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Unread 03-20-2021, 11:21 PM   #1
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Uncle Dave was a Hedghog.

Uncle Dave was a hedgehog.

1.

Yeah I know, its weird. Like I know, He is like 3 ft high. Heís got spikes all over his back. During winter he loves slurping down slugs. In summer he likes a saucer of milk, even though he knows its really bad for him. Sometimes he dunks bread in it and just buries his face in his bowl. He doesnít shower for long periods of time and when he rolls in crap he literally rolls in a lot of crap. He sleeps during the day for long periods of time and blinks when he is in sunlight. You know whatís really weird? We didnít find out he was a hedgehog until I was about 15.

It was at school. In biology I think. Normally I was at the back playing with the goldfish. But this time I was up the front for some reason. I think I had been in trouble for something. Biology was never my strongest subject but I sure did enjoy inflating frogs with a straw. I think the fact that one exploded was why I had a new seating arrangement. Bonus was the fact that now I could see the blackboard clearer. Things had been a bit of a blur before then. I suppose I needed glasses but glasses werenít cool for a fifteen year old. Anyway I had been half asleep during that period straight after lunch. When it was hot and sticky and being a teenage boy I was hot and sticky as well. The monotone school teacher was rumbling on about different introduced species and I faintly saw the outline of something familiar appear on the overhead projector screen. Uncle Dave I shouted out loudly. Everyone in the class were startled. The teacher called me up the front and askedÖ what was that you said boy? Thatís Uncle Dave I told the teacher. He shook his head and sent me to the headmaster for the strap. One very sore hand later, I spent the rest of the period in great curiosity looking at different diagrams of what looked like my uncle.

It was confirmed it later that night. Uncle Dave and Aunty Jill came around that night to see my parents about planting a new garden. Once they heard my tale of anguish and woe from school, Aunty Jill pulled me aside and said yes, your Uncle Dave was in fact a hedgehog. But he didnít know so could I um please keep it a secret. I said yeah no problem, seeing all my classmates now thought I was weird anyway. Aunty Jill smiled that all knowing Aunty Jill smile that only she had and gave me a wink.

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Unread 03-29-2021, 09:48 PM   #2
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This was thoroughly enjoyable to read.

Can you please continue with more chapters?

I want to hear about the frog exploding.
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Unread 04-01-2021, 12:11 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr. Thrunk View Post
This was thoroughly enjoyable to read.

Can you please continue with more chapters?

I want to hear about the frog exploding.
The frog exploding..

I cannot remember if this was true or an urban myth, but at my school....in biology there was the story of sticking a straw up a frogs butt and trying to inflate it.

Iíve got another 5 chapters
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Unread 04-01-2021, 12:16 AM   #4
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2.

It was kinda weird. It took me days to figure it out in my head. I mean like. Uncle Dave was a hedgehog and he didn’t know that he was a hedgehog. And Aunty Jill knew that he was a hedgehog but he didn’t. I mean it was cool that Aunty Jill looked after small furry creature but Uncle Dave was different. He was a hedgehog!! I mean like I dunno what I mean.

Looking back, he was always great at birthday parties. He used to hold all the marsh mellows. On his back. And squares of cheese. On his back. Sometimes he held cocktail sausages. Yes on his back. With food like that he was brilliant. Putting his clothes on was something to behold. He had black stubbie shorts and he wore Jandals his sleeveless tops always showed his muscles and his tattoo of our family crest. Sometimes he tried to grow a moustache but it was never a bushy one. He always greeted you with wide open arms and tried to give you a bear hug. My brother tried to hold him from the back once, he didn’t try that again. I think more things than his pride were punctured. Anyway Uncle Dave was just great at being Uncle Dave. When we went camping he always had a stretcher, never an air bed. He was tough my Uncle Dave.

