No Harm, No Foul (An Operatic Scene)
Vocal Solo and Piano • Story by Craig Vire and Music by Stephen Hill • ca. 10:25
SARAHTIM Music Publishing
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Cody Jorgenson - Baritone
Ellen Sommer - Piano
Omaha Conservatory of Music
No Harm, No Foul - Based on a true incident and written by Craig Vire
(Craig is a college friend from my time in Arkansas. A Christian minister and an Avid runner, he wrote this after one of his runs and posted it on his Blog page. I told him I would turn his little story into an “Opera Aria”.)
My own business is all I’m minding while running in the cool, post-rain, April air.
Puddle plodding without a care in the world.
The bliss is broken when a small skunk meanders onto the sidewalk a mere 25 feet ahead.
Call it a close encounter of the most odiferous kind.
Puny polecats possess the potential for producing a powerful and putridly pungent perfume.
This awareness, tucked away in the remote recesses of the
intellect, is accessed and elevated to conscious perception in a millisecond.
The crisis before me is presented in terms that are black and white.
If only the mind functioned regularly with such efficiency and clarity.
But I digress.
The body seizes involuntarily, attempting a mid-stride stop.
This may resemble Wylie Coyote attempting to gain necessary traction against forward momentum so as not to fall over the cliff.
Roadrunner blows Wylie a raspberry on his way down.
Skunks don’t blow raspberries. Pity.
Fortunately, He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Smelled freezes too.
He-Who- Does-Not-Wish-To-Be-Sprayed can only respond with a blank stare from wide eyes.
An unscheduled exercise in breath-holding is initiated.
Just in case things go badly.
Sometimes they do.
The furry ferret with the stifling stink pauses for a prolonged period, giving me the evil eye.
An earnest if not eloquent prayer is composed during the stalemate, whispered in a tone that only heaven hears.
Pressing problems open the heart to help from a Higher Hand.
Easing into reverse, a super-slow slow-motion retreat is executed. Evacuation procedures produce the desired result.
The aromatically challenged critter waddles back into the
bushes from whence it came in a casual manner that is a credit to his species.
No harm, no foul.
Composed - 2015