Tag Archives: machete

1936. A lovely award, and a story “Chop! Chop the head off!”

Herb of Prudentia Sit has given me the loveliest of awards! It is the Herb Thinks I’m Special Award. The award simply means that Herb “would like to have a cup of coffee with this blogger sometime”.

It does not require any questions to be answered or anything special to be done. It is simply an honor bestowed! Thank you, Herb. It is greatly greatly appreciated. Make sure you visit Herb’s blog. As a blogger he’s long in the tooth! I don’t mean he’s old – I simply mean he’s practised his blogging skills for many a year!

By way of thanks, I dedicate today’s story to Herb. Thanks Herb!

Battleaxe handed her stepson, Douglas, a machete and said “It’s all yours”.

“I’ve put up for long enough with your three pet turkeys,” said Battleaxe. “They make a terrible gobbling noise all the time, they poo everywhere, they eat too much, and worst of all you spend too much time with them when you should be doing extra school work – especially studying the History of Systemic Racism which you’re bad at. Chop off the turkeys’ heads.”

Douglas loved his turkeys. He had found the baby turkeys wandering around in the long grass on their own after their mother had been killed by a farmer’s dog. He took them home and cared for them. He called each one Gobble, Gobble, and Gobble because he couldn’t tell the difference one from the other.

How does a wicked stepmother expect an eight year old boy to chop off the heads of his three pet turkeys when they were his only friends? His father had died suddenly not long after he had rescued the baby turkeys and now he was looked after by his stepmother who was nasty and cruel and had featured in many a story by the Brothers Grimm.

“When you’ve chopped off their heads,” said spitefully foul stepmother Battleaxe, “you can cut up the firewood and sweep the yard. Then come back for more things to do on my list.”

Douglas went out and called the three turkeys. They recognized his voice. They came running. His stepmother appeared on the scene to make sure he did the job properly and didn’t cave in with scruples. Douglas raised the machete.

“One! Two! Three! Chop! Chop the head off!” screamed the wicked stepmother.

So he did.

1750. Oh rats!

Every fifty stories or so I deviate into the quagmire of narcissism and tell a story based loosely upon the truth.

Years ago, when I was in my teens and at boarding school, something happened that didn’t exactly change my life but it left a lasting impression. The boarding school was next door to a large poultry farm. There were gigantic sheds with row upon row of caged battery hens. There must have been several thousand hens in cages. A hen would lay its egg and it would roll down gently in front of the cage to be collected. There were automatic feeders, and polythene pipes everywhere to bring water automatically to each cage. (These days, you’ll be glad to know, battery hens are mainly a thing of the past).

At night the place was crawling with hundreds of rats.

In the middle of the night I would sneak out of the school dormitory and taking a machete, a torch (flash light), and the school’s little fox terrier (called Elsie), I would go to the poultry sheds. By covering the torch with red cellophane I could see all the rats but they couldn’t see me, for (apparently) rats can’t see red. Anyway, in the red light they took no notice of me.

I would go along the battery cages and flick each rat into the air with the machete, and Elsie would snap the rat dead in mid-flight. That way I’d get dozens of rats each night. It was kind of fun.

Then one day the Headmaster made an announcement: Someone has been going into the fowl-houses at night and killing rats. It is not our property and the farmer has requested that we don’t do it.

Well, it didn’t stop me did it? The following night I went down to the sheds as usual and began decimating the rat population. And then quite suddenly and accidentally my machete cut open a polythene water pipe. Water sprayed everywhere all over the hens in cages. It was as if the fire brigade had arrived to douche a conflagration. And I couldn’t find where to turn the main water supply off. It was two o’clock in the morning!

There was only one thing for it: I had to go and wake the farmer and get him to turn the water off. I did that and he was none too happy.

Two days’ later I was called into the Headmaster’s office. The farmer was there. I got a good telling off. I just about wet my pants. And then one of them guffawed, and they admitted it was the funniest thing that had happened in a long time.

That’s when I learned that not everyone on this planet is a rat.