What Were They Thinking?

River and wooded hills, central Pennsylvania.

Gkronuk, River God: Wasn't really thinking, actually.

Esseltaub, Forest Spirit: That I should never have given that woodchopper three wishes.

Ghosts of Drowned Pirates: We were thinking aaaaaaaar

Gkronuk: Oh, no.

Ghosts of Drowned Pirates: —buckle, Fatty Arbuckle was a well known actor in the 1920s. That's what we were thinking.

Esseltaub: Are they at it?

Gkronuk: Yes.

Ghosts of Drowned Pirates: And we were thinking, aaaaaarrr

Pluck, Fairy: Us? We were just here saying, thinking rather, and saying and thinking together, really—

Dander, Fairy: At once, both at once.

Pluck: What I was saying and thinking with Dander was that when those big nasty loggers show up again they'll get a right bit of business from old Pluck!

Dander: And from Dander, too!

Pluck: We're ready this time. We've got a changeling CEO to install on the board of the logging company and everything.

Dander: Just let me hear sawing!

Pluck: We'll toss those loggers right off the banks and into the river!

Dander: I'll toss off every logger in the forest!

Pluck: Uh—

Ghosts of Drowned Pirates:lington Road was a movie about terrorism starring Jeff Bridges and Tim Robbins.

Gkronuk: Pirates, stop!

Ghosts of Drowned Pirates: We were also thinking, aaaaarrrr

Esseltaub: Thanks for not chopping down my tree, I say, and hey, okay, so what's your wish? Gold, big house, sandwich, whatever.

Gkronuk: Taub, just get over it.

Esseltaub: Who ever heard of a woodchopper named Keanu? I had no idea. Sure, I'll make you a famous actor, what harm can it do? If I'd known.

Ghosts of Drowned Pirates: —rrrrrrrr—

Gkronuk: Oh, God, PIRATES! STOP!

Ghosts of Drowned Pirates: —peggiated chords are played in sequence rather than simultaneously.

Gkronuk: To be promoted from creek nymph to this.

Dander: There's no one in the world I won't toss off!

Pluck: Dander—

Esseltaub: At least your fish respect you. My trees treat me like a sap.

Gkronuk: I've got a lot of surly fish—oh, Taub. That was not called for.

Esseltaub: Look at that. I got the river god, hook, line—

Gkronuk: You're worse than the pirates.

Ghosts of Drowned Pirates: Aaaaarrrr

Gkronuk: Just go ahead and say it! Argyle! Arbitration! Ark of the Covenant! Ardmore, Pennsylvania!

Ghosts of Drowned Pirates: —gon is atomic number 18.

Gkronuk: Sometimes I wish I was an estuary.




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About the author: I've been running this website from 1997. For a living I write stories and essays, program computers, edit things, and help people launch online publications. (LinkedIn). I wrote a novel. I was an editor at Harper's Magazine for five years; then I was a Contributing Editor; now I am a free agent. I was also on NPR's All Things Considered for a while. I still write for The Morning News, and some other places.

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© 1974-2011 Paul Ford


@20, by Paul Ford. Not any kind of eulogy, thanks. And no header image, either. (October 15)

Recent Offsite Work: Code and Prose. As a hobby I write. (January 14)

Rotary Dial. (August 21)

10 Timeframes. (June 20)

Facebook and Instagram: When Your Favorite App Sells Out. (April 10)

Why I Am Leaving the People of the Red Valley. (April 7)

Welcome to the Company. (September 21)

“Facebook and the Epiphanator: An End to Endings?”. Forgot to tell you about this. (July 20)

“The Age of Mechanical Reproduction”. An essay for TheMorningNews.org. (July 11)

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Reading Tonight. Reading! (May 25)

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