The Blurtso Chronicles
Blurtso at Harvard
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                               “Blurtso at Harvard”

The first donkey at Harvard! thought Blurtso. What a tremendous responsibility! I wonder if the cafeteria serves pumpkin pie?

                  “Blurtso tries out for the marching band”


  What an unusual interpretation of Chopin! said the band master.


                           “Blurtso attends his favorite class”




          Welcome, said the professor, to Animal Husbandry 101…

   “Blurtso takes to math like whipped cream to a pumpkin pie”

O.k., said the professor, let’s try number three. Two trucks, each filled with pumpkin pies, are going to the Whipped Cream Factory. The first truck leaves fifteen minutes before the second truck and drives at a speed of forty-five miles per hour. The second truck drives at fifty-five miles per hour. There is a donkey in the back of each truck. The donkey in the first truck can eat seventeen pumpkin pies in an hour, and the donkey in the second truck can eat twenty-one pies in an hour…


There are three bridges, the first at five miles, the second at ten, and the third at fifteen. Both trucks can travel only twenty miles per hour on the bridges. Each bridge is a quarter mile long. O.k., the question is… at the moment when the second truck overtakes the first, which donkey will have eaten more pumpkin pie? Who would like to give this a shot? How about you in the front row, the one with the boxing-glove nose… Me? said Blurtso. Yes, said the professor, which donkey will have eaten more pumpkin pie? Neither, said Blurtso. Neither? said the professor. They will have both eaten the same. The same? said the professor. Yes, said Blurtso, each donkey will have eaten as much pumpkin pie as he could.

                           "Blurtso does Hamlet" (I)


                       Alas, poor Yorick. I knew him well.
                           An excellent pie did he make.

                              "Blurtso does Hamlet" (II)


             To eat, or not to eat, —that is the question—

             Whether ‘tis sounder for the stomach to suffer

             The pricks and pangs of outrageous hunger

                                     And resist,

             —and by resisting, shrink this my swollen shape—

                                    Or to indulge,

             And then sleep, for after that indulgence, the sleep

             That’s sure to follow spawns decrease of increase,

                       And makes of energy lethargy’s fool;

             To eat, and sleep, and fatten as we dream!

                                 Ay, there’s the rub;

             For in that fatness of form what dangers may lie,

             —the hypertensive extinction, the diabetic demise—

                         Must give us pause to consider

                           The view of a sugary grave;

            Yet what burro would not barter with an unlived life,

                      Exchanging future pleasures aloof,

                          For a present pleasure ahoof?

            ‘Tis a consumption devoutly to be wished,

            When one of his stomach might its quietus make

                             With a baked pumpkin!

            Thus do cravings make cowards of us all,

            Sugaring over the dieting hue of resolution

            With sweet-scented cinnamon and graham-cracker crust,

            And with this regard, best intentions turn awry,

            Losing, in the act of consuming, the name of action.

              “Blurtso discovers the COOP at Harvard Square"

Mmmmmm, thought Blurtso, the food here is really quite good. And these chocolate-chip muffins are excellent!


Isn’t this a great bookstore? said a co-ed at a neighboring table. Bookstore? thought Blurtso, Is this a bookstore?

"Blurtso is dumbfounded by his classmates"

I don't understand, thought Blurtso, why these Harvard students are so stressed… the cafeteria almost never runs out of pumpkin pie.

“Blurtso has trouble staying in his lane” 


Boy oh boy! said Blurtso. Blodgett swimming pool!

                            "Blurtso tries the high dive"



                            “Blurtso meets Heraclitus”

Heraclitus, said the professor, was a Greek philosopher who said, “You can’t step into the same river twice…” Why would anyone step into a river? thought Blurtso. That’s what bridges are for.

                    “You can’t read the same Blurtso twice”

You can’t step into the same river, said the professor, because the river is always changing, and when you step in a second time, it is a different river. And you are changing too, and are not the same as when you first stepped in. In fact repetition is a myth, it is impossible…  I’m sorry, said Blurtso, I wasn’t listening… could you repeat that

                          “Blurtso meets the inspector”


       Well, said the inspector, let’s see what’s wrong with this...


Wrong? said Blurtso, placing his hoof over the crack in the foundation. What’s beneath your hoof? asked the inspector. My hoof? said Blurtso. Your hoof, said the inspector. Would you like a pumpkin pie? asked Blurtso.

                     "Blurtso moves in the same direction"


I wonder if I’m going the right direction? thought Blurtso, walking across the field. I wonder if I’m making progress? If the world is round, the direction forward is also the direction back. And vice versa. Hmmm, I wonder who invented the idea of progress?

