She rested and she read, herself having chosen to neglect the path entirely for the day. There had been things to do, things to have done, and these things did not allow her to travel freely within the confines of her periphery. Had she ignored this demand from Circumstance, she surely would have found herself in a shrubbery or a hedge, her legs protruding ridiculously from within foliage, her belongings strewn, her mood plummeting more and more with each passing moment.
Having safely avoided misfortune by way of diligence, she was sitting contentedly upon a bench at the place which she adored, absorbing something absorbing, when a fairly large fly alighted on her arm. “Ah, you have come to pay me a visit,” she said to the fly, “it’s nice of you to have stopped by. Is it possible that you might consider me a worthwhile friend?”
She looked at the darkly-greenish fly as it inspected her skin, skittering here and there, considering her rather considerably. “Of course, you are not considering me as a friend at all, are you?” she said. “You are simply determining whether or not I am dead, thus worthy of your eggs.”
Disappointed by being unworthy in an ever-increasing multitude of ways, she returned her attention to her book, but was distracted by a faded memory of something amusing, something she had once found in a Victorian periodical, something which had ended up only causing her misery—as there had been no one with whom it might have been shared at the time of its discovery, as there is no one now—and so it had been shoved and shelved with pique. She struggled to recall the witticism, to bring it forth from hiding, and after an embarrassing amount of time: it was uncovered from within a faraway recess of her maleficent mind:
He had been playing progressive euchre and listening to the sentimental ballads of the day as performed by young women who didn’t know whether they could sing or not, but were willing to try. That night a mosquito bit him.
“Excuse me,” said the insect, “but I have to live.”
“Go ahead,” said the blasé youth; “it’s a positive relief to be bored in a different way.”