Douglas Biddle was the president of the local Flat Earth Society. The Society had three members, counting Douglas himself. The purpose of the Society’s existence had nothing to do with believing the earth was flat. It was part of a plan to make money.
Every week the three would write an article supporting the tenet that the earth was flat. They would place it in people’s letter boxes. People laughed at them. Then there appeared a public ridiculing of Douglas Biddle in the local paper. Douglas Biddle sued the paper for every cent they had.
“I believe,” said Douglas Biddle to the two other members attending the final meeting of the Flat Earth Society, “I believe the Flat Earth Society has enough money to go ROUND.”
Lorna disliked her name. Some kids at school would ridicule her: “Lorna needs mowing” and “Do you wash your clothes in the Lorna-dry?” and so on. These kids thought they were clever, but Lorna was hurt. She wanted to change her name.
“Can I change my name?” she asked her mother.
“Perhaps you could use your middle name,” suggested her mother. Lorna’s middle name was Elizabeth.
Lorna said she’d think about it. And then… quite by accident… Lorna discovered…
Lorna Doone: A Romance of Exmoor, a novel by Richard Doddridge Blackmore. She loved it! Why would she ever want to change her name from Lorna? Lorna! The woman who married the handsome and brave Jan Ridd! The woman who lived happily ever after!
What a wonderful international gathering! Some are black and some are white! But it’s not so much their place of origin that counts; it’s more where they are going to. They are destined to be sent all over the world! What inspiration in just one flock of sheep!
The sheep third left towards the middle is destined to end its days facing Mecca and will travel to Saudi Arabia. The sheep it is currently talking to will be sent to China – Beijing to be precise. For all we know it could end up in the house of the President of China himself. Arabia and China! And to think how Lawrence of Arabia’s and Marco Polo’s adventures were once regarded as exotic. Now with such exchanges common throughout the world the planet is both smaller and culturally enhanced.
The sheep second top left is looking through the gate. It is as if it cannot wait for the adventure to begin! It is destined for the United Kingdom, and it is particularly exciting because it is the place of origin of recent ancestors. In fact, its grandmother came here from Wales as a frozen embryo a few years back. In a jet plane! Can you imagine?
Some of the sheep with black faces are a little disappointed. They were destined for American and European countries, but there was such a fuss. People (those things on two legs) claimed it was like the Black and White Minstrel Show and was making fun of other races. So now they are going to countries that don’t care what colour people are, such as Sri Lanka.
Those going to Canada are a little worried about the cold, especially if they are sent to northern parts and are without any woollen coat. But they have been reassured that the cold will not affect them as they will be frozen before they leave. Not to mention well-wrapped.
Such a United Nations! Such enriching cultural exchanges! And yet, just a flock of sheep! The time can’t come fast enough. Chop-chop, I say.
My friend from school, Broderick Entwistle; his parents don’t argue like my parents do. My parents argue all the time, even when my friend, Broderick, comes to stay the night. They argue and argue like no one else is there. Sometimes I wish they’d go their separate ways and be done with it.
Broderick Entwistle’s parents never argue. When I stay over at their place they’re as nice as pie, and Mrs Entwistle is lovely. She has time to talk to me and ask me things because she’s not spending all her time arguing with her husband like my parents do.
I like going to the Entwistle’s place. It’s a relief not to have to listen to my parents going on and on. And the Entwistle’s place is so happy. Unlike mine.
So it was a bit of a surprise when Broderick told me this afternoon that his parents were getting a divorce.
(The last story is almost the same as the first. This story perhaps explains why these 1001 tales are called “Cabbages Seeds”.)
I’ve stopped gathering for a minute. I thought I’d tell you how an Angel showed me a field and gave me a spade and a sack of cabbage seed.
“Dig the field and sow the seeds,” the Angel said. “When the cabbages are ready, God will take you away.”
I began to dig and in my joy there seemed no night. Sometimes I looked towards the trees near the fence. I think there were further fields afield.
And now the seeds were planted. They sprouted and I knew every leaf. Not a weed survived! Sometimes I’d chase a butterfly. It was like a game, like a children’s game. Maybe the butterfly was God in disguise coming for a look.
Months passed and hearts began to form. Soon God would come. I’d been asked to grow these cabbages for heaven! It was a joke and I was jester.
Then I knew. They were ready for harvest. God would take me away for it was the time of the Angel’s promise.
But there’s no telling with cabbages as to the moment of ripeness. It could be now, but then again, it could be in a while.
God did not come to get me. The cabbage hearts broke open and the stalks grew into a field of yellow flowers. I have gathered the seeds into an old sack.
(That completes this series of 1001 stories, 101 music compositions, and 35 poems. The “collection” has been moved to the website at Stagebarn. Thank you for walking all or part of this journey with me.)