Sunday, 24 July 2011

The Crow and the Pitcher

The drought seemed never ending, and Crow knew he needed to drink, and soon.
Passing by an old abandoned farm he noticed a pitcher sitting next to the rusted well pump. Landing beside it he tilted his head to get one beady eye over the neck. Sure enough there was the glint of light reflected in the darkness. But the water level was too low to drink.
Vulture had been trailing Crow for a couple of days - which wasn’t helping Crow’s state of mind much. Vulture swooped down beside him kicking up a storm of dust.

“Dry, ain’t it?” said Vulture.

“I’m fine,” said Crow. “Look, I just found water, and all I’ve got to do is crowd it so it comes to the top.. I’ve heard this one, you add pebbles and rocks and stuff and the water rises up.”

And sure enough Crow was right, one by one he dropped pebbles into the pitcher. Bit by bit the water rose up.

It took all Crows strength, but he could smell the water getting closer.

Eventually he could reach it, green, brackish, with little corkscrew critters and bugs squirming in it, but water, and the only water he could find.

Crow drank his fill, still being watched by the Vulture. Vulture knew what happens to birds that drink water that’s unclean and left in warm darkness. Within hours Crow started to feel stomach cramps, and became more and more weak. Poor Crow, Vulture felt a little bad about not warning Crow and directing him to the nearby spring, but hey, a Vulture’s got to eat...

Saturday, 23 July 2011

The Wolf in Sheeps...

The wolf had been taunted by the smell lambs for what felt like an age. The shepherd and sheep dogs were just too attentive. The shepherd knew just how much a lamb, or even a gown sheep was worth. As he was about to give up and slink back into the dark deep woods he found a dried up flayed sheepskin. No signs of any meat left on it, but it gave him an idea.

He wrapped the sheepskin around himself and walked straight into the herd, as nonchalantly as he could. For the first time in days he managed to get a meal. The wolf was happy with his cunning, and decided to try it again the next day.

It worked. It worked for several days after, not only did he get to eat, but occasionally he’d join in with the gambolling and frolicking that safe sheep like to practice in the springtime. And there was defiantly a female sheep that was giving him very sheep-eyed looks. All in all the wolf was starting to have fun. Having eaten his way out of near starvation he sometimes just wore the skin for company’s sake, in fairness sometimes he’d lead a lamb away and eat it though.

Weeks passed and the tiny lambs grew into larger lambs until one day the shepherd rounded up the lambs. Leaving the mother sheep distraught, and the wolf a little lonely. The sheep decided all would be well. The shepherd had looked after them well, they were always fed, always sheared, no doubt the lambs were given their own field with a different shepherd.

The wolf decided to stick with the sheep, for now at least. The lambs might be brought back, and the woods looked very dark, and very deep.

A day or so later the shepherd herded up the sheep, and the slightly confused wolf. The dogs yipped at their heals nudging them all together and crowding them into the back of a lorry. The lorry drove off to the slaughterhouse, with the sheep all tell each other not to worry, hadn’t the shepherd always looked after them. The wolf listened and was processed right alongside all the other trusting foolish sheep.

Friday, 24 June 2011

The turtle and the hare and the spider - and a murder of crows

Turtles and hares have ongoing contests to see who can get where quickest. Hare racing ahead then getting distracted or tired or lost, turtle plodding ever forward, never resting and always always getting there in the end. Sometimes turtle gets there first; sometimes hare manages to keep up the pace and gets in a resounding win. It is all good natured fun, and a nice way to pass the time.

Spider watches with interest.

“You two! Hey, you two! I’ve a great idea, you seam about even running without loads, but I reckon, right, that if you had to carry anything then turtle wins outright, I mean, he’s just built for that. What do you reckon Hare - in a race carrying something fairly light, like some of my webbing, you still think you could beat Turtle?”

Hare, a proud feckless little critter, obviously disagrees. A sometimes fast and sometimes slow argument grows between the two. Spider waits adding more threads to the two piles he has either side of him.

Eventually the race is on. Over to Murder’s Field with equal bundles of web.

It sticks to turtles head, and gets in his eyes. It spreads a further unpleasantly gooey layer of fluff over hare’s normally pristine fur. It’s not fun, but there’s generations worth of hare and turtle races behind the pair. Each just needs to do better than the other.

Hare wins by quite a lot, mainly because he really wants to get cleaned up and the sooner he’s done carrying this load the quicker he can get a bath. Partially because turtle was blinded by strands early on in the race so went a long slow way around.

On their return to the woods, Spider finds them again.

“Another race! Again, again! Turtle was blinded; it wasn’t fair, race again next week! We need to know who’s strongest and fastest.”

Spider has a deal going on with the local murder of crows. He gives them web threads to help with their nests and they didn’t eat him and they even leave a few sickly flies for him to eat after they’ve had their fill. Not a fair deal, but crows have never been fair, and they do like to feather their nests, or at least encourage others to feather their nests for them. Or at the very least encourage others to encourage others to feather nests for others.

Friday, 27 May 2011

Moving to the Country

Mrs Jones worried about her son. Growing up in suburbia, with wild gangs of yobs around, watching TV with crime and sex all on all the time, playing computer games, killing with guns for fun. It just didn’t seem right. “Not natural,” she’d say.

Mrs Jones saved, every penny she could, until, when her son had just turned seven they moved. They moved to a country cottage, with a thatched roof, and an oil burning stove, and a small patch of land to keep pigs and chickens and grow their own vegetables.  There was a small village, with pub and a shop within walking distance and a bus to school.

Mrs Jones' son continued growing. He learnt how cows that stopped providing milk or chickens that didn’t lay eggs were killed just to save the cost of feeding them. He learnt that pigs sometimes eat their own children. That people deliberately gave a disease called mixi to rabbits that made them die an awful death, even if mixi seemed like a nice name. He also learnt to avoid the strange man called Mr Archwright, who smelt of wee and that he was to tell his mother if Mr Archwright tried to makes friends with him.

As he continued to grow up he got quite bored, so he watched TV, and played a lot of video games.

Friday, 20 May 2011

Changing Winds

“Don’t pull that face” Nanny would warn, “the wind will change and you’ll stick like it.”

Everyday, every single day, she’d trot out the same lines, and I’d carry on regardless. Grimacing at crying babies on the bus, sticking my tongue out at pedestrians in the rain from the back seat of the car, scowling at shop assistant trying to push their tat on me.

The one, the bloody only time, she was right I’d caught the end of an unseen argument. One of those doomed dramatic couples that just had to demonstrate their passion for each other in decibels. A couple of incongruous words; baboon’s arse, those were the words. “Baboon’s arse!” screamed out as an emphatic closing statement. That was all it took, and I smiled. It would have been a fleeting moment of humour. A brief facial spasm..., but the wind changed.

“And she always seems so happy,” I hear, and “such a nice girl... so pleasant...,” they say. Fuckwits.