A Wonderful Bird
by Michael A. Kechula
landed on Mars, Harry told Houston Mission
Control via wrist radio.
blocked Houstons reply.
left his spaceship to plant a flag and claim Mars
for his nation, Martians grabbed him. They took
him to the Emperors palace.
Harry, the Emperor asked, What is this
strange looking creature?
it is a bird from another planet, said an
he better hop around and whistle like a bird. His
performance was so convincing, the Emperor
applauded and said, What a wonderful bird.
I want him for a pet.
Harry was fed,
bathed, groomed, and allowed to run loose through
the Emperors magnificent palace.
Days later, as
he lollygagged in the Emperors well-stocked
harem, he radioed Houston.
fantastic here. Im treated like the
Emperors favorite pet. Im giving you
two weeks notice that Im resigning
from the Space Agency. Tell my family that
Im never coming back.
responded, Martians love (garbled)
repeat, Harry said. Your message was
blocked Hustons retransmissions.
tossed Harry onto blazing charcoals, he realized
the missing words in Hustons message were: