Entries in fortifying fables (3)


Audio: Fortifying Fables: Wally the Whale

On priorities

"Thar she blows!" The cry rang out from a passing ship's crow's nest.

"Dive, Wally! This is no time to be showing off your breaching and spouting. That's not a passenger ship."

Wally the whale, who had been enjoying his childlike cavorting and ocean acrobatics, grumblingly joined the rest of his "school" mates in the pod2 who were on a hunt for food.

"Sorry, Mother," he said.

"And ye'd better lie low and hold yer breath for awhile," said his father as a harpoon shot through the water from a rowboat overhead. "Unless ye want to end up as soap 'n' candles, 'n' bone fer a fancy woman's corset afore yer time. In fