by Raji Singh (continued from last week)
Appearing from seemingly out of nowhere in the desolate desert-scape, three kingly wise men: Melchior, Balthazar, and Caspar. They’ve a star to direct them as they goad their camels across the sand to find their manger babe. For Christ’s-sake, you know the story, delivering precious gold, frankincense, and myrrh. (You know. That December Noel: It’s been in all the papers, and on the internet.)
UPDATE: Eighteen hundred and nine years, give or take a couple of months later, the pre-manger-ed Charles Darwin and Abe Lincoln have their star followers. They are ones not quite-so royal as Mel, Bali, and Cassie. The baby, destined to be Abie, his star followers are a salty sea dog – the Mariner, and a seasoned centenarian bayou healer-seer – Mama Lucy. The yet evolving Darwin’s is a barnacle crusted, giant of a shell-domed land-sea creature – Turt.
Mariner and Mama travel – from the bayou, aboard a swift skiff: up the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers, to Kentucky, the place of Abie’s birth. Turt swims out the gulf, catches a jet ocean current, and crosses the Atlantic to England. The trio bears gifts – a male pigeon, from the humans, for the not yet arrived log cabin Lincoln: for the future little Victorian darling Darwin, from the land-sea beast, the pigeon’s female, mate-for-life.
~ ~ editor note: I am discovering these details as I archive Fiction House Publishing Company reference collections. They are so obscure the patina of dust on the leather covering indicate they have not been opened for over a century. ~ ~
The other gift for the little emancipator and evolutionary to be’s – one more precious than all the glittering precious bullion or prized aromatic fragrances any royalty can give – Mama Lucy’s Newborn’s Stump Juice Healing Elixir.
(SPOILER ALERT!!! Well not such a spoiler since we all know what became of our story’s title characters. Suffice to say there was no debate necessary about utilizing Mama’s stump juice to help the mothers’ deliveries. Without it, the babes would not have survived.)
Darwin’s parents are shocked at first seeing the beak-snouted monster as he hisses outside the window to get their attention. He carries, in one of his fin-claws, the stump juice canister with a tiny gold spoon attached. Alas, Mr and Mrs Darwin readily accept the gift of the pigeon – after nearly losing little Charles and trying everything to save him, even to having the doctor reluctantly gently spoon the elixir down the newborn’s gullet. Ditto with little Abe’s parents midwife when Mariner and Mama Lucy arrived.
(You can read the thrilling and spectacular turn of events that led to the doctor and the midwife, against their better judgment, “but only at first”, reaching for the stump juice elixir as “a final life-saving resort” – in, Fiction House Publishing’s upcoming history Abe, and Charlie – Boyhood Friends, an Ocean Apart.)
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Now to the pigeons: Both were carefully trained by Mariner at sea and later by land – to find each other in any port, in any storm, in any coop. Mariner hoped the newborns, the two future renowned figures, Mama Lucy soothsaid they’d become, would keep in contact with each other.
How many hundreds of roundtrips did those bird-mates eventually make? Their retirement together was a happy, contented one, visiting the major cities and statues of the world. Dropping, plopping their ‘postcards’, to let feathered friends and two-leg strangers know they were there. How many flights did their dozens of offspring continue to make for well over half-a-century? Between England and Kentucky. Between Galapagos and D.C. Find out in Fiction House Publishing’s follow up to Abe and Charlie – Boyhood Friends…, tentatively titled Abraham, and Charles – Lifelong Avian Chums.
Thus, it is now revealed. Abe and Charles were brought together by three wise Fiction House residents, and not to forget, Fiction House frequent flyer guests: Maxine and Maxwell, aka ‘the ever lovin’ Pigeons.
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Here’s the pleasant irony – no, really more of a coincidence – just being revealed by the wonders of modern chemistry. The two major ingredients of the hundreds in the infant elixir mix are frankincense, and myrrh, and they are activated through administration with a gold spoon.
(Join me every Sunday night at the Fiction House, your place for short story, lark, whimsy, and merriment. Meet the many residents as I archive their lives and centuries of adventures. You can read their origins in my novel TALES OF THE FICTION HOUSE, but that’s a different story. It’s available at Amazon, and Barnes and Noble.)
© Raji Sing 2012