The inquisitive one, as you recall, was standing on top of a Californian mountain, surrounded by fire on all sides.
“Oh no!” said the inquisitive one. “What am I going to do?”
“Do, do, who you gonna rue,” someone said.
The inquisitive one spun around and saw an ass.
The ass was munching on a clump of weeds: half hanging out of the opening and closing mouth.
“Why are you standing there eating, at a time like this?” cried the inquisitive one.
“Eat, eat, times like theet,” said the ass.
The inquisitive one was feeling warm and sweaty. Crackling and exploding noises were getting louder and more frequent.
“Look!” pointed the i.o. “There’s an opening through the fire, behind you! If I jump on your back, will you run down the mountain? Before we burn up?”
“Burn, burn, mountain-derry turn,” said the ass, still chomping away at the clump of weeds.
The inquisitive one threw the bag over the shoulder and jumped on the ass’s back. “RUN!! THERE’S NO TIME!!”
“Time, time, where’s that rhyme,” said the ass.
“Please, dear ass! Run! Our lives depend on it!”
“Lives, lives, mint, thyme, chives,” said the ass.
That was when the inquisitive one, smelling the hair on the head start to singe, gave up. The i.o. was a fast runner. But not fast enough, the i.o. knew, to make it through the opening in the fire.
Where was a friendly bird, when one needed one?
The i.o. scanned the dark skies and noted, in despair, that no bird was stupid enough to be flying through all that smoke.
That was when the inquisitive one started to laugh.
It was not a happy laugh. It was a forlorn laugh. A laugh at the cruel fate of all living things. A laugh in the face of death.
The laugh was so haunting that the ass choked on the weeds, and violently spit them out.
“Why are you making that sound?” cried the ass.
The inquisitive one kept Laughing At The Fates.
The ass, horrified, looked around, suddenly feeling rather hot.
“Aieeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!” cried the ass, and took off running toward the opening in the flames.
And that was how the inquisitive one laughed the ass off the mountain.