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  • Writer's pictureKayleigh Willis

'Thumped' by John Paul Caponigro

My small mouth held a smaller tongue that tangled words, turned twists into slurs, stammers, and sputters. A child with tiny ears I looked on much larger ones to pet, confused Easter with rooster, and plucked a bunny chicken for my bestiary. No Cadbury clucking or cock-a-doodle-doo; this eggless cock never cried. Living in silence, rabbits rarely scream. Not Bugs nor Babs, perhaps a little daffy, this hare lapped honeyed milk from a teacup and saucer while quietly rocking in a cushioned chair.

The tender meat beneath this loose skin was never destined for consumption. Stir seed, with egg and division soon becomes multiplication. How does that work? No recipe was ever written for such fuzzy magic. For this Egyptian symbol of rebirth, one rite of fertility spawned thirty-four new ears. He was a she! If one times one is thirty-four, then thirty-four times more quickly approaches legions. Outside, the hutch bulged to bursting.

Some darned dog dug in but couldn’t get out while all the other paws escaped. What ran over ran wild. The cat-infested house, ten in ten out, was surrounded. Claw ate before paw. Caterwauls had always bested what was hushed, but now the feline monopoly on chow was contested as outside the nightly feeding frenzy grew furious with numbers ever mounting.

The son of the son of the rooster rose up. Thump. Two hind feet kicked in unison and one long tail rolled by. Thump. Thump. More sorcery. Cats can fly. Thump. Thump. Thump. Leonine hearts launched aerially and tumbled terrestrially as the tiny lions’ pride thinned. Meowing, most learned patience and waited for the overblown rodents to finish their repasts first. Some never returned. No pecking was needed. There was a new order.

All Rights. John Paul Caponigro.

John Paul Caponigro is an internationally collected visual artist and published author. He leads unique adventures in the wildest places on earth to help participants creatively make deeper connections with nature and themselves. View his TEDx and Google talks at

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