“’This weather – ‘taint fit for man nor beast,” the Soupster said, sitting down with his friend Abigail in a cozy corner of the café. Outside, where it was 30 degrees, hail rained down at 75 degrees, bouncing a few inches off the parking lot asphalt and car roofs.
“I went through at least four weather patterns on the way here,” said Abigail, pushing a mug of geoduck chowder to the Soupster. “This is fabulous. You’ve got to try it.”
The Soupster needed no encouragement and scarfing ensued. Abigail demolished her halibut wrap. “It was amazing,” she said between bites. “Rain, then sun, then hail, then rain, then hail again.”
“That’s five,” said the Soupster.
“It’s like Spring is here,” she said, ignoring him, “This kind of weather I associate with Spring. Only that it’s way too cold for Spring.”
“Punxsutawney Phil, the Groundhog Day groundhog, didn’t see his shadow this year
and that means an early Spring,” said the Soupster.
“Well, I’ve heard Punxsutawney Phil is right less than half the time.”
The Soupster chuckled and scraped the bottom of his mug to get the very last drop. “This geoduck stuff really is good,” he said. “If I got two more mugs, could you eat one of them?”
“I’ll try,” said Abigail.
The Soupster walked to the counter. “Sue,” he said to the proprietor. “Could you re-fill this mug and ladle out another one for Abby?”
Then sun flooded through the windows, as Sue turned to her stove holding two mugs. “I heard you guys talking about the weather,” she said over her shoulder. “You know what they say about our weather?”
“If you don’t like the weather in Our Town,” Sue said, “Just drive to the other end of the road.”
“Ah, microclimates,” said the Soupster. “I grok you.”
Outside, the wind picked up, rustling a stand of hemlock. A large raven landed on the asphalt and found a bit of pastry stuck to a paper plate. He was immediately joined by eight other ravens. The first raven pulled the pastry off the plate and flew off with the morsel, with four of the ravens leaping to pursuit. Freed of the pastry’s weight, the paper plate caught the next gust of wind and headed in the opposite direction, with the remaining ravens following.
“What were you watching?” asked Abigail as the Soupster placed two mugs on the table.
“Our Town’s Favorite Animal Tricks,” the Soupster said. “I bet the ravens are way happier here than they would be in some Back East blizzard or Tennessee ice storm. I heard it was near zero last night in Oklahoma City.”
Abby lifted a dripping spoonful of chowder. “That’s why we live in Alaska,” she said with her mouth full.
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