They call me Zippy. Zippy by name and zippy by nature. I have a bit of a reputation in these parts – they say I am the fastest prairie dog in the county. Maybe even the whole world. We have a lot of eagles out here and so when the signal goes out that there is a big old eagle up there, looking for a bit of prairie dog dinner, everyone scuttles for cover. They go running for all they’re worth. Not me though. I finish what I’m doing, then I dive for a burrow. No eagle can touch me. I’m just too damn fast and they know it. Like I say, I’m a bit of a legend, though I say so myself. Bit of a legend. No one catches old Zippy, I always used to say to myself. No one – but no one – catches old Zippy…
So anyway one day the same thing happens, a look-out spots a shadow high above, raises the alarm, everyone goes for cover, but I carry on what I’m doing, eating something or other. Chewing on a lovely bit of fresh dandelion. No hurry on me though. No hurry at all. Casually, I raise one hand over my head and give old Mr Eagle the finger. “Fuck you Mr shit-head Eagle,” I say, “You can’t catch me…”
Next thing I know I’m knocked sideways as if by a thunderbolt and iron talons are digging into my sides. I realize in total numb disbelief that the eagle has got me. I’m being taken up high into the sky. “Fuck you, asshole,” comes the eagle’s voice from above me. “You aren’t fast at all. You’re like some kind of ridiculous slowed-up retard. You’re the slowest, stupidest prairie dog there ever was – we’ve just been messing with you this whole time! We’ve just been playing with you. Having a laugh. Making out that we couldn’t catch you. We could have picked you off any time. But now I’m bored of messing with you so I’m gonna rip you to bits and feed you to some real hungry eagle chicks…”
I couldn’t answer because that old eagle was holding me too tight. His talons were cutting right into my sides. I couldn’t believe how much those talons hurt. They were like steel – I’d never felt pain anything like it. And anyway for once I didn’t have a smart answer to come back with. Not this time. I had no answer at all. But one thing I can tell you – boy did I feel BAD! Yes sir, I sure was feeling pretty sorry for myself!