Carstleman G. Peddant could not, for the life of him, understand what he was doing here. He? Imprisoned by a circus? And one so poorly run at that! And so far inland! The entire thing was a travesty and a disgrace. In all his days as a proud gentleman walrus, he could never have imagined such a thing.
The irony was rich in the imaginings department. Whelped and puppied on the Whatiff peninsula, Carstleman had spent all of his young adult life gazing and sliding through the infinite vortex of life’s possibilities as they bubbled and flowed in the freezing, crystal beauty of the subarctic seas. You see, while it may be unknown to those outside the distinguished livery of sea mammals, most warm blooded aquarians are closely in tune with the willowing whims of the Fates. This is especially true of the podding varieties. It’s not so much that the future is known to them. Instead, all the myriad futures reveal themselves distinctly, like underwater currents which are clear to those that swim them even if they may not be able to fully perceive the eventualities of each.
So it was a right bother to Carstleman that he had, somehow, run afoul of a fisherman’s net and wound up here, imprisoned in a circus shed. Carstleman’s enclosure was an awful double bathtub that had been fused together by the combined handiwork of Ungulen and Ossip. The bathtub itself was fine, a mottled brown porcelain that Carstleman rather liked. It’s only that it was cramped, foreign and not his native oceanic homeland. Still, he felt confident that the correct course of action would simply be to make do until he could get his bearings and escape properly. So he slopped around, trying to pass the time.
Suddenly, Carstleman heard a sound. It was enormous trotters. He could tell immediately the sound of a cousin. The enormous footfalls came towards his little shed. His muzzle tingled as he sensed the great flanks of a fellow beast on the other side of the wall. It was Augromme, the zombified elephant. He stank and Carstleman liked it. It reminded him of the carrion piles on Whatiff peninsula.
Augromme began toying with shutters to the shed’s only window. The window was very close to Carstleman’s bathtub. The walrus-gentleman bullied up, fattened his cheeks, and stood his whiskers out to their sturdiest claim.
“Salutations and good morning! Please introduce yourself!” But Augromme did not introduce himself. Instead he faithfully unlatched the window and snaked his trunk inside the shed. Now it was Augromme’s turn to take some fascination in the smell of Carstleman. His trunk’s nozzle wafted around, inhaling deeply. Almost in a swoon, his nostrils succumbed to the elaborate mineral recipe of Carstleman’s stewing bathwater. Augromme thrust his trunk into the water and began drinking.
“Now then, stop that!” Carstleman declared. He batted Augromme furiously with the strong bone of his fin. Augromme yelped and retreated. Then he angled a tusk through the shutters and attempted to stab Carstleman in the face.
Carstleman evaded him and began to bellow and roar. Spittle hurtled out of the walrus’s pink, gaping mouth. Augromme roared and hissed back, arching his trunk and beating his ears on either side of the window. The two males maintained in this fashion for some time. After a fortifying rally, Augromme became either bored or fixated on something beyond the shed and wandered away.
“What a strange fellow,” Carstleman thought to himself, hurling a blanket of oily water onto his belly. “I do hope he comes back.”