The Ark by Al McDermid

When the pounding started again on Sunday morning, I decided to look over the high fence to investigate. My neighbor I discovered was building a boat. The keel was down, about 25 to 30 feet long, and most of the ribs were in place. My neighbor pounded away non-stop, one nail after another. I watched awhile, and then spoke when he was between nails.

“Hey Fred,” I called, “building a boat, huh.” I was good at stating the obvious.

“What!?” He looked around, startled. “It’s an ark.”

“Expecting a flood?” I said, stifling a smirk.

“Yep,” was all he said, and returned to his hammering. I looked up—not a cloud anywhere.

On Monday night he strung flood lights and worked until midnight. I let it pass, but when I got home on Tuesday, I could hear that he was still at it so I took another look.  Fred had been busy. It looked rough, but nearly finished. And it did look like it would float.

“Kind of small for an ark,” I called over. “Who you taking with you?”

“Ain’t goin’.”

“How many animals are you planning on then?”

“No animals,” he said as if speaking to a dim child, “bugs.”


“Yes, bugs,” he said. “I’ve been collecting them for months. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to hurry.”

I looked up again. Lightning flashed in the distance and I heard the crack of thunder.

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Filed under Al McDermid

6 responses to “The Ark by Al McDermid

  1. Al McDermid

    If all mankind were to disappear, the world would regenerate back to the rich state of equilibrium that existed ten thousand years ago. If insects were to vanish, the environment would collapse into chaos.
    —Edward O. Wilson

  2. So bugs rate higher than everyone else? Harsh. :D

  3. I remember seeing this film in middle school about how roaches were the only living animal that would make it through every imaginable devastation. Now, we know why — Fred’s ark. Fun story. Peace…

  4. Pingback: Week #17 – Busy at work « 52|250 A Year of Flash

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