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The Way Things Are
By Evan McBride

1: Aha! Iíve got you!
2: Are you certain?
1: Fairly certain. Iím a lion and youíre a gazelle. Youíre stuck in that hole. Iíve got you.
2: Oh my. What now?
1: Well, I suppose Iíve got to come down there and devour you.
2: How will you get out?
1: Thatís not the issue here.
2: Iíd certainly think it should be.
1: Iím sure Iíll find a way. I am a lion after all.
2: So?
1: The legendary king of beasts? I hardly think it should be my fate to rot is some dank hole in the ground.
2: Well, you likely would if you were to come down here.
1: Maybe, but I am most dreadfully hungry.
2: I donít think youíre being very wise.
1: Frankly, Iím not interested in what you think. Iím going to come and eat you now.
2: Wait. Donít you ever wonder if thereís some point behind this whole mess?
1: Um... a point?
2: Yes, like some reason we do what we do? Some underlying purpose that we exist?
1: I donít see how that matters.
2: Well, it matters quite a bit to me, seeing as Iím about to die in a moment.
1: I donít care. I just want to eat you.
2: But everything canít just be chaos. We must be some part of of a greater plan. There must be a meaning to it all. How can there not be?
1: Well, perhaps there is. Iím sure it has something to do with eating you, anyway.
2: You seem to have a rather one track mind.
1: I refer to it as sensibility.
2: I certainly donít relish the thought of being devoured by you, if you donít mind me saying so.
1: You donít? I mean, you should be a little proud. To be devoured by a noble lion is a privilege reserved for a spare few. Besides, itís your natural place in things.
2: I for one donít see why it has to be my natural place in things.
1: Makes perfect sense to me. Iím a lion. Youíre a gazelle. You may as well be wearing a sign on your back that says Ďdevour meí. Fierce carnivore and docile herbivore. It couldnít be any other way.
2: I do have these awfully pointy things on my head, you know.
1: Yes, but you donít use them. You run away. Thatís the way it always goes.
2: I canít run. Iím in a bloody hole.
1: All the better.
2: Youíre not being very sensitive, you know.
1: Iíll have time for that when my bellyís full.
2: Iíve thought it over. I know it isnít typical, but Iím going to have to gore you when you pounce down here.
1: Thatís ridiculous. Simply doesnít happen.
2: But I am going to.
1: You know, itís creatures like you with no respect for traditional values that make the Savannah such a dreadful place to live.
2: I personally think it would be perfectly grand if we all just got along.
1: This from a grass-eater. What do you want me to eat?
2: Not me. I know that much.
1: Now youíre not being very sensitive.
2: You must admit that Iím not in a pleasant position. I am trapped in a hole, you know.
1: Well, what if I were to help you out?
2: What?
1: Well, if youíre going to be so damned stubborn about the impaling and all, I could help you out of the hole and we could do this proper. You run, I chase. A test of speed and agility.
2: But Iíd almost certainly win.
1: True, but it would be more interesting than leaping into a hole and being gored by some punk antelope with no respect for tradition.
2: All right then.
1: You leap as high as you can, and Iíll grab you.
2: How do I know you wonít devour me when I do?
1: You only have my word. But the way I see it either you stay own there, I leap down and get gored, you starve to death and we both die, or you come up here and only one of us dies.
2: I suppose that does make sense. Here I come!
1: Careful, those things are awfully sharp! All right, there you go. Now arenít you happy we worked together? You get your chance at life and freedom, and I get my proper old fashioned hunt. The power of cooperation. Lion and gazelle, working together.
2: But youíre still going to try and eat me, right?
1: Lifeís not a fairy tale, my friend.
2: You know, I really wish weíd met under other circumstances.
1: Yep. But this is the real world. I suggest you get running.