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Mulberries, mulbiaries, mubbleducks, and mubbliaries

Trussed up on October 29, 2023.

My mulberries were growing well in their mulbiary, as were my mubblerries in their mubbliary. Each morning I tended to them, watering my mulberries and feeding my mubbleducks. I was careful to ensure the leafy little trees had just enough water to thrive and even more careful to ensure I never made eye contact with a single one of those mubbly, mubbly mubbleducks. I had made that error once and it was an error I wanted never to repeat. Twelve years later, my brain still smarted.

Why mulberries? And why mubbleducks? After running out of space in my cellar last week, I found myself yet again in anximonious need of a new hobby. The usual round of petulant procrastinating and passive-aggressive cunctating ensued, followed by much whining and kerplunking, but after the sortilegious use of a dictionary and a set of lawn darts, I settled upon mulberry farming and mubblerry husbandry as a new pair of pastimes. My big little redheaded huzzey-muffet breathed a sigh of relief: No longer would I be pacing around my palatial abode like a caged animal in search of something to gnaw on—or gnaw off.

This October is another fearsome five-Sunday month. As of Saturday eve, I had yet to even begin my needful and docile perfunctoring. What to do, what to do? If this were ancient Rome, I could just bribe the priests to add a leap month to the calendar, but ever since we switched to that vexing “Gregorian” calendar in 1752, this new clutch of priests wouldn’t take my money, nor would the Pope even take my calls. By Sunday morning, my anxiety that I would find nothing to write about got the best of me. I began pacing around my living room like a caged animal in search of something to gnaw on—or gnaw off. Becasue took back her sigh of relief, replaced it with a sigh of exasperation, and threatened to throttle me if I didn’t get hold of myself.

I gathered up all my beside-myself selves and hastily withdrew to my cellar. I surmised that being in the presence of the thing would inspire me but all it made me want to do was skin and scalp more gnomes. So, I emerged from my cellar and withdrew into my mulbiary instead. I watched my little trees sitting in their little trays, growing and being all tree-like. That put a Pnårpish smile on my face. I then withdrew further, deeper, into my mubbliary. But then, in a moment of carelessness, I allowed myself to gaze—only for the tiniest of moments—directly into the countenance of one of my mubbleducks—

I slept and I dreamed. I dreamed of hundreds of mulberry seedlings sprouting from an aluminum baking pan covered in potting soil, and tiny, tiny white insects emerging from that soil by the thousands. I dreamed of these tiny insects devouring my knot of mulberry seedlings. But the seedlings turned the tables on the insects and devoured them all instead. I dreamed of a badling of mubbleducks coming to the trees’ rescue, mubbling every remaining one of those tiny, tiny white insects into attacking each other, whittling each other down into puddles of hemolymph and crumpled chitin. The seedlings were victorious. They raised their limbs high and celebrated. The mubbleducks’ mesmeric eyes spun.

But then the mubbleducks would mubble the mulberries to suicide, too.

This time, neither that clawed, skinless, eye-ridden demoness nor that squamous sasquatch were able to find me in my dreams. I was simply too deeply ensconced to be discovered, dragged out, flogged, and tortured until my toenails turned inside-out. But what was I ensconced in? It wasn’t clear at first. Only after I sprouted an enormous quantity of horse limbs from my nipples and took to the air on wings made from supernumerary hooves, it resolved into crystal clarity—what I was ensconced in.

A field of cow flops a hundred smoots long and as many deep. And Mike the Headless Chicken loomed over it, clucking.

—Quack, quack! Quack, quack! Quack, quaaaccck! Quaack, quack, quack!! Quack, quackk!! Quack!! Quaaaack!! Quack, quack, quack!

My furious, frantic, and even—dare I say—frenetic quacking slowly died down to a dull, peckish burble. That mubbleduck sure did a number on me that time. Minutes later, dumb as it is, my brain still smarted from that. I gathered myself up from the floor, eyes clenched tightly shut, lest I once again meet the gaze of one of these beastly little anatids and fall prey to its horrible, hypnotic powers.

Only once I crawled down one flight of stairs and blindly fell down the next six, landing at a very confused Becasue’s feet in my living room, did I allow my snail-like eyestalks to reemerge from my forehead and take a look around. No mubbleducks had followed me from my seventh-floor mubbliary. I was safe. For now. Becasue, long used to suffering my shenanigans, calmly stepped over me and went upstairs.

Evening arrived—but which evening? Becasue and I made dinner: A feast of flobcumbers of a most insidious, oleaginous kind. My huzzey-muffet and I sat at what remained of the shattered, smoking kitchen table. We noshed heartily. My mulberries continued growing taller and my mubbleducks continued growing stronger. That clawed succubus continued lurking in my dreams.

Having finished my flobcumbersome dinner and made my nightly contribution to the growing fatberg under Bouillabaisse Boulevard, I retired to my cellar to admire my personal tzompantli again. Indeed it was a glorious thing to behold—floor to ceiling and wall to wall. But I still had much work to do. Much, much work to do. But I would need a larger cellar first. I picked up a shovel.

The week ended. It had been a long, strange week, but there was one thing I learned that made it all worth it: Egg salad is still chicken salad when you think about it. This lesson intrigued me, so I stopped writing here.