Jack the smaller badly behaved dog has eaten a few things that are not actually food in the past few days with predictable results. He has just come back into the house after a bout of backyard yarn-vomiting, and he looks cranky and miserable. I reach to pet his head, “Stupid dog. Stop eating yarn and other non-foodstuffs.”
Kallan speaks as an authoritative Jack, “None of this is my fault. I am sick! This is on your head, woman!”
I speak to Jack/Kallan, “What would you have me do, bossy royal-sounding dog?”
“Get me the moon, woman! The moon is what I demand! The moon is required to soothe me.”
“Kallan, you crack me up.”
“GET ME THE MOON! I DEMAND THE MOON!”
Those of you who are long-time readers may recognize Kallan’s reference to a children’s book I love called “Many Moons,” by James Thurber. I wrote about this book once before in a post about being brave (another conversation with Kallan, actually).
Later in the evening, Kallan comes to find me, “Hey, I wrote a story in my head . . . will you write it down if I say it out loud?”
And so here, with only minor editing and many breaks for giggling, is Kallan’s story:
Once upon a time, in a canine kingdom, there lived a prince named Jack the Lakeland. Jack the Lakeland was five years old and he was a sassbucket. One day, Jack ate some yarn and some marbles and some raspberries and some eggs and then he fell ill and barfed all over the royal floor. Jack the Lakeland considered the mess for a moment and then tipped his head to eat the pile of barf.
Soon enough, he once again felt quite ill and took to his bed.
His mother the Queen was terribly worried and she tried to soothe her only son. Jack the Lakeland whirled and snapped at his mother, growling angrily as she made kissy noises of comfort. When she reached for him again, Jack bared his teeth and said, “Get away from me, old woman.”
The Queen was terribly worried and she sent for the Royal Physician, who was named Elmer the Beagle. Dr. Beagle trotted in to take Jack’s temperature and check his coat for shine, and then he said, “You have a backyard disease and also perhaps you have eaten cat poo and marbles. Normally, in these sorts of cases, I would recommend the HindLick Maneuver, but this is a much more serious case, and I am afraid there is nothing we can do.”
“Whoa . . . the HindLick Maneuver?”
Kallan giggles, “Daddy made that up. He says that’s dog emergency first-aid. Like the Heimlich Maneuver, but way grosser.”
“Yeah, I got it. I am going to have to speak to that daddy of yours.”
“Back to the story . . . keep typing.”
Jack the Lakeland raised a weary hopeful head, “Perhaps we could at least try the HindLick Maneuver. I think that might be the best cure for what ails me.”
Dr. Beagle shook his head, “Nope. It’s a hopeless case, I’m afraid.” He turned to the Queen, “He was part of a litter, correct? No big loss. You have other children.”
The Queen was sad, “Yes, but he’s my only son.”
Dr. Beagle said, “Bummer.”
The Queen sat with her son after the doctor trotted away. She reached to smooth her son’s furry brow, “Is there anything I can do? Is there anything I can get for you that would make you feel better?”
Jack the Lakeland snarled and snapped and spoke rudely, “Get me the moon, old woman. I demand the moon!”
“The moon is the only thing that will heal me. Bring it to me at once. Go, woman! Go and fetch me the moon!”
The Queen hurried away. She called for her Royal Chamberdog, who was a large fat Labrador-girldog with unfortunate body odor and a great deal of flatulence. The Chamberdog wore thick glasses and an extra layer of chubby. She listened to the Queen’s request, and then she belched and farted as she gave the request serious consideration. Finally, she burped one final time and said, “The moon is out of the question. It is far away and way up high. Even if I could travel far away and way up high, everybody knows that the moon is the food-dish of the GODDOG. We mustn’t anger the GODDOG by stealing his dish.”
The Queen sighed and called next for her Royal Wizard, who was a Chihuahua with very lame thumbless magic. She explained the situation, and the Royal Wizard nibbled at his tiny leg and ate a flea before answering, “The moon is out of the question. It is far away and way up high. Even if I could travel far away and way up high, everybody knows that the moon is a puddle of urine from the GODDOG. Dogangels work every month to clean it up, and then the GODDOG pees again. The Royal Wizard found and ate another flea, “We mustn’t mess with a system that works.”
The Queen wept with despair and called her Royal Mathematician and once again explained the situation. The Royal Mathematician was a Dalmatian, a black dog with white spots that numbered 432.7. The queen expected by now to be disappointed, and the Royal Mathematician did not disappoint, “The moon is out of the question. The moon is far away and way up high. Even if I could travel far away and way up high, everybody knows that the moon is the ball of the GODDOG. Every night, it is thrown across the night sky for the GODDOG’s entertainment, and I would not want to be the one who took away the GODDOG’s toy.”
