Everything about Fox’s brand new typewriter was ordinary.
It had an ordinary keyboard, an ordinary roller knob, an ordinary paper guide, with an ordinary carriage return. The typewriter was normal. Normal, the word Fox knew best. But, whatever the reason, when Fox typed the words ‘It begins snowing outside’ on his brand new typewriter, his desk lamp flickered a little. Then something outside caught Fox’s glance.
Snow. Snow, snow, more snow, snow. Fox was befuddled. He looked through his window. He looked at his typewriter. Back and forth. Snow, typewriter, snow, typewriter. Fox gasped, loudly.
“No!” He said to himself. “No! Not possible!”
Fox ran for his typewriter and snatched the sheet off the paper guide. He tore it to shreds. The sheet spiraled, bobbed, and finally settled on the ground. Fox breathed in, out, in, out. He tore through the room and back to his window. Snow. Fox breathed in, out. “No,” He said again. “There is a logical explanation.”
Fox thought. He thought, thought, thought, thought. Then, “Coincidence! Coincidence. No, the typewriter did not make it snow. That is silly. Typewriters do not make snow. Typewriters write. So, it is snowing outside because it is snowing outside. Not because of a typewriter. Yes. Yes,” He breathed slower now, in, out, in, out.
Fox looked at the paper shreds sitting on the ground. He looked at his desk lamp, which didn’t flicker anymore. “Hm. That is normal. Good.” Fox said, nodding his downy head. Fox got his best broom from the closet. He swept up the paper shreds on the ground. He dusted his hands. He put his broom back in the closet. He shut the door. “Well, that is that,” sighed Fox.
Looking towards the kitchen, he knew he should have been making supper now, but today, Fox didn’t feel like making more boiled potatoes with more steamed carrots. Boiling the potatoes was too time-consuming, and steaming the carrots was too difficult. So, Fox got his breakfast grits from the cupboard, sat down in his best chair, and slowly, loudly chewed till the bowl was spotless.
He looked outside.
“Stop snowing,” said Fox gruffly through bland, soggy mouthfuls of grits. “Bah,” He mumbled. With the plunk of his bowl and the d-dink of his spoon, Fox stood.
“I said stop,” He said. The snow did not stop. “Bah!” said Fox, more loudly, more gruffly. He sniffed. “Well, I cannot tell the snow to stop, anyway. Snow is snow, it will do what it wants.”
So, Fox decided he had to go to bed. He donned his nightgown, brushed his yellow teeth, boiled his herbal tea, and sat down with a pl-plumph on his best couch. “Typewriters do not make snow,” Fox said to himself. “They do not.” Slurping his tea, he thought some more. He stood from his best couch. His glance dawdled towards his desk, towards his brand new typewriter that did not, had not, and would not make snow. Ever. “That is that,” said Fox. He sipped his tea, slowly.
He shook his bristly fur, snuffled his stout nose. Then, “Hm!” Fox skipped to his desk. He studied the desk lamp, which still wasn’t flickering. He dusted the typewriter, he scrutinized the table. Keeping his little eye on the desk lamp, he slowly cl-cl-clickity-cl-clicked. ‘It stops snowing outside.’ Then, he spun his fuzzy head towards the window. Fox blinked. He gasped. He gawked. He gaped.
No snow. Not a speckle, not a flurry, not a tiny flake. He stumbled back. “Not . . . . not possible!” He sputtered. “I don’t believe it! Typewriters don’t . . . .” But the words left him. He bounded to his typewriter. ‘But wait! Suddenly, it begins snowing green!” He cl-click-click-cl-clicked. “Window!” said Fox.
Behold! Green snow! “No!” He hollered. “Typewriter!” He clicked, clicked, clicked some more. ‘But then everything goes normal again!’ He typed. Fox stopped. He breathed in, out, in, out. “Window.” He mumbled, looking outside. Nothing. The green snow had gone. Fox sighed. “Normal,” He said. Normal, the word Fox knew best. “I will go to bed now,” He told the typewriter, sitting by itself on his desk. The typewriter said nothing. “Good,” said Fox. He tore the sheet off the paper guide. He balled it in his fist. He set it on his desk.
Fox did not sleep well that night.
When Fox woke the next morning, he boiled his tea. He stuffed down his breakfast cereal. He guzzled his cider. He scoured the mailbox for the latest National Geographic magazine. He shoved the bowl in with the dirty dishes bobbing in the sink. He slurped the last of his cider. He grabbed the teakettle sitting on the stove. With the d-dink of his teacup and the flippity-flip of his magazine, Fox sunk into his best chair. He skimmed his magazine. “Interesting,” He mumbled. “Minerals, minerals, more minerals. Badger would have liked this issue.” Then, “Oh! Two Brand-New Caves Discovered in Alaska! See, Lucy? See? I told you there were more!”
The house was silent. “Oh,” He said grimly. He went back to his magazine, to the marine biology section. The marine biology section consisted of the same things every issue; boring segments, tiny captions, blurry images of marine fauna, but Fox liked it the best. “Hm, let’s see,” said Fox. “Seventeen ways to locate tropical coral. The Blobfish’s Secrets. Exclusive Interview with Esteemed Marine Biologist Martha Stoat. Hm.” But today, Fox didn’t feel like knowing the proper way to locate coral, or the secrets of the blobfish (though blobfish were very, very interesting), nor did he feel like reading the exclusive interview with Martha Stoat. Today Fox wanted to sit in his chair, doing nothing. So that is what he did.
Eventually, in spite of himself, he began to think of the snow the typewriter had given him the night before. He thought of the snow, the not-snow, the green snow. Then, “Enough of this!” Fox said to nobody. The typewriter no longer scared him. Struck with determination, he stomped bravely over to his desk. Fox began to click-click-click-click the keys, one by one.
‘Once upon a time, there was a fox.’ He kept clicking. ‘This fox had a cup of chamomile tea.’ “Teacup,” He said. He trotted back to his best chair. He spotted his cup. “This is not chamomile tea,” He said. “This is herbal. The best kind. I will drink this tea. When I drink it, I will drink herbal tea, not chamomile.” Sl-oooo-wly, he sipped.
Chamomile. Chamomile, chamomile, chamomile. When Fox tasted this chamomile tea, he was not surprised. His wooly brows furrowed. His jaw clenched. Chamomile swished in his mouth. “Blech,” He grumbled. Herbal tea was much, much better. This chamomile mishap was decidedly it for Fox. “Something,” He said, “has got to be done.” So he bounded to his desk. He scoured the typewriter till he saw the words ‘Mole Press Inc.’ below the keyboard. “Hm!” Fox said. Moles had been known to sell dubious goods. Mole Press was not to be trusted, he decided. “I will go into town tomorrow,” Fox said. He frowned. “No, I will go in today.” So that is what he did.
(Incomplete, big surprise . . . .)