He Didn’t Say It With Elation

Dead Portuguese Men O’
War littered the beach.
Not knowing what they
were but thinking maybe

dead jellyfish, he jabbed
the end of his hiking stick
into one and it popped.
He popped a few more

and stopped a walker
and asked if she knew
what they were. She did.
He jogged on only to see

a family of four, the two
children running in and
out of the water, shovel-
ing Men O’ War onto a

plastic shovel and run-
ning them out to sea.
He passed on the inform-
ation he had gotten —

poisonous dead or alive —
and only got back elation
that those are such naughty
boys and ever so hard to

keep inline. Shaking his
head, he jogged back to
the cottage and his Choco-
late Lab sniffed and made

a surreptitious move for
the hiking stick. Lifting
the stick out of her way,
he said, “Oh, girl, curios-

ity killed the cat and you’re
no cat, but you are as
naughty as those two
towheads at the beach.”

He didn’t say it with elation.

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