July 19, 2010

Cochran Cornell Caught on Flypaper: Part 4



This is the fourth and concluding part of the story of Cochran Cornell the cantankerous cockroach, who found himself caught on sticky flypaper and thought it was the end for him. To read Part 1, click on:     To read Part 2 click on:    To read Part 3 click on: 


      Their interest piqued, the ants gathered at the edge of the flypaper, raptly listening as Cochran told his story, ending it woefully.

     “And none of my so-called friends—nary a one—cared enough to stay with me and comfort me,” he whined angrily. “Do you think a one of them would care to devise a solution??? Oh, no.”

     The ants looked at each other before gathering in a huddle. Although they considered cockroaches scatterbrained creatures who disrupted their organized work by running all over it, they just had to help a critter in distress. At least this critter usually stayed out of their way, the effect of the night owl and alert day time working habits.

     After a couple of minutes they marched over to Cochran and said, “We have a plan!”

“Yeah, right,” Cochran spit out. “Like you ants can help me. Get real!”

     Ignoring Cochran, the ants marched purposefully after Pantsy. In an unspoken directive gleaned from years of disciplined, cooperative work, they trudged slowly to a discarded Popsicle stick, barely visible under a stack of sticky uneaten doughnuts.

     Cochran watched in amazement and contempt as the ants, in a very orderly fashion, surrounded the stick, crawled under them and hefted them onto their backs. Why, he thought, that stick must weigh twenty-five times more than all the ants weigh together! Just what did they think they were doing?

     Slowly, ever so slowly, Cochran watched the stick move towards the flypaper.

     A few ants remaining at the flypaper surrounded a rounded button they found near the flypaper. They moved it to the edge of the flypaper and sat back, satisfied.

     The stick inched closer. When it finally reached the button the ants positioned it so it rested over the button. Suddenly Cochran jumped, startled when one end of the stick tilted and dropped down, landing with a jolt his legs.

     “Yikes!” he yelled,

     The ants then backed off.

     “The next step is up to you,” Pantsy called to Cochran. “Try to loosen your feet, get them on the stick.”

     “What the heck,” Cochran shot back.

     “It’ll be difficult but you can do it, you can do it, you can do it…”

     Cochran jerked his legs.

     “Ouch! What are you trying to do—amputate my legs!” he cried out, as the ants yelled to him,

     “NO NO! You have to move SLOWLY! The faster you move the more stuck you will be!”

     Well, Cochran thought, I can’t do this. Us cockroaches don’t move slowly.

     But the ants kept yelling: “Discipline yourself. Move ever so slowly. Imitate us ants.”

     “Yech,” thought Cochran. “Imitate you? Never!”

     Yet he knew his fast movements imprisoning him more. He MUST move slowly, he told himself as he gingerly tried it. Dagnabit, his one leg was actually loosening slightly.

     “Atta boy,” called out the ants. “Keep up the good work!”

     Gradually, ever so gradually, Cochran’s one leg loosened, and he obeyed the ants’ directive to reach it over onto the edge of the Popsicle stick.

     “If I can do it with one leg, perhaps there’s hope,” he thought, now encouraging himself.

     It took the better part of the morning. The heat from the sunrays helped, thinning out the sticky substance, making it easier to pry his legs off. Finally he had all feet on the stick. Finally, he was free.

     “Hurrah.” “Ole” “Good man.” The cheers encouraged the weary cockroach to move over the stick to freedom. He didn’t even have to try to walk slowly—for once it was natural for him to move without skittering. The remnants of glue and his exhaustion held back his normal liveliness.

      He crawled off the edge of the stick and gave Antsy a great big hug before collapsing. Antsy directed her workers to do one more task. They carried Cochran to a dark corner where he could rest and recuperate away from the debilitating light.

     He was free. Tomorrow night he would party, perhaps imitating the ants and skittering a little less—but perhaps not. He had a lot of healing to do before he could scamper about in meaningless directions. Besides, it isn’t his nature.



BRAMBLES (Brief RAMBLES) 1-8 August 1, 2008



July Celebrations: Part 1

The Cat with the Calico Tail

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