Friends on a Bench, a Tale

[*Author’s Note: This is a work of fiction. Any similarities between a weasel, lark, squirrel or other animal in this tale and a weasel, lark, squirrel, other animal or person living or dead is merely coincidental.]

An attractive weasel met a pretty lark in the park and without a second thought made a kind remark, “Oh Larky, your demeanor is quite sparky, your wings are highlighted while your beak is colored darkly. And the lark surmised, without surprise, that the weasel was trying to be her friend. Hopefully, this would be a new beginning, something that would soon not end.

The weasel’s name was Spoon and the lark was named Moon, so at least from a rhythmic standpoint, they had common ground based on plain old sound. Now, this was a commonality more banal than profound. But such is life when it comes to creating new relations. Every meeting is not based on high end intellectualizations.

A lark and a weasel, a pair for the ages. They would sit on a park bench and chatter like sages. They would discuss the state of the world, the weather and the comics. They would discuss issues philosophical and those that were ironic. They would dissect the statements of well-known intellects, not sparing them logical scrutiny though they might be iconic.

One day, a squirrel named Wispy passed them in the park. He said hello to Moon, the little lark. At once Moon introduced him to Spoon the weasel, and the pair of friends now formed a trio. A squirrel, a lark and a weasel talking issues with brio and they all were getting along; the kind of animal union for which we all long.

So on a park bench they sat. A weasel, a lark and a squirrel, speaking civilly — not having a spat. They discussed global issues and tried to figure out where the world was at. And they talked and ate seeds and the occasional bag of nuts. Though they were different they all had bona fide guts. They sat there as a group and enjoyed each other’s company. Their lighthearted banter became a public park symphony.

And so other animals began to join them on the bench. They came from here and they came from there: sparrows arriving by air, mice running up from the ground, even worms that liked to wriggle around. Before you could say menagerie, the group had grown large, a collection of animal friends who could take up all the space on an oversized barge.

Now what is the lesson here, if there is one to be learned? It is this: Respect is given and respect is earned. Friendship comes when we seek it most, if we remember to be good guests and, as well, to be good hosts. Differences are inevitable, yet they should not create rifts, it is friendly relationships that are the world’s greatest gifts.

Image courtesy of [Arvind Balaraman] /

*Authors note: You might see this column pop up online in a newspaper, under the name Both Sides. I am publishing this column here first at For a bunch of years, I have been writing newspaper columns. Since my columns have received a good response on CYInterview, I thought I would share it with you. Hope you enjoy.

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