The Tale of Two Dust Particles
It was the best of times, or maybe, it was the worst of times. And so begins our tale of two insignificantly spectacular dust particles.
Dusty and Dirty met on a warm summer’s day in the deepest and darkest corner of the unseen and unattended area behind the couch. Unbeknownst to the lady of the house, they thrived buried in their safe little world, rolling and blowing throughout the day and night. Every so often they would venture from the safety of their nest, and into the big world that lay beyond the dust ruffle.
On one such occasion they happened upon a ball of lint. But this was no ordinary ball of lint. To Dusty and Dirty, it was a beautiful thing to behold. They were captivated while they watched the dingy gray fluff as it seemed to roll and frolic in the gentile breeze that blew through the open window.
“We must have him!” Dirty cried.
“Yes indeed!” agreed Dusty
“How ever shall we ever get him home?”
“I know...I’ve a special piece of thread I’ve been saving, and we could use that to pull it home.”
“Jolly good idea, Dusty! We’ll roll home straight away and get it, and be back before too long.”
“We really must hurry, dear Dirty, for the lady may take up her bristled stick and steal it away at any time.”
They tossed and tumbled back to the small opening, and Dusty grabbed the string from his collection of castaway bits and pieces. When they returned, their prize was nowhere to be seen. They feared that the lady had come while they were gone and taken it. Just as they were about to give up and go back home, lest they should be the next to go, they saw a sprig sticking out from behind the table leg.
“There it is!” yelled Dusty.
“Are you quite sure?” asked Dirty.
“Let us go check it out and see. If it’s not, it may be a better one than the other.”
They rushed to the spot and rolled to a stop just in front of the leg so as not to scare it away. Dusty fixed the string into a lasso and prepared to snag the wild bit. As they slid around the corner, they paused and stared in fright at the large pile of loose fur that towered over them. At that exact moment, a puff of wind dislodged it from its hiding place, and it rolled over them, tangling them within the mass. They screamed and yelled to be let go, but the ball paid no mind to their feeble cries. All they could do was close their eyes and hold on until it got tired and decided to rest.
A sudden jarring caused them to open their eyes and what they saw frightened them even more. Towering above all of them was a collection of sharp, pointed stakes attached to gray fur. They screamed in terror as they were tossed from side to side by this enormous creature, and feared being stabbed by the fine points. After quite a while of suffering this abuse, they were slung across the room and landed atop a windowsill.
From high above the floor they looked about the room in search of a way to get back to their cozy home. They thought about jumping, but were afraid that once they hit the hard floor they would not be able to control their movements, and therefore, would go bouncing from one object to another, very much like a marble.
“What are we going to do, Dusty?”
“Do be quiet for a moment, my dear Dirty. I must think.”
They heard a sharp clicking sound moving down the wall and looked up into a large group of eyes staring down to where they were. It jumped down to the ledge and began attaching a thin silver strand to the ledge.
“What luck we have!” cried Dusty.
“We are very fortunate indeed. It seems this long legged creature means to use his rope to drop to the floor. Maybe we can hitch a ride down.”
“Marvelous idea, Dirty! We’d better catch him quick, for it looks as if he is ready to jump.”
They rolled as fast as they could and fell onto the spider’s back as he started to descend to the floor. It landed, looked around, and started scampering to a nearby chair leg. When it paused to study the area before it, Dusty and Dirty bounced from its back and zoomed toward their faraway home.
The room rushed by in a blur as they rolled along their path, but before they could reach the safety of the dust ruffle, they were swept up in a gust of wind that sent them sailing into the dreaded crack in the floor from where other dust particles had never returned.
“What a pickle this is,” said Dusty.
“How ever shall we get out?”
While Dirty sat watching, Dusty rolled back and forth taking in their surroundings. He stopped here and there to study some little place or other that may allow them to escape. The sun outside the little house was beginning to set. Long shadows had formed in the fading light when Dusty stumbled upon an idea.
“I think I’ve got it, dear fellow. We shall push these dead particles to one corner so that they are stacked in a way in which we can roll up them and jump out of this dreary place.”
They set to their task in quick order. By and by, came the sound of the mistress’ soft voice singing in a lively tune. They looked up from their work as the room brightened. The shadow lingered in the small crack, yet shed some light on the work that had been completed. They moved in a steady rhythm, bumping the particles along to the growing pile. It seemed an endless task as they pushed their withered and dried counterparts into a makeshift ramp. Some crumbled as the burden of excess weight was placed upon them while some others seemed to refuse to stay in place.
Dusty and Dirty paid little attention to these things as they struggled along. They were lost in the sound of the mistress’ soothing melody. The work went at a swift pace as one particle after another rose higher. Once each tiny speck had been added to the pile, they found they were still short of reaching the top.
“We seem to have run out of dust,” cried Dirty.
“Never fear, my young friend. See how close it is to the top? If we can roll fast enough, we may be able to float up over the edge.”
“But what if we can’t?”
“Don’t worry so much, Dirty. I’ll go first, and if I make it, I’ll toss down the string and lift you out.”
Dusty rolled to the opposite end of the crack and counted to three. He took off like a shot. Up the makeshift ramp he flew and landed on the ledge outside the hole. He looked down at Dirty from his perch, and motioned for him to try it.
Dirty moved to the far end just as Dusty had done and took off. As he was rolling up the ramp, his courage failed, and he tumbled back to the bottom.
“Oh, Dirty...You mustn’t give up so easily. I know it seems hard, but it’s rather easy once you stop thinking about it.”
“I’m sorry, old chap, but I don’t think I can jump that high. Perhaps you should lower your string for me to grab onto, and then pull me out.”
“All right, dear fellow, we shall try it your way, but once you grab the string, I will give it a tug, and you give us a little bounce. That should get you over the edge.”
Satisfied with the new plan, Dirty rolled back and tried again. Following Dusty’s plan he was soon over the edge and panting. There was no doubt that his nerves were a bit frazzled, but other than that, he was in fine shape.
They decided a leisurely roll across the floor was in order, so they kept pace with each other as they moved toward the familiar dust ruffle. They were almost hidden safely under it when they heard an eerie sound. A loud swoosh filled their minuscule ears just moments before they were knocked back into the center of the floor.
“Oh, heavens!” cried Dusty as they landed in a pile of fuzz, dead insects, lint, and other particles.
Before they could react to this new problem, another push landed them into a large, flat surface for just a moment before they heard the crackle of death as they slid down a long plastic shoot to be buried underneath pounds of large objects. All hope diminished as they realized that they had been caught and were sentenced to die by the woman’s cruel torture chamber with no hope of escape.
So ends the tragic tale of Dusty and Dirty, and the adventures of two tiny dust particles. They will be deeply missed for they proved to be quite enjoyable little chaps.