he was havin’ a heart attack when you did that.”

“The sign said don’t throw peanuts to the lions,” Muggs said. Muggs wrinkled his brow in thought for a moment, then said, “You think people and animals are the same?”

“Nah,” Petey said, grabbing an apple from a fruit stand while the proprietor wasn’t looking. “We’re the ones that belong in the zoo.”
Copyright John McDonnell, 2010