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Wirewolf's seeds by SiriusDF

Wirewolf's seeds
by SiriusDF

Thursday Prompt for 10/18/2018
Prompt word: prince

"You should have charged that horse a princely sum instead of trading your skills for that," declared Miss Vixyy to her gardener, Wirewolf

The tall wolf held up a small, sealed stopper jar, quarter filled with seeds and a faded tape label, gazing at it like it was gold. "On the contrary, I think it was a fair exchange. Fixing that traveling sales horse's display case for this."

Wirewolf once again tried reading the jar's label:

Ambrosia Gargantua. 50 count

There was a big gap between the words. Perhaps another word had once been there, now smudged out.

"Well what are they?"

"My best guess is it might be those seedless Ambrosa Prince sunflower variety I've heard about."

"Smudgy label and dodgy seeds," snorted The fennec Innkeeper. "I think you got the short end of the deal."

Traveling sales folks traversing the country by rail often stopped for a rest day or two at the Whackadoodle Inn. They were Miss Vixyy's bread and butter clients, but that often meant having to put up with their ways. At heart, most were were good people, though they had a heavy sprinkling of P.T. Barnum and slyness that the vulpine would often envy.

One particular sales pitcher, a Clydesdale with breath that indicated regular consumption of Gin, had arrived last Friday, peddling newfangled appliances out of a big display suitcase that had a broken hinge. He spun many a tall tale, including a doubtful declaration that he was once a noteworthy professor of Plant Biology at some Ivy League school.

The horse found the area not prosperous enough to support his sales pitch and left on the Wednesday train for bigger pastures. Though he did get his display case fixed by Wirewolf in exchange for a tiny jar of seeds.

"There's four spare pots in the greenhouse. It's mid June and time enough before Fall. I'll plant four and find out!"

A week went past, the four seedlings became tall shoots. By the end of June, they went from knee high to scraping the top glass panels of the former sea wolf's greenhouse. Wirewolf decided to risk transplanting them outside, one at each corner of the tiny greenhouse. Despite the soil being average, the strange plants seemed to thrive even more. They were now double the wolf's height by the end of the first week in July. Each had a central green stem as thick as a sapling with funny looking, positively huge, pinnated leaves growing in clusters.

"They don't look like a sunflowers," Miss Vixyy said one morning to her gardener.

"I read somewhere that hybrid sunflowers often get funny shaped leaves."

News of the strange plants spread across the valley. Firing imaginations and wonder. Walter, the Inn's banjo player, got the entrepreneurial fever. Curious lodgers at the Whackadoodle were charged a penny per person for a grand tour by the skunk over to the green house and gawk while Walter played a tune and sang, [i]Come one and all! The Eighth Wonder of the Valley. The Prince of Plants! Wirewolf's sunflowers![/i]

The tongue panting Dog Days of August had arrived when a freight train stopped in town to tank up on water. A passenger slyly snuck out of a boxcar, a short hyena with heavily patched, plaid clothing and a battered woolen cap. He bore a sturdy stick on his shoulder with tied bundle dangling from behind; the uniform of a migrant worker or hobo. He found a clearing to make camp and after setting up, set out towards the Whackadoodle Inn.

A large boar came out the Inn's back door from the kitchen. He spotted the hyena coming up the back pathway. Only certain folks would avoid the front entrance.

"I'll be KO'd. It's Railway Bill! " Duroc called out, extending a hoofed fingered hand, "How ya doing Bill?"

The short hyena parted what looked like fearsome fangs and incisors in a friendly grin. He took up the offered hand.

"Howdy do, Duroc! How's life out of the Ring treating ya?"

"Not bad. I'm the handyboar 'round here. What are you here for?"

"I heard the country fair was going to open up this August and figured they'd need to hire for setting up stuff."

Duroc shook his head, "I got sad news for you Bill. The country canceled this year's fair."

Railway Bill's smile turned into a sad frown, "I came all this way to admire the scenery and do a bit of side work."

The hyena sighed. "Guess I'll have to drift on back."

"Duroc! Who are you talking to?"

The pair turned, spying Miss Vixyy standing in the kitchen's back entryway. She sized up the hyena hobo with a skeptical look.

