By Ear 2

A skeleton stopped the Fiddler at the bridge into town.

“Bridges’s closed,” it said. “If’en ye can’t pay the toll.”

The Fiddler made an exaggerated show of checking his pockets and purse, and even pulled off his boots and shook them, to show the skeleton he hadn’t even a wooden nickel. The skeleton stroked his rib cage as he thought.

“Couldn’t pay you with a song, I suppose?” the Fiddler asked.

“What good’d that do me? Ain’t got the ears to hear it.”

“Then how’re you fit to answer my question?”

Caught in his lie, the skeleton, ashamed, moved aside.

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