With quill across my chest
Daddy tells me a story….
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A wild goose chase like no other she waddled, evaded, flew impressively well for her remarkably advanced age of forty-four, leaving the ever-growing crowd in the echoes of her quacks and honks, an occasional feather coming loose and as a result sending the gawkers and chasers into a scurried frenzy.
“What’s all the hubbub about?” an occasional ignoramus would ask of one of the pursuers who had taken a moment to catch their breath. “It’s just a goose. You can find a whole flock of ‘em on any given farm.”
“Not like that one,” they’d say in a pant before rushing off with the others. “The quills of that bird are the most sought after in the whole wide world.”
And thus the mob would grow as Molly’s story was told, sending her higher and further into flight while sending her poor owner Rufus over walls, through alleyways, atop horses, buggies, anything that might get him in arms reach of his most prized possession.
“President Washington, Ben Franklin, Jefferson, Adams, Hamilton, all insist on her quills and her quills alone.”
“They’re said to be the only ones that can handle Mozart’s feverish compositions. And when Beethoven found out he just had to have one too!”
“Story goes ol’ Molly was about to become Christmas dinner when ol’ Rufus noticed his fowl’s down. Finer than any feather he’d ever seen he plucked, tinkered, and before long had struck plume gold.”
“Like horse hair and sheep intestines coming together so delicately, so beautifully within a violin sonata each quill marries with ink for the perfect stroke.”
“Some say she’s the oldest goose ever lived, man and bird best of partners until a Frenchman entered the equation. Says he was sent by Napoleon himself so as to pen the future. You’d think Molly had somethin’ against the Louisiana Purchase or somethin’ ‘cause as soon as she heard that name Napoleon she got those famous feathers of hers all ruffled up, explodin’ up out of Rufus’s hands like a fistful of gunpowder!”
Not until Rufus had pleaded with the masses to stop following and promised Molly the little French Emperor would never have her feather in his cap did Rufus’s golden goose calm to the point of allowing him to take her back into his hands and back to their lofty nest, where she’d produce a few more tools of brilliance for the hands of genius, somehow knowing, approving where each and every one would find the minds which had epic stories to tell. Until the day came when she released her last, to be passed on to a soul whose expectations were great.
That last quill to be plucked on that last day of her life, Molly then surrendering to the deepest of sleep, to be forever embraced by her now undisturbed coat of excellence.