Journal entry date: June 29, 1986.
I’ve decided to tell you a baseball story in the journal entries.
I will have two full baseball teams. The teams will be the Quadrupeds, "Quads," against the Winged, "Wings."
They will use a ping pong ball the size of a baseball ( 9” circumference). They do not have to use a bat but they may.
Characters in the Story
The Quads have three elephants in the outfield, 4 pigs in the infield, a kangaroo pitches and a donkey catches.
The Wings have three ostriches in the outfield, 4 Canada geese in the infield, a swan for a pitcher and a hawk for catcher.
The snakes are the umpires:
a cobra is behind home plate,
a large bull snake at first,
a boa at second,
a diamond-back rattler at 3rd.
The coaches for the Quads are cowbirds, blue jays and wrens. The manager is a mocking bird.
The coaches for the Wings are cats and mice. The manager is a cheetah.
We’ll have a terrific series the next few days. The news people who broadcast the game will be two hummingbirds and two cardinals.
I forgot to mention the ground crew.
There are 2 skunks, 2 badgers, 4 crows, 5 dung beetles.
The skunks are there primarily to prevent vandalism.
They are great dissuaders. The Badgers have the primary job of keeping the drains open. The 4 crows are the lookout patrol. Nothing escapes their eyes or their shrill voices.
The dung beetles are there mostly because of the elephants.
Today, they will just warm up for the first game tomorrow.
The 3 ostriches led the parade as a juggling trio. Each had 3 turnips and they did lots of acts individually and as a group. They had to be very careful not to knot their necks.
Journal entry date: June 30 1986.
We had 1.1 inches of rain during the night and .55 of an inch yesterday. We had a real thunder storm from about midnight until 3:00 a.m. Weather forecasts on radio and TV had predicted none of this. So much for their accuracy. They should go back to the ponytail outside the window. When the tail is wet it is raining. If tail is moving, there is wind. When it’s white, there is frost or snow depending on its depth.
We won’t be able to hear the game between the Quads and Wings today. The managers, the mocking bird and the cheetah, talked it over after the storm. The cheetah is afraid the Quads will ruin the field. The pigs will want to root in the infield and the elephants will mat down the outfield.
The mocking bird figures the Wings are a bit sacred and probably have something else to do. He’s not saying too much, today. If the Wings don’t play tomorrow, he will ask for a forfeit win the first game.
The snakes have said nothing but they are in a foul mood.
Journal entry date: July 1, 1986.
The Quads and the Wings had their first game, last night, and a diamond scorcher it was.
Both managers were ejected from the game. The cheetah got tired of sitting in the dugout so he would stand off from home plate when his team was at bat. With every hit, he would race the ball to the infield or outfield. He did not interfere with the play but he made the geese nervous and the ostriches angry.
The umpire forbade the cheetah to be out of the dugout. The cheetah threatened to tie all four snakes in one knot. Then he stood in the dugout and called the snakes obscene names by twitching his tall.
The mocking bird couldn’t leave well enough alone so he harassed by flying to the outfield and mimicking a mouse - right in the elephant’s ears. The mocking bird was ordered off the field and he harassed the umps by using various animal voices as a ventriloquist.
The snakes blamed everyone else.
The fans really enjoyed these little sideshows.
The game itself was well played.
The elephants have a clever way of fielding the ball. No matter where the ball is hit, the elephants in left and right field send a jet stream of air at the ball and blow it toward center field. The center field takes deep breaths and pulls it to his trunk. Then he blows and send it to the infield. The pigs are great ball handlers except that the short stop likes to root in the wet dirt and throws up mounds.
The Wings were quite a noisy team with the constant honking of the geese and the whistle of the hawk.
The Wings won the first game by a score of 4-3 in 10 innings. Both pitchers went all the way even though both teams have a fine Bull Pen.
Journal entry date: July 2, 1986.
The Quads and the Wings had a very close game again, last night.
The donkey, catcher for the Quads, really put on a show behind the plate. He talked almost constantly to keep the team lively, as most catchers do. The donkey’s voice is very strong and loud. So last night, instead of his raucous hee-haw to rattle the batters, he just used the hee-hee-hee and giggled in a very light voice like a small mouse. The opposing batters laughed so much they could hardly swing.
At bat, the donkey got 4 for 4. Two of these were homeruns and a triple and he stole home. The other was a double and he was put out on 2nd. One of the geese flew up and nipped him, and when he jumped off base, he was tagged out.
The Geese were the show on the Wings team. Ordinarily, they honk a steady game and really create a noise. Last night, they followed the lead of the donkey and they went “peep-peep” constantly. The Elephants seemed scared of this noise and shied away from the base and was tagged out.
Both pitchers, Kangaroo & Swan, had a good night on the mound.
The Quads won 6-5.
Journal entry date: July 3, 1986.
I’m watching the game tonight between the Quads and Wings on Channel 1MAG. It is the education channel Ancient . I can get it only on Babel TV.
