Billy Bob Brickhead considered himself the luckiest man alive. He was kickin back at the Compleat Angler Hotel on the banks of the River Thames in Marlow, Bucks, England that is. He had just taken over as Director, European Marketing and Sales for Dot.Com. “Who’d a thought a farm boy from Texas could rise to such heights in the corporate world?”
There would be a lot of work though. He knew that. He had to find a flat. He had to locate and furnish office accommodations. He had to hire staff. There was a trade show in Hannover that he was supposed to be at next week and he was still dealing with that technical problem in Italy that had to be solved. No worries, he would get a good night’s sleep and hit the ground running in the morning.
The next morning Billy Bob decided to walk across the bridge into town and call on the first estate agent that he found. The swans distracted him though and he detoured into the green to walk along the river bank and watch the graceful birds glide on the smooth water. It was peaceful and pastoral and he walked a bit farther than intended. He found himself alone when he heard a soft voice, “Pardon me sir, I’m terribly sorry to bother you but I seem to have become entangled in a nest of fishing line. I wonder, if it’s not too much trouble, could see your way to free me? I could grant you three wishes.”
Billy Bob looked around but saw only a lone swan squatting on the bank next to the water. He shook his head to clear it and figgered he just had a slight case of jet lag. “Wow, I gotta be hearin’ thin’s,” he said out loud and he shook his head.
The voice came again, “I assure you sir you are not hearing things. I really do require your aid and I will reward you handsomely.”
Billy Bob snorted and again spoke to himself, “Ain’t nobody here cept me and that bird. I know that wasn’t me talkin’.” He leaned down and squinted at the swan.
“No sir, you are correct, you are not the one talking.” The swan said. “I really am sorry but, I do require assistance and I am empowered to grant you three wishes, but only three.”
“Shit, howdy” murmured Billy Bob and he pulled his Buck knife from his boot to free the bird.
When he was free the swan turned to Billy Bob, “What are your three deepest desires?” he asked.
The Texan, quite frankly, was stumped. The situation had taken him completely off guard. “I don’t rightly know. Do ya’ll got any suggestions?”
The swan rolled his eyes and offered some ideas, “There are the standard kinds of wishes for a gentleman with your, ahem, social graces. You know the ones; wealth, women, world peace.” He shrugged his shoulders, and held his wings out slightly as if to say, what do you want from me?
“Yeah, yeah, yeah wealth and women sounds pretty good to me lets go with those two first.” Billy Bob grinned, pushed his Stetson back on his head and rubbed his hands together.
“And, your third wish sir?” asked the bird. “Shall I arrange some world peace for you? Perhaps some time traveling? You could go back and relive some particularly exciting time on the ranch if you would like.”
“Nah, screw the world peace” Billy Bob said. “And, I’m already livin the dream, why the hell would I want to go back in time. I’ll tell ya what though, I would like to wish for three more wishes.” He said smugly, confident that he had just pulled a fast one on the magic swan.
“I’m terribly sorry sir but that will not be possible.” The swan answered back equally smug. “You will recall that I told you at the beginning of our negotiations that I would grant you three wishes but ONLY three. You cannot use your third wish to wish for more wishes.”
“Damnit,” said Billy Bob to the bird, “I wish I could!”
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