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Bar Vignette
by Oren the Otter
Oren the Otter -- all rights reserved
 

It is dark and dismal as he leaves the house. He has kissed his wife and daughter goodbye for the day. He thinks to himself that the commute has become longer since he got married and bought a house, but he wouldn't trade it for the world.

The ride to work is cold, and the broken heater in his car doesn't help much. The windshield repeatedly clouds over from the breath of his bovine nostrils. He hugs his coat a little tighter, wishing momentarily that his body had thicker fur.

At last, he reaches a darkened bar on the west side of town. Taking his keys out of his pocket with practiced ease, he makes his way to the door.

A dog barks somewhere nearby. It takes his attention for a moment before his head snaps back around to gaze in through the bar window. He could have sworn he saw something. A moment's inspection reveals nothing, so he continues on, placing his keys into the lock and opening the door.

He thinks he hears something and pauses. Slowly he opens the door and peers into the gloom. Something does seem a mite odd, but he can't quite place his finger on what. He taps his horn in thought for a moment, and then proceeds to the bar area. He knows this bar like the back of his hand. He should. He owns it. Navigating in the dark is no problem. Still, there is that feeling of something amiss. A feeling like something is waiting in the deep, inky shadows to pounce out at any instant. Finally, he can take it no longer. Reaching back to the wall, he flips on the light.

"SURPRISE!"

The bovine bartender leaps almost two feet in the air as bizarre creatures with sharp teeth and tearing beaks, gleaming claws and powerful tentacles, wings and scales and antennae jump from every corner of the bar.

"Good heavens!" he signs one-handedly as he clutches his chest. "You guys almost gave me a heart attack!"

Confetti filled the air as noisemakers sounded cheerfully and a big cake in the shape of an aurochs was brought out.

"What's the occasion?" Signed the bartender.

"The occasion," said a pretty lady in white pig tails. "Is just your being Donnie, Donnie."

"Yeah." agreed a little otter. "We wanted to do something special for you."

"To show us how grateful we are for the millions of little things you do for us." said a tall fox.

In the door came a dalmatian-man. "I hope you guys heard me." he said. "I barked as soon as I saw him."

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