Nut Mix

They squabble over the nut mix. Every morning, Elvira prepares their breakfast by sprinkling a mix of seeds, nuts, and dried fruit over their hot cereal. Without fail each day, she complains that the mix supply looks significantly less than the day before.

“Of course it does because you use it every day,” Henderson points out to his wife.

“Don’t take me for a fool. I hardly use much. A small handful is all I sprinkle over the oatmeal.” Elvira is annoyed because such exchange between them is starting to become routine. She wonders if she had been too hasty in getting married after knowing him for less than three months. But, she’s always been a decisive woman and they were both in their late fifties and not getting any younger. She also wanted to have a man around the house to help with the yard and her car.  Stuff her father used to do and her mum expected from a man.

As a woman of habit, Elvira would always leave for work soon after breakfast and return home right at dinnertime. Henderson, a freelance graphics artist, always works at home.  She and her husband had a silent understanding that this time apart served as a healthy break from each other. Nevertheless, Elvira’s suspicious nature couldn’t shake the feeling that the nut mix was dwindling faster than it ought to during the week.

To satisfy her curiosity, Elvira decides to break her customary ways for one day. Without telling Henderson, Elvira goes home for lunch, parking her car a block away and sneaking in the house to see if Henderson has been dipping into the nut mix. She knows he always makes a salad for lunch and she is tired of letting him think she doesn’t know what’s been going on.

Stealthily, she peeks through the living room window, sees that her husband is nowhere near, and silently opens the door. Tiptoeing into the kitchen, she screams as she sees a man-sized squirrel on its haunches preparing a big bowl of salad. Slowly turning around, the giant squirrel says, “What a surprise, Elvira.”  He looks down as he pours the nut mix into the salad, “Be glad I don’t eat meat.”

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Early Bird Special

Image: Pixabay

“What a lovely little bistro, Edward.” Miss Rose Lee smiles at her distinguished looking suitor, as they are being escorted to their table. She’s happy for having used Seventy+Match.com, a mate matching service for people over 70 years old, and finding a fine gentleman in Edward Finnerman. As a long-time widow, Miss Lee has taken a while to find someone who might measure up to her late husband.

After seating them, their hostess says, “Only the early bird special is being served at this time. Let me get your server to take your drink orders.” She leaves them with a short menu.

“That’s different. Did you say you’ve been here before?” Rose asks.

“It is a fine place.” Edward gives the impression he’s been at the small restaurant before to make her think she is being taken to a quality café. He knows the restaurant only from having passed by it a few days ago, noting it just opened and offers early bird specials. Being new makes it look clean, too. A perfect place to have a first date with his recent lady friend, he thinks, and without spending much money.

A long-nosed man with droopy lids approaches their table and bows. “I am Rinaldo, your server for the evening. What libations may I serve you both?”

“Why, thank you, Rinaldo. What a romantic sounding name. Do you have a recommendation?” Rose is charmed by him.

Edward clears his throat and utters, “I think a small glass of Mogen David would be good for each of us.” Edward gives the menu to Rinaldo and thanks him as a sign of dismissal. He wasn’t counting on adding wine to the tab, but at least he’s getting the early bird special.

Rinaldo nods and takes the menu, murmuring, “Very good, sir.” He walks away.

“It’s so cozy here, isn’t it?” Rose beams at Edward.

“Yes, and good service too.” Edward sees Rinaldo with a large tray holding two covered dishes and two little wine glasses.

Rinaldo sets down the tray on the fold-out stand next to their table. He places their food and drinks before them, uncovering the two plates at the same time with a flourish. He bows and announces, “Today’s early bird is free-range robin, locally caught at sunrise. Enjoy.”

He leaves the two diners staring at their plate of a tiny roasted bird.