The Mortality Rate of Kindness

Once upon a time, Sister Madly walked the plank.

She also skipped, bought pints for, and philosophized with the Plank. Then they shared a Pronto Pup.

This merry time of misrule took place at the Faire. Earlier that day, Sister Madly failed miserably in her attempt to poison the Dodo with a jelly bean – an act which, for some reason, he took rather personally. And when he takes things personally, he tends to be vindictive, gleefully dispensing his own brand of Vigilante Justice. In fact, being of a mindset most medieval, the Dodo preferred his revenge lightly seared on both sides – the more blood, the better.

She also failed in her attempt to reason with the Dodo.

Don’t you believe deep in your heart – wherever it is – in killing with kindness?

But there was no appealing to the Dodo’s better nature: he didn’t have one.

Kindness, Sister Madly, does not have a high mortality rate.

The Ol’ Bird could really hold a grudge when he put his mind to it. And just when she was about to eat crow

(The Dodo also lacked a certain sense of humor when it came to puns.)

Had she not been so distracted by serving up a sassy line, things might have turned out differently for the hopelessly pompous Sister Madly. Sassy lines tend to sidetrack one from the important things in life – like making one’s getaway. Instead, she was handed a rope, at the end of which was a splintered chunk of a 2×4: yes, this round of Vigilante Justice consisted of Sister Madly walking the plank.

(The Dodo no longer lacked a certain sense of humor when it came to puns.)


So she was to walk the plank around the Faire, which was cruel in and of itself: that place had a layout that would have terrified Escher. Of course, the Dodo was to accompany her along the way, which made the sentence downright sadistic. Becoming a living example of a pun was bad enough; but when shadowed by one’s Arch Nemesis – who was once more lacking a sense of humor- no. That Ol’ Bird had to go.

It wasn’t easy, losing the Dodo; just when she thought she had ditched the Ol’ Bird, he managed to turn up in the background, hovering like some grotesque, avian Slender Man. He was all too prepared for her unladylike shenanigans, dodging in and out of pavilions and crawling under tables- how she ended up losing him, she couldn’t say: one moment, he just wasn’t there, which came as such a surprise that Sister Madly actually started looking for him. Briefly.

So she had lost the Dodo; now she had ditch the plank- better yet, find some unsuspecting elf or Viking to return it on her behalf. But in an unguarded moment, when she looked into its beady little nonexistent eyes, she realized that this was no ordinary plank. It had soul.

And it had a name: Chickpea.


What began as a penalty became an unlikely alliance. Together, they skipped through the Fairy Grove, cheered on the underdog in the joust, taunted the Vikings (from a safe distance), shared a Pronto Pup and raised pints at the pub all the while discussing things both wicked and whimsical. Occasionally, they lamented about the flies.

Here’s something to mull over, Sister Madly: if the Dodo really is such a horrid old jackdaw, would Chickpea have stuck with him this long? Sure, the two of you despise each other and have managed to make a career out of it, but perhaps you’re wrong about ‘The Beak’. In the right company, he might be quite charming.*


But this friendship was short-lived. Chickpea, she soon realized, did not belong to her – Chickpea didn’t belong to anybody. It was a wild thing, and wild things are not meant to live in captivity. They belong to the Earth. They have a spirit that cannot be contained. They deserve to fly.

And Chickpea deserves to fly now, Sister Madly, because that’s the Dodo heading your way.

So they ran to the edge of the Faire and, with a most haphazard benediction, Sister Madly flung that wild, splintered Soul into the stinky swamp of freedom – just in time, it turned out.

You’re not suppose to enjoy your sentence, Sister Madly… where’s the Plank?

She set him free; if he loves you, he will return to you.

And that was the last anyone ever saw of Chickpea.

~ Vaya con Dios, Old Soul ~

banana escape

~ and may you never step on a Lego ~

THEME SONG: Born to Be Wild, Steppenwolf

Image 1)


12 responses

  1. I’m thinking that the Dodo may need a clone to better appreciate what’s punny.

    The benediction Sister Madly, did it go something like this?
    Hail Mary with can of mace
    Save me from being in Dodo space

    Enquiring Teddy Bear wants to know. Thank you for the escape advice but please know I’ll have to toddle because as Weebles Wobble, Teddy’s Toddle.

    Thank you for setting Chickpea free. Spirits such as that should not be tied to ground.

    Now if you’ll excuse me Ms Moppet, I hear the call of, “The Troglodytes”.

    Liked by 1 person

    June 11, 2015 at 6:03 AM

    • Sister Madly

      The last thing I need is another Dodo around- especially one that is a clone!

