The word "cookie" is derived from the Scottish word for a bit of batter or a test biscuit placed on a fire to see if it is hot enough to bake.
Teaching an Old Gargoyle New Tricks
They sat on the table as inconspicuously harmless looking as food could possibly look. There was about a dozen of them, hard, black disks, black as coal or burnt bread, sandwiching a white mush, white as snow or raw tallow, two colors on opposite sides of the spectrum, the purest, solid color of both black and white. Hudson could not make heads or tails out of them.
He sat, kneeled, by the table, glancing at the odd disks. Elisa brought them; they were at the bottom of one of the paper grocery bags filled with food. Broadway, in his usual gusto, dug the package out, ripped it open, and flew off with over half of the disks in one hand, crunching on them loudly one by one.
Hudson was not a connoisseur of food. A meat and potatoes man would be the best reference to describe him. A meat man in fact. Food was food, and Hudson preferred necessity over flavor and rarity. He never was complicated with food. He liked meat and vegetables, just cooked to readiness, and that was all. Now, in this time, it was the human palate that chose what he was to eat. Human food was seasoned, brightly colored, lacking all naturalness in taste, shape, and color, much like the very city itself. There was no naturalness to the city, even the very trees planting in the park were contained and clipped, an abomination to their ancestors. The back of the boxes was like reading an incantation book. No wonder the ancient gargoyle with simple needs and wants and straightforward principles was confused.
There was plenty else to eat, Broadway even left a cold cheeseburger, but Hudson, still full from last night, was bemused with the black and white disks. They were sitting a boxlike container made from…plastic…that was the term, a bright unnatural blue plastic. Sticking a talon finger into the box, written in bright bold, white letters was "Oreo", Hudson dragged out disk, the consistency of it was like stale bread. It did not give under the pressure of his talon. Hudson tapped on it, chipping it.
Bronx padded in, watching the gargoyle. The gargoyle beast plopped his hindquarters down beside Hudson, looking up at Hudson, begging. Not illustrating Hudson's discrimination towards the Oreos, Bronx whined.
"What is it lad?" Hudson asked, examining the Oreo close up.
"Ruff," Bronx said. The bark was followed by a high pitched whine. Hudson held up the Oreo for better inspection for the gargoyle beast. Bronx panted loudly as he begged. His tongue lolled out of his mouth.
"Aye lad, I do not understand why lad you want to eat this," Hudson said. He set the cookie on Bronx's snot. Bronx paused, the flipped the cookie over, crunching on it loudly. It crunched at the same consistency of Bronx's dog biscuits. The voice of doubt in Hudson's mind spoke up.
I doubt they are as palatable.
Hudson picked up another cookie, crushing it between clawed fingertips. The Oreo gave away as quickly as charcoal and left a black greasy smear on Hudson's grey tan skin.
"Ach, what is that made from? Wood ash and grease?" he exclaimed sniffing her fingers.
"And don't' forget sugar," Elisa said. She had another bag in her arm. "They're cookies."
"Cookies, as in biscuits?" Hudson said, setting the crumbled cookie down.
"No, cookies as in cookies, as in cookies and milk," Elisa said. She brought to the table with two tall, sweating glasses of white milk. She set one glass in front of Hudson. "You always eat Oreos with milk."
"Another human custom lass?" Hudson said tiredly and dryly.
"A tradition really," Elisa said, dunking a cookie in the milk.
Hudson sighed, putting his elbows on the table and resting his arms on top of each other. "Lass, I don't think I could ever get over this world and your human cus-toms. I'm just an old gargoyle in a new world where everything is new briefly and gets old."
"Hudson, don't get that way. It will be hard, but trust me, you'll get used to it," Elisa reassured.
"Aye lass, the batlings and Goliath will adjust quite fine, but me, I am not so sure of. I am not the gargoyle I used to be, and this is not the world it used to be. Names, words, customs, spells, electricity, night lights, television, moving pictures, buildings taller than mountains, flying machines, flat rocks instead of grass, living machines, it's just a nightmare for me, Elisa," Hudson explained.
"It's culture shock," Elisa said. "And gargoyles are not the only ones who get it. Humans get it too."
"Aye, but that is more for an old gargoyle like me to fret over. There's not just one culture here, there's many. It's like a soup a youngin' made. Threw everything in, oats with barley, fruit with vegetables, chicken with beef, lamb with pork, scraps, bread, and handfuls of grass. I don't know where to begin, and I don't know what to do, whether to ignore, push it aside or simply eat it," Hudson said. He lowered his head into his arms.
"How about you start with a taste?" Elisa said. She pushed the package of cookies towards him. There were two cookies left.
Hudson lifted his head. He picked one cookie up, feeling the grainy design. Elisa picked up the last one. She smiled and dunked into the milk. She let the cookie soak up the milk then plunked it into her mouth. Cautiously Hudson followed suit. He pulled the cookie out; white milk coated it thoroughly and dripped from it. He popped it into his mouth. It disintegrated smoothly. Hudson swallowed.
"Aye lass," he said, "I think I will take back my words."
Elisa smiled and held up her half-full glass of milk. "To new things?"
"To new things," Hudson responded.
They tapped their glasses together.
I began this six months ago, then forgot the point of it. I sat down read over it, remember the point and finished it. It's short, but I like it.