Category Archives: Tales

2279. Trout tickling

There was a time when my family was extremely happy. There was my mother and father, and my sister, and my twin brother. We’re identical twins.

Disaster arrived when my parents decided to have a boy who was a ward of the state to stay with us over the summer. His name was Rene Leschallier de Lisle and he had a carrot up his bum. He was the same age as me and my brother and we were meant to look after him and be nice to him and let him join in with everything we did. So we were prepared to do that and all he did was not join in anything and complain about it. I can see why his own parents rejected him and he’d been passed on from one foster home to another.

It was proving to be the worst summer break ever in my whole life. Then one day we asked him – me and my brother – if he wanted to come trout fishing in the river and he said yes. Thank goodness he wanted to do something although we weren’t looking forward to having his company much while we went fishing.

When we got there he did an amazing thing: he tickled a trout. I always thought that trout tickling was a fiction but he showed us that it was true. Then he showed us how to do it. It was a bit like trying to hold a bar of soap in the bath. It is illegal of course but we went home with more trout than we were allowed to and we hadn’t even used the fishing line.

After that we couldn’t shut Rene Leschallier de Lisle up. He was interested in everything and the rest of the summer was a lot of fun.

Then as the summer ended our parents asked him if he wanted to stay with us permanently and he said yes. And my brother and I were very pleased.

2278. Empty station

By the time I reached the station the train had gone. I had been going out with Dolores for almost three years. In fact I was about to pop the question. I was planning how best to do it when she announced it was all over.

“It’s over,” she said. “I’m eloping with Patrick.”

I couldn’t believe it. I went outside and stood there looking at nothing. Eloping with Patrick? Eloping with Patrick?

I saw Dolores leave the house and head for the train station. Someone said she and Patrick were heading into the distant blue. I was at a complete loss. After half an hour or so I thought I’d race to the station and plead with her to give me another chance. But the train had gone.

I don’t think I will ever forgive my brother.

2276. The contraption

Hello. My name is Annette. My neighbour, who is a student at university like me, always makes me feel awkward with his crazy inventions, and this time was no exception. You see, I never knew what the jolly things were. I’d have to cluck away and sigh in admiration, and now I was looking at some contraption that had moving parts and he was over the moon with it.

I knew if I ask what it was he’d get offended, but this time the “invention” was so out of the box that I said “And how does it work?”

Well he went on a bit about aerodynamics and algebraic quartiles and everything else that I didn’t have a clue about, and in the end I was none the wiser. So I resumed my clucking and sighing and he seemed pleased enough.

And then he asked if I would like to go to the movies tonight. Of course I said “Yes!” It was the reason I had popped over to his house in the first place.

2275. Time to tarry

The late summer breeze flapped my sundress a little as I walked down the lane. I had no idea I was being watched. It had been a hot, hot summer. Autumn was beginning to set in but it was still stifling and light clothing was the order of the day.

It was the fourth day of work and I was the sole teacher in this little country school. I walked to work, taking a shortcut through a farmer’s field, down a track and over a stile and voila! I was there!

Of course I had permission to cross the farmer’s field. When I visited to seek permission the farmer wasn’t there, and nor was the farmer’s wife. Only their son was home – Nigel is his name – and he said taking a shortcut would be fine. Anyway, he was the one running the farm these days, and he was the one who would possibly sometimes bump into me on my way to work.

This was only the fourth day of school and I had already bumped into him three times! Each time it was at the stile and he was able to offer me a helping hand as I climbed over. Such a gentleman!

Today I’m leaving home a little earlier to give us time to tarry.

2274. Peace at last!

Well! At last! At last! The problem is solved! An alien spacecraft has landed on earth and the superior-technologied aliens are friendly! It’s proof at last that we are not alone in the universe.

Prior to the spacecraft landing the earth was in upheaval. It seemed that every country was at each other’s throats. The aliens were super-friendly but they still had weaponry that could wipe earth out in a split second. The aliens’ superior power would force the divided world to be united.

China quickly formed an exclusive alliance with them.

2273. The old bicycle

(Hi Folks – I’ve cut my ear rather badly so won’t be about to comment for an hour or two – or even perhaps for a couple of days. Lots of dramatic blood but not too serious I suspect. So no worries!)

Eight-year-old Corry’s mother couldn’t afford to buy him a proper bicycle. All the other kids had bicycles with gears and stuff. A couple even had e-bikes – like those kids weren’t obese enough already. Of course they were too young to be allowed to ride an e-bike on the road, but their spare bikes with all sorts of knobs on was for when they left the confines of their home property.

