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Stone Weird

It was weird. It happened when I stopped at an intersection: I heard a voice say, "Ouch!"
There wasn't anyone else there but me-except this stone right at my foot.
"Hey, watch out!" it screamed at me.
You won't believe it, but the stone screamed at me.
"Are you gonna kick me off the street or what? I'll get run over by car!"
"Hey, easy. You are only a stone." I said to the stone.
"Only? You pips don't know how long I've been in my life!"
I had never seen such a mouthy stone---rather, I had never seen a talking stone in my life, period.
So I stooped down and said, "I walk here every day, but I've never seen you here before. How did you get here? You walked?"

I felt a little stupid talking to a stone---a stone the size of my cat's head---so I wasn't going to be engaged in a conversation with it, but well, it just happened somehow .
"I used to run, if you don't know it already. Yeah, I was a hot stuff, too. You pips couldn't get anywhere near me. I went ka-boom, and ran like an avalanche down the mountain---well, until I got cooled and pressed hard to contemplate. Then I became a rock of ages. I think you guys should call me a rock of sages---really. I've travelled everywhere---rolled around, carried around, admired and worshipped, and all that. If you kicked me back then, you'd broken a couple of toes of yours. Well, of course, I got whacked quite a few times---by breaking toes, I guess."
"Ah-ha! That's how you got this small. Now you don't even hurt a cat's paw." I laughed at the stone. Then, maybe it was my imagination, but I thought I heard the stone sigh. I wouldn't say this to many people, but I got that weird feeling.
"So, how did you get here, Your Sageness?"
"Don't be sarcastic. Why you guys have to be such wise-you-know-what, eh?"
"As far as us humans know, " I said, trying to sound rather officious, if that's the right expression, "you rocks or stones or whatever you call yourselves don't walk on your own. You haven't got legs to stand on."

Now it got even more curious---the stone shrugged! Maybe it was that Mr. Potato Head thing I used to have popped into my mind. Anyway, the stone definitely shrugged!
"Yeah, I used to be there---over there---wa-a-a-y over there. I was minding my own business since I got dropped off from a truck."
I looked over a few blocks away. There wasn't anything, and I didn't know why or what I was looking, but something made me look over that way.
The stone went on babbling, "There's a guy---oh, just an average kind of a guy. I don't know what the dickens is wrong with him. Every time he walks by, he kicks me. Hey, I am a stone, not a soccer ball, you know. What's with him anyway? Every time, whack! and I got a few feet out of my place, until I got here."
"No pun intended, I hope."
"Here you go again...Geez. Can't you be just plain nice like we stones?"
"Oh, sorry..." I mumbled. The stone's got a point, well, if it had feelings, that is.
"Sorry, but it's rather hard for us to imagine you stones have emotions. We say, 'you can't get blood out of stone,' or 'he's got a heart of stone,' or something like that, you know. You guys are supposed to be stone-cold."
"That's the trouble with you guys. Some of us got hearts of gold, you know, right in them stones! You got blood all right, but, look, there are so many of you who don't have nice feelings--- like the guy I told you about. So, don't hand me that crap."
"Okay, okay…."
I stepped back an inch or so. You won't believe this, but I got a feeling the stone was going to kick me in my you-know-what. It looked rather annoyed, if you had ever seen annoyed look on a stone.

"So, tell me what's wrong with this guy? Is he just mean?"
"I guess he's sore about something. A real sour puss kind of a guy, he is, but hey, he may not be a bad guy at all, because if he was, he would be kicking your rear end instead of mine."
"I see your point. Wait a minute though. Maybe he hasn't got anyone's ass to kick. So he kicks you. Besides, if he kicked me, it's a crime. If he kicked a stone, he's just telling he's mean or sour or grouchy or whatever, but no crime here."
"Hmmm---you're not as dumb as I'd thought."
I lifted my foot and made a motion to kick the stone, but before I could say it was a joke, the stone flew off the pavement and landed in the middle of the street. I definitely heard his "ouch."

A sour-looking guy passed by me, grazing my nose without a word. I almost said something to him, but well, I didn't. My nose was OK and I thought I might look rather stupid standing up for a stone. The guy just walked on.
Then I saw a couple of cars coming up the street. I dashed out to the street, grabbed the stone and jumped back onto the sidewalk. Don't ask me why.
I looked around, and asked the stone, "Does he always go the same way?"
"Yeah," said the stone.
"Then," said I.
I carried the stone across the street, to the opposite direction from the shrinking back of the guy. I put the stone down, under a shrub, away from the pavement.
"Here! How do you like it?"
"Oh, yeah, this feels good. Gee, thanks!"
Gosh, I had never been thanked by a stone---not even my cat ever thanked me.
"No prob. Well, see ya."
I started to walk, feeling really weird, but a kind of happy.

© Lyrica Bradshaw, 2001
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