“HAHAHAHAHA!” was the noise coming from
The local news had just declared school canceled
due to a freak snowstorm. Augie rubbed her
palms together as she eyed the gathering clouds.
“Snow, snow, snow,” she incanted, “blanket my
Mom and Dad’s bosses had not cancelled work,
since today was not Armageddon, and now it was
too late notice to get a babysitter. At least, it was
too late to get one for Augie—it might’ve been
possible to get a babysitter for some other child.
Augie’s father had already called every babysitter
in the area and all had said no. This may have
been because it was five in the morning, but it
also may have been because of the sound of Augie
cackling and chanting as her father tried to
explain what a well-behaved child she was. When
the babysitters asked about the insane laughter,
Dad insisted that it was just an insane goose that
had wandered into the house. But, since everyone
knows geese don’t ever yell “IT’S MINE! ALL
MINE, AT LAST! AHAHAHAHAHAHA!” Dad got
“So,” she said, “would you like to hike with me?
My parents are away for a few hours, so the laws
of humanity may make no claim upon me.”
Now, Gawain, you must understand, was not
the best of knights. That was Lancelot, but Lancelot
was currently rampaging through the north
of France on a diplomatic mission.
Tiny yellow-haired men in fancy white and gold
uniforms came first, followed by strange birds
with the heads of human women. They unfortunately
still had the minds of birds and kept pecking
at seeds and saying “BIRD! BIRD! BIRD!”
which is what most birds mean to say when they
In fact humans have a joke about that. In
the number pi, the set of six 9s in a row is called
the Feynman point. The idea is you count to that
point, then say ‘999999, and so on’ and everyone
gets the wrong idea.
The squire located a few common fauna—a frog,
a newt, and an amphisbaena. One of those animals
may sound unfamiliar, so if you’ve never
seen a frog, it’s like a goat, but with the head of
a lizard and the body of a grasshopper.
You see, Gawain rarely noticed little
changes in his surroundings, which was why he
was very happy and had, at one point or another,
broken just about every bone in his body
“I’ll go first,” said Augie. It was one of her favor-
ite phrases, though it would nearly get her eaten
by a megalodon 12 years later.
You see, in the world of lords and ladies, the
rules are very strange. Regular folks like you and
I will often shake hands or exchange hugs and
kisses. But, the bodies of lords and ladies are con-
sidered to be sacred, and so can only be touched
by certain people. It’s sort of like when you’re on
a long trip and your brother or sister won’t stop
touching you and you say, “STOP TOUCHING
ME,” except that if you were a lady or lord, you
could have your sibling beheaded for it. This may
sound delightful, but you might come to regret it
in the long run.
At this, Gawain began to jitter and look side to
side. He felt sick and dizzy. “CURSE YOUR WISDOM,
TINY FRIEND!” he shouted.
“Fractions! Hahahaha! Why didn’t I think of
fractions sooner?” said Augie.