Duroc patted Railway Bill's back. "Miss Vixyy, I want to introduce you to Bill. He used to work the ticket booth during my prize fighting days."

Railway Bill bowed. "Pleased to meet you Ma'am. I hope my appearance isn't annoying ya. Life as a migrant worker means I can't afford a wardrobe like a prince."

"I don't judge folks on their clothing," replied the Inn's keeper, "Just as long as you behave. If you want something to eat, knock politely on the back door and ask Miss Buns."

Railway Bill took off his battered cap, "Madam, you're a right vulpine angel."

"Skip the flattery." She turned to Duroc, "How's those mystery plants doing?"

"They're taller than the apple trees, and Wirewolf thinks they may be getting ready to grow out a flower stem."

Railway Bill tilted his head, "Tree sized flowers? I never heard of such a thing."

Duroc chuckled. "I was just about to ask you and Miss Vixyy to follow me over to Wirewolf's greenhouse."

The trio set off. Duroc in front, Miss Vixyy following and Railway Bill ambling behind. They came up to the greenhouse and halted. Gawking at the sight.

Like four great green pillars, the huge plants dominated the little greenhouse. Thigh thick green trunks soaring up, with bundles of funny looking, pinnated leaves wreathing the arrow straight stalks. At the top, a thick rounded shoot could be seen.

Railway Bill squinted his eyes, leaning to his right, then left. He gazed around, glancing at a nearby ditch. Then back up at the plants and back to the ditch again. His biscuit shaped ears splaying slightly.

"According to Wirewolf, we should be seeing a big sunflower petal start to form." Duroc said.

Miss Vixyy shook her head, "I have my doubts."

"She's right. They're not sunflowers." Railway Bill called out, his eyes expressing a hint of concern.

The pair turned. Bill slowly came up to Vixyy and Duroc. "Let me demonstrate," the scruffy hobo said, while holding his arms out and arching clawed fingers on both hands to meet in a square.

"Hold out your fingers like this. Now aim it at the plants as if you're gonna take a picture with a Kodak Brownie."

Duroc and Miss Vixyy did the same, holding their arms out and squinting through the 'picture frame' outlined by their respective fingers.

Bill continued, "Fix that in your head and slowly turn towards this here ditch." He aimed his out stretched fingers around and down, towards a tiny cluster of green growing in the ditch's gravel bottom.

"Now what do ya see?"

After staring down at the ditch, both boar and fennec swiveled their gaze back to the gargantuan plants and then back to the ditch again. And again.

"Never..." muttered Vixyy, her tail poofing out like a bottlebrush.

"I'll be dipped," Duroc muttered.

Vixyy aimed her snout towards the nearby gardener's cottage, bellowing. "WIREWOLF! Get your sea dog hide out here right now!"

In less time taken than for a sailor to slam down a dragoon of Ale, Wirewolf scrambled out of his cottage to encounter a stern looking fennec fox. The lupine's tail sagged and his ears pinned back most humbly.

"Wire, what did that label on your bottle of seeds say?" came the icy inquiry.

"It was smudged in the middle. First word said Abmbrosia and the last said Gargantua."

It was Railway Bill's turn. "I do believe the full title was likely Ambrosia artemisiifolia."

Wirewolf's jaw almost dropped to the ground. "Co..Co...Common Ragweed?"

"Gargantua," Miss Vixyy added.

The four stared up at the plants that were truly mutant, gargantuan shoots of Ragweed.

"Hells Bells!" Wirewolf yelped, "If those things start to bloom!"

"Every nose from here and across the state will be sneezing their lungs out," Duroc muttered grimly.

"And drip worse than a leaky locomotive," Railway Bill added.

That afternoon, later recalled by Miss Vixyy as Bonfire of the Vanities, was marked by Wirewolf, Duroc, Railway Bill and Walter laboring with carpenter saws, ropes and axes to chop down the giant Ragweeds. Vixyy and the Inn's staff, made a huge bonfire using Wirewolf's winter store of cord wood that became a smoky funeral pyre for the departed plants.

The next morning, the staff of the Whackadoodle and Railway Bill gathered around a table watching Wirewolf hold a magnifying glass, eyeing through it while he counted the seeds in the small jar. Finished, he placed the glass jar off to the side. Miss Buns stood by the doorway to her kitchen, observing.

