The trees were turning amber in the grove below the hill as two friends were overheard conversing.
“Yes, Pom Pom?”
“I wish that you could scratch my back.”
“I’ve never scratched your back, Pom Pom. We never touch.”
Her beak quivered in an imperceptible pout. “You’ve forgotten everything. The rain, the heat, the snow, while perched for years in your yogic pose has made you daft.”
Well, then,” Tux grumbled without moving a non-muscle “why don’t you talk to the blistering table, or the creaking willow, or the dusty sundial?”
“I do. I just do it in a different way. But I want to talk with you. I want you to remember the times we touched, because we did as surely as we were manufactured.”
“Born. You mean born.”
“Ha! Like the crow that flies right on by and doesn’t even recognize us as the same species? That’s because we’re not the same species. We’re alien. Made in China. Have you taken a look at yourself?”
“If I could move I would.” Tux sulked “So I’ll just stare you down instead.”
“But we can’t blink anyway, so that’s no contest. But what I’m trying to say is…”
“I’m not listening. I’m not listening. I’m not…”
“Shut up, Tux. Tell me, why am I lying on my side and you’re stuck on a stake that’s stuck in the ground?”
“Hmm” He replied, as a leaf cascaded onto his head, making a jaunty hat, “You were injured, weren’t you? Did I do something to you? In a drunken rage when the moon was full?”
“We don’t drink, my love. No. It was when we were guarding the garlic field, wired onto our lookout posts. My foot broke and I slipped out of the stake.”
“Cheap made-in-China shit.”
“Don’t be disrespectful, Tux. I was the one hung upside down for weeks in a most degrading position while you never even noticed me. To set you straight, China is our land of origin. And, we’re kin to dinosaurs.”
“Us? Pink plastic us?”
“Yes” she said, with invisible excitement. “Plastic! That goes back to the dinosaurs!”
“But we’re not related to them. We’re just as old as dinosaurs. Well, our basic stuff was made back then. Interestingly enough we were designed right here in America” Tux said, as he puffed his chest out zero millimetres.
Pom Pom almost sighed. “And that’s where we ended up. You don’t remember being cast at the same time?”
“Cast? In a play?”
She ignored that remark, continuing, “I liked you right off, and when we were sealed up in that crate together it felt so sweet and safe nesting next to you. And here we still are!”
Another leaf cascaded on Tux’s head as the pile around Pom Pom grew deeper.
“I like this time of year. Same time of year as our train ride with that human. It was almost like being human! That’s what I wanted you to remember. We sat side by side in a big soft seat, and the conductor complained that we didn’t have tickets.”
“He was joking, right, Pom?”
“Of course, dear.”
“Do you think we’ll stay in this grove forever?” he asked as a box elder bug explored his left eye.
“Yes, I think we will. Unless they fix my leg and put us back in the field.”
“Either way, as long as I’m with you, I’m… well, I’m proud to be whatever I am.”
“Flamingo, dear. Pink flamingo.”
“Are you sure?”
“Sure, I’m sure. I read the box.” she said, as a dancing breeze brought down a wealth of golden leaves.
That was the last time they spoke. Or at least that’s what the faerie reported to me. And faeries are very reliable.