A Cautionary Tale


You can’t win the pennant in May but you can lose it. I lost it early this morning while I was playing on some rocks.

The rocks looked dangerous. “André,” Lisa said, “do you know those rocks are all jagged, sharp, and hard?”

“I know. And there might be snakes.”

“That’s right. Are you coming off?”

“No, because I’ve got my pennant here and–”

At that moment a snake came out of the rocks and took the pennant out of my hands with its mouth. It slithered all over the rockpile and I chased it until I slipped on some moss and fell down on a point, cutting a gash in my arm.

“See? Now you’ve got tetanus!”

“No I don’t,” I said. “That’s only from rust.”

“Well, you’re going to get something. Maybe wood fever? You’re bleeding everywhere.”

“There is no such thing as wood fever,” I said. “You’re thinking of jungle fever and that is a sexual disease. Do you have a band-aid?”

Lisa handed me a band-aid but it was too small to put over the wound.

“Blood is seeping out from behind the band-aid and falling onto the ground.”

“It’s going everywhere.”

“I’m bleeding pretty badly, aren’t I? What do you think that snake is doing right now?”

“Probably just slithering around with the pennant in its mouth.”

“You’re right, that is what it’s probably doing.”

I imagined the snake slithering around with my pennant in its mouth.

“My pennant is going to get really dirty. Snake mouths are filthy. It’s going to be wet and covered in bacteria.”

“Honey, I don’t think you’re going to ever see that pennant again.”

“She’s right,” I thought. “It’s probably gone for ever.”

The sky was getting dark. Someone was pulling a lamp-shade over the forest. It was cold and I sat down on a rock.

“You know, I used to come here when I was kid. This rock here used to be as big as I was.”

“And now what?”

“Now I’m over twice as tall. I’m way bigger.”

“What else?”

“It’s only May and the snake stole my pennant. I already lost it.”

“Do you want to come inside?”

“Yeah, I think so. It’s cold now and blood is coming out of my arm and getting on everything.”


  1. Oh man– I just wrote a blog entry, and realized afterward I totally ripped off your title. I knew it sounded right, as if I’d heard it before; unconsciously retaining phrases is a strange thing!

  2. hah! Don’t worry about it. It’s pretty much as vanilla a title as you can get. But if you hadn’t said anything I might have understood it as some kind of obscure tribute.

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