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W O L BY LEONARD FRANKLIN

COLLEGETOWN BY ANTHONY AW
April 14, 2019
Hot Chip photo by Ronald Dick
HOT CHIP’S NEW ALBUM TO DROP ON 6/21: Check out the new single Hungry CHild
April 16, 2019
W O L
Here is Owl, coming down the stairs with a new composition he’s written. He has signed his name on the cover, W O L. At the foot of the stairs he’s surprised by Pooh and Piglet and Kanga and baby little Roo in a stew, fuming, hopping up and down livid, smacking the floorboards with his big furry feet like it was the one who’s done something wrong but the voice that comes is one from behind, taller and broader than all of them saying,
“Owl!” Christopher Robin’s frown flattens him like an anvil. “Your friends are saying you’re doing prophecies again. Do you have anything to say?”
And the trouble is Owl has too much to say, it’s true, sometimes there’s nothing he can do about it, his mouth flops open and truths tumble out. So he shakes his head and flaps his wings and just says no, says it without saying it, flutters to get away but
—POUNCE—
a bright orange swish crashes him back to the ground. It’s Tigger, wily Tigger, staring down at him from the sky, not playful today but straight-up disappointed, says “You made me so sad, Owl. Don’t make me so sad again.”
Owl struggles to get up, struggles to not talk, struggles to make whatever he says an apology, but you can’t control these things, can’t control how you feel, and his beak separates and they all stand back, and before he even knows what he’s doing he talks.
All of this fun
he says
will end
None of the animals move. None of them can. Christopher Robin scoops them up, one by one, depositing their lifeless bodies in the cradle of his arm. He’s never noticed how scratchy they feel, the only soft parts are the cotton spilling out their split bellies. Only Owl he leaves alone, lets him sit at the foot of the stairs, in a corner, collecting dust and dirt until his mother will come across it in a frenzy of cleaning, mistake it for a rat and scream

 

 


Leonard Franklin was created from stray molecules of hydrogen, carbon, and
oxygen. Remarkably, he is not seltzer. He is at work on a collection, *Killer
Bob: A Love Story,* with the poet Joanna C. Valente. Ask him to follow you
at @lionlenses.