I suppose that’s why we never had any cousins on that side of the family. Mum and Dad never talked about it, they were just happy to see Uncle Dave married. And my grandparents? A thought dawned on me that maybe they would know. Aunty Jill’s story of what happened was that Grandma had taken the baby down to the greenhouse and had gone back to the house carrying a hedgehog. And had never noticed the difference. Apparently after a few mishaps, Grandpa kept replacing any problems with other hedgehogs he had around the farm. Apparently Uncle Dave wasn’t really Uncle Dave at all but like a 12th generation hedgehog man baby. The real Uncle Dave? Probably under a hedge somewhere chasing snails. But um Aunty Jill knew all of this and everyone else didn’t. And Grandpa? I knew he was just keeping my Grandma happy. This confused the heck out of me. Until.
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Unread 04-01-2021, 12:17 AM   #5
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3.

It was that kind of day when kings would go off to battle or hobbits would disappear into hedges and appear somewhere else. That kind of day. Not a standard day. I had come from school for lunch and was preparing myself to have baked beans or some of my mother’s vegetable soup. My friend who sometimes walked to school with me had already gone home to his house. He rode up earlier in the morning and parked his bicycle behind our caravan. Anyway he must have been down to the local fish n chips shops sometime during the morning as there was some newspaper on the ground with a scattering of chips inside its crumpled up edges and a large smear of tomato sauce across the outside. Three sparrows were cautiously grabbing at it and trying to get into the hot chips. Suddenly from above this large shadow came from the sky and landed near the sparrows. This bigger than normal size seagull stood there, both red legs planted firmly on the ground. Alright you little beggars you clear off, this is a job for the big boys. I gasped because the seagull had spoken. The sparrows took fright and vanished without a thought. The seagull continued to stand on two legs, most unusual for a seagull, looked me straight in the eyes and sad ….. now what is your problem mate? In a very stern but irritated hungry seagull voice. I’m hungry and these are my chips. I stared for a bit. The seagull started to gulp down some chips. I kind of recovered and walked around him carefully as I made the way to get the spare key for the house which was underneath some of the grapevine on the fence. As I walked back to the house, the seagull gulped down the last chip and flew away. I managed to get inside my house and sat down at the table trying to establish what I had just seen. A seagull had just spoken to me, and I could understand what he said. This was indeed an interesting day. I just had some soup. Baked beans was too high on the menu to consider cooking for lunch. I made my way back to school and tried to recover while listening to an accounting teacher talk about income over expenditure.
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Unread 04-01-2021, 12:18 AM   #6
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4

I couldn’t wait for the parents teacher interview night. Actually yes I could.

Soon after this incident I began to be quite weary around any kind of animals. Any. And suddenly there was a huge plethora or birds and cats and dogs around. I could make out words now and then but thankfully no more spoke to me. I got extremely embarrassed watching the neighbours dog hump another dog. Oh those words. Clearly he had been sleeping in front of the discovery channel. Our cat had always liked his belly being being scratched but now those purrs were pure consensual.
My brother had some goldfish, thankfully I couldn’t hear anything they said. The writers of Finding Nemo weren’t too far off the mark with their seagulls compared to my brothers goldfish. Things were starting to get out of hand. I decided to pay Uncle Dave and Aunty Jill a visit.

They lived in a normal three bedroom house at the southern end of our town. Apparently Uncle Dave had had some flatmates previously, but I hadn’t seen much of them. Back in the 70s people used to decorate the outside of their houses with a butterfly the size of a dinner plate. It made me not in the least bit attracted to butterflies. I had seen pictures of people covered in Monarch Butterflies in earlier Editions of National Geographic and I thought that would be hell. Anyway on the outside of Aunty Jill’s house was one of those butterflies. And thankfully for me, it wasn’t real.

I knocked on the door like I usually did. Being a shy person I generally only entered when people invited me to. Aunty Jill was mashing potatoes in the kitchen, Uncle Dave was snuffling around the cabbage patch. … hi dear come in.. cup of tea? Yes please I had replied. Not earl grey though, I had learnt from another brother that earl grey was the worst kind of tea there was. I sipped my gum boot tea thoughtfully. Aunty Jill came and sat beside me and gave me another wink. .. ok dear, what’s on your mind?

Well I said. It’s um like this.
Uncle Dave?
Yeah… no
Um
Not Uncle Dave?
Yeah
Um
No
Um
Um
Ummm
Grandpa?
Ummmm
And then because I was losing my thought patterns I said those dread words.
A seagull spoke to me Aunty Jill.
A seagull?
Yep
?
Yep
With two red legs and a pointy beak and fish breathe.