      The benediction was the whole ‘straightjacket’ thing, followed by the lego – or something very similar. Twas a while ago.

      Liked by 1 person

      June 11, 2015 at 11:33 AM

      • Ohhhhh I get it now. You went Joan Crawford, 40 whacks, 40 WHACKS! Did you have the snazzy bangle bracelet too?

        Note to self: Being kindling is not a ending.

        Liked by 1 person

        June 11, 2015 at 11:39 AM

        • Sister Madly

          HA! No, unfortunately, but I will keep that in mind for next time- especially if there is a clone out there!

          Or perhaps I will channel the Lady Crawford the next time I hang out with my friends, just for kicks.

          Liked by 1 person

          June 11, 2015 at 11:49 AM

  2. John Thursday

    Jesus. That photo of the dodo is both terrifying and amazing.

    Liked by 2 people

    June 11, 2015 at 7:16 AM

    • Sister Madly

      I know! It was so awesome when I found it, but the other night, all I could think of was YIKES!

      I like to think of it as representational of the Dodo’s soul…

      Liked by 1 person

      June 11, 2015 at 11:29 AM

      • John Thursday

        Monstrous. Yet calmly beautiful. That little bird doesn’t seem too bothered, though. I’d almost mistake them for friends.

        Does the dodo have friends? Was that the underlying message in this strange and wonderful story of the plank…?

        Liked by 1 person

        June 12, 2015 at 4:49 AM

        • Sister Madly

          The Dodo has MANY friends. Or followers. Or minions. Or something.

          Except the Plank. Since the Plank never returned to him, we can safely assumed he never loved the Dodo.

          Liked by 2 people

          June 12, 2015 at 10:23 AM

  3. Sunshine Jansen

    I will probably now think of you every time I wear this t-shirt (which I own in blue): . Perhaps in wearing such a garment and stealing his bony essence, you might finally transform him from nemesis into something useful to your own nefarious purposes? (Because no self-respecting purpose could be anything but nefarious…) A thought.

    Liked by 1 person

    June 11, 2015 at 12:39 PM

    • Sister Madly

      That shirt is awesome! (blue- excellent choice!)

      Still, I hesitate about channeling the Dodo in such a manner-it could backfire horribly. However, it’s true what you’ve said about all self-respecting purposes being nefarious, and that is quite appealing.

      Oh, I am torn! I will have to ponder this.

      Liked by 1 person

      June 11, 2015 at 1:27 PM

  4. Dear Sister Madly,

    Given your vivid and lengthy descriptions of him; I doubt that Chickpea could have any true love for the Dodo. Perhaps, the plank stuck with you so long because it simply adored Sister Madly and didn’t pay mind to the Dodo. Admiration, adoration, and dare I say it…TRUE LOVE can lend strength, courage, and occasional foolishness to even the most timid of hearts. Though it is hard to say if this plank Chickpea had a heart; I trust you when you say it had soul. It was good of you to set your companion free to spare him the Dodo but I am certain, given the wonderful time your wooden friend and you had, Chickpea will not drift too far. Having had my own experience with dark, dangerous, and devious birds and woodland creatures…I think that Sister Madly might be much more Dodo resistant than she realizes. The nasty things that follow and plague us through life tend to draw much of their power from simply manipulating us into believing they have any power over us at all in the first place. Just some food for thought. If all else fails, perhaps Sister Madly might consider taking the 2×4 Chickpea and bashing the Dodo a few times of the head with it. In such a scenario, one would hope Chickpea is made of the sturdy stuff of a hardwood and not composite. Either way, I am sure your friend will be there for you whenever and wherever you need. That’s what friends are for. Take care Sister Madly. Thank you, for yet another wonderful and whimsical post. I do enjoy reading. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    June 15, 2015 at 6:10 AM

    • Sister Madly

      Thank you for your words and your insight- it is always appreciated!

      It’s true that sometimes the only thing standing in our way is our perception of a situation, or the power that we give them. But it’s not always easy to recognize.

      And yes, sometimes all one can do is bash the ‘situation’ over the head with one’s sturdy 2 x 4 companion.

      (That last should probably only be employed as a last resort, as much as it pains me to say so…)

      We often speak of the one who has been ‘let go’ as the one who decides whether or not to return. But how often is it that they are waiting for us to do the same? If you’ve let someone go, haven’t they released you as well?

      And I believe all wild things have a heart. ;c)

      Liked by 1 person

      June 15, 2015 at 11:46 PM

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