Writer - Roger Ley
In the jungle, the big orange slug quietly slimed its way along the branch. It scraped the soft green bark of the banana stem, enjoying the taste of the algae and fungi as much as the succulent bark itself. It bumped up against something, something that tasted different, something animal and inedible. It paused.
“Hello slug” said a croaky voice. It was the toucan.
“Hello toucan,” said the slug. “Nice damp day, not too hot, not too cold.”
“Damp may be good for you slug but it plays hell with my feathers, they start curling up and won’t lie flat. Makes flying much harder. You don’t get the nice smooth airflow, it gets all turbulent over my wings.”
“I wouldn’t know about that,” said the slug. “I’m more of a slider and a slimer than a flier.”
“Amazing isn’t it,” said the toucan, “all the different methods of locomotion us animals have evolved: jumping, flying, running, swimming, hopping.”
“Yes, and sliming,” said the slug.
“Would you like me to take you for a quick flip around the jungle?” asked toucan. “I could hold you in my beak and glide around the area, give you a better idea of your surroundings.”
The slug thought for a moment. “You won’t eat me, once you have me in your beak will you toucan?”
“Wouldn’t dream of it, old boy,” said the toucan, glancing upwards and scratching his beak as he said it.
“Okay then,” said the slug.
The toucan reached down, picked up the slug, flipped it up in the air and swallowed it in one gulp.
“Sorry,” burped the toucan, “just couldn’t help myself.”
“Not to worry,” murmured the slug as the toucan’s stomach juices began to dissolve its bright orange skin and the poisons in it began to enter the big bird’s bloodstream. “Two can play at that game toucan.”
Roger Ley is a retired professor who writes comic, often dark, flash fiction. He enjoys acting, particularly pantomime because it gives him the opportunity to dress up, pull faces and insult the audience. Find Roger at - rogerleywrites.blogspot.co.uk