The pile of dung was like an elaborate gourmet feast for Amelia. Her head swam with the multitude of aromas that rose from the steaming pile. She closed her eyes in pure bliss. She was just about to start on a much anticipated gorging when she felt an old woman’s hand close around her.
She scrambled frantically, without result, to try and escape the tight grasp. Then, before she knew what was happening, she was popped into a mouth and swallowed.
As she tumbled down the sticky throat, she realized she had been swallowed by the old woman.
“Why, oh why did she swallow me?” she asked her self as she sank into the depths of the woman’s stomach……
Time passed and Amelia was starting to be lulled into a sort of trance by the swaying of the fluids in the woman’s stomach when she suddenly heard a high pitched scream coming from the air above her. A splash next to her announced the arrival of another creature. It was dark, so she couldn’t see who or what it was, but she didn’t have long to wait to find out. A gasp shot out from the creature as it surfaced.
“What kind of crazy old lady swallows a spider?!”
Amelia stiffened as she realized the newest arrival was a sworn enemy of the fly world. She toyed with the idea of keeping her mouth shut but, realized she was doomed anyway so she might as well have some company. Before she could say anything, the spider spoke to her.
“I know you are here scrumptious little fly, but you have nothing to fear from me. That crazy woman instructed me to eat you when I got in here but didn’t realize I had just finished off an incredibly filling meal of caterpillar. I won’t be able to eat a thing for days. So, unless we actually last that long in here, which I doubt, you can relax.”
Amelia breathed a sigh of relief and squeaked a small, ‘Hello.”
“My name is Sylvia, what’s yours.”
There was an awkward pause as both parties realized they may very well be the first spider and fly to speak to each other civilly.
Finally, Sylvia spoke.
“well, I don’t know about you, but I think this is ridiculous. I say we break out of this joint. Are you with me?”
Amelia was shocked. “How in the world would we do that?”
Sylvia thought for a moment and then said,” Might as well put these eight legs to a good use!”
She swam for the wall and started climbing. It wasn’t easy to do. She kept sliding down and starting over, but both Amelia and Sylvia could tell it was having an effect on the woman. The body started lurching about and hopping up and down. The walls of the stomach started squeezing together and just as they both thought they might be shot out of their prison, an even larger splash was felt.
This time the splash was followed by even more splashing. The entire stomach seemed to be in an uproar.
“Help! Help! Help!’ Squawked their newest visitor. Amelia and Slyvia were both knocked around quite a bit before the trashing newcomer calmed down. As the fluids calmed, they heard the distinct sounds of a bird crying. If you have never heard a bird cry you will not understand, but if you have….you never forget it. There is nothing like the crying of a bird. It is the saddest sound in the world.
The impending doom of their situation awakened a sense of compassion in both Amelia and Sylvia and they both swam towards the sound to comfort the bird.
“There, there now, it’s okay.” Sylvia cooed to the bird. She gently stroked the bird’s feathers with four of her legs as she used the other four to tread water.
Amelia softly asked the bird what its name was.
“I’m Georgette.” She answered between sobs.
“I can’t believe this old woman swallowed me! She seemed so sweet as she came dancing down the road. I thought she was dancing to the song I was singing. It made me so happy, I didn’t feel the need to fly away when she came close to me. I thought she was giving me a big smile….and then….then…..”
She broke down in tears again.
‘Its okay dear, we are all in here together.” Amelia said softly.
“The last thing I remember before she stuffed me in her mouth was her saying ‘get that dang spider!’ and then….she swallowed me!”
Sylvia paused in her stroking for just a moment. And then said, “Well, you can eat me if you want to, but I’d rather break us all out of here.”
Georgette laughed a short chirp of a laugh, ‘ I don’t like to eat spiders. They tickle way too much. I’m more of a worm eater. They slide down easy and don’t give you any trouble. What is your plan for a break out?”
Sylvia breathed a rather large sigh of relief. “well, we were trying to wiggle and jiggle and tickle our way out. Those wings and claws of yours would sure be a big help.”
