the inquisitive one

The inquisitive one hopped out of bed, excited to go on a long run. Upon leaving the city streets and entering the forest trail, the inquisitive one was overwhelmed by calm and awe. Ah, the beauty of nature!

Just as the inquisitive one was thinking this, the right ankle landed on what looked like a mass of leaves, but was actually a mass of leaves covering a vole’s hole.

“Yelp!” said the inquisitive one, slowing the run for a few moments, testing the ankle. But the ankle seemed okay. So the inquisitive one continued running.

“Ah, the joy of nature!” the inquisitive one thought, as a dog appeared from the right, running at top speed, in all its doggy excitement.

“Hello, there!” the inquisitive one said to the dog. The dog jumped up on the inquisitive one with so much force that the inquisitive one fell backward in a twisty-like way.

“Ouch!” the inquisitive one said, feeling sharp pain in the left elbow, as the dog raced somewhere else, in all its doggy excitement.

Sitting there stunned and looking down and to the left, the inquisitive one saw blood on the shirt and shards of glass sticking precariously out of the elbow. A broken beer bottle lay on the ground below.

The inquisitive one stood up, removed the bigger shards of glass from the elbow, and pressed the running shirt on the wound to staunch the blood. The inquisitive one gingerly moved the elbow. It hurt.

“Aaaa! Well, I’ll go on a shorter run than planned,” said the inquisitive one.

The inquisitive one continued to run, slower this time. But since the elbow didn’t seem to be bothered by the running movements, the inquisitive one sped up. Then the inquisitive one noticed a pack of men running at top speed ahead. They were wearing race bibs with numbers and were all jostling for the front position on the small trail. They looked liked professionals—based on their fancy, skimpy running clothes, and the fact that they were running at something like a 5-minute mile pace on the twisty trail.

“I didn’t realize there was a race on this trail today!” thought the inquisitive one, as the pack was passing by. Just then, one of the runners elbowed the inquisitive one out of his way so roughly that the inquisitive one fell backward in a twisty-like way.

“Oomph!” said the inquisitive one, feeling a pang in the right hip.

The pack disappeared. A few isolated runners huffed past. No one paused to inquire about the inquisitive one’s health. They were all either glancing at their watches or staring ahead with painful expressions.

The inquisitive one stood up and put weight on the right leg. The hip hurt. It had landed on a rock, or a bunch of rocks, or something. Realizing that the hip would need some rest and care before any more running could happen, the inquisitive one sighed, turned around, and started to limp home. No racers were now anywhere to be found. The ones behind must’ve fallen far behind the ones in front. The ones in front were long gone. The inquisitive one limped forward.

“Ah, the nature around me is still beautiful!” the inquisitive one thought. That was when a big branch snapped off a tree, fell, and hit the inquisitive one on the head.

Stunned and stumbling, the inquisitive one did not say anything at all.

The branch must’ve bounced off the head and landed behind the inquisitive one, since it was no longer in view, . . . not that the things in view were exactly in focus, at the moment.

Dizzy and nauseous, the inquisitive one walked even more slowly toward home. As the inquisitive one walked, the head hurt more and more and more.

Finally, the inquisitive one caught sight of home, with its pretty front door! Longing to be within, the inquisitive one suddenly felt a big splat!

Blinking, and peering downward through a sticky mess, that was dribbling into the eyes and around the nose, the inquisitive one saw a mess of bird doo-doo on the left running shoe. It must’ve splattered on both the inquisitive one’s face and shoe. A white and brown liquidy mess, it was seeping into the laces. It was also seeping onto the tongue of the shoe, . . . not to mention of the mouth. . . .

“Mwwwaaaaeeehhhh!” said the inquisitive one.

Immediately at that point, though, the inquisitive one stopped yelling. It made the head hurt too much.

Plus, at that point, the inquisitive one mainly wanted to spit out the bird shit.