THE NEWS BY THE TRAILING ARBUTUS

I’m coming. I’m coming. Why are you in such a rush?

You’re old and slow, Stan.

I’m coming. I’m coming.

You’re not frisky anymore, Stanley, you’re not jumping up and down with joy, you’re not chasing deer.

I’m coming. I’m coming.

Life doesn’t wait, Stan.

Of course it waits.

No it doesn’t, Stan. Time is rushing by. The months, the years. You think something happened 5 minutes ago, and you realize it was 15 years back! What are you doing?

I’m listening to the radio for news.

That’s not what you’re doing, Stanley, you’re sniffing that trailing arbutus.

That’s how I get my news.

So what’s new?

A mother raccoon has three new babies, only the youngest is kind of weak, probably won’t make it.

How do you know?

They peed here, and the youngest left a funny smell. And new highway construction is underway.

Where, Stanley?

Underground, dummy, where else do you dig up new highways? The voles got a late start this year but they’re busy now. There’s an entrance here, see that small hole? The exit is probably down by the creek. Speaking of which, you’re in big trouble.

What do you mean, Stan?

Overpopulation! Voles multiply like crazy, I can smell so many of them right now. They’ll be chewing up the roots of your apple tree in no time. And another thing: War is coming!

OMG!

See where the grass is flattened over there? A family of coyotes. Pups walking now, starting to learn to hunt. I’m going to have to be careful when I go out at nights.

You think they’re coming after you?

OMG, just when you think you’ve seen it bad, it gets worse. Illegal immigrants!

Where, Stanley?

See that buckthorn over there, monopolizing all the sunlight? There goes the neighborhood. They’ll take over the entire forest and speak only Buckthornian. They’re taking over the forest. They’re taking over the world.

I never knew these woods could be so dangerous, Stanley. Who would have thought so much is going on. And you get all this from sniffing the trailing arbutus?

OMG, it gets worser and worser. I can’t believe it!

What’s happening, Stan?

See the scraping of the bark of that chestnut there? A buck rubbed his forehead there to leave his scent for the female deer. Disgusting! I’m ashamed!

What, Stan?

Sex and orgies are going on everywhere, even as we speak!

Where, Stan? Where?