Parinita Shetty: Confused Platypus

This story about the confused platypus comes from Parinita Shetty, whose book The Monster Hunters will be published in April. (And yes, it is slightly longer than 100 words, but our authors i. have special rights and ii. are not part of the contest.)

The platypus was confused. “The cold-ridden monster had seven heads and forty-two noses,” he read out loud. “When he sneezed, twenty-one of his noses were blown right off. How many noses did each of his heads have left?”
“What kind of question is that?!” the chicken cried out in exasperation. She and the platypus were working on Math problems after school and neither of them were having much luck.
“And listen to this one!” the platypus wailed. “The old lady had thirty-one children and made dinner enough for twenty-four. If you can smell seven pies burning, how many kids are going to bed hungry?”
“What is with the sudden nasal obsession?” the chicken wanted to know.
“You know what this nose smells?” the platypus took a deep breath. “Chocolate with a hint of orange and some hazelnuts thrown in.”
The chicken could smell it too. She shut her book with a determined thump and stood up. “You know what’s more important than calculating missing noses and wafts of culinary disasters?” she asked. “Cake.”
“Cake,” the platypus agreed and followed her into the kitchen.
“In the words of the beloved bard,” the chicken smiled as she spotted her mother near the oven. “A nose by any other name would smell just as much.”

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