                         “Blurtso designs his own lexicon”


Curse these clumsy hoofs! said Blurtso. You mean “hooves,” said Pablo. “Hooves?” said Blurtso. Yes, said Pablo. Hmmm, said Blurtso, you may be right. Let me give it a try… “Curse these clumsy hooves!” I don’t know, said Blurtso, I think “hoofs” sounds more clumsy than “hooves.” You mean “clumsier,” said Pablo. “Clumsier?” said Blurtso. Yes, said Pablo. I don’t know, said Blurtso, I think “more clumsy” sounds more clumsy than “clumsier.”

                            “Blurtso looks at the snow”

Hmmm, thought Blurtso, would you look at that.

I wonder how long it will snow? I wonder how much it is snowing in the mountains? I wonder if there is ice on the stream or if the snow is falling on the water? Snowflakes don’t last very long in the water. Unless there is a rock. Then the snowflakes can land on the rock. I wonder if snowflakes look for rocks in the stream? If I were a snowflake, I would look for a rock in the stream. It would be very sad if I were a snowflake on a rock, to watch all the other snowflakes land in the water. I think I would prefer to land in the water. Then I could be happy for all the snowflakes that landed on rocks.

                             "Blurtso gets the sniffles"


                 “Blurtso gets an A on his first assignment”

Welcome to Art 101, said the professor. Today we will look at examples of Greek and Roman sculpture, and then you will be given a block of clay to create a shape of your own…







                             “Blurtso follows footsteps”




Hey, thought Blurtso, footsteps in the snow. I wonder where they’re going? Maybe I’ll follow them. And off he went, following the footsteps, and singing as he went. Doo dee doo dee dee, dee dee dee dee doo… Hey, what’s this? said Blurtso. No more footsteps. I wonder what happened to the person who was making them? How can a person just vanish like that? And make no more tracks. Hmmm, thought Blurtso, looking at the dark forest around him. Maybe I’d better go see Pablo, and make sure he’s alright.


               “Blurtso is inspired by his third assignment”

Giotto di Bondone, better known as Giotto, was an Italian painter and architect from Florence in the late Middle Ages. Considered the first in a line of great artists who contributed to the Italian Renaissance, his paintings and frescos glorify God and the Roman Catholic Church…



                       “Blurtso doesn’t quite measure up”


Michelangelo’s “David,” said the professor, is a perfect example of High Renaissance sculpture. Notice the powerful jaw-line, the proud nudity, the defiant glance…




             “Blurtso’s theory of evolution covers all the bases”



                        “Blurtso brings an extra trombone”


    I’m sorry, said the flight attendant when Blurtso arrived at the
Passengers are allowed only one carry-on trombone.

“Blurtso and Pablo fly south for Spring Break”


 Hmm, thought Blurtso, I guess they ran out of seats in Fist Class.

                             "Blurtso sits in the sun" (I)


I wonder if the sand is hot? It was warm three hours ago. The breeze is nice. It feels good on my ears. It’s hard to hear over the waves. I can see Pablo talking with the parasailing people, but I can’t hear a word he’s saying. I wonder if he’s going for a ride? I wonder if I should have another pumpkin-colada? The first one was excellent. And the second and third ones were even better. I wonder if I should call for the waiter? Wow! There goes Pablo! He’s really soaring! I hope he’s strapped in. I wonder what it’s like up there? I wonder if he can see me? I wonder if he can see the waiter? Maybe he can get the waiter’s attention. He seems to be waving his hoofs quite wildly. He must be signaling the waiter. What a good friend. My pumpkin-colada will be here soon.

                          “Blurtso sits in the sun” (IV)


Wow, thought Blurtso, that was quite a night last night. It was really crowded at the club. I probably shouldn’t have danced on the table, or swung from the chandelier. But I was so happy when the Nachos arrived.

                        “Pablo and Blurtso yearn for home”


               “Volver, volver, volver… a mis calabazas otra vez.”


                     "Blurtso signs up for the wrong class"


                             Isn't this Hip-Hop 101?

                            "Blurtso begins to fit in"


                    Un, deux, trois… plié, fondu, developé.

                 "Blurtso choreographs a new combination"


                        Glissade… pas d’âne… assemblé.

                         "Blurtso choreographs an idea"


What a great idea! You think so? said Blurtso. Absolutely! What will you call it? I'm not sure, said Blurtso, it's a toss up between "Blurtsselia" and "Donkey Lake."

               "Blurtso rehearses the score to Donkey Lake"


                              Pianissimo! Pianissimo!

                   "Blurtso holds auditions for Donkey Lake"


        O.k., now the ducks... glissade, pas de canard, assemblé.

                   "Donkey Lake brings down the house"




                           Mmmmm, roses.... delicious.

               “Blurtso reflects on his first year at Harvard”


Well, thought Blurtso, that was quite a year. It was exciting. I read and I wrote and I thought and I spoke. My mind is spinning. I wonder how long it will spin? I wish I could make it stop… Hey! Is that a daisy?































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