My contribution to the Mystery Blog
The Home of the Grave, the Land of the Free, Act 5, Scene 1, a Mystery pursues us.
While on my usual walk one bright and sunny morn, I happened upon a couple of men digging a grave for a wealthy merchant in a small family graveyard. The two grave diggers seemed to be arguing over something while standing waist deep in the grave.
As I approached, I called out, "Hail, to both of you. How are you doing this early Sunday morning?"
Grave Digger 1, " and hail to you Sir. We seemed to have hit upon a problem."
Me, "I apologize. I don't know your names. My name is Omelete'."
Grave Digger 1, "Yes, I didn't mean to be so abrupt. My name is Shaw and this is Orrin. I could not help but notice your name is like the egg."
Omelete', "My Mother was a cook and she was mad about food."
Shaw, " Interesting, which came first?"
Omelete', I believe it was her madness. What problem did you speak of sir?"
Both grave Diggers had stopped working and were leaning on their shovels. Shaw was chewing a great wad of tobacco, which made his cheek buldge. Shaw spits a long line of brown juice out upon the pile of dirt next to the grave and looks down and smiles. He says, with a mouthful of brown stained teeth, "We were peacefully digging this grave for that wealthy man lying over there in his box when we happened upon this skeleton. Now we don't know what to do."
I walked over for a closer look. I looked in and saw several bones and a skull spread out and partially covered.
Orrin, a sun darkened man with jet black hair and dirty clothing said, "At first, it looked like he had no clothes on, so's I figure him to be a beggar."
Omelete', You mean he was a beggar since he had no clothes?"
Shaw, "No, he had no money to buy hisself a proper suit of clothes to bury hisself in."
Orrin, "Yes, and he must of pinched hisself a shallow grave besides." He reaches down and picked up two femur bones.
Shaw, "What's dem bones, drumsticks?"
Orrin had dropped his shovel and held up the femurs in the air and clacked them together as the clay fell off and he began beating them in time with a vaguely familiar tune. Both Orrin and Shaw began dancing about in the grave. They seemed joyful for a couple of minutes after dancing back and forth. They suddenly stopped and Orrin drops the bones and says, "Now, this filthy thief has given us a mystery to solve before we can finish our job and collect our pay!"
That was when I noticed a groundhog standing at the other end of the grave. He had his paws crossed and was looking a little angry. He said, "you were about to dismiss me, weren't you, Sir?"
Omelete', " No, I mean, I don't know. Ahhhhhh, what is your name? I am Omelete'." I bowed and took off my cap.
Groundhog, "I am known as "Digger" by most. What's with your name?"
Omelete', "You haven't already heard?"
Digger, "only a little; it must have something to do with breakfast?"
Omelete', "It was my Mother, her madness about cooking."
Digger, "I don t think I understand but which came first?"
Omelete', " She favored the egg. If I may, what are you doing here?"
Digger, "The same as these gentlemen."
Omelete', "You are also digging a grave for that rich man over there?"
Digger, "No these two dug up my home and now I am out here wondering when they will be through." Digger looks over into the grave and sees the skeleton, he says, "It looks like that wealthy fellow is going to put us both out of our homes, as usual."
Omelete', "This is your home?"
Digger,"Yep, it is generally pretty quiet."
Orrin picks up the bones and begins the beat again. This time, Shaw, Orrin and Digger are dancing about. My head begins bobbling up and down with the beat. As I move my head, my cap falls into the grave. I get on my knees and reach down to pick it up.
Shaw, "Are you now praying for us all?"
Omelette', "No, not really but I did find this mask next to the skull."
Digger," That is the face of a clown."
Orrin and Shaw look on as I hold it up.
Omelete'," How did you know that?"
Digger, "This isn't my first circus but I can see it was that poor beggar's last."
Shaw, "I don't figure clowns for burying themselves."
Orrin, "It might have been a poor performance. They can be mightly irratating."
Shaw reaches down and picks up the skull and hands it to Omelete'.
Omelete' sits down on the mound and holds the skull out and takes a long hard look at it. He says, "Although he covered his head in life, in death, he seems like a pretty happy fella."
Shaw, "So now that we know about his happiness, what do we do with him?"
Digger, If you want my opinion, I say, dig the rich guy's grave first, then dig a little deeper down for the clown."
Everyone shook their heads in agreement.
Orrin, "The clown is still only getting another foot or two 'cause he ain't paying."
Omelete', "He was only a clown and they don't need much to make them happy as you can plainly see on his face."
Digger, "I will wait until all you boys leave to dig my own again and get back to being happy."
Shaw spits a long brown line of tobacco out on the heap and returns to digging. Orrin to Omelete', "I am glad you helped us solve this riddle, Sir"
Omelete bows low and pulls his cap off. He puts his cap back on and continues his walk.
Written by Eddie Hansford , member of the Writer's Circle, Unity of Fayetteville, AR., meets every Wednesday, 6-7:30PM