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Writer Ferrets: Chasing the Museby Richard Bach
Budgeron Ferret drew the shades of his tiny attic writing room, unplugged the wall lamp, slipped a white silk scarf around his neck.
What's wrong? he thought in the gloom. Can my trouble be the ceremony itself?
Hollow, tense, he turned to his task, the tips of his ears bending now and then against the low angled ceiling of the room. He lifted the typewriter from the desk, set it on the floor. From the closet he took a wide green blotter, a rosewood case, an ancient oil lamp. He set the case gently at the rear of the desktop, the blotter in front, squaring the edges precisely, placed the lamp alongside.
He was a handsome ferret, the golden fur of his body darkening to ink at the tip of his tail. The mask around his eyes, equally dark, shaped a crisp W, a feature that other animals found compelling.
If it's my ceremony that's wrong, he thought, how do I fix it? Does it work because I believe it will work? What happens if I stop believing?
Next the writer struck a match and touched it to the lamp, a flame never lit but for this occasion. He watched the glow lift and settle, the color of an ancient key, peaceful soft reflections in polished silver.
Placing the chair just so in front of the desk, he seated himself. Everything the same, it had to be, as the day he wrote the first sentence.
Sliding open one of two small drawers, he lifted a tiny crystal pot of violet ink and set it in its place on the desk. He removed the cork and put it carefully by the jar, closed the drawer.
From the second drawer he selected a goose-feather quill, its point clean and bright. He laid the quill carefully to the right of the ink and cork.
He nodded, satisfied. Save for the growing terror within him, all was in order.
With the side of his paw he polished the rosewood case, slowly opened the lid. His heart fluttered as he touched his unfinished manuscript.
Though he knew it word for word, he read his book yet another time.
Sadly, Count Urbain de Rothskit stood upon his paws by the edge of the castle turret and watched rosy-whiskered dawn push her nose under the tent of night.
Here the manuscript ended.
Thus launched into the process of creation, the author sighed. It had a wonderful tension, he thought, yet something wasn't right with the novel that would set the world of ferret literature on its tail.
Did sadly mean "without happiness," which the writer intended, or "unfortunately," which he did not?
Was it necessary to write stood upon his paws? What else would his hero stand upon?
Did by the edge of the castle turret hint that Rothskit was about to jump? His count was not suicidal.
Rosy-whiskered dawn sounded as fresh as the moment he wrote it, and he liked the tent of night. That was good.
He dipped quill-point to ink, lifted it toward the paper. It was time to continue the sentence.
He sighed again, waiting for the adventure that would follow The...
He wrote dawn...and stopped. He could not imagine a word to follow that one.
Silence curled in about him, tightening, the coils of a jungle constrictor.
Copyright © 2002 by Saunders-Vixen Aircraft Company, Inc.
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