The Respectable Clown from Suck City

The forest sat under a crystal sky, before a string of ancient mountains. The mountains were so old that they were powdered blue, as the sky had rubbed against them for thousands of years. The forest was just as old, maybe older. Even its oldest resident, the wise owl couldn’t account for its age. He did see, however, with his wide eyes, all the goings on of the forest creatures. 

He saw the snake winding its way through the tall grass. And the frog, chasing the flies from his pond, catching and eating the especially noisy ones. And the big cat crouching, lying in wait for the deer. But the graceful deer made an easy escape. As the keen owl knew, beauty is to be observed—not eaten.


Looking down from his high perch, the owl saw that the forest was beautiful, because it teemed with life. His sharp eyesight allowed him to focus on the pond. Its surface jittered with tadpoles, insects, worms, and colorful crawlers. Neither did the little green springs emerging from a pile of dead leaves fall outside of his vision. In time they would become trees as well. From this, the owl knew that nothing was ever really lost in the forest. It was always given back in rebirth, in fresh green sprigs and pale flowers as yet unfolded.

            And for the fact that nothing was lost on him, the owl was wise. And it was out of his wisdom, that he was troubled one day. For on that day an ugly yellow brown cloud appeared over the horizon.


What the owl saw was the cloud of stink coming from Suck City, which was located just on the edge of the forest. It was called Suck City because the buildings grew by sucking the life from the earth, creating desert all around itself. Now there was no water to be found and the people of the city had become very thirsty. So they sent out the Respectable Clown who usually dealt with problems of this sort.

The Respectable Clown was called “respectable” because the people looked up to him, and “clown” because the way he spoke was very confusing. It was simple enough to understand what he was getting at—he wanted to build a new Suck City in the forest—but the way he went on about it was another thing entirely. The way he went about it was by speaking of boxes, diamonds, and jazz.

“By building boxes”, he said, “you create diamonds, dazzling, glittery, valuable diamonds! How do you do this—well easy, a box is a diamond when turned a little. What does the turning? Certainly not bulldozers, or cranes, or any giant machine—well, what does it then? Simple. Jazz does it, its jazz. Jazz is the way magic actually works!”

arrrggghhhh! He added

When he burst into the forest, the Respectable Clown was still speedily talking, waving his arms, about jazz diamonds and boxes. The animals did not know what to make of the spectacle.

The next morning, however, it seemed that he had returned and was yelling louder than before. He had to, to be audible over the engine roar of his newfound bulldozer. The animals awoke to the sudden sensation of being intolerably cramped.

Looking over the scene of destruction left behind by the machine, and fearing for the half of the forest still intact, the worried animals gathered together to discuss what might be done about the Respectable Clown. 

Shortly after, the Respectable Clown returned with his arms full of boxes and diamonds, the necessary ingredients for the second suck city. He was rehearsing the jazz notes in his head, to make the smelly miracle grow when he was confronted by a shock.

His face paled. His eyes retreated, and his lips grew tight. The boxes and diamonds dropped from his arms. “Well I say,” opined the Clown “the forest is a most unsuitable place for a second suck city. Such nasty critters inhabit it! But what should be done about the problems of the city then? Hmm…” On his way back through the parched, sun drenched desert, the solution came upon him with such force that he was nearly bowled over. “Eureka!” He cried out


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