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 Short Story

Squirrels Ears

By Bernard Shaw

I awoke this morning with a feeling that something was wrong. I have no real complaints health wise just a feeling that something out of the ordinary was happening. Washing and dressing took me longer today for some reason it was the same as I made my breakfast. The kettle seemed to take a long time to boil. The toaster was not new but I cannot remember it taking so long to toast a piece of bread. Usually I have a boiled egg for my breakfast but as things were taking so long I decided to do without an egg.

Reading my morning paper I could not concentrate. This was getting to be silly a full grown man not being able to concentrate on reading the paper. I took a look at the clock and saw that although things seemed to be taking awfully long to happen only a few minutes of real time had gone by since my getting out of bed. I thought that I would take a stroll through the town it might put some other thoughts into my head. I went to the mirror and taking my electric razor I shaved myself it was then that I noticed something that was terribly wrong. My ears they were long and pointed at the top. Something like a squirrels ears.

I carefully examined my left ear then my right; yes they had changed since yesterday what was going on? Am I under attack? Grabbing a coat from the hall stand I hurried to the woods, I wanted advice from the Fairy Queen Feeana. I stood in the clearing where the Fairies played and called but there was no answer. No Fairy Queen, no Fairies and me with ears like a squirrel. What shall I do? I waited for a long time hoping that one of the little folk would come my way. Disappointed I made my way home.

I had been in the woods for at least four hours but my clock said that I had only been away for a few minutes. I switched on the radio hoping for the time to be given through. Yes my clock was right I had only been in the woods for a few minutes. What on earth was going on with me? I looked again in the mirror something that I was often doing now that my ears had grown to this new shape. Then the Fairies came in to my kitchen they were moving so slowly as if each was carrying a heavy burden. I was pleased to see them but at the same time wondering why they all moved as they did.

They asked me why I had run away from them while I was in the woods. Why I had not answered their calls. They were very worried then it was that they noticed my ears. My ears were not only pointed like a squirrel but were also sprouting red hair. I was desperate I could not go shopping like this. I could not show my face in town what was happening to me. The Fairies left me to tell the Fairy Queen what was happening. They seemed to be gone for hours but my clock told me that it was only a few minutes before they returned.

In their midst was Fairy Queen Feeana. Greeting me she looked closely at my ears and asked me whether the time was going fast or slow for me. I told her that it was going very fast but when I looked at my clock it was but only a few seconds. You are under a severe magic attack. Taking out her magic mirror her Majesty looked long at something that I could not see.

Turning to me she asked me if I had eaten anything from the woods. I thought for a minute and said, “Yes Your Majesty I always eat of the blackberries when I go into the woods.” That is the answer you are under my personal protection here in your house but in the woods I thought that you would be safe. The wizard Magendom has placed a spell on all of the fruits that grow in the woods. This is indeed serious anyone eating from the fruits will have the same symptoms as you now have. Time is out of proportion and their ears will turn into squirrel’s ears.

Placing her hand on my head Her Majesty waved her magic wand. I was transported to a hut in the woods far, far away. I saw the wizard looking into a large pan of water. He was looking to see how many people had been caught by his magic. I was so angry I ran to the wizard and tipped him into the large pan of water. He was soaking wet and had lost his magic wand. I grabbed the wand and broke it in two.

Then I took out of my pocket two of the blackberries that I had taken with me from home. These I forced into his mouth and with Her Majesty I waited until his ears turned pointed and sprouted red hair like a squirrel’s ears. Her Majesty waved her magic wand again and spoke in the old language. There was no way out for the wizard Magendom he would remain for the rest of his long life with a corrupted sense of time and his ears would become famous as the years went by.

Her Majesty waved her wand again and we were both back in our part of fairyland where now the time could play no more tricks on me and my ears were back to normal. I thanked her Majesty for her help and then threw a party for the fairies with ice cream and puddings, custard and jellies. Fairy cakes they brought with them and of course the parsnip wine of which I am very fond. We celebrated for three days and I left them as I needed a much earned rest in my four poster bed.
Bernard Shaw
Copyright 2005
Listed 9/22/2005

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