Still in their teens, the brother and sister owned
a grease truck packed with pork roll, hot dogs, sauerkraut,
fries, and soda. They only made a profit when
they parked in the lot across from a new construction site.
But the two longed to make their fortune away from
the smell of stale cooking oil that permeated every pore.
So they counted their money, purchased a Harley,
and rode off on a brisk day in October.
Six days out they were a few miles north of Peoria.
Let’s stop here, Sofia said, exhausted from clinging
to the back of her brother’s black leather jacket and trying
to protect herself from the cruel wind.
So they parked the bike behind a feed store, and started out
across the prairie on foot, whereupon they came to
a small spring. When Boris, thirsty from inhaling road dust,
leaned over to drink, Sofia yanked him back.
If you taste the water, she said, you’ll turn into a coyote.
A hundred yards farther, they came to a second spring.
Again, Boris tried to drink. No, Sofia said, this time
you will turn into a skunk.
I know the story, Boris replied. At the next spring, I’ll turn into
a goat. You’ll marry a rich old geezer, and we’ll all live
happily on his estate in Peoria. When he dies, we’ll be rich,
but dear sister, you must kill the one who poisoned
the water, so I can become human again.
And so it came to pass, but not as the brother had predicted.
The months dragged on. The old geezer was hearty
and played golf every day. Boris, tired of eating tin cans
and garbage, thought the cook was eyeing him suspiciously.
Sister, he said, do something. I don’t want to end up in the stew .
Maybe it was a coincidence, but the old geezer died
unexpectedly the very next day. Boris turned into his old self
at the exact moment the old man’s heart stopped beating,
but all his money went to the butler.
What next? The unhappy duo had no choice but to return
home and fire up their grease truck, much to the delight of
hungry workers who had missed their sizzling pork roll.