John Peters walks to work every day. It’s just a few blocks down from his house, and the walk is nice enough as long as the weather holds up. Today he is wearing a gray suit with a red and gold striped tie. His favorite tie. He can’t wait for this day to be over so he can drink alcohol.
From the corner of his eye he sees a flicker. He turns his head and sees a small garter snake leap out of the grass and catch a frog by the back leg. John stops walking. The frog gives a desperate struggle for a moment before sitting still—like it’s giving up--as the snake steadily swallows upwards from the foot. The frog soon begins struggling again, but by now the snake has a very strong grip. John thinks about rescuing the frog, but decides against it. He doesn’t know if the snake is poisonous, nor does he like the idea of taking away the snake’s food.
He hadn’t noticed the small furry puppet creature standing to his left.
“Life and death...” it squeaks. “A frog dies so that a snake may feed its family. That’s just the way this crazy world works, huh?” John nods politely to the thing standing next to him, but doesn’t make eye contact. It smiles at him. “That’s pretty crazy, isn’t it. Makes you think about your own life, doesn’t it?”
“Yeah. Sure.” John nods again, only slower this time. The snake’s jaw is now completely dislocated. As it slides the amphibian slowly into its body, the frog screams a high pitched frog-scream, a desperate plea for help. He imagines the man his wife has been sleeping with, and what he’d sound like crying on the ground as John beat him up.
“Reassess your values, your life,” continues the cute thing. “Makes your own problems seem trivial. Like, at least you’re not being eaten alive, right?” Its smile seems to get brighter. John looks over at it, tries to figure out how to make it go away. He’d like to walk away, but really wants to see how the snake is going to fit that whole frog into its thin body. The frog lets out another scream. Then a whole series of them.
“But let me tell you this, my friend,” the puppet’s smile melts away and its voice grow serious. “You are being eaten alive. You may not know it yet, but we all are. Or at least some of us. All but those who have been shown the way, have been taught to see the evils of this world and the path away from them.”
John turns his head and looks the puppet over. Not even two-feet tall, covered in thick blue fur, with a fat little body and long thin legs and arm, it looks calmly up at John. It reaches behind its back and pulls out a pamphlet. “I can show you the way, my friend. Guru McIntosh has lead me to the path, and I am on my Way. It’s truly a beautiful thing, this life, if you know how to See it.”
“I’m not interested,” says John. The snake’s tail lashes around in the grass. It doesn’t seem to be making much progress now that it’s gotten near the ribs. Or do frogs even have ribs? John tries to remember his high school science class, but that was so long ago.
“Oh,” says the puppet dryly. “I’m sorry to have wasted your time.” It disappears with a slight pop.
John continues watching the snake and the frog. He figures the tire store can deal without him for a little while longer.