Prompt: Chopsticks. They are not always what they seem. 


Children are weird. I mean, I know I was made for them and I’m glad that I found my human, but… 

Here I lay, halfway off the small bed, watching my whole world -in a pretty pink tutu and neon leggings- pick her nose. And yup, she ate it. I sigh. At least this time she didn’t wipe it on me. I hate when that happens. It makes my fur clump and it smells gross. 

I can’t wait until Mia goes back to school. Although I miss her, I know the big one called Mom will clean me. It has been months since I was washed and I am starting stiffen. The dryer is scary, but I do love how soft my plush is when I’m done. Plus, I’m warm for hours so Mia gives me extra snuggles.

“Mia darling? It’s time to leave for dinner.”

“Okay, Mommy,” Mia says. “Bear, it’s time to go.” She stands, rushes to me and sweeps me up by the leg. 

There is a tilting sensation and the world spins. I giggle inside as she straightens, then wraps her arm around my chest so I can look out at the world. I love that she knows I like to see where we are going. Being in the box before I met Mia had been the worst and it had only taken her a few days to learn this about me.

One of my long ears falls into my view, but as her little steps stomp down the hall, it shifts to the side. My feet dangle and I wish I could kick them. I love the feeling of kicking my legs.

“You bringing Rabbit?” The large man Mia calls Daddy, asks.

“Daddy, his name isn’t Rabbit, it’s Bear!” Mia’s voice says exasperatedly.

“You named your rabbit, Bear?”

“Of course Daddy. Bear is fierce. He isn’t afraid of anything! Plus he’s brown.”

The look on the Dad-man’s face shifts to confusion. He glances to Mom and she just shrugs.

What? A rabbit named Bear makes total sense to me, but its not the first time I’ve seen a large one confused. They call them adults and from what I can tell they just don’t seem all that smart.  

“Well I think it fits him perfectly,” the Mom creature says. She reaches over and scratches between my ears. If I could close my eyes I would, because that feels amazing.

Mia plops me on the seat next to her, my body folding so that my nose is pressed into the leather. I don’t mind, car rides make me sick. So I listen as Mia and her parents talk. I can’t help the happiness I feel at the sound of Mia’s voice. 

The ride is quick, only a few turns and we’re there. There’s the click of the seatbelt and Mia picks me up. She squeezes me tight as we walk into the restaurant.  There are large lions which guard the entrance and a dragon on the painting above the table. 

Ooooo!  We love this place!  They have these things called sticks. No, chops. No, thats not right. It’s chopsticks!

They’re these magical tools. I have never seen anything like them.  They’re long and sharp -but not too sharp – and they change into a bunch of really cool stuff. 

Once, I saw the Dad-man put them in his mouth just under his lip and then -like magic – he turned into a walrus!  Mia was so worried. The noises he made were not human. It took forever to figure out how to turn him back. 

Mia props me up on the end of the table against the wall. I can see everyone from here. I smile as Mia bounces in her seat talking animatedly to her parents. Honestly, I don’t understand all of what she says. It’s about something called Papa and a sword fight?

She turns to me. “Bear, Papa is Daddy’s dad and the last time I saw him he taught me how to sword fight. Do you know what that is?”

I stare.

“Well, it’s like this.” Mia picks up two chopsticks from her plate. She holds one in her hand and then presses the other to my outstretched arm. “You always start with ‘On Guard.’” 

She points the chopstick at me and just like that, the restaurant fades away. A forest appears around us, thick and alive. Animals chitter as I jump to my feet. A warm breeze rustles my fur and armor appears on us both. I laugh. 

She lunges with her sword and I block. I return the blow and she parries. Our swords connect with a deep clunk of wood. She swipes and I am too slow. I groan as her blade slices my thigh. Still I stand ready to…

“Mia, honey. That is not what chopsticks are used for,” Mom says.

Instantly, the world of magic and wonder disappears. The smell of the air shifts from pine to the deep scent of spiced chicken. Mmmmmm, Orange Chicken.

“Sorry Momma,” Mia says. She takes the chopstick from me setting on the table. 

“Do you want the helper for your chopsticks.”  Mia nods and Mom takes our fun, pushing the ends into a bright blue piece of plastic. The device created looks like a pair of tweezers or a giant nutcracker.

Mia takes them and grins. “Now I’m a doctor!” 

She grabs my foot lying me flat. Again the world shifts and we’re in a white room. I lie on a table with Mia looking down. The beep of monitors and the smell of cleaning supplies hits my nose.

“Don’t worry, this won’t hurt.” 

The long forceps she holds are menacing as she leans in. My breaths become quick and I swear I feel a sweat dampening my plush.

“All I have to do is…” Mia starts.

“Mia! I told you to stop.” Just like that, we’re back at the table and Mom is setting me upright. “Chopsticks are for eating, NOT playing.”

“Yes Momma,” Mia says sadly. She places the chopsticks back on the table and I sigh in relief. That was close.

Dejected, Mia sits, head down and eyes sad. I don’t like seeing her this way, but it isn’t long before the food comes and Mia perks up. She grabs the device of torture and begins to carefully eat her food. I watch as she laughs at her uncoordinated attempts of picking up her meal. The Mom creature tries to help and after only a few moments, they are all giggling. I sigh and watch as my whole world lights up the room. I love this restaurant and any time with my girl.

Published on OBW Blog December 4, 2020 © Tracey Canole 

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