Aunty Jill took a deep breath and swallowed.
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Unread 04-01-2021, 12:19 AM   #7
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5.

Oh
Oh?
Ohhh
I pondered this in an internal situation. Either she knew something or she didn’t.
Oh?
Aunty Jill leant back and took on a frown, which clearly meant that she was thinking. Finally her face relaxed and she relaxed…. When was the last time you visited your grandparents?
I thought… oh um maybe the last school holidays..
Well its time for another visit, let’s go this weekend… I’ll arrange it with your parents.

Friday night came, quicker than most. I ran all the way from school, leapt through the back door or of house startling our cat who was asleep on the door mat. I ran through the the kitchen, down the hall and into my room, throwing my school bag into the corner with a thud. I stripped off my school uniform and climbed into my favourite jeans and shirt and got my trendiest sneakers out, applied new socks and with an air of grace sauntered back into the dining room to put my footwear on and waited for the relations.
My mother came in and fussed about the kitchen. She was a wizard with food. In no time at all she had whipped up an apple short cake, sprinkled icing sugar over it and covered it in glad wrap.
This is for your grandparents not you…
Ok mum…
You can have a Vegemite sandwich.
I made one up hurriedly and spread extra butter on it because we all know that is how you make the best Vegemite sandwiches. Another good snack with Vegemite is Vegemite on Huntley and Palmers Cream Crackers. You know you have achieved perfection when you can squeeze it and a mixture of butter and Vegemite squirm out of the holes. It can also be used in gravy to give your sauce a little bit of extra goodness.

Aunty Jill and Uncle Dave arrived in due time. Aunty Jill in the passenger seat and Uncle Dave’s little pink face peering over the wheel. He could just see over the dashboard. He normally set on at least three cushions. He wore a seatbelt but as he said, he was perfectly safe in the car without a seat belt as he never seemed to move or twist in the car. Over thinking about it I would probably say he was stuck to the chair but nah back in those days we all thought that Uncle Dave was a mean as driver who could handle the G force the old Toyota Corolla put out as it went around corners.

I sat behind Uncle Dave in the back seat, it was good him being short, I had a clear view of what was ahead. Unlike my parents who required quietness for driving as it was a distraction, Uncle Dave loved the sounds. Presently he was on a country pop crossover fad and on that trip to the grandparents we were listening to everything from the Eagles to Taylor Swift.

My Grandparents lived in an old house on top of the hill just outside of the town they lived in. Back in the day the house could have been a mansion. High ceilings with groovy light fittings. Polished wooden floors with faded rugs to keep the warmth. Rooms with only one power point and normally set in the middle of the wall to make plugging things into them annoying. Stained glass windows here and there which used to refract the light and send it off to make kaleidoscopic patterns on the old wallpaper. My grandparents didn’t use all the rooms, some were for visitors some were for storage and some had items left over from past generations.

The kitchen had kitchen smells. Food and vinegar fragrances. The toilets were cold with no magazines. ..you are there for one thing only my grandfather used to say. The dining room had a big table made from some old tree. You could easily make out the grain and knots in the darkly stained wood. Nice big seats. A pile of books and a plastic Tomato sauce bottle shaped like a tomato. The lounge had big easily comfortable chairs facing the tv but with the fireplace also at the centre of their attention. Over the fireplace were two old rifles and an old stuffed stags head. Stuffed alright, it had indeed seen better days.
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Unread 04-01-2021, 12:21 AM   #8
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6.

Grandma was happy to see me. Always happy to see me, even though she confused me with the other grandchildren. I noticed again that the picture of my family was at the back of the china cabinet. Her biscuit tin was different to my mother’s tin. I wondered at times how my father had managed to grow up with grandma as his mother. My grandparents always seemed different to my parents. Would have been interesting to see my grandparents grow up.

We all sat down together. Uncle Dave climbed on to his chair. Three cushions per normal. A bowl of unwashed salad in front of him. He always explained that he just liked the raw rough taste of unwashed vegetables, but now I knew better. He was in it for the added protein. We talked about the weeks that had passed since Christmas and of funnier times and of times from long ago when my parents were younger or back in my grandparent’s time. Then Grandma and Uncle Dave excused themselves and went off to watch a gardening show on the tv. I was alone with my grandfather and my Aunt Jill. Aunt Jill nudged me.

