the academy convened. its members arriving from all over the planet. they met in special session. and they decided that it was time to create a new dictionary. a dictionary that would contain all the words in the world.

all the people watched on their holovisions. they watched the proceedings and they listened. and when the president of the academy requested that they use their home linkups to send in all the words they knew, the people did that. and all the words were fed into the academy’s computer. and the computer did its processing. so that in three weeks the new dictionary was compiled. and in four weeks it was being printed.

now, drishka had watched the proceedings. he had listened. but he did not type in his words. “they are common words,” he said. “everyone knows them.” but he watched and he waited. and when the new dictionary came out, he sent for it and he read it. and he saw, one night, as he sat reading, he saw that one small word that he knew, one small, sweet, special word, that it wasn’t in the dictionary. he thought about calling the academy to tell them. because someone else had done that. who knew a word that wasn’t in the dictionary. and that person became famous. got to be on holovision every night. that person became famous. but their word was forgotten. so drishka decided not to call in. “besides, how do i know that it’s a real word anyway? i mean, why should i know a word?”

so drishka kept that sweet word to himself. and at night, sometimes, he whispers it to his dog. as they sit. on the porch. side by side. watching the satellites circle. and listening to the crickets.