The Jawbone of the Cheshire Cat

“Why is there a jawbone on the side of the road?”

One could not help but notice the slight accusatory tone in the Professor’s question.


A few moments earlier, the Professor came upon Sister Madly poking at something on the ground. Now Sister Madly doesn’t pretend to know a thing about anthropology, but she does have teeth, and that bone fragment clearly had a healthy set of chompers. Thus one did not need much of an education to realize that what they were looking at was jawbone. And while Sister Madly cannot speak for the rest of her species, she herself is biologically programmed to wonder about jawbones just lying on the side of the road.

Professors, however, are created without any such curiosity.

“Whatever you do, don’t eat them.”

Don’t eat… Do you think that Sister Madly just picks random bone fragments off the road and puts them in her mouth? She’s not 2, you know- hasn’t been for years.

“I was talking about the mushrooms by the tree.”

Apparently, the Professor was more concerned about Sister Madly’s fungal-eating habits than the fact that she just found a jawbone on the side of the road. People are forever warning her about mushrooms.

You know, Sister Madly, one couldn’t help but notice the Professor’s lack of curiosity at the jawbone; perhaps it is the remains of a ne’er-do-well who was done up good and proper by the Professor after particularly cutthroat round of Settlers of Catan…

cheshire smile

Oh, who are you kidding? Settlers of Catan never gets more interesting than a yawn. Besides, this would not explain how the ne’er-do-well went from fresh corpse to jawbone without detection. One would like to think that Sister Madly would have noticed a body decaying on the side of the road at some point during the last few months.

Thus, the only conclusion left to draw is that it must be the Jawbone of the Cheshire Cat, who passed on when he was nothing more than a smile. Probably from eating one of those mushrooms the Professor warned her about.

So Sister Madly did what any wide-eyed, little moppet would do: entertained delusions of grandeur (Indiana Moppet and the Jawbone of Belmont Street, y‘all!!) while hiding the bone fragment in a flower pot up in her kitchen.


But lying in bed later that night, she couldn’t help but overhear that little voice that she pretends is not in her head:

Sister Madly, do you realize that you are keeping a jawbone in a flower pot on your kitchen counter? There’s a word for people who do that: psychopath. Unfortunately, you’re not competent enough to live up to the title, but those who are will not like you imitating them in such a sloppy fashion and might try to do something about it- is that a smile lingering the corner?

The last thing she wanted was to he haunted by the Cheshire’s Smile for the rest of her life. So she threw the bone into the garbage.

But ten minutes later…


Sister Madly- there’s a jawbone rotting in your kitchen trash. This is how horror stories always begin: with the improper disposal – or flat-out disrespect – of body parts. Poltergeist comes to mind… do you want to spend the remainder of your life trapped inside the TV? And is that a Smile hovering outside your window?! Just try to tell yourself that is the moon. Everybody knows that the Cheshire’s Smile becomes the moon, and the moon his Smile.

It’s not that your imagination is running away with you, Sister Madly; it’s running away from you. Even it doesn’t like the thoughts that are going through your head. And without an imagination, there is no way you can pretend that moon is anything but the Cheshire’s Smile.

While all legends require the Adventurer to return the artifact to the place where it was found, Sister Madly decided that the dumpster behind her building was close enough. Sure, she had a little remorse for disposing of the Cheshire’s Smile in this manner, but it was his fault for eating the Professor’s mushrooms in the first place. Besides, the dumpster is 20 ft from her apartment, far enough away to ensure that she will not be haunted by the Cheshire’s Smile for the rest of her life.

Yet, not ten minutes later…


* Should you find Sister Madly’s imagination, please return it ASAP. Reality is a nice place to visit, but she doesn’t want to live there.

THEME SONG: Bones & Pearls, Peter Murphy’s Carver Combo

30 responses

  1. I love this…..:) , Thank you for entertaining me before my work day begins….I think I grinned like an idiot at your story…(true or not) and if it was true…. well then you do not disappoint in your fun strangeness that seems to pour out of you naturally which I love…

    Thanks again..:)

    Liked by 2 people

    October 22, 2015 at 6:06 AM

    • Sister Madly

      Thank you!!

      Indeed, I did find a jawbone, and… well, my imagination often gets carried away at night and I creep myself out… c’est la vie.

      Liked by 1 person

      October 22, 2015 at 10:47 AM

  2. this is awesome!

