Animal Crackers | Teen Ink

Animal Crackers

October 6, 2019
By capnbillyswhizbang GOLD, Austin, Texas
capnbillyswhizbang GOLD, Austin, Texas
10 articles 0 photos 2 comments

Favorite Quote:
The wise man seeks answers at the bottom of a bottle. It is by the depth and contents of the bottle that you can tell the depth and contents of the man. And I'm not just talking alcohol. Could be all kinds of bottles. Pills, colas, etc. All kinds.


If the Nurse offers me animal crackers one more time, I think I shall go insane. If, indeed I haven’t already. I am currently being treated for flesh wounds and burn marks and I do not think I shall survive the night. This is my testament of what I saw. 


It was but scant weeks ago that I received that note and package from my dear friend Theo.


My dear friend Bernard,


K.I.B. (Kids International Bakery) is officially open for business! I cannot thank you enough for your moral support (not to mention your financial help.) As you were the person most instrumental in fulfilling my lifelong dream, I have sent you a free package of K.I.B. brand animal crackers!


Your Friend,


Theo

 

Do not think me an evil man, reader, when you read my reply. You don’t know what it was like. You don’t know what I saw. More importantly, it wasn’t your money got flushed down the toilet.


Theo,


What the heck?


Were has the money gone? I weep bitter tears if it has gone into these things. 


The name Animal Crackers could not be less fitting, as no sane man would suggest any resemblance between these abominations to anything animal or cracker. They are soft in your hand, but grow brick-hard in your mouth. They taste of mycocide mixed with butterscotch. I suggest you stock up on fresh ingredients, or more preferably switch to an entirely different supplier.


That, and invest in a better molding/cutting machine. The animals I received ranged from deformed to indescribable. What I assumed was meant to be an elephant was long-legged, without ears, and possessed a cranium that extended far backwards like is custom in certain African tribes, in addition to a trunk suggestive of those less discussable aspects of the male form. The (I think) monkeys had seemingly no necks, with heads that were but a small, round lump between shoulders, and wing-like membranes connecting their arms and torsos. The other crackers had no precedent amongst the animals of this world. They were configurations of shapes and angles I could never begin to describe! Confound it, man, what has happened?


That said, any changes in your process will be funded by you and any other persons you convinced to fund Kids International Bakery. As of now, I shall no longer involve myself in any of your business ventures.


Fondly,


Bernard

 

I haven’t been able to find the letter Theo sent me back, but I recall that in it he assured me that the Animal Crackers had turned out perfect, and that he invited me to the factory to see for myself the competence of their machinery and the freshness of their ingredients.


I drove down to the factory the following day. It had its Anagrammatic name in large letters at the front, where Theo welcomed me. I could see through the glass doors what looked to be a normal factory, with vats of mixtures and cookie-cutters attached to long poles that slammed and cut into sheets of dough. Theo instead showed me through the back entrance, where he said the ‘real stuff’ was. 


It was real stuff only in the sense that these were the true mechanisms that made the snacks, but in aspect they were stuff like out of a dream. I bitterly regretted every word I made against the implements of the factory. The machinery was utterly beyond such notions as competence. Gigantic spider-like metal legs churned and kneaded and cut so quickly and with such precision that I wept tears of awe, and the ingredients… my god. I cannot attest as to what they were, but needless to say they were fresh. Fresh beyond anything I had seen or smelled in my life. The horrible taste made sense now. This was some strange and unknown manner of health food.


I broke down crying, and clinging to my friend’s trousers, asked him why, if he possessed such fantastic and precise machinery, did he choose to have the snacks cut into such hideous forms. He grinned, and asked that I follow him into his car.


He drove deep into the woods behind the factory, through winding roads and colossal tunnels with strange and otherworldly graffiti sprayed on their sides. Finally, we arrived at some old and decrepit house, a relic of the days of gothic architecture, but with rectangular pillars at the front suggestive of fascist architecture. These were clearly a recent installation, and were made of some substance I could not name. They were covered in pictographs and writings that seemed to show an alleged history of Earth’s animal life. 


They stated that a god, one of many gods who live somwhere called Pegāna, had created the first animals of our planet, but that he would occasionally grow bored and cause random mutations and massive extinctions. They went on to tell of how that god had once more grown bored. However, this time would be different. Those humans and animals who choose to eat of his flesh would be changed into forms like him and his brother gods, meanwhile the abstainers would be left to wallow in their obsolete forms as food for the chosen. I will never forget the last line. “Eat of my flesh and dwell amidst wonder and glory forever.”


Once I had finished reading the pillars, Theo beckoned me into the house, and grabbing a torch from its walls guided me into a dungeon beneath the floors. I will not speak of the forms I saw, illuminated by nothing but the scarce light of the torch, suffice to say they were those things whose likenesses had been in the crackers!


Frightened and enraged, I grabbed the torch out of Theo’s hand and began swatting at the nearest creature. It pounced on me and began scratching and licking me with its scalding tongue. I felt other creatures join in and tear at me.


It would seem Theo fought them off and drove me out of there, and the nurses assure me it was Theo that checked me in, but I dimly recall being carried out by something large and hairy that flew with great big membranes between its arms.


The nurse continues to pester me on whether or not I want animal crackers. I am being treated for flesh wounds and burn marks and I do not think I will survive the night. I have taken a poison to guarantee it. They intended me to be among the first of the changed, but for what reason I do not know. I have foiled them at least in that, though. 


Should you see that house with the pillars, I suggest you leave it alone. But should you see the factory, I beg that you burn it down. You shall know it by those golden letters at its front, and more than that you shall know that they are not anagrammatic in any sense, but rather the name of that most terrible god of animals:


KIB


The author's comments:

Kib and Pegāna are fron Dunsany's Pegāna books.


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