I sit on a rock in the middle of a sea, surrounded by water for as far as I can see, without an island or a ship or even a passing seagull in sight. I’m contemplating my solitude, gazing at the water, when I notice that instead of it having the usual grayish blue tint, it’s brown and the foam on the wave caps is a Hershey’s brown. I dip my finger in the water, give it a sniff, and taste it. Yep, it’s chocolate, and this is Fleegle World. I’m relieved because now I know I’m dreaming, but apprehensive because it’s Fleegle’s dream world and you need quick reflexes in the land of Labradors.
On the distant edge of the ocean’s curvature, a protruding speck catches my attention. As the minutes pass and it gets closer, it grows to the size of a pea, then a grape, then a plum, until I recognize the amble of Fleegle walking on water, on chocolate syrup water, that it.
“You can do it too. Remember where you are,” he calls out. “Anything is possible here. All it takes is some Labrador enthusiasm.” He stops a few feet away and raises his front paw to point at my backside. “Look, you’ve sprouted a tail.”
I stand and twist around to look at my rear, and there, to my shock, a tail sticks out from the base of my spine through a specially sewn hole in my jeans. The tail is covered in thick brown fur, the mirror image of Fleegle’s.
“Now that is one nice looking tail,” Fleegle says. “I guess you’re part Labrador after all. It’s good that you are because a hairless tail might give you the look of a rodent. Not that I don’t like creatures from the rodent family, but rats and opossums have ugly tails. Are squirrels rodents? They have very pretty tails.”
I try to pull the tail loose but it’s not going anywhere. “Did you put this on me?”
“Nope, that’s all your doing. Didn’t you recently wish you were a Labrador? You did, a couple of weeks ago. You looked right at me and said, Mr. Fleegle, sir, I sure wish I was a Labrador like you, all sleek and shiny in brown fur. Well, your wish has come true, at least part of it.”
“Hmm,” I grunt, nonplussed.
“I want to show you something. Take a nibble on that rock you’re sitting on.”
I tilt my head at Fleegle, but then remember where I am and reach down for a loose piece of rock. It’s oddly soft to the touch as I pop it in my mouth. Ha, it’s chocolate. Then something startles me by thumping against my hips, one side then the other, again and again. It’s my tail and it’s slapping my sides as it wags very vigorously.
“See? You’re happy,” Fleegle says.
My startled smile turns to a big grin. “I am. I am very happy. But my tail itches.”
“Oh, lucky you, your tail came with chocolate covered fleas. You can eat those, but you have to catch your tail first.”