Tuesday, December 14, 2010

A Tree Guard's First Christmas: Part One

As the semester wound to a close, I had 860 words left to write for independent studies with Mel Odom. Fried by the more serious projects I was working on, and quite a bit stir-crazy due to being so close to the end of school, I concocted this over-the-top Christmas piece for my own . . . well, peace of mind!

So, without further ado, part one of A Tree Guard's First Christmas.

WHAT I'M ABOUT TO TELL YOU is very important. There’s a criminal on the loose, and everyone needs to be on the lookout for him.

You may think that because I’m a penguin, what I say doesn’t matter. Think about it this way, though – if you heard what penguins have to say about humans, you wouldn’t be so quick to judge the intelligence of other species. We’ve seen you do some pretty stupid things. Plus, it’s not like you can fly, either.

Anyway, my story begins in the North Pole, which is probably not where you think it is. My parents taught me that there are several breeds of penguins all over the earth, but ours is a particularly special one. Other breeds may be larger and more mobile than us, but they’ll never get to experience the majestic plastic nests built on the metal precipices in the North Pole – our homes.

North Pole penguins train to become Tree Guards when they reach adulthood. That’s what I am -- a Tree Guard. According to my mother, this sacred duty has been passed down for generations. The Watch, the annual, month-long guard duty in a human home, requires years of training, both physical and mental. We need the mental training for after The Watch ends, when the Tree Guards are consigned to dark barracks for a year to contemplate how they can do a better job of guarding the tree next time around.

The adult male human we are to guard against has his face plastered all over the North Pole during the season when penguins are chosen as Tree Guards. He is quite round and old, like most of the adult male humans I’ve seen, but he has a distinct white beard and red suit that causes a flurry of agitation in every young human who views his picture.

He’s a dangerous enemy, for certain. It’s not only my privilege to guard against him, though, it’s my destiny.

. . . to be continued.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Talk to me, or send via telepathy. But don't be rude!

Personal attacks, trolling, spam and anonymous posts will be deleted.