Tag Archives: fable

1867. The life of a grasshopper sucks

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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

1837. Mother Thrush’s baby, Guzzle-Beak

“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.”

1483. A reflection on a pair of wood pigeons

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.

1218. Fly from the nest

Gretel was a baby magpie. Her little brother was Alecsandre. They were together in a nest near the top of a pine tree. Their mother and father spent all day bringing them food.

Gretel loved it when a breeze blew the branches back and forth, back and forth. Wheeee!

And then the time came to leave the nest. Alecsandre left first. Gretel stepped up to the edge of the nest.

“No one told me we were this high up in the air,” said Gretel. “It’s terrifying.”

“Don’t be such a baby,” said Alecsandre, flying back to the nest. “Just jump.”

“Jump?” screamed Gretel. “I’ll fall to the ground and die.”

“You won’t,” said Alecsandre. “You’ll fly.”

“I can’t,” said Gretel.

Alecsandre gave Gretel a push. She flew.

“Look at me!” marvelled Gretel. “I am flying like an eagle!”

But she wasn’t flying like an eagle at all, silly. She was flying like a magpie!

“Another wretched magpie,” said Farmer Jasper aiming his gun.

1015. Pardon

1pardon

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.”

But who?

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.”

569. Say cheese

© Bruce Goodman 2 May 2015

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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.

566. God didn’t make little green apples

© Bruce Goodman 29 April 2015

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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.