DO CRABS THINK FISH ARE FLYING? • by Brandt Scheidemantel

“Chapter Two,” he read, “Language and Memory.”

“Hang on.”


“Guess what?


“Chicken butt.”

He sighed.

“Guess why?”

“We’ve no time for…”

“Chicken thigh!!”

She howled and fell off the stool, banging her fist on the carpet. He set down his pen and watched. The clock read five minutes to noon. Indeed, he thought, she is weary of study. From the floor, she carried on.

“Do crabs think fish are flying?”

He raised an eyebrow.


A bird had crashed into the window. They stepped outside. When the girl saw its broken body, she began to cry. A cat appeared and grabbed the bird, slinking away, the corpse dangling from its jaw. Back inside, he saw the tears on her cheek. I ought to provide comfort, he thought.

“I’ve some words that will help you remember the bird.”

“Okay,” she sniveled.

“What did the bird feel when he hit the window?”


“Pane,” he said.

She began again to cry.

“Oh, no,” he assured, “he felt quite a pane in the glass.”

She ran to her room.

Confused, he picked up the pen, reviewed the lesson plan and underlined: Language and Memory. Review for tomorrow.

Brandt Scheidemantel grew up in Pittsburgh and studied Romance Languages at Duke. He studies literature at the University of Vienna and freelances. His fiction has been published by Grindstone Literary.

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