ebullient (EB-you-lent), adjective

Feeling joy and positive emotions at an extreme level; the state of being wildly enthusiastic about something.

Terrance never looked away from his morning paper. He politely responded to the questions his children asked of him. He pushed his coffee cup towards the steaming pot of brew when he heard his wife’s footsteps come near him. His eyes percolated over the black and white print. He searched daily through the patterns of ink.

Terrance did not read the paper. He scoured it.

Terrance hated reading the paper. He did not care about what happened that day. He loathed the fact that journalists could slant stories this way or that. Yet every day, he held the crisp pages at arm’s length, eyebrows furrowed just enough to make his wife  think something interesting had happened.

Isabelle loved her academic husband. She admired his ability to read the paper every single morning, to be so in tune with the world near and far. She tingled when he pushed his half-full coffee cup towards her to refill, on cue, every morning. It made her feel important, like she was fueling one of the world’s great minds right here in her quaint kitchen. She kept her brilliant husband inspired.

Inspired indeed. When Terrance flipped from page A11 to A12, he knew right on cue which question was coming. Behind the fragrant paper, he refrained from smiling.

“What’s happening in the news today, dear?” Isabelle refilled her husband’s coffee. Terrance swung his cup around the edge of his paper and held it to his mouth. Steam trickled into his nostrils.

“Oh do tell me, Terrance. You know I won’t read that later.”

Terrance struggled to push the sides of his mouth back down.

“Actually there is something today.” Terrance cleared his throat as Isabelle sat in the chair next to him. He glanced below the table to see her polished nails wiggle.

“What? What happened today dear?”

Terrance turned the next page. This was his favorite part.

“You’ll never believe it.”

“What dear, what?”

“Today,” Terrance said, “this morning, right here in our town there were about twelve hundred rabbits that escaped from the zoo.”

“Really?” Isabelle gasped. “They have rabbits at the zoo?”

“Of course not.” Terrance flipped the paper rigid. “That is the strange thing, you see. They hired detectives to find out where they rabbits came from. Since they were discovered in the plaza outside the zoo gates the mayor claims they belong to the city, but since they were obviously escaping from inside the zoo, the zookeepers claims they belong to the zoo! The city and the zoo are in a law suit fighting over who lawfully owns twelve hundred rabbits.”

Terrance slid his cup of coffee forward. Isabelle refilled it.

“And,” continued Terrance, “the zoo does not have one single record of ever even having rabbits. I’ve never seen any rabbits in our zoo. Have you? They don’t have an area for rabbits. The zookeeper claims they don’t have an area for rabbits because they live with the giraffes. That makes the least sense of all. Why would a zookeeper put rabbits and giraffes together? Everyone knows giraffes are afraid of small rodents. Them not liking things by their feet an all. They might as well tell reporters they keep the rabbits in the snake pit! That’s at least more believable. At least they could make a story out of that!”

Terrance took a deep breath and lowered the paper. Isabelle was smiling at him.

“You’re really on fire this morning, dear. I liked that story very much.”

Terrance stood up from the table and kissed Isabelle on the forehead. He was ebullient at the success of his story.

“Thank you,” he said. He grabbed his lunch bag and went to work.

Isabelle waited until she heard the door close and Terrance’s car peel out of the driveway. She refilled his cup of coffee, flipped the paper rigid and began reading the page where her husband had left off.

“Lawyers Negotiate Plea for Terror Suspect” was the full page article on A12. Isabelle smiled at her incredibly creative husband. Then sighed knowing he never reads the paper.


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