Heats and Tarts

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The Queen of Hearts did heat some tarts. Baked them in an oven, ten minutes at four hundred then three hundred fifty until brown and bubbly. It was an old family recipe passed down from Aunt Alice before she died and after all was forgiven.

The young Red Queen did vary the ingredients using, for instance, flamingo and mushrooms. That one pinked up nicely, the juices oozing from the vents. Red also made a nutter pie, chock full of died in the wool ideologues. The Cheshire Cat always attended the tea, accompanied by the Mad Hatter. They never grow old.

Heath and Tares

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A heath hike is full of surprises for the observant. Quiet! Do you hear a tittering in the bush there. It’s noisy under that blanket. Don’t be so nosy. Maybe it’s children or birds, in heather or tare, not secretive lovers panting. Imagine hide and seek games or the rattle of empty seeds. Take a minute away from the world. Avert your eyes. Give them some privacy. It’s no more than you’d want on a cool spring day in the middle of April, after the lambs are shorn and before the wool is knit into sweater gifts for the holidays.

Death and Taxes

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The whole thing started when Joe decided to do his taxes. He got himself a mug of coffee and poured in a little Irish whiskey left from St Patrick’s Day. Stirring in sugar, he took a sip and decided it was just the thing for an afternoon of crunching the numbers. He whipped up cream and spooned it on top. Carrying it into his study, he sat in front of the computer and opened his tax software. Three hours later, he was finished. He had a heart attack when he saw the bottom line. His wife blamed the whipped cream.

A Child Shall Lead

In 2020, as foretold in the Bible, the lion lay down with the lamb. Potentially bringing peace to the United States, Congress gave the vote to citizens 16 years and older. The bill also permits presidential candidates as young as 21. Taken together, these measures promise change in a country that has been divided for too long.

In other news, under indictment for fulfilling a campaign promise to shoot someone on Fifth Avenue, President Trump will not seek re-election.

Citing the biblical injunction that, “a child shall lead them,” the remaining adult in the room, Mike Pence, won’t run either.


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Lambs are eating the wet sheets from the line when we return from a rambling hike through country lanes. They’ve pushed through the fence. They ignore shooing movements. Seven of them seem to be communicating via Bluetooth. As soon as one backs away, another takes it’s place.

We don’t reason with them. Four abreast we move like a wave, banging pots and wooden spoons, hoping to get them through the hole where they came in. They make noise, a bleating chorus. We expect the farmer who rented us the cottage will come to see if we’re poaching. No such luck.

Trusted Lion

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A lion stands guard over the wooden blocks. He’s a trusted friend, that lion. Never locked away in the zoo with the others, he might well hold the key to the city. At night, he sleeps in a child’s bed, curled close enough to catch the drool of sleep. His ear has been chewed and his fur is matted where he’s been loved too much. He never goes in the washer. It would ruin him, ruin the smell that makes him special, sog the stuffing so he wouldn’t dry in time get to work. Who would keep things safe, then?

Mountain Lions

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Mountain lions have been sighted in the foothills. Scrolling through the updates online, she notes the spotting was in the vicinity where her son is on a nature ramble. The familiar feeling of dread fills her as she remembers hundreds of times she’s been wrong to worry. But what if she’s right this time?

She fills the kettle. She brews chamomile tea. If she grills him when he gets home, the next time he’ll deny he’s hiking. Or say nothing. Out, later, nobody. When he comes back, she won’t breathe a word. It’s better to think about it that way.