Sarah’s mother comes home from work to discover that Sarah has yet to do the dishes, “Sarah! Get in here!”
“What’s wrong, Mom?”
“You haven’t done the dishes. You know you are supposed to have them done to that I have a clean kitchen to work with, when I got home.”
“Sorry, Mom. I got busy with my homework and I forgot.”
“They are your responsibility. You must do them. Why do you have to be so lazy?”
“I’m not lazy! I was working hard!” Sarah is hurt to be accused of being lazy, when she’s been so busy trying to be a good student. She starts crying.
“Don’t you cry like a baby! Just don’t be lazy and do the dishes!”
Sarah runs out the door and into the forest. Soon she is lost and scared. She comes upon a magical looking creek that immediately grabs her attention. Finding the creek mesmerizing, Sarah begins to relax. Suddenly, out of nowhere, she hears, “Psst!” Sarah looks around her, but sees no one around.
Sarah looks down near her left side, a salamander waves at her from the edge of the creek. Sarah gasps.
“Don’t freak out.”
“You talk?!” squawks Sarah.
“I said don’t freak out.” Sal, the salamander shakes his head. “You humans! You always think you’re the only ones who talk.”
“Well yeah! If you do your research, English was made by humans.” Sarah retorts.
“Research ha!” spits, Sal. “You don’t have a clue! First off, English wasn’t the first human language. The first language spoken by humans was Latin. Latin was first spoken by my great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great Grandfather who created it after a a great windstorm that blew all the branches down to create the alphabet. When he wanted to communicate with the humans, he taught it to them.
“What?!” Exclaims Sarah and looks at Sal like he’s crazy.
“You heard me. You humans are so egocentric. Give me a break! Ha! You don’t have a clue what you do! Bloody thieves!”
“You’re both wrong!” shouts a third voice.
Sarah turns to the sound and finds a banana slug approaching.
“B!” shouts, Sal. “How good of you to drop in! It must have taken you several days I imagine. You must be beat! Let me take a load off your feet and grab you a seat!”
“Forever a comedian my good friend!” replies the banana slug. “I don’t think you have moved in 3 days! Can I get you some coffee? Or maybe you should just lay off that herb you have been chewing on.”
“You know I have a stress disorder!” says Sal defensively.
“Yeah, well, last I checked slugs ate plants and salamanders ate bugs.” He starts slithering off and adds, “Latin was not the first language. There were once many languages spoken by many tribes.”
After B begins his sluggish departure, Sal turns to Sarah, “So, what seems to be the problem, Girl Human?”
“My Mom is mean.” Sarah pouts. “She’s mad at me because I forgot to do the dishes before she got home.”
“So you ran away?”
B yells over his shoulder, “Oh goodness! I should not leave you alone to get guidance from that fool!” He slowly beings turning around and says, “I’m no expert on running or dishes, but I know about Moms!”
“We both do.” Sal glares at B. “We both have Mom’s and our wives are also mothers.”
“Ok . . .” says Sarah wondering where this is going.
“She’s just trying to teach you how to take care of yourself for when she’s not around to do it anymore,” says B.
Sal nods and says, “Yeah, she’s not always going to be around to take care of you.”
Sarah looks frightened and perplexed, “Why not?”
“Well, someday, you are going to want to leave and have kids of your own,” says Sal. “Heck, you’ve already left; if you don’t go back, you are still going to need to do your own dishes. So, you may as well go back.”
“Yup.” says B. “I can’t believe I’m saying it, but this is one thing I agree with Sal on. She’s just showing you love by teaching you how to take care of yourself. And even if you don’t leave, there may be a day when she’s sick and needs you to take care of her.”
Sarah looks down at her feet. “Oh. I guess I should go home and apologize.”
Sal and B turn to each other and wink.
As Sarah stands she says, “Thanks you both. It was nice meeting you.”
B shouts to her as she disappears into the thick of the woods, “If you ever need to talk, Sal’s usually here!”
“Hey! I resemble that!” Sal laughs.
B yells, “Yeah, he does! But I’m usually nearby too! Just give us a shout! It may take awhile for me to get to you, but I’m around!” He nods to Sal and starts to slither off again.
“Speaking of words, I still say the first word was Latin.”
“And you’re still wrong, Sal.” chuckles B, as he disappears into some ferns.