The two chookyes, bellies full and not a little sleepy, decided to call it a night. Stretched out on the warm desert, chookye style, with their back legs trained behind them and to the sides, knees bent luxuriously, they rested with heads on their forearms, rubbing their midsections slowly back and forth across the soft sand.
“Are we reticulated?” said the first, his chookye voice even squeakier than usual, the result of spending far too long in the baneberry patch.
The larger chookye opened one eye far enough to form a slit, failing to clear his transparent nictitating membrane, so puny his effort. “I don’t know… I guess I’ve never thought about it. Let me consider it and I’ll get back to you.”
No sounds sullied the moment save those created by friction between their bellies and the sand, the chookye version of Brahms. A full ten seconds passed before the senior chookye re-closed his barely-open eye and replied, “No, I don’t believe we’re reticulated. Somehow, I think that someone would have mentioned it before this.”
Again the lunar stillness fell over them in its fullness, emphasizing their contemplative aspects and soothing their all-too-overwrought chookye dispositions. Both chookyes, their species lacking the anatomical capability of sighing, continued to bask in the glow of their surfeit tummies, nevertheless.
At some point (it’s very difficult to quantify time in the desert night, and even if attempted, its significance would likely be pooh-poohed as unnecessary), junior chookye moved his torso slightly, allowing five or six gas bubbles to escape from his anal orifice and reverberate, announcing their arrival with a hearty staccato.
“Excuse me.” said junior, his voice revealing his embarrassment. Chookyes are nothing if not polite.
For his part, senior felt no obligation to reply further, his lack of response tacit acceptance of the apology, albeit totally unnecessary. Choosing instead to proceed with the more intellectual discussion of Junior’s previous question, senior offered, “Actually, the subject of our potential reticulation means squadoosh to me. I know of several creatures with true reticulant characteristics; a python, a giraffe or two, a shark and even a gecko, but chookyes they are not. I suggest you concentrate on something of greater substance.”
Whether or not junior chookye felt chastised by senior’s admonition, or for that matter felt anything at all, will forever remain a mystery. Handy as nictitating membranes may be for keeping sand out of the eyes, when shut they function only as an impediment to wariness. This night, under the desert moon, the forces of kismet stampeded the chookyes along with a herd of frightened praluks, the hooves of which brought about the demise of both junior and senior.
And this, my friends, is the way of the world. It’s neither terrible nor tragic; it’s just the way the chookye crumbles.