The Quads decided they should have a bit of pre-game show as a vorgeist (forecast) for the 4th (of July). The Wings liked the idea so all the people of both teams and the ground crew joined in.
First came the 3 elephants. Two had their trunks linked together. The third one had his trunk looped over the donkey’s neck. They represented union of Democrats and Republicans.
Then came the four pigs. They were running madly in and out of each other’s paths - as pigs do. The kangaroo was zigzagging his jumps between them.
The four Canada geese flew in formation over the parade. The hawk dove straight down again and again, picked up a ball & zoomed straight up.
The swan was riding in a golf-cart in all his majesty as the Grand Master of the parade.
The four snakes were asked to stay in their official positions lest there be talk of camaraderie and bribery.
The cats and mice got a free ride on the Cheetah as he ran the course of the parade at high speed several times.
The cowbirds, blue jays, wrens, & mocking bird gave animated descriptions of the parade to the crowds and told them when to applaud the loudest.
The game was a thriller, 5-4 in favor of the Wings. The Wings are now 1-up on the series. There’ll be a double-header on the 4th. I’d like to take you to the game but there are just no tickets available.
Journal entry date: July 4, 1986.
The Quads and the Wings really entertained the crowds with the double header, today. The ground crew had the infield picture perfect. The four crows had the new disposable cameras and were taking myriads of aerial photos. This fact sparked the players on both teams to try for the spectacular.
The teams split the twin-bill so it is now 3-2 for the Wings. The star fielding plays in the first game were made by the ostriches and the hawk. The Hawk caught 3 pop fowls on the first base side and two on the third-base line. He is able to take off almost vertically so he nips the ball before it gets over the stands.
The ostriches did something really new. They jumped on each other’s backs as they ran and were able to snare a lot of balls that could have been over their heads.
The kangaroo had a new wrinkle, too. She had a Joey in her pouch. He threw the balls out as she used them.
The four pigs tried something new to rattle the batters. Each time the batter got ready to swing they squeaked in unison. The geese were really shook by this.
The swan had the smoothest delivery I’ve seen in quite a while. He had a close friend with him before the game, a mongoose. They stood at the mound & talked and made a lot of motions toward the bases. The donkey felt this was deliberate intimidation of the umps. The cheetah made moves to eject the mongoose but never looked really serious.
The blue jays were the only discordant note in the game. They were on the loudspeaker between many of the innings telling the spectators to pick up papers and trash and not to litter. They threatened to fly over the offenders and drop some of their litter. The wrens tried to cover for this crudeness by singing a lot and bringing their families out to show.
The donkey's wife was right behind the plate in the 2nd row of seats. She did a lot of cheering which I learned later was actually advice to the catcher on how to play certain batters.
So geht es (so it goes) in the Quads ball park on the 4th of July.
Journal entry date: July 5, 1986.
After yesterday’s double-header the managers of the Quads and the Wings got together and declared today a free day. So, instead of a ball game today, the two teams are going to go sightseeing. They were going to rent some semis but decided against it. All the players are on their own.
The pigs decided to find an isolated pond with a good mud hole and spend the day lounging. The elephants headed for the woods along the river. The kangaroo is going to the zoo and to visit some old friends. The donkey could think of nothing better than a rich green pasture. The ostriches decided to take a good hike of 200-300 miles and really stretched their legs. The Canadians (geese) have a grand lake filled with weeds galore. They’ll spend the day there. The swan is going to swim in the park and just soak up the admiration of all visitors. The hawk intends to scour the countryside diving and hunting.
The ground crews will be busy. The coaches will busy themselves with equipment & leisurely singing or scurrying about. The cheetah intends to do several 1000 yard dashes.
The umps are not really welcome anywhere so they’ll stick close to the clubhouse.
Journal entry date: July 6, 1986.
Today was the last of the games. The series was to be best out of seven. The Wings won this game so they take the series 4-2. The teams were quite evenly matched on all scores but the Wings managed to capitalize on every break.
The swan had perfect control the whole game. The Quads did not get one really long hit and they got only 4 into the outfield.
The geese were the stars of the game defensively. They covered that infield as if they were picking up corn after a long flight. Nothing got by them.
The ostriches were superb at the plate. One ostrich beat out three bunts. The pig at first base tried to block the base. The ostrich didn’t even break stride and booted him about 7 feet. The elephants definitely celebrated too much on the holiday. The center fielder claimed he ate 4 bushels of peanuts alone.
These teams proved to be quite interesting. Their PR man is a Rhode Island red rooster. He is quite a flapper. He asked me if I would be willing to write a bit about their spring training, the other teams in the league, and their off-season lives. I told him I would look into it and let him know. He’d like the book by the end of February before spring training.
Did you enjoy the story?
If you have ideas on how to get this story illustrated and published, or other comments,
please let me know at [email protected]. Thanks.