The Smaller Nest Basement was the shadowy and cold floor underneath the first floor. Like Scorpion’s Hole it was made of all concrete, the lights were dim, and there were spiders in every corner. Except instead of being nearly empty, it was full of all our old stuff that usta fit in the Big Nest but now had nowhere to go. There were things like TV’s and couches and desks and bedframes and paintings and papers and rows and rows of unknown boxes. Almost one whole wall was just the stuff that was in my old bedroom. There sealed inside a bunch of plastic bins were all my stuffed animals who usta be on my bed where they’d protect me at night and prepare for War with each other during the day. I opened up the bins and dumped them all out on the floor. Then I separated them into two Armies and began a fight-to-the-death Stuffed Animal battle royale just like the ones I had my whole time growing up.
The Giant crushed The Wolf with his bare hands, and The Killer Sheep got The Bigfoot after it underestimated her ferocity, and The Crow murdered The Angel, and The Fox outwitted The Buck into running straight into traffic, and The Buffalo stampeded over Yellow Bird, and The Skeleton was already dead so it couldn’t be killed but it had all of eternity to kill The Crocodile like Dundee, and The Coyote laughed at The Pidgeon until its self esteem was so low it killed itself, and the Kitten swatted The Fly, and The WildCat’s quick reflexes snagged The Parrot, and The Mallard cooked The Rubber Chicken but choked on its bones, and The BusinessMan sued The Mouse and then he was homeless and starved to death, and The Moth was drawn to The Rat after it lit it on fire, and The Cougar hunted The Goat right in the barnyard, and The Ants swarmed The Pizza which turned out to be poison, and The Penguin lured The Scorpion to Antarctica where it froze to death, and The Bunny made The Turkey into a sandwich, and The Babydoll was actually a timebomb that blew up George Washington, and The Army Men were all divebombed by Ace the ratty old Blue Bird who’d been in my crib since my first day of life, and whose side ended up winning big time.