The Queen began to resign herself to having only daughters, and she went to the window and howled at the unattainable moon.
The Court Jester (who was one of those ridiculously groomed giant poodles) came bounding into the room, “Is there anything I can do, Your Majesty?”
The Queen explained all about her sick son and the request for the moon and how the moon was maybe a food-dish or maybe urine or maybe a ball but in any case there was GODDOG to consider and so her son would die for lack of a moon.
The Court Jester pondered as he lifted his leg and peed against the bottom of the throne, “Your wisemen are of different opinions, and they are all very wise and never wrong about anything. Perhaps the moon is whatever one thinks it is. Perhaps we should ask the Prince what he thinks the moon is.”
The Queen figured this was worth a try, so she and the Court Jester went to Jack the Lakeland’s room.
Jack the Lakeland was lying in bed. “Have you brought the moon to me?” he asked in a small English-accent voice that sounded quite pathetic and a lot like Oliver Twist in that one boring movie where Oliver Twist sounds English and also pathetic, “Have you brought me the moon?”
“Not quite yet,” answered the Court Jester, “Tell us, what do you think the moon is, exactly?”
Jack shook out his ears and answered, “The moon is attached to the GODDOG.”
“And so what would the moon look like if I were to bring it to you?” asked the Court Jester.
“Why, it would look like a bullystick. Why are you asking such lame and obvious questions?”
The Queen and the Court Jester were confused, but they hurried to the store to buy a bullystick, which they then gave to Jack the Lakeland.
Jack the Lakeland happily set upon the moon and chewed it ravenously. He swallowed chunk after chunk, and then his eyes rolled and his tummy heaved and his ribs bulged, and then he barfed all over the royal floor. He smiled and leaned to eat the pile of moon-barf, and having accomplished this eating, he pronounced himself completely cured and ran off to play.
The Queen was pleased, but she was also concerned. What would she do when the real moon appeared in the sky that night? What would she do when Jack the Lakeland realized that he had not eaten the real moon?
She consulted her Court Jester, who suggested that they once again look to the prince for the answers. They found him eating an old shoe next to the window, through which was shining a full circle of moon. The Queen asked cautiously, “Are you troubled by the moon in the sky, my dear?”
Jack the Lakeland stared at her incredulously, “Why should I be troubled?”
“It’s just that you ate the moon and now here is the moon . . . I thought you might have questions.”
Jack the Lakeland paused in his shoe-ruining, “GODDOG’s penis is neverending. It goes from the sky outside my bedroom window all the way up to GODDOG, who lives at the end of neverend. GODDOG does not mind if the occasional deserving prince is given a small slice from the end.”
The Queen was startled, “The moon is a penis?”
“Mother, don’t you know anything?”
“But . . . it’s a circle. The moon is a circle.”
“Mother, we see just the end of it. It hangs from GODDOG to light the night.”
The Queen thought to herself that perhaps one of her daughters would make a better heir to the throne than her son the moon-penis chomping lunatic, but she said merely, “I see.”
Jack the Lakeland rolled happily on his back and kicked his paws in the air, “Yes, there is bullystick enough for all the dogs who live beneath the penis of GOD.”
“You mean GODDOG?”
“That’s what I said.”
And then they all lived happily ever after and barked a lot.
“Mom, people know that bullysticks are made out of dried bull-penis, right? Maybe you should mention that so they get the full enjoyment out of the story.”
“Making a note.”
Oh, wait . . . one more thing. If you rely on Facebook to get notifications about new posts from Pretty All True, you may have noticed that Facebook is SUCKING MIGHTILY at performing this duty lately. The folks at Facebook appear to be determined to tell fewer and fewer of Pretty All True’s fans about posts unless and until Pretty All True agrees to pay Facebook to promote the posts to said fans.
Fuck . . . that . . . shit.
I will continue to post links on Facebook, but if you want to be assured of actually KNOWING about those links?
I would suggest subscribing to Pretty All True’s email alerts.
Or subscribing to Pretty All True’s RSS feed.
Or subscribing to Pretty All True on Kindle.
Or following Pretty All True on Twitter.
All of those services are more reliable than Facebook.
Carrier pigeons would be more reliable than Facebook.
Except Jack the Lakeland ate the pigeons.