All the Confused Platypuses

Because not just platypuses are confused, here are all twelve winners of the Platypus Day flash fiction contest in one very long post!

The names of the authors are given below their stories/poems. The stories are in no particular order.

‘The platypus was confused.’
‘Well, Sir, he acted off his own back.’
‘Did he reach the destination?’
‘No. We sent in the penguin.’
‘He reached the destination, but not before the target had checked out.’
‘Bloody hell, Bill! Seems like we’re running a circus here. Please tell me that someone has managed to complete the mission.’
‘We sent in the snake.’
The only sound was the gentle tweeting of birds.
‘The snake?’ he whispered. ‘But you know-’
‘And last time-’
‘Done, Sir. Target taken out at 2 a.m. Poison, of course. Untraceable in the blood.’

–Laura Besley

The Platypus was confused.
He just could not figure out which was right and what was left.

His friends did try to help him just as did his parents did.
But all their good natured teaching and hints and clues only confused him further.

One day he overheard a lady telling her child who surprisingly shared the same problem
” Simple- your eating hand is right and the other one is your left.”

But since he was a platypus, he really was not very clear which hand to eat with.
And that left him confused about yet another thing now!!

–Anushka Navaneeth

The platypus was confused. His grandmother, Lady Platypus had died a tragic death.
He didn’t know if he must blame himself or Lady Platypus’ I mistake things for other things memory problem.
She often mistook her hairbrush for a toothbrush, the stove’s knob for the volume knob and pineapples for vitamin pills.
One evening, the platypus returned home from office and rang the door bell. Suddenly there was a THUD and a SPLATTER.
Lady Platypus, who ran to open the front door of the house, had instead opened the refrigerator’s door with such great force that it fell on her.

–Suraj J Menon

The platypus was confused.

The whole of his life, he has been told by his mom and dad to look out for a healthy female and give them a grand-kid. That’s what good platypuses do. Go champ, get them – his dad said. But he never felt anything inside him wanting to do that. He wanted to be mad and stupid in love like his friends. And have babies to make his dad proud.

And today, he felt something. The spark, the rush, the dizzy feeling of being in love. But it was not for a female.

The platypus was confused.

–Ashutosh Srivastava

The platypus was confused. “Another egg missing! This funny business must stop,” he mumbled. “The wife is going to be very upset.”
He counted them again. Five. He tucked them in snugly.
“Some children are better than none.”
Night fell and the tired platypus climbed into bed next to his sobbing wife.
An hour and a half passed by and the platypus had sunk into deep, snoring slumber. His feet twitched and out he hopped. He craved some fried eggs. He sleepwalked through another delicious child.

The platypus was confused.

–Sanjana Kapur

The Platypus was confused. A single drop of blood coursed its way down his forehead, foreshadowing more to come. He was injured, dazed. But he was also a trained killer, an ex-recon marine. And like the odd, venomous, semi-aquatic mammal which had loaned him its name, he was deadly when cornered. Carefully, he searched the bleak arctic horizon outside Lenvik. It was a dark and bitterly cold night, and visibility was low. At long last, he saw what he was looking for- a target. Someone was about to find out what it meant to try and double-cross the Platypus. Someone was about to pay.

–Aditya Puar

The platypus was confused. The invitation to the mammalian party had made it quite happy a week ago. “How exclusive!” It had thought.

Slowly, realization dawned on it. This changed everything. They were making a point.

“Thhoo!” It said. Embarrassment and anger soured its tongue, as it stared at the rows of tetrapacked juice on the table, and the slim little plastic cylinders sticking out of them.

Bear and Rabbit looked at each other askance. “Umm,” said Bear. “The rest of us are kind of used to it.”

Rabbit’s voice shook a little. “Are you sure you should be here?”

–Anupam Arunachalam

The platypus was confused. The systematic persecution of her kind by the Mammalcontents bordered on senseless, she silently grieved while descending to the lakebed. The revolutionary Marsupialoyalists had pledged change since the tarn had shrivelled, depriving the swale of insects. “We promise nourishment but those of unnatural birth or advantaged by origin must be expelled,” the Furrier, Tazda Devil, had proclaimed. Their duckbills armed with Pestectors, an evolutionary boon, had proved calamitous for her ilk who were inhumanely exiled to Auswood. Seconds to surface, she yielded, knowing the Banditcoots were poised to assail. Humans have it better. Surely they do.

–Tomojit Basu

The platypus was confused,
And rightly she should be,
“Was God drunk or sleeping,
When He created me?”

“Did He just forget,
To give me one redeeming feature?
Couldn’t He have made me,
A better looking creature?”

“Child,” said a voice,
“I gave you much more,
A brain, a sense of humour,
That everyone will adore.”

“Who’s that?” she yelled,
Jumping out of her skin,
“A-A-Are you God?” she asked,
Her beak dropping to her chin.

“Close enough, really,
It’s your mama, Silly bee!
And that brain and sense of humour?
You get that from me!”

–Nalini Sorensen

The platypus was confused. “One thousand and sixty-three shellfish for p-p-plastic surgery? Q-q-q-quite p-p-preposterous” As she spoke, she felt her mouth stretch outwards in a gigantic pout, as if saucer plates had been inserted inside her lips. Her toes felt uncomfortably stretched, and her body seemed covered in some furry material…
“Wait till you see yourself in the mirror,” Dr. Duck spoke soothingly, “You will witness the grace of a bird with the looks of a hunky mammal!” He scratched his head. “Or is it the other way around? Now I’m confused. Anyhow…”

–Bharat Shekhar

The Platypus was confused. She hated filling out official forms. She hated all those questions – what year did you finish school, do you have a PAN, has your signature changed. She hated ticking boxes and crossing out lines. She came from a long line of Unclassifiables that took pride in being out of a box and in crossing lines. Although, the Unclassifiables were losing ground and there were rumours of how they had in fact, been classified, the Platypus was not giving up. So, she did what any self-respecting unclassifiable would – she snapped open her duckbill, gobbled the Enemy of Unclassifiables and dived in for a soothing swim.

–Samina Mishra

The platypus was confused about the signals he got from the otter. She hadn’t glanced his way in days. But last night, she stopped by his nest to drop a dead salmon at the entrance. The third time this week she’d done something like this. Two nights back, it was the remains of a half eaten pike. How she managed to outwrestle the pike, the platypus did not know. What he knew was she meant business. He dare not confront her. Not while the beaver was around. But tonight, he vowed to take his shot – right under the beaver’s nose.

–Bijoy Bharathan


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