Green Lettuce Days
A short Story by Blue Fox Café
a short story written for terrible minds including the following elements; fairytale fantasy, an old abandoned Walmart and talking animals. Also included for shits and giggles is Post-Apocalyptic humor
There were four of them resting and hiding among the wild rose brambles that lined the sandy banks of the ButtermilkRiver . The sky had been overcast most of the day with clouds the color of cold steel. But now as night was approaching, a bright streak of crimson marked the western horizon. Overhead, Vega glittered brightly through the parting clouds.
All four of them moved out of the thicket, following a well-worn path through a stand of huge cottonwoods. Then they begin their trek across the vast expanse of tarmac that now lay dormant. Several years had passed since the ever-popular Wal-mart had closed it doors; and now clumps of fresh shoots of grass along with small box elder saplings sprang from the cracks in the tarvia.
Pa Pere lead the way followed closely by his loyal mate, Ma Mere, while the two little ones, Antigonus and Amelia, brought up the rear. The quartet searched each little hummock of vegetation, hoping to find some edible bugs or even an errant mouse, vole or mole.
After chancing upon a few measly grubs and finishing off their snack with tidbits of fresh, grass shoots, Antigonus asked his father a question.
“How come you always bring us across this place with the hard, black ground, when there’s hardly anything to eat.”
“Just nostalgia,” replied Pa Pere.
Quickly, Ma Mere cut into the conversation.
“What your father is trying to say, is that, this used to be the best spot to find good vittles.”
“But why do we keep coming here, when there’s not very much to here anymore,” said Antigonus.
“That’s because this used to be the best spot in the whole valley to grab a decent bundle of food,” sai Pa Pere.
“That’s right,” said Ma Mere. “Those were what we called “Green Lettuce Days.”
“What’s lettuce?” asked Amelia.
Both Ma Mere and Pa Pere chuckled at the suggestion, as they lead the two little ones on to the next little clump of grass.
Then Pa Pere began to explain;
“Lettuce was just about one of the best inventions of the “Great Two-leggeds.”
“How come there are any Great Two-leggeds around anymore?” asked Antigonus.
“They disappeared not too long after the Great Shining Light passed right over top of our heads.”
“Really,” said Antigonus, when then this happen?”
“Right before your papa and mama were born,” said Pa Pere.
“There were actually some of the “Great Two Legged” around when your father and I were quite young,” said Ma Mere. “But at that point, it was quite obvious that something was making them very sick.”
“Then more and more them started to disappear,” said Pa Pere. “And before you knew it there wasn’t a one to be found alive.”
After coming up empty for food at the immediate location, Pa Pere lead his family further across the vast flat expanse towards the oak forest that stood strong at the far end of the parking lot. The black and white striped animals made quite a sight as they marched single file across the dark surface.
“Are you glad they’re gone,” asked Amelia.
Well, they could be quite dangerous,” said Pa Pere.
“How’s that? asked Antigonus.
“They would move around in their big metal dens, and in the process they killed all kinds of few four-legged animals, especially us skunks.”
“That sounds horrible,” said Amelia.
“It was a fact of life,” said Pa Pere. “But at the same time they could be quite good to us.”
“That’s hard to believe,” said Amelia.
“I guess it sounds kind of strange, but the “Great Two Leggeds” would leave out all kinds of good food just for us animals.”
All of a sudden a mouse emerges from a clump of grass and seeing the four predators, takes off running for his life. Antigonus sees the fleeing rodent first and takes off in hot pursuit, but the mouse disappears into an underground lair hidden underneath a bunch of grass and weeds before Antigonus can reach his prey.
“Good try, Antigonus,” said Pa Pere. “Maybe next time you’ll get him.”
“These mice must have little tunnels in every little clump of grass,” said a frustrated Antigonus.
“It wouldn’t surprise me if they do,” said Ma Mere.
“You know in the old days we would even bother chasing a mouse, said Pa Pere.
“Why’s that?” asked Antigonus.
“See those big empty metal containers sitting over there,” commented Pa Pere.
“I always kind of wondered what they were for,” said Amelia.
“Well, the Great Two Leggeds use to fill them to the top with all sorts of good food,” said Pa Pere. “The kind that us woodchucks, rabbits and skunks really liked.”
“Why did they do that?” asked Antigonus.
“I think they felt sorry for killing so many of us with their awful machines,” said Ma Mere.
“Couldn’t they just stop hurting all the animals,” said Amelia.
“Apparently not,” said Pa Pere. “But now they’re gone, so we have to go back to hunting our own food.”
Then there was a moment of contemplative silence, as Pa Pere lead his family across the rest of the open space to the woods at the far edge of the parking lot.
“Things are sure different now,” said Antigonus.
“That they are,” said Ma Mere.
“Do you think the Great Two Leggeds will ever come back?” asked Amelia.
“ I don’t know,” said Pa Pere.