    Liked by 1 person

    October 22, 2015 at 6:09 AM

    • Sister Madly

      Thank you! It’s amazing what one finds on the side of the road these days. ;c)

      Liked by 1 person

      October 22, 2015 at 10:48 AM

  3. Cool, and the end part “With the tv there here?”..

    Liked by 1 person

    October 22, 2015 at 6:45 AM

    • Sister Madly

      Oh, I hope they’re not here… that movie freaked me out enough as a kid.

      I think it’d be worse to be trapped in the tv these days- flat screens, and all that.

      Liked by 2 people

      October 22, 2015 at 10:54 AM

  4. Ha! Sister Madly and I face similar challenges, I see. How to properly dispose of the relics. They just don’t make a recycling bin for those things, do they?

    It’s certainly not polite to leave them on the side of the road, as if you don’t even care, but it’s not quite right to display them among your flower pots, either. Instinct tells me we should give them a proper burial, but who wants to be seen by the neighbors having a funeral for a bird’s wing or something? Also, I’ve learned that if I’m going to take a treasure home, it should be something lovely, like a flower you press in a book.

    Liked by 2 people

    October 22, 2015 at 8:04 AM

    • Sister Madly

      Yeah- why aren’t there bins for relics and body parts? Seems like a horrible oversight to me.

      In retrospect, I should have put the bone in the compost- that’s kinda like burying it, right? Except the compost stinks…

      Liked by 2 people

      October 22, 2015 at 10:57 AM

  5. Really, SM, I think a jawbone could be considered collectible – you know, like all that cool stuff Howard Hughes kept in jars in his basement.

    Liked by 1 person

    October 22, 2015 at 1:44 PM

    • Sister Madly

      You could be right. I’ll just be keeping it in the local landfill, rather than in the cellar.

      Liked by 1 person

      October 22, 2015 at 2:41 PM

  6. Your writing is the most amazing , it’s glorious phrasing a delight and your romance with words so stunning ! Thank you madly ! Love and hugs , megxxx

    Liked by 1 person

    October 23, 2015 at 4:57 AM

    • Sister Madly

      I think the romance I have is with YOUR words! You have a way in making the simplest comment so incredible… ;c)

      Thank you.

      Liked by 1 person

      October 23, 2015 at 12:43 PM

  7. Ms Indiana Moppet! If I’m not mistaken body parts are properly disposed of in compactors?!

    I do know a few things about Cheshires and Luna. I am happy to pass along what I know.

    Firstly a Cheshire will sit in when Lady Luna needs a night off. In an emergency Luna can usually be found taking a facial in the south of Antarctica.

    Cheshires are somewhat like sharks and have replaceable teeth. There are times when smiling makes their face ache and that is when they shed the teeth and bone. For the “Beary” version of Cheshire this usually occurs after a full body wax. The “Cat” version who knows, its a cat!

    The Cat Cheshire like other cats has 9 lives. The cat version will shed a couple lives just to play with people’s heads. Those Cat Cheshire’s like nothing better than to scare the bejeebers out of those who have lost their imagination in attempt to stimulate the dark recesses of thought.Those Cat Cheshires are in reality a friend and not a fiend.

    I did find the Cheshire that had your mind spinning like a long tailed cat in a room full of rockers. That would be rockers as in chair and not followers of The Grateful Dead.

    Should you need us, Cheshire Kitty and I can be found at a tea shop in Negril counting mushrooms. Yes I know tis a wee bit odd but, its a cat!

    By the by, Horace is your Cheshire’s name. Yes Horace has adopted you and he tells me you will be seeing him frequently. He says you’ll be meeting his brother Sammy sometime in December.

    Horace asked me to include a photograph for you to put on your bed stand.

    Now if you’ll excuse me I must get Horace out of the shrooms before his smile sheds again!

    As always Simster Lady, I am at your service.

    Liked by 1 person

    October 23, 2015 at 4:27 PM

    • Sister Madly

      As it turns out, at 3AM, I do not know where the compactors are. And dare I ask: what, exactly, is south of Antartica?

      So the Cheshire sheds his smile… why is this not a comfort? And why did I only find part of a jawbone? Did he merely shed a smirk? What was he smirking about?!? WHAT IS THAT SOUND COMING FROM THE CLOSET?!?!?!

      I don’t have a bed stand dear Horace or Sammy or Beary or Girl-Trapped-In-The-TV or Planet Earth.. but have any of you have found my imagination? This reality thing is not very fun. At all.

      Liked by 1 person

      October 23, 2015 at 5:22 PM

      • South of Antarctica is Luna space and she enjoys when people visit and talk to her.

        That sound is your imagination fiend friend imagination. You can make that sound come alive or disappear. All up to you.