“You got it!” Georgette said and started clawing at the sides of the stomach. Once again, the inmates felt the affects of their actions. The stomach seems to bounce about and hop and drop and spin in all directions. They were all starting to get a bit motion sick when they felt an even bigger splash. This time, they were pushed against the sides of the stomach as their newest arrival filled most of the empty space.
“Everyone okay?” Amelia shouted as they were shoved around. The newcomer seemed to writhe and squirm with a ferocity that was quite new to them all. A rumbling growl seemed to fill the entire stomach and a loud “Yeowl!” erupted from the newcomer.
“A cat!” whispered Georgette….”why did it have to be a cat?!” She flattened herself even more against the side of the stomach and tried not to breath.
“Craaaaaazy lady!” Screeched the cat. “Why in heavens name did she swallow me?!” The cat squirmed around and tried to find a comfortable position.
“She is nuts. We all agree there is no other answer.” Sylvia spoke to the cat.
“Are you the bird?” asked the cat?
“Before she stuffed me in, that crazy woman told me to swallow the bird. I had no idea what she was talking about. Believe you me, I left my disagreement all along the sides of her throat as I came in. She will rue the day she swallowed me!” he laughed a dry, tomcat laugh.
“But don’t worry, birdie, I prefer mice. Those darn feathers get stuck in my teeth and they hurt like the dickens. No birds for me.”
Georgette started breathing again and spoke up.
“What’s your name kitty?”
There was a low grumble and the cat answered with a gruff voice, “I’m no kitty. Names Simon. Simon the brave, Simon the Tough, Simon the….not to be swallowed by old ladies! That’s me.” It was quite obvious that not only was Simon very unhappy with his current situation but his squirming also made it evident that he wanted out.
Amelia spoke up. “we are attempting a break out. Maybe if we all work together, we will be able to escape this dungeon.”
“Well, I’m not really a ‘team player’ by nature, but given the circumstances, I am more than willing.”
Sylvia explained their plan to wiggle and jiggle and tickle the old woman til she let them out.
They all started once again to attack the inside of the woman’s stomach. Scratching, clawing, tickling….whatever they could do.
Once again, the stomach started to lurch and hop and constrict until they all thought they were surely on their way out, and then…..not so much a splash this time, more of an extreme squeezing. They all gasped for air as every last bit of breathing space seemed to be filled up.
The time for nice manners and welcoming were long gone.
“Who the heck are you?” Simon yelled.
“What? Who? I’m, I’m Ruffy. Ruffington Minor the third. Is this some kind of joke? What is going on here? I think I was just swallowed by my owners mother in law and told to eat a cat?”
“Yeah, yeah, don’t worry about it small brain,” Simon commanded , “Just start wiggling and jiggling and get us out of here!
Obedient as only a dog can be, Ruffy started squirming and digging and doing his part to help the group’s effort.
By now, the effects of the inner revolt were being felt in full force. The stomach seemed to do somersaults as it pitched and rolled and swayed from side to side.
Surely, surely they would be out soon.
When the next squeeze came, it nearly crushed them all. Everyone was pushed not only against the sides of the stomach, but into it. Breathing was next to impossible. The spider was pushed almost into the bird’s mouth but neither of them even noticed as they tried to push back, to make their way out of their prison.
They all continued to struggle. They squirmed and rolled and pushed and poked and scraped and did anything they possibly could in their beyond cramped conditions to try and break free. They didn’t stop to question who the newcomer was. They just kept on fighting.
And then, it was more than a squeeze. It was pressure like none of them had every felt. They felt like their bodies were being fused together like metals in a hot forge. The pain and intensity was more than they could handle. Georgette croaked a faint, “goodbye friends” ….
And then … it was over. Bright sunlight spilled over them as they all tumbled out into a grassy meadow. They lay gasping in the fresh spring air, bewildered that they were free.
Ruffy was the first to speak. “What happened? How’d we get out?”
An old horse was standing near them calmly chewing on some grass.
“That crazy old woman, she swallowed my friend Bessie here, and then tried to swallow me.” He whinnied a wry laugh….”she died of course…” nobody can swallow a horse.