As I reached the top of the red pine tree I had enough sap and needles stuck to my forearms to make me wonder if this ninety foot climb was worth it. Gum Armed Detective Arborist…. The parachute was just about in reach and the strange design on it was starting to come into focus; red and black, the design could almost look like a flag but it was still hard to figure with the pine cones, jays, titmouse and chickadees flouncing about the branches as I made my way up the hundred-plus year old sage. It smells better than Hai Karate up here, though….
“Hey, you doin’ OK up there?” Cocoa yelled up at me.
“Well, ya. I think I am just about there.” Finishing this sentence was of course the cue for the branch I was stepping on to brake. I just managed to grab the cord of the parachute when I fell: Snap, crackle and pop. It sure seemed like the parachute was helping me fall a little faster despite bouncing off a few surprisingly soft limbs.
Fortunately the bed of pine needles and the chicken compost broke my landing, as I managed to land mostly on my good ankle.
“Wow, now that is what I call a landing.” said Cocoa.
“Ooow. And Uggg.” I replied.
It was clear that the parachute design was not anything real special. It seemed like it had once been the advertisement of some radio station. A “W” and an “X” was all that was included in the recycling effort to glue the chute together.
We walked back to the package, Godzilla sniffin’ and pulling on the chute, which was only about twelve feet in diameter.
“So, Coop, which associate of yours would parachute a package to you on a Sunday?” asked Cocoa.
“Well, I know of a lot of people who would fancy the idea but those folks would be more interested in dropping bombs or incendiary devices. Which I guess, could still be inside the package, but there is only one person who would fashion a parachute from old radio station banners and drop it. A total radio-monkey…. but that person is dead. Or so I thought.”
Heading back to the deck, we stopped by the asparagus patch and picked up some fresh stalks for breakfast. I picked the purple ones, Cocoa the Green Giants. Godzilla snorted up some deer droppings for an appetizer; She was one little foraging beast of disgustment.
“Ok. So can we open the package now?!” Demanded Cocoa in a mock whine of apathy. I don’t know how she emoted that particular combination but she did. It must be the way she wiggled her hips, like a gogo dancer in a petticoat. Umm, or something unnatural like that. Then again it’s probably down to the lack of a second cup of Joe that was mashing up my perceptions. Oh yah, that ninety foot fall through the pine limbs.
“Yah, lets open that after we get the food on the table. I could kill for a plate of our eggs, bacon and the asparagus. What, we have been waiting for, for over….what has it been, two years, three, to eat from our own patch. The package can wait a bit can’t it?”
“Oh, sure Coop. I’m not hungry anyway. But, you do look a bit pale. You sure you OK, that was quite a fall. How is the new leg and ankle holding up?”
“The osseointegration is still dead on but ah, its ok, a bit phantom itchy though.” I said, as I flexed the ankle and made the servos hum assuringly, noticing that there was still some pine tar on my good leg, my prostetic leg. Hey it kinda looks like Manny Rameriz’ infamous helmet, circa 2007, I thought as I picked pine cone fragments, chicken turds, pine needles and tar from my bluish limb. I’ll have to check with the company about gettin’ some spare parts.
As I stepped out on the deck the morning sun greeted me with a warm slap on the face. It was goin’ to be a hot one today; we should go to the shore, check out the harbor and see how the tourist trade is shaping up for this season…
“Hey, so here is your package.” Cocoa said as she pointed to the unassuming but very carefully wrapped brown paper package.
The package had been taped and wrapped in the style of Hollywood noir set piece: brown kraft paper, thick jute tie-material, serious tan kraft paper taping, the kind dispensed from a heavy single purpose commercial grade dispenser, found in the bowels of a Manhattan skyscraper publishing house, the one sitting in the shadow of the Chrysler building.
I picked up the package and marveled at its surprising weight and was shocked to see that it had an appendage. On the bottom of the package there was a fine filament-like cord, almost invisible extending from inside the package. As I began to pull on the lose end of the filament, to see were the other end was, I heard a sharp yelp.
“Godzilla ! Whats goin’ on” questioned Cocoa to the dog who looked equally if not more surprised by the yelp she issued from down in the clover over by the Ginko dwarf tree.
“Hey, it looks like this package is somehow attached to the dog” I wondered and posited aloud.
“What?” said Cocoa.
“This package that you dragged me out to see. It has this weird filament attached to it and it is attached to the dog.” I explained confidently between sips of still steaming coffee.
“What?” she said, thrusting down the funnies, Zippy flying by in a weird super hero costume, revealing Cocoa’s new topless bathing suit, her belly smeared with funny page red and blue. Hot out, indeed.
“Look.” I implored as I lifted up the package, with a bit of effort and dramatic huffing, displaying the glinting filament in the sunshine.
We followed the braided filament down to the dog, who had now started to gnaw at this cord-thing wrapped around her narrow short haired tail. Godzilla was a Manchester Terrier, so she looked like what you would imagine a miniature Doberman to look like, but she actually looke more like a Mini Dobie than Mini Dobie’s look like Dobies. Which is to say, she’s got all the muzzle and ears and disposition of Dobie shrunk down by two-thirds. Attitude to match the regular size Dobie, intact though. A real piece of work, Godzilla was. We often joked that when we rescued her, we should have called her Buttons, maybe that would have imparted the niceness we continued to delude ourselves into thinkin’ she harbored…
Like a giant piece of floss wrapped around a shiny black tail, as threatening as saber tooth, Godzilla was making zero progress gnawing the package’s entanglement from her tail. As I continued to drink my coffee Cocoa started to unravel the dog from the cord.
“Hey this stringy stuff is really weird. Its like really super strong and almost feels like silk. Hey did Spiderman drop this package off or something?”
“Uh, actually you’re not that far off!” I said as I gaped up at the ninety foot Red Pine at the edge of the woods, about forty paces from were we stood.
“What?” Cocoa said as she just about finished unwinding the dog from the filament.
“Look, there is a parachute up in the Red Pine. It appears that the package was dropped in!”