Wirewolf announced, "I counted 46 against the 4 that were planted. Fifty in all, it matches the label. No missing seeds."

A collective sigh broke out.

"Well what next?" Bering asked.

"We'll have to get rid of them." Walter replied to the Inn's desk clerk. "I suggest we chuck em in another bonfire."

Duroc shook his head. "Not a good idea. Those seeds are light and fluffy, what if a draft picks up a few and they drift off to sprout elsewhere?"

"I got it. Dip em in acid," Wirewolf suggested.

Miss Buns shook her head, "Strongest acid we got 'round here is Vinegar."

The hefty hare raised her nose, nostrils picking up the scent of a roast needing tending. She glanced back and excused herself to tend to the stove. The kitchen's door flopped shut.

"We could ask the chemist across the valley," chimed in Victoria, the chambermaid.

"That's it!" Walter exclaimed., "A good dose of sulfuric or hydrochloric acid will do the job!"

"Except, the chemist is out of town," Bering noted.

Duroc rubbed his nose, "Hmm, how about sticking them in a sealed pan with lid, put it in a hot, hot oven and roast them black!"

"Pyrolysis?" Miss Vixyy's ears twitched. She gazed at the boar, "Do you want to be the one to tell Miss Buns we're going ruin a good skillet and smoke up her stove?"

Duroc's porcine countenance turned pale as he visualized the stocky lapine advancing forwards with red in her eyes and imposing cleaver held in one strong hand.

"Never mind!"

Railway Bill flopped his cap onto the table, as if flustered, then he then picked up his cap and excused himself. He went to the kitchen door, opened it and said in a low voice.

"May I have a word with you Miss Buns?"

The kitchen door closed while the round table discussion returned back to getting rid of the mutant ragweed seeds with more ideas bandied about. The debate was interrupted by several noses picking up that delectable griddle odor of buckwheat pancakes from the kitchen.

"Let's break for breakfast," Duroc suggested, lips watering.

"Hey! Where are the seeds?" Wirewolf yelped.

The staff began frantically searching the table and floor underneath for the missing jar when the kitchen door opened.

" Scuse me. While y'all were debating what to do with them seeds, Railway Bill and I took care of things." Miss Buns motioned to all to come into the kitchen.

Confuzzled and puzzled, Miss Vixyy, Wirewolf, Walter, Bering, Victoria and Duroc crowded into the kitchen entrance. On the stove was a greased griddle, still smelling of pancakes. At the kitchen's small table that was topped with a bright, red hatched tablecloth, sat Railway Bill proudly huddled over a plate of syrup stained buckwheat cakes.

Vixyy asked, "What in tarnation is going on?"

Miss Buns chuckled, "Whipped up some buckwheat pancakes with those seeds mixed in the batter."

The lapine pointed to Railway Bill. "Hyena's can just about chow down anything, even uncooked soup bones."

Like peasant servants patiently waiting on a Prince at a sumptuous table, the group watched Railway Bill take great care in cutting up the buckwheat cakes, with it's Ragweed seeds, fork chunks past thick fangs with bone crushing, carnassial molars into a drooly maw that clanged shut like a bank vault. A brief chew and with head tilted back, a showy, lump traveling swallow down a furred throat.

Finished, he lifted his plate, licked it cleaner than a whistle, placed the plate down, daintily licked his chops and dabbed them with a napkin. For it was now an internal affair between the seeds and the relentless workings of hyaenidae digestive anatomy.

"Miss Buns, that's the best breakfast I've had in ages. I thank ya!"

With that, Miss Vixyy called out, "Show's over everyone! Back to work!"

Wirewolf was about to say something when the fennec raised her eyebrows at the lupine.

"I suggest you read Jack-and-the-Beanstalk before accepting any more seeds out of a gift horse's mouth!" She harrumphed.

Wirewolf's seeds


Thursday Prompt for October 18, 2018
A writing prompt hosted by Vixyyfox on Furaffinity
Prompt word: prince

Wirewolf should have read a certain Grimm fairy tale before accepting a trade in seeds.

The setting is in the shared universe of the Whackadoodle Inn stories created by Vixyyfox. Sometime during the 1890's to 1900, a porch enclosed B&B house by a little railway stop in a valley.

Submission Information

Literary / Story