Um Grandpa.
I was silent, not sure what to say, hoping the words would come.
Umm Grandpa, a um seagull spoke to me and I know about Uncle Dave being a hedgehog.. I managed to stammer out.
Grandpa looked at me and stroked his chin. Well now he said.
Seagull aye?
I nodded.
Quite a big one? White chest greyish back? White dots along the side on his black feathers? Big red beak? Piercing eyes? Red feet and legs? Breath that stinks of fish and other rubbish?
I nodded.
Well um, that could be Barry or um Steve.
Did he have an accent?
I thought about this, how many talking seagulls did my grandpa know about?
Um well yeah um … he did say mate a lot, and he was quite bossy.
Did he walk around in circles with a strut and squawk to the high heavens or at any other birds?
Yesss I said.
Oh said Grandpa. That sure sounds like Barry.
What is Steve like? Asked Aunt Jill
Steve? Said Grandpa
Yes. Steve said Aunt Jill
Well he is quite a big bird. Thick legs long claws. A scar running down his face from a fight with a crab from when he was young. Talks with a rasping voice. I think his voice box was tortured by swallowing too much plastic. Steve, yeah no, Steve is not a bird I would like to cross. And he’s not a full seagull.
Not a full seagull Aunt Jill asked?
Yeah no, one of his ggggrandbirds was a magpie. Steve definitely has a mean streak running through him, he’s attracted to shiny things and likes swooping on cyclists. He is one bad bird. Swears too.
He swears? I asked.
Yep. Especially if you’re eating fish n chips. Won’t wait for the leftovers. Will nail you between your eyes, knock you out and steal your Hoki. He’s a brute Steve. Cunning too. I’ve seen him steal car keys then try and drive your car away before you know it. A few mates of mine have lost their cars to Steve. It’s the perfect robbery. No one ever believes that a seagull can steal cars.

I wondered about this. I was hoping like heck that I wouldn’t inherit the crazy genes from Grandpa. Maybe I already had. I started to not feel so good.
And Uncle Dave?
Oh he was cursed. Simple
Simple?
Yeah his story is relatively simple.
Uncle Dave was playing soccer in the back yard one day after dinner, just as the sun was going down and about the time its easier to score goals because of the bad light. He went running after the ball and accidentally stood on a hedgehog. It’s spikes got him right in the arch of his foot.
We all grimaced.
Grandpa carried on.
We think a nasty little goblin witnessed this first hand. Because after Uncle Dave returned to the house hobbling on one leg and was in the shower. We heard a knock on the door and when I opened it there was an old man with a crooked hat standing there, glaring at our cat.
Do you have a son who played soccer tonight in that back yard? He asked in a low menacing voice.
Yeah, I think he was over there tonight. Why? Asked my grandpa.
Because he stood on my emotional support animal and I’m very upset. Very. He said.
Grandpa said .. I’m sure it was just an accident
The strange man stood there and glowed.
He glowed bright green, then blue then finally purple. And with that he said these words… I curse your son to always be a hedgehog and he won’t become a man again till the sparkling one comes.
And with that he spat on the ground and farted.
Instantly our house plunged into darkness and everything quieted.
The funny man turned around and said. . Bye. Taa Da and left.

I turned around around, the house was still dark. I strode to the fuse box and lifted up the switch. All the power came on and everything seemed ok..
Ok?? I asked
Well not quite.. Grandpa said
Uncle Dave came out with his towel wrapped all around him, it looked like it was stuck on. It wasn’t coming off. I helped him out of his towel and there he was, all starkers. A young hedgehog in a towel. And kind of blushing because his girlfriend Jill was looking at him with her mouth wide open. Grandma came out and hurriedly pushed Uncle Dave into his room away from the amazed eyes outside.
She didn’t notice?
Well Grandma didn’t.
Your Aunt Jill certainly did.
I looked at Aunt Jill. She looked pinker than normal.
He was so cute. I fell in love. She sighed,

Who is the Sparkling One?
Well we are not sure. We have looked for all sorts of help over the years but haven’t found anything.
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