Issue 4 TOC
The World


by Kate Petre 


Day 1:
I think I did something bad. Adam keeps calling it evil but he's so dramatic. You see, Adam had had enough In-Out In-Out and had nodded off and I had already finished the cleaning, so I thought I would use the old legs a little. I was walking around a little further from the water hole, out past the spot where Adam disappears when he goes Animal-Killing. I was kind of hungry so when this big red Apple presented itself right there in front of me I thought, golly, that looks just as good as all the other apples I've eaten, maybe even better. My friend Snake poked his virile head out of some hole or other (he's always in and out of holes) and licked his lipless face at the Apple, looking at me.

"You've never eaten an apple thisss far from the watering hole before. How do you know it'sssss not poisssonoussss?"

I was hungry and wanted to eat it so I looked old Snaky square in the vertical eyes and said bite me. Gee Willikers, that Apple was good. Now, I'm usually a careful eater, but I couldn't help taking huge bites so that the juice got all over my face. I just didn't care. I looked at the Tree from which it came, this big, red half-eaten Apple, and I was so awestruck that the Apple dropped right from my hand. It was the most beautiful Tree I have ever seen with its thick roots and huge veiny trunk. I sat under it until it was nearly dark, looking up into its big bushy foliage.

I came home with such a smile on my face that Adam immediately got on my case. After the "You did what?" and the scolding, he finally calmed down, mostly because I started touching his Limp-Go-Stiff, which was much bigger and hairier than I remember and smelled of delicious oatmeal cookies. Actually, now that I think about it, the In-Out In-Out we had was some of the best we've ever had. I took to it like eating that Apple.

So now I'm sitting here wondering where Adam goes all day Animal-Killing, trying to figure out where that Apple Tree was. Oh jiggers, here he comes and I haven't started making food.

Day 2:
Adam's out Animal-Killing and I was a little restless so I went for a walk looking for that Apple Tree. I didn't find it, but instead I cut some lovely strips of bark from one of the trees I found, some that don't look like the same old ones I always see right around the cave. I'm going to rub them with sap and then lay them out to dry and then string them through with vines, perhaps add some of those red seeds the Squirrels are always throwing at me...anyway, I think this would look really nice strung around my middle. Maybe Adam would finally look at something other than my Hangy-Fat-Sacks. I don't know why I didn't think of this before. What have I been doing every day? Well, I suppose the cave was a lot cleaner. Where was that Tree?

Day 3:
Whoa! Adam's Limp-Go-Stiff sure is something but DAMN. I was giving myself a good cleaning in all my various cracks when I fell upon, well, some sort of Boom-Boom-Button. What a find! Wait till I tell Adam! I wonder if he's got one too.

Day 4:
I told Adam about the Boom-Boom-Button and he got mad. He stormed around the cave complaining about how dirty everything was and then, when we did In-Out In-Out, he kept calling me Mary. I don't know what Mary means but he called me Mary many times before he spoke to me again without calling me Mary. I think I need to do something for him. Maybe I'll get him an Apple.

Day 5:
Not only did I find the Apple Tree but something wonderful has also happened. The rest of the Apple I dropped had fallen into a puddle of water caused by the Tree's girthy roots. It's been a while since I've been there. Wow, I've never thought about that before. I wonder how long it's been? Hmmmm, a long time, but not so long. I think Adam's been Animal-Killing five times. So five Animal-Killings ago, yes. Anyway, my friend Snake was there, too, he was the one who showed me where the Apple had fallen. I picked it up to look at it and it smelled very strong. Not rotten but sweet and bitter at the same time, clean. The smell bit my nostrils and made me a little dizzy. But as I said, it was a good smell. It made me think of a cold bath. So I bit into the Apple again and the strong bitter sting left a warm soothing trail down my throat and into my chest. That the same Apple could be better the second time around was incredible. I sucked at the seeds like one of those Dogs I see picking at the bones I throw out of the cave after Adam and I eat, which made me look around to see if Adam was there watching me. I had never not wanted Adam to see me and I felt sad because of it.

After the Apple was done I dipped my hands into the puddled water and drank deeply. It made me pop up so straight I hit my head on a low branch. But honestly I barely even felt that branch. My whole body heaved out a big, satisfied sigh, like right after the Brown-Mushy-Rocks come out of my backside. It hurt in a way. At this point I just had to tell Adam--after I took another sip. But just then I looked at the puddle and saw how little there was left. I felt a little bump in my tummy when I thought about the next day.  I thought, "Will I have enough for Adam and me tomorrow?" So I broke off an apple from the tree and, after taking a few bites, I dropped it into another, bigger puddle made from the roots.

As I walked back to the cave the forest had never looked so colorful, so full or life, so vibrant. I had to support myself on the trees I was so dazzled.

I brought Adam back to the spot. When he tried the Magic-Puddle-Water he said he wasn't mad at me anymore.

Day 6:
I made a Bark-And-Seed-Tie-Around-The-Middle for Adam because he liked mine so much. We are going to the Apple Tree today to drink from the second batch of Magic-Puddle-Water. Adam never says it directly but I think he's happy that I walked so far away from the cave six Animal-Killings ago. He likes the idea of having done things himself but when it comes down to it I think he'd rather have me do them. I think he'd rather sit in the cave all day playing with his bark and seeds. And frankly, I'm kind of jealous of that. But I've been in the cave for so long...

Day 7:
I talked to Adam and we've decided to leave. I have filled three large Animal-Gut-Sacks full of the Magic-Puddle-Water and have a sack full of apples as well. I've also made two extra Bark-And-Seed-Tie-Around-The-Middles for both of us, one set a little longer then the other in case it gets cold where we're going. Adam said that we can pretty much keep going until we run out of animals to kill. I have a feeling that as long as we have the Magic-Puddle-Water, we'll make it.