Hip Hip Hooray
The swollen family swam with ennui after lunch. Father finished off the vin rouge and mother peeled black pears with a straight razor. The doughy eldest son suffered reveries by a tulip tree, imagining himself on the H.M.S Pinafore in a captain's hat and navy blue bell bottoms. The twins jostled by a poisonous toadstool, but between them they had finished off a chicken for lunch and sought no further nourishment.
The sister lurked in the switchgrass, watching for spies. She believed people out to get them for being bourgeois had followed the family to their picnic.
"That's nonsense," Father said, ever the optimist. He cared nothing for others' opinions.
"We are fit as fiddles," Mother said, sanguine and serene even as her thumb bled profusely from mishandling the straight razor.
"Better wrap that," Father said, lighting up his pipe. The smoke smelled of plums and corpse flowers.
The eldest son made a high-pitched trumpet sound with his lips. Then he sang:
I am never known to quail
At the fury of a gail.
And I'm never sick at sea!
"What, never?" Mother said.
"Hardly ever," Father chortled.
Everyone guffawed except for the twins, who were wrestling over a dead snake.
"Boys!" Mother cried, wrapping gauze around her bleeding hand. "Leave that filthy thing alone!"
"They're foolish lads," the sister muttered from the switchgrass.
"Show yourself," Father said, puffing his pipe.
"I'm afraid they've found us," she said.
Father laughed in his chest. He knew his daughter had strange ideas. Young people often do. But she looked so odd there in the switchgrass. He could see her eyes, but her sandy brown hair blended with the vegetation. She was like a wood nymph.
"She is like a wood nymph," Father said to Mother.
"She is insane," Mother said. "Accept it."
Salvatore Difalco's work has appeared in print and online. He is the author of four books.