January 10, 2015


In the meadow at the edge of a great pine forest a tiny mushroom poked its head out of the ground.

‘I’m a mushroom,’ it said, surprising itself. ‘Why, I can talk. What a marvel! Say, green shoots, have you ever met a talking mushroom?’

The green shoots all around said not a thing. A few waved, but that was because of a gust of wind, not because they heard the mushroom speak. Not discouraged at all, the mushroom shouted a greeting aimed at the nearest tall pine tree. The pine tree, being regal and not a mere green ground shoot, replied.

‘I hear you,’ it said. ‘You don’t have to shout. And to answer your question, I admit that you are the first mushroom ever to speak in my presence, and that’s saying something, I assure you. For I am 213 years old.’

The pine tree went on and on, telling of this, boasting of that. The mushroom grew restless, so eager was it to have another turn at talking. In fact, the mushroom grew so restless that it wrenched itself out of the ground and began to walk. At once the pine tree fell silent.

‘Oh, look!’ said the mushroom. ‘I can talk AND walk. I must be marvelous. Why, I’m off to make my fortune!’

So saying, the mushroom hurried across the meadow and away. The pine tree, its dignity offended, muttered, ‘I could walk if I felt like it.’ But, of course, that was not true.

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