        Imagination is simply substituting reality with another reality that you rein over every bit large and small. It really is Moppet. Swither on it. Put your shorts on and your rain boots and splash the puddles on your way to the sandbox. Watch how the reality of your action changes your environment. You could choose the big kid swings instead of the sandbox and fly. Shape the world you encounter and the next thing you know is your reality is your imagination.

        Don’t forget to be home before the street lights come on!

        No bed stand is easy, tape the photo to the wall to scare the monsters away. You tuck in with your teddy, as in bear not attire and tell him a story and I guarantee you’ll sleep easy.

        Liked by 1 person

        October 23, 2015 at 5:49 PM

        • Sister Madly

          Substituting one reality for another- how many realities are there?

          I’m always home before the streetlights come on- they always turn off when I approach. :c/

          Annnnd I’m debating whether or not I want the picture taped to my wall. I’m cool with it during the day, but at night, when the imagination runs wild…??

          As for choosing the big kid’s swings:

          Liked by 1 person

          October 23, 2015 at 6:06 PM

        • The realities are infinite. The swing reality is to make sure you have enough triangles. That one didn’t have it. hehehe

          Horace adopted you. You think he’ll let anything happen to you? I pity the fool solid or ethereal that messes with Horace!

          Street lights paying homage in there way is the reality. Kind of like your subjects bowing down.

          You have a menagerie of good to keep away the bad so you can dream things up. It’s good to be you!

          Liked by 1 person

          October 23, 2015 at 6:18 PM

        • Sister Madly

          Anyone who has dealt with a cat knows that they will only tolerate humans until someone invents a can-opener that can be operated with a paw.

          Not enough triangles, you say… this perhaps being the first, if ONLY time anyone has ever used Trigonometry to benefit mankind.

          And yet, in this case, I blame the engineer.

          Liked by 1 person

          October 23, 2015 at 6:38 PM

        • Well Ms Moppet your selection for blame is an excellent choice! As a semi old tradesman I’m here to tell you one of the first things you learn is to never let an engineer touch the tools! You’ve seen the result and know this to be a truth.

          Cheshires look at a can and go, “oh pshaw”. Them Cheshires with the choppers they got, all cans are easy opening. Another little known fact about Cheshires is they tend to suffer from Hyperopia. When you see a hungry Cheshire it is a critical imperative that one does not stand with one’s can in alignment with the food can. Hey they’re almost human and make mistakes especially when hungry. Try explaining a Cheshire bite to your local urgent care.Cheshires can also be soothed by giving them a silver cereal killer and playing a certain Harry Chapin tune.

          A(2) + B(2) = C(2) and in this scenario, A = Angst, B = BOOM and C = Construction

          I’ll leave it to you to do the Math.

          Liked by 1 person

          October 24, 2015 at 4:08 AM

  8. Sister Madly….your imagination is not in my little red dot. But if I do find it, I would like to keep it if you don’t mind 😂😂

    Liked by 1 person

    October 23, 2015 at 5:44 PM

    • Sister Madly

      If I am allowed to come a visit from time to time, then it’s okay by me.

      As a warning… it tends to wander around 3am. Just send it back to bed should you encounter it at night.

      Liked by 1 person

      October 23, 2015 at 5:52 PM

      • Ha ha!! I will ask Garfield to keep you snugly tucked in….no 3am wanderings…thanks for the tip. Enjoy your evening tipple or drinks…🍻

        Liked by 1 person

        October 23, 2015 at 5:57 PM

  9. locksley2010

    Thank you for this, it made me chuckle! Hope your imagination was found snoozing after enjoying a mushroom high. From someone who calls himself ‘Indiana Took’ I wholeheartedly approve of the antics of ‘Indiana Moppet’ PS: Drawer and whisky on standby if the monsters get too much. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    November 24, 2015 at 3:26 AM

    • Sister Madly

      The imagination is currently hiding under the bed- it fears the lecture it has coming for running away.

      Perhaps one day Indiana Took and Indiana Moppet will share an adventure out there in world…

      … or at least, some whiskey. ;c)

      Liked by 1 person

      November 26, 2015 at 2:00 PM

      • locksley2010

        I should think so! If it can’t control itself then measures have to be taken.

        That would be brilliant! If I ever get to visit the US then that will have to be done. 😊

        Liked by 1 person

        November 27, 2015 at 6:10 AM

  10. Your post cracked me up. What a great to my weekend. 😀
    And thank you for the like on my poem 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    August 12, 2016 at 9:47 PM

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