Rufus and Chim-Chim: Operatic

June 20, 2010
By lillygm SILVER, River Forest, Illinois
lillygm SILVER, River Forest, Illinois
5 articles 0 photos 1 comment

“What are you doing?”

Chim-Chim stood in the corner of the living room, by the television. He was in quite a pleasant mood, having won his battle with the living room rug only moments before.

Rufus swung his head dramatically towards the Shih-Tzu. “Who?” he asked, voice warbling, “me?”

Chim-Chim promenaded towards Rufus, who was sitting in the darkest corner of the room, facing a wall.

“What are you doing?” he repeated.

“Must you know?” Rufus asked, heaving a heavy sigh. He enjoyed heaving heavy sighs, because they made the air rush through his throat in a rather soothing fashion.

“Yes.” Chim-Chim gave an extra bounce.

“Fine.” Rufus turned his body in a series of small, fumbling adjustments. “I am composing an opera.”

“Am I in it?” Chim-Chim asked.

“Why yes,” Rufus sneered, “you most certainly are.”

“Am I the soprano? Do I get to wear a fluffy dress? Am I pretty?”

“What? No, I mean, I’m not finished yet!” Rufus stuck his pointed nose into the air.

“I want to hear it!” Chim-Chim exclaimed.



“If you insist.” Rufus took a deep breath, and then began to recite.

“A Cacophony of Melancholy: The Forgotten Tale of Rufilius McGee”

“Why do we have different last names?” asked Chim-Chim Guthrie, “and is your name really Rufilius?”

“Quiet!” Rufus snapped. “It isn’t my fault if the lady of the house deems you the most suitable pet to carry her family name.” He watched in disgust as Chim-Chim began to snap his white teeth at passing flies.

“Do you want to hear the opera or not?” Rufus asked.

“Flies!” Chim-Chim jumped in the air, snapping his teeth from side to side.

“I’m going to recite it anyway,” Rufus said warningly. Chim-Chim gave a particularly risky jump and tripped over his paws on his way down, slamming his side into the ground.

“A Cacophony of Melancholy: The Forgotten Life of Rufilius McGee

Rufilius: Oh, weary me! My bones do ache with the discomfort of loss! Loss of what, a passerby may ask? (here Rufus paused, and Chim-Chim reliably asked, “What?”)
What? Only the loss of my identity! My identity, the thing which has kept me attached to this earth, has been taken from me. By whom? By the newest addition to our once prosperous household.

*Beginning of “Animated Feather Duster”*

Rufilius: I was once a carefree pup,

cradled by the sun

happy only like a babe

when everyone loved me–––––”

“This is boring,” Chim-Chim lay down, placing his head on his front paws. “I want to write a musical!”

Rufus shut his jaw. He had been hoping for Chim-Chim to comment on his impressive warble, which Rufus hoped was beginning to sound Garland-esque.

“Mine wasn’t a musical, it was an opera,” Rufus sniffed, holding himself upright, “and for your information, it takes extreme talent to compose–––”

“During operas you’re supposed to sing the whole time,” Chim-Chim jumped up. “I am going to write a song for my musical. I will call my musical, ‘Chimerella,’ so that I can be like Cinderella and get dressed up and wear glass slippers on my paws.”

“Oh, for the love of God.” Rufus walked from the dark corner to his bed, rolling his droopy, black eyes.

“Here it goes! I’m going to sing it,” Chim-Chim danced from paw to paw.


Chimerella: La! La! La! La! La! La! La! La! La! La! La! La! La! La!
La! La! La! La! La! La! La! La! La! La! La! La! La! La!
La! La! La! La! La! La! La! La! La! La! La! La! La! La!
La! La! La! La! La! La! La! La! La! La! La! La! La! La!

“Did it ever occur to you that I might be trying to sleep?” Rufus growled, his paws over his eyes. “Quit your amateur whimpering!”

“La!” sang Chim-Chim, sitting up straight with his paws running perpendicular to the wooden floor.

“Is that all?” Rufus sighed. He tried to get in as many sighs a day as he could.

“Yes.” Chim-Chim walked over to Rufus’s water bowl and began to drink from it.

Rufus gazed out of the window that stood in the wall beside his bed. The day was drawing to a close, and light was retreating from the soft, in-need-of-cutting grass.

He yawned.

“You should submit your opera to The New Yorker,” Chim-Chim told him, returning from the water bowl to lie down beside Rufus.

“Get out of my bed!” Rufus bared his teeth. Chim-Chim stared.

Rufus adjusted himself and looked out of the window.

“You can’t send operas to The New Yorker, idiot,” Rufus said. “Only cartoons, or poems about dying flowers, or stories about whiney city people who do stupid things to compensate for their pitiful lives.”

“Do you think that they would accept my musical as a political piece?” Chim-Chim asked.

“You are a highly political character.” Rufus chortled to himself.

“Thank you,” said Chim-Chim.

They lay there, watching as the mixed-watercolor sun sank downwards, below charcoal trees and into the ground.

“Where does the sun go?” Chim-Chim asked.

“To the core of the earth,” Rufus said.

“I can feel it!” Chim-Chim said.

“No you can’t,” Rufus snorted.

“How do you know?” Chim-Chim blinked, rolling over so that his stomach faced the sky. He seemed to think it a good substitute for the sun.

“Do you really think that The New Yorker would accept my opera?” Rufus asked. He turned to Chim-Chim. Chim-Chim snored.

Rufus lay his head down beside Chim-Chims, and closed his eyes. The sun disappeared, and all that could be heard were the snores of a Shih-Tzu and a Beagle.

The author's comments:
A sequel of sorts to "Rufus and Chim-Chim," which is also posted under my page.

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