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Sport 11: Spring 1993

The Beast’s Arrival

The Beast’s Arrival

We are sitting around when we hear the noise. A despairing, axe-grinding rumble. Straws are drawn. Donald draws the shortest straw. Donald always draws the shortest straw, it is sort of a trick the rest of us have. Donald stares suspiciously, but nothing can be proved. We steady the lines of mischief playing about the edges of our mouths. The noise continues—an horrific, blood-clotting gurgle. We push Donald out the door. His reluctance only makes his courage more courageous. In his absence we make up a song for him. After he has returned and we have all said ‘Well?’ and he has said ‘It is a Beast’ we sing our song.

Donald, reluctant you may be
but courageous also.
When the chips are down
and the straws are shortest,
Donald, there is you, only you.

Donald appears genuinely touched by our gesture, and claps politely. It is then that the chewed hand becomes apparent. There is an awkward silence. Outside we can hear the Beast rumbling away like anything.