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Sunflowers and Pollywogs
“My dear sir, how may I be of service?” asked the little blue toad, straightening his waistcoat whilst fiddling with the chain of his silver pocket watch.
“I would like a bottle of brandy, and make a good year,” answered I, gazing absentmindedly out my hotel room window, and thinking about walruses.
“Right away, sir,” said the blue toad, and scuttled out of the room.
“Do you think that was wise?” asked my goldfish.
“I think that I’m thirsty,” I said, not returning my goldfish’s steady gaze. Instead, I turned my attention to the sunflower that sat in a floral vase on my windowsill.
“What do you think of pollywogs?” I asked it.
The flower said nothing, sulking in its empty vase.
“Perhaps you should offer it some brandy,” suggested my goldfish. I scoffed at the idea.
“Everyone knows sunflowers prefer a good single malt scotch to brandy any day,” I said, with a dismissive wave of my hand. Just then, the little blue toad-in-a-waistcoat scuttled back into the room, trying not to trip over his rather awkward feet, whilst carrying a tray on which was balanced and bottle of brandy,
“Thank you,” I said, snatching the bottle from the tray before it had the chance to fall and smash to the floor.
“You’re very welcome,” said the toad, bowing and backing away, all shaky and nervous. “Perhaps you would like some scotch for your sunflower? He looks a bit glum,” he suggested.
I tossed a knowing look towards my goldfish, who harrumphed a stream of bubbles.
“Yes, I do believe that will fit the bill nicely.”
“Speaking of the bill, sir…” muttered the toad, coughing slightly, his great bulging eyes twitching about the room.
“Ah yes. My manager will take care of it. He’s currently down in the lounge, conducting a game of poker. Just look for a white Scottish terrier that answers to the name of Randy,” I waved my hand lazily, dismissing the toad and his bows.
I popped the cork of the brandy bottle and took a swig.
“What etiquette you have,” snorted my goldfish. “I have never heard of such a gentleman who drinks straight from the bottle.”
“And I have never heard of a fish with such a care for etiquette,” answered I. “Perhaps you would like a glass?”
“No, thank you. I prefer a good Merlot.”
“Sir, your scotch?” said the toad, returning once again. I took it from him wordlessly, dumping the whole contents of the bottle into the sunflower’s vase.
“Much obliged,” nodded the sunflower.
“Now, about those pollywogs?” I asked.
“They’re all tickle and squirmish. I’d stick to worms, if I were you.”
I gazed out the window, watching worm-shaped clouds drift past the Eiffel Tower, when my hotel room door banged open.
“Five hundred and seventy one dollars?” cried my manager, Randy. “On a bottle of brandy?”
“I wanted a good year,” I answered, indignantly. Bill brushed off his silken waistcoat with his fluffy paws, huffing at me angrily.
“And three hundred dollars on a bottle of scotch for a sunflower?”
The sunflower ruffled crossly.
“I needed his opinion on pollywogs.”
“Pollywogs? I’ll give you an opinion on pollywogs! They make right fine hors d’oeuvres!” barked Randy, his ears flopping furiously.
“No, no, sir, you are thinking of caviar,” I corrected.
“I’ve had enough of this,” said my goldfish, and with a great splash and a spew of bubbles, leaped straight out my window and flew off into the sunset.
“Well, what do you think of that?” I murmured.
“I think it was bloody genius,” said the sunflower monotonously, sulking once more.
“I might just as well have to follow him after all the reckless purchasing you’ve been doing!” cried Randy, throwing on his tuxedo jacket and storming out of the room, making sure to slam the door.
“What a shame. I’ll miss the poor fellow,” I said, absentmindedly.
“Yes, he was a good manager,” said the sunflower.
“Who, Randy? No, my dear Helianthus Annuus, I was talking about my goldfish.”
“Oh. How very sincere of you,” mumbled the sunflower, and turned away to stare at the setting sun.
I, too, gazed off into the distance, considering worms and deciding whether or not my next manager should be a Dachshund.