All that Corry’s mother could do was to paint up her grandfather’s old bicycle and fix the tyres. It had sat in the woodshed all these years. It was as old-fashion as they come, and looked it. It didn’t even have gears. Cycling up even a little hill was a major task. Poor Corry was embarrassed to ride out on it because everyone laughed at him.

The town’s annual fair was held each year on the race course. It was always a huge event. Simply everyone in the town went. Corry had an idea. He made a big sign and took his bike to the fair.

CYCLE ONCE ROUND THE RACE COURSE
AND EXPERIENCE WHAT
YOUR GREAT GRANDPARENTS
PUT UP WITH.
Price: $1

There was a waiting line all the way to kingdom come.

Corry went and bought himself a proper bike, although he kept his old bike for next year’s fair.

(P.S. Thanks for the comments and concern. As luck would have it the doctor on duty today at the Hospital Emergency had 40 years as a plastic surgeon and was retiring today! So he spent 5 hours fixing my ear, and now I look like Jack of Jack and Jill with my head wrapped for the next 5 days. How did I do it? It was a night mare (literally). I leaped over a high wooden fence to escape a wild horse and scrapped off all the skin inside my ear on the bedside table! I take blood-thinners so you can imagine the mess!)

2272. Vera’s generous help

It was a special day for Vera. It was seven weeks since her husband had passed away, and she thought she had better get off her backside and starting doing a few things. Of course doing nothing was only in her head; she had written over a hundred thank you notes to those kind enough to attend the funeral or communicate a message. Even the man who came every year to clean their chimney had left a kind note on the online obituary message board.

I had known Vera from way back. In fact we had gone to school together, although we were never girlfriend and boyfriend.  I had attended the husband’s funeral of course. Today – it was Saturday – Vera was off to help a friend run a stall at the market where they sold herb plants. I didn’t exactly need any herbs but I thought a little plant for the back door would be a good enough thing to get, so off I went to the market’s herb stall.

And there she was: Vera in the herb stall!

“Aloe Vera,” I said.

2270. On a mission

Laurie was the grumpiest man on the street; in fact he was possibly the grumpiest man in the town. He grew strawberries in his garden, and one thing was certain: none of the sweetness of strawberries had rubbed off on him.

He would sell strawberries at his gate in little plastic containers. There was an honesty box. Some people thought he under-charged but he said if the price was too low then people were welcome to go to the supermarket and purchase the more expensive, sourer, inferior strawberries. The supermarket manager resented that Laurie had labelled his strawberries as inferior. Laurie was undercutting business.

Further down the road, in fact on a nearby but different street, lived Velda. She would buy quite a few of Laurie’s strawberries apparently to make jam. She didn’t make much of a profit with the jam she said but it was an interest. It fills in a rainy day – as she was wont to say.

Laurie didn’t like Velda making jam with his strawberries. Adding sugar to his carefully grown fruit was a sacrilege. One day he saw Velda coming with a pram (she always brought an old pram to load it up and push the strawberries to her house). He rushed out to his gate and informed Velda that he didn’t like her buying so many of his strawberries. “There are other people in the world that might enjoy some.”

“Oh,” said Velda, “I was just coming to tell you that I heard several of the fruit in your garden have been injected with poison. I wouldn’t touch a single strawberry for the rest of the year if I were you.”

And Velda sauntered off to the supermarket where she triumphantly announced to her husband, the Manager: “Mission accomplished”.

2269. The naked truth

Of course Gavin wasn’t his real name and nor was he Jemima Puddle-Duck. Jemima Puddle-Duck was simply one of the many Beatrix Potter characters in costume at the Theme Park. Gavin arrived at work in costume and left work in costume. No one had actually seen what he looked like – which was just as well because he wasn’t human. In fact, he didn’t originate from this planet at all. He was an alien from outer space; hence the name “Gavin” because his real name was a series of unpronounceable grunts.

He arrived and left work in costume not because he didn’t want his workmates to see him but because when he commuted to work other people on the bus would wonder what was going on. He didn’t mind his workmates knowing because they were all aliens in costume too. In fact the Theme Park had been founded by aliens and the operation was used to investigate the way Planet Earth operated.

But now the Theme Park was running into problems. Fewer and fewer families seemed to visit. The costumes were looking stale and dowdy. Some new life had to be injected into the Theme Park. That was when Gavin had an idea.

All the Beatrix Potter characters threw off their costumes and stood as aliens in a brand new theme for the Theme Park. The new theme was Science Fiction. Visitors flocked. They had never seen such wonderful costumes. Those alien characters looked so real. And that’s the naked truth.