Juanita had a special gift: she could understand a cat’s meowing. Many people think that the meowing of a cat is simply that. But Juanita knew better.
She had three cats and they were all catered for to perfection. She wouldn’t talk through meows to a cat itself but she could understand what the cat was saying in its meowing. Sometimes, for example, it might be “I have a sore foot”, or “I have a tummy ache,” or even “You should know by now that I don’t like salmon out of a tin”.
What a wonderful gift! Juanita’s reputation grew. Even the local animal vet sometimes called on her if a cat that needed attending to in one way or another was proving difficult to diagnose. “He has an allergy to artificial flavouring in the beef and liver cat food.” “She is stressed out by the neighbour’s dog.” “My cushion stinks.”
Juanita had a friend who had a cat and the cat was doing poorly. It wouldn’t eat. Perhaps Juanita could help? The solution was simple. The friend’s cat explained in no uncertain terms: “I’m not a fussy eater; I just like variety”.
At one time a heart-warming revelation occurred. Juanita was watching the evening news on television when Estelle announced: “I have happy news! I am expecting five kittens!” What a happy day! Oh! But what a sad day it was when Juanita had to take the five kittens to the pet shop to be sold. “You have broken my heart,” said Estelle. “I shall never speak to you again.”
All the other cats joined in the boycott. And that possibly accounts for why these days cats will often appear aloof and haughty. No! They do not think of themselves as superior; they are simply taking a stand. There’s more to a meow than meets the eye. Juanita will tell you that every meow from every cat these days simply says, politely of course, “My lips are sealed.”
Let me tell you; I just love being a bee. Some say that the Queen Bee is a slave-driver, but I can say without a skerrick of doubt – I’m no slave. My job is to go around collecting pollen. I love it, love it. It gives me a buzz.
And it’s so interesting. My area of expertise is a nearby flower garden. There’s such variety. One day it’s a poppy and the next day it’s an agapanthus. I like to mix up the pollen from all sorts. Of course, I get criticized for it: “This is primarily a tea-tree hive,” the other bees claim. “We are here to make tea-tree honey. It’s one of the more expensive varieties in shops” But I don’t care. A little bit of variety never hurt anyone.
Just the other day the Queen Bee commended me for my dedication to duty. I said, “It’s nothing Your Majesty. I am here to serve and it’s an honour to work for you.”
The other bees called me a “greaser”; I was greasing up the Queen because I wanted a promotion. How silly! There’s really no higher for a female worker bee to go. I’m content with my lot. How awful to be a drone. Those males sit around doing nothing but wait for an opportunity to do their business.
The other day, Alexandra was attacked by a human smashing around a rolled up newspaper. She had no option but to sting. But that’s the irony of being a bee; one stings to save ones life and having stung, one dies. Alexander passed away quite fast after her dramatic ordeal. The stinging was so sudden and so sad.
Look, I haven’t got all day to talk. I have to get off to my garden. There’s a lady there now picking flowers. They’re laden with pollen. I’ll just take a quick dip in a flower before she takes the flowers off somewhere…
I couldn’t help it. I couldn’t help it. It was in self-defence.
(Note to faithful followers: After 7 years I’ve fiddled around with the “About” section, so it’s different in places. Some of you over the years have kindly given likes and some have kindly commented. If you want to change your comment or like because of the changes in the page please feel free. I’m happy (though sad) to delete your comment if you would want that. P.S. There’s no nudity on the page.)
Quite frankly the life of a grasshopper sucks. I’ve spend all summer hopping from dahlia flower to dahlia flower. I can eke out a living by sipping a bit of the scant amount of nectar in each bloom. Apparently that process helps with the fertilization of the seed head as well, but the lady who thinks she owns the garden keeps coming out of the house with secateurs and cutting the dead seed heads off. I feel redundant and useless.
And now look at me. Everything is dead and shrivelled up. There’s hardly a sip of anything left to survive on. I know I’ll die before winter is over, simply because of cold and starvation. Here’s a photo of me on a dead branch of Jerusalem artichoke.
As I said, it’s no fun being a grasshopper. There were three of us in this garden at the start of last summer and then there were two – just me and Mrs. Grasshopper. We had a clutch of eggs and out popped a multitude of offspring. One by one they seemed to disappear. There was a lot of competition for food, and sometimes I wondered if Mrs. Grasshopper wasn’t eating her own babies. But in the end I decided that was not the case. We’re not humans. We act responsibly. And then suddenly Mrs. Grasshopper herself disappeared.
The problem is our colour. We’re bright green and stick out like a sore thumb once the foliage dies off. Some insects change colour and survive, but we have not been blessed with that know-how. I suspect the local song thrush may have got Mrs. Grasshopper. That wretched thrush has been hanging around for months. It might be responsible for the missing children as well. There’s no warning. The thrush’s appetite seems to be voracious. It’s rapacious and vociferous. One minute you’re there looking for nectar and the next minute you’re
“Now, now, Guzzle-Beak,” said Mother Thrush to her baby in the nest. “You must learn not to complain about your food. It doesn’t matter if you find a bit of lettuce in your caterpillar. Just quietly eat it and things will be fine. It won’t kill you.”
“Look at what happened to your brothers and sisters. There were five of you at the start, and they complained about the food. Next thing, they disappeared. It’s a nasty world out there and we must learn to be grateful for small mercies.”
“Your father and I have worn ourselves to a frazzle finding food for you. So a bit of appreciation wouldn’t go amiss. Taking a positive attitude to things will see you right in life. You’ll go places.”
Just then a hawk swooped down from nowhere, grabbed Guzzle-Beak in its talons, and flew off.
“Oh well,” sighed Mother Thrush eating the caterpillar she had brought for her baby and spitting out the bit of lettuce that was mixed in, “Mr. Thrush and I shall start a second clutch tomorrow.”
Mr and Mrs Wood Pigeon were a handsome couple. Not only that, but Mrs Wood Pigeon had laid an egg. It was a smooth, white, oval egg. They were both very proud of it. Mrs Wood Pigeon sat on it first, and then Mr Wood Pigeon had his turn at keeping the egg warm. For several days they took turns at incubating their fabulous egg.
Mr Wood Pigeon had another job in between sittings. He had to make sure the area around the nest was safe from enemies. There was one smart-alec male woodpigeon on the other side of the field. He clearly had his eye on Mrs Wood Pigeon. He would strut around, and then perform spectacular aerodynamics just to show off. And he imitated everything that Mr Wood Pigeon did. If Mr Wood Pigeon flew up in the air, the smart-alec would as well. If he flew down, so did the smart-alec. It was infuriating.
“One day I’m going to teach you a good lesson”, called out Mr Wood Pigeon to the smart-alec across the way. And he did! One lovely sunny afternoon, just after Mrs Wood Pigeon had taken over the care of the egg, Mr Wood Pigeon swooped across the field in pursuit of the smart-alec. The smart-alec flew towards him at a fantastic rate. They collided. WHAM!
Mr Wood Pigeon’s neck was broken. He’d flown into his reflection in the window of the house across the field. Mrs Wood Pigeon waited and waited, but Mr Wood Pigeon never came back.
Once there was a majestic Lion who had been the king of the jungle for quite a few years. But enough is enough. “I’ve done my bit,” he said. “It’s time for someone else to take the reins.”
Lady Giraffe dared suggest that a female should be in charge. “We’ve always had males,” she said. “It’s time for a woman, and why not me? I’m very capable, and what is more, unlike all these boys of the jungle, I’m squeaky clean.”
“You’re what?” exclaimed a Bunch of Bush Rats. “You’re corrupt to the core!”
“Easily solved,” said King Lion. “I shall give a Royal Pardon, and then everything will be alright!”
And he did! He royally pardoned Mrs Giraffe there and then.
“I accept!” said Mrs Giraffe graciously. “I’m innocent at last! Innocent at last! Thank God Almighty I’m innocent at last.”
“Aha!” exclaimed the Bunch of Bush Rats, “an acceptance of pardon is an admission of culpability.”
What a fuss it caused! One innocent Bill into its second reading in Parliament and all hell broke loose. It was a straightforward idea, and it would change the world, if only the hoi polloi would let it. What plebs!
The proposition was simple: the all-powerful government would decree the moon to be made of cheese; then it could be mined and fed to the starving poor.
The dairy industry was outraged. This was an out-and-out attempt to undermine dairy farmers’ livelihood.
The Royal Society of Astronomers fumed. Cheese mining would wreck the beauty of the moon’s surface, especially when viewed from earth. If they were to mine, could the cheese not be taken from the backside of the moon?
Mrs Valerie Kitson of West Sugarton said it was enough to curdle the milk in her breast. Once in a blue moon you’d get blue stilton, and she couldn’t stand the stuff.
The Bill didn’t pass its second reading. Parliamentarians thought it would lose them too many votes.
The poor are still hungry.
Each person, each group, again and again, thought only of themselves. Selfish bastards.
Leslie had a brainwave. It was a remarkably simple solution to a problem. Science had discovered that red apples were healthier than green apples. The problem was how to stop people from eating green apples when they should be eating red apples.
Leslie’s solution took on throughout the world. Everyone chopped down their green-apple producing trees.
But there was a glitch. The occasional person kept the occasional green apple tree. It was usually a genuine case of mistaken apple-identity, rather than an intentional criminal act.
Governments came to the rescue. ALL apple trees were to be chopped down, and… Hurrah! It worked! There were no more green apples.