Have you ever, while taking a stroll in North Amherst, spotted an eerie looking man who smiles while pulling a levitating duck-like alien on a leash behind him? This man is Charlie. He moved to North Amherst seventeen years ago, and he has lived there ever since. Fourteen years ago, he devoted himself to caring for this strange creature.

Last week, I had the chance to hear Charlie's story. I spoke to him at Puffer's Pond. It was a nice albeit cold day. The air was fresh. We sat on the jumping ledge, where we shared a two-liter Fanta Orange Soda. Meanwhile, Charlie's "pet" enjoyed jumping into the cold-water pond. The thing would leap off the ledge in the most frantic, discombobulated fashion. It would promptly become freezing and rush to climb back up and retrieve his towel. But, immediately upon drying and becoming warm, the creature would jump into the frigid waters yet again. The scene perplexed me.

Charlie told me that his companion attracts various kinds of attention in the Amherst area. Children wish to pet him like a cat. Elderly women scare at his sight, as though he were a mouse or a snake. In the past, a father of an overcurious boy shoved Charlie's companion duck-creature to the ground.

Charlie insists that his companion who he drags around all the time, who he calls Dorf, is harmless. Because Dorf is from the planet Nebulönis.

So this begs the question: where is planet Nebulönis? And how did Dorf wind up here?

The answer to the latter question is that Dorf is an incredibly, wonderfully dumb specimen.

On his home planet, his mother often reminded him not to cross roads without looking both ways first. But Dorf, being dumb as he was and is, rarely looked in either direction. Inevitably, he would experience the consequences.

During his final day on planet Nebulönis, while chasing a stray ball accross the road, Dorf was hit by a bus. Allow me to note that buses on planet Nebulönis move at exceedingly high speeds. Such high speeds caused Dorf to be launched into outer space. Fortunately, his body is as yielding as play-doh. So he avoided death on impact, as he had many times before, during his rambling, clumsy, innocuous life.

Dorf held his breath as he was gifted a surprise tour of gargantuan galaxies and sunny solar systems and astounding asteroid belts. Eventually, he crash-landed on Charlie's lawn.

The impact woke Charlie from his afternoon nap. As it became dark, Charlie dug the mangled Dorf from a crater. Dorf had 7 legs. Three of these were badly broken.

Charlie tended to Dorf's wounds, planning to release the strange creature once it had healed.

But, while caring for Dorf, Charlie learned of how incredibly stupid Dorf was --- Charlie learned that the creature was so mind-blowingly dumb, it couldn't possibly survive on his own.

So, even now that Dorf has recovered from his inter-galactic tumble, Charlie keeps him on a leash. Charlie walks him through North Amherst and surrounding areas. People pet Dorf. Dorf purrs and swoons like a cat. Kids throw sticks and Dorf plays fetch. But while Dorf plays fetch, Charlie always runs at his side to ensure that the loving, dumb creature does not get lost in the woods.

Charlie is a good-hearted man from what I can tell. It is for this reason I suggest that you speak with him. At least wave to him. Please, do not stare; for Dorf scares easily and Charlie is rather sensitive. Bring them some Fanta Orange Soda and have a chat.