The Ragged Man

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Flash Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

Take a park, a ragged looking man, some riddles and jokes, and see what happens.

Submitted: August 30, 2018

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Submitted: August 30, 2018



 The ragged looking man stood on a wooden box near the center of the city park. And every time someone would walk past he would begin asking questions of them.

"Why are ducks never broke?" he asked a teenage boy.

The boy just shrugged his shoulders and said, "Search me. Why are ducks never broke?"

The ragged man laughed and replied, "Because they always have at least one Bill on them!"

When an older woman jogged past the ragged man called after her, "What is a ducks favorite food?"

The woman stopped and started jogging in place. Then after a moment she replied, "Pond Scum, I think."

"You are close," said the ragged man, "the answer is Duck-Soup with a lot of Quack-ers!" Then he laughed again.

After a short period of time a crowd started to gather around the ragged man, just to see what he was going to say next.

Well the man didn't keep them waiting long. As the crowd grew quiet he yelled, "Who can tell me why ducks are a good credit risk?"

Several people gave what seemed to be logical answers, but the ragged man just laughed and said, "Those are to logical to be the right answer for my riddles! The answer to (why are ducks a good credit risk) is, --- because they can always Float Alone!"

The ragged man laughed, as he always did after telling one of his silly jokes, but surprisingly enough a few other people laughed too.


The next so-called riddle was different. The ragged man said this, "Three chickens crossed the road, but the fourth chicken did not. Why?"

Several more answers came from the crowd, but they were all said to be wrong.

So the ragged man offered up the correct one by saying, "The fourth chicken did not cross the road because she was not part of their pecking order!"

More people laughed than had laughed before, then they began talking among themselves and discussing each riddle.

After that, the strangest thing happened, it wasn't long before the crowd started making up their own riddles and sharing them with one another. And in doing so they seemed to have forgotten the man on the wooden box.

The crowd soon divided into small groups and each group began discussing the silly riddles. And it wasn't long before some of the small groups wandered off to have coffee or drinks together. Some even went to dinner.

There were lasting friendships made that afternoon, and two marriages soon occurred.

Well, after everyone wandered away and the darkness of night showered the park, the ragged man's wings unfurled and he flew away.



D. Thurmond / JEF


© Copyright 2019 D. Thurmond, aka, JEF. All rights reserved.

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