Tag Archives: fiction

1300. A feast to celebrate!

Even in the jungles of darkest Africa, the wild creatures wondered how to celebrate most appropriately the 1300th story on this blog.

“Why don’t we,” suggested the pretty hyena, “celebrate with a dance?”

“A dance is a good idea,” added the elusive tiger, “but why not combine it with a feast?”

“A feast it is!” declared the imperial lion. “We shall celebrate the 1300th story on this blog with a massive feast.”

All the animals of the African jungle did just that. They attacked en masse the people of an entire village. There was plenty for all, although not a scrap left. And there was blood all over the place! What a feast! What a celebration! Congratulations!

1275. Eruption

Well, I guess it had to happen. When I moved here several months ago to live “in the shadow of the volcano” I guess it’s the luck of the draw. For 163 years there hasn’t been a puff of smoke seen. And now, I move here, and WHOOOOF!

It’s amazing to see. Utterly spectacular! Very dark clouds of ash are partially blocking the sun, but it makes it look more like early dusk than darkness. There’s an eerie light. And silence. Occasionally a huge rock can be seen hurtling into the air and presumably crashing down somewhere.

Fortunately I’m far enough away to be safe, I believe. I can watch it all from my kitchen window. I’m too far away too, to hear the roar. I would imagine that closer to the mountain the noise would be thunderous.

It’s going to change forever the shape of our beautiful mountain. The shape of that mountain has been something of an icon for the people who live here. What the future sight of the mountain will be like is anyone’s guess. There goes a huge rock now! There doesn’t seem to be any lava flow that I can see, but I suppose there is. It is utterly exciting. And breath-taking. The power of nature!

The most astounding thing of all however is the alien space crafts that hover above the crater and then sink down, only to pop out again and disappear instantaneously once out. It looks like they are refuelling – something like that. They certainly know how to speed off when they emerge. One thing is for certain, they’re too fast for my camera. I’ve been snapping photos galore and thus far not a single photo has caught an alien craft.

In fact, apparently the aliens have left a message: Note the date – we’ll be back on this day next year.

1273. Tit birds

Tits come in all colours and sizes.

Fire-capped tit Cephalopyrus flammiceps
Yellow-browed tit, Sylviparus modestus
Sultan tit, Melanochlora sultanea
Black-breasted tit, Periparus rufonuchalis
Rufous-vented tit, Periparus rubidiventris
Coal tit, Periparus ater
Yellow-bellied tit, Pardaliparus venustulus
Elegant tit, Pardaliparus elegans
Palawan tit, Pardaliparus amabilis
European crested tit, Lophophanes cristatus
Grey crested tit, Lophophanes dichrous
Bridled titmouse, Baeolophus wollweberi
Oak titmouse, Baeolophus inornatus
Juniper titmouse, Baeolophus ridgwayi
Tufted titmouse, Baeolophus bicolor
Black-crested titmouse, Baeolophus atricristatus
Varied tit, Sittiparus varia
Owston’s tit, Sittiparus owstoni
Iriomote tit, Sittiparus olivaceus
Chestnut-bellied tit, Sittiparus castaneoventris
White-fronted tit, Sittiparus semilarvatus
White-browed tit, Poecile superciliosus
Sombre tit, Poecile lugubris
Père David’s tit, Poecile davidi
Marsh tit, Poecile palustris
Caspian tit, Poecile hyrcanus
Black-bibbed tit, Poecile hypermelaenus
Willow tit, Poecile montanus
Sichuan tit Poecile weigoldicus
Carolina chickadee, Poecile carolinensis
Black-capped chickadee, Poecile atricapillus
Mountain chickadee, Poecile gambeli
Mexican chickadee, Poecile sclateri
Grey-headed chickadee, Poecile cinctus
Boreal chickadee, Poecile hudsonicus
Chestnut-backed chickadee, Poecile rufescens
African blue tit, Cyanistes teneriffae
Eurasian blue tit, Cyanistes caeruleus
Azure tit, Cyanistes cyanus
Ground tit, Pseudopodoces humilis
Great tit, Parus major
Japanese tit, Parus minor
Cinereous tit, Parus cinereus
Green-backed tit, Parus monticolus
White-naped tit, Machlolophus nuchalis
Yellow tit, Machlolophus holsti
Himalayan black-lored tit, Machlolophus xanthogenys
Indian black-lored tit, Machlolophus aplonotus
Yellow-cheeked tit, Machlolophus spilonotus
White-shouldered black tit, Melaniparus guineensis
White-winged black tit, Melaniparus leucomelas
Southern black tit, Melaniparus niger
Carp’s tit, Melaniparus carpi
White-bellied tit, Melaniparus albiventris
White-backed black tit, Melaniparus leuconotus
Dusky tit, Melaniparus funereus
Rufous-bellied tit, Melaniparus rufiventris
Cinnamon-breasted tit, Melaniparus pallidiventris
Red-throated tit, Melaniparus fringillinus
Stripe-breasted tit, Melaniparus fasciiventer
Acacia tit or Somali Tit, Melaniparus thruppi
Miombo tit, Melaniparus griseiventris
Ashy tit, Melaniparus cinerascens
Grey tit, Melaniparus afer


cyanus Yellow-browed Melaniparus Melaniparus crested black-lored chickadee Yellow modestus Carp’s cinctus black-lored Chestnut-backed Cyanistes Parus tit Owston’s Melanochlora Poecile monticolus Bridled inornatus black tit Pardaliparus Parus tit albiventris Periparus Melaniparus tit flammiceps tit Poecile Poecile tit funereus bicolor Black-breasted Sittiparus Sittiparus venustulus David’s Melaniparus Sombre Tufted black Baeolophus tit chickadee hudsonicus tit cinereus Poecile titmouse tit minor Lophophanes Melaniparus tit Melaniparus cristatus White-browed tit Oak thruppi Mexican black Dusky Black-crested tit Melaniparus tit Periparus Caspian Tit European Somali afer Machlolophus tit Pardaliparus varia tit Lophophanes tit blue tit Poecile tit gambeli hyrcanus chickadee Grey carolinensis tit chickadee Machlolophus tit Sylviparus titmouse Sultan Melaniparus Machlolophus tit Acacia tit Indian holsti ridgwayi Pardaliparus Grey Rufous-bellied Carolina elegans Varied tit spilonotus Poecile Melaniparus dichrous Coal tit chickadee Poecile Melaniparus Black-capped fasciiventer Baeolophus tit tit Cyanistes crested semilarvatus African Stripe-breasted tit Poecile fringillinus tit chickadee Machlolophus tit Baeolophus tit tit Ground tit tit Japanese Fire-capped davidi White-naped amabilis blue Baeolophus tit Melaniparus Machlolophus Rufous-vented Poecile Parus leuconotus Melaniparus tit griseiventris castaneoventris tit superciliosus rufonuchalis Père Sittiparus olivaceus tit Poecile chickadee Elegant tit Iriomote caeruleus Periparus tit Himalayan Yellow-cheeked Parus rufiventris Mountain titmouse White-backed tit Pseudopodoces leucomelas rufescens owstoni Melaniparus White-fronted Black-bibbed rubidiventris tit sclateri aplonotus Southern tit lugubris montanus Chestnut-bellied Poecile nuchalis tit Poecile hypermelaenus major tit ater Palawan carpi xanthogenys Poecile White-shouldered Marsh humilis Poecile tit atricapillus Sittiparus Grey-headed Cinnamon-breasted tit palustris Melaniparus tit titmouse Baeolophus tit weigoldicus tit Yellow-bellied Cephalopyrus Ashy Green-backed White-winged sultanea Juniper guineensis Red-throated Willow niger Eurasian Melaniparus tit Boreal White-bellied tit cinerascens Great or Sittiparus Cinereous Poecile Azure titmouse Cyanistes tit teneriffae wollweberi black atricristatus pallidiventris Miombo Sichuan

Which is what happens when you get your tits in a tangle.

1272. Mad as a meat axe

Angus was as mad as a meat-axe. He believed, he really did, that he was the reincarnation of John the Baptist. Not exactly “reincarnation” but more that he was from a planet somewhere in the Sirius region and the aliens from there controlled our world and sent the occasional prophetic figure to enhance Planet Earth. He was one of them.

His daughter, Mami, conceived not so much accidentally but more out of ignorance in a what-is-going-on moment, was the “reincarnation” of Cleopatra.

Angus also wrote novels – frantically, furiously. His sister, Clarissa, used to gather the novels up and publish them under her own name. It propelled her to near-the-top echelon of the English-speaking writers of the 22nd century. Thank goodness her brother was mad as a meat-axe and unaware of his sister’s deceit.

Then Angus died; or rather was taken back to his planet near Sirius. After that, Clarissa had writer’s block for years.

1271. Dirty dishes

I’m just a slave around here. I always end up cleaning the dishes. It’s not fair, especially since there are so many who could help.

First of all, there’s Mum and Dad. They could do the dishes quite easily but they are in charge and people who are in charge never clean up. That’s what they have kids for – to clean up after their parents.

Then there’s Toby. He’s the oldest. He’s always texting his girlfriend and there’s no time for him to clean up plates.

Next there’s Hetti. She can be quite absent-minded at times and usually wanders off at dishes time because she has to do homework or something.

Then there’s Flynn. He thinks he owns the world because he’s all of fourteen and obviously cleaning up is beneath him.

That leaves me, the only slave around here and the one nearly always given the task of cleaning up. Unless we have visitors. I never get to clean the dishes when we have visitors. Everyone pretends they clean the dishes all the time. But no! No visitors and I get to do the work. They just dump their dirty plates on the floor and I get to lick them clean. There’s no rest being a dog in this household, I tell you.

1270. A lonesome birthday

Devon lived alone. It was the depth of winter, and it happened to be his birthday.

Devon had meticulously planned his solo celebration. He made a steak and kidney pie (his favourite but he reserved it for special occasions) and a lemon and honey cheesecake (his favourite but he reserved it for special occasions). To go with it, he had purchased a big can of Trappist Lager (his favourite but he reserved it for special occasions).

The log fire was blazing. Devon laid his pyjamas, slippers, and dressing gown near the fire so they would be warm and cosy when he got out of the shower.

In the shower he sang “Happy Birthday to Me” at the top of his voice, dried himself and walked naked (who cares when one lives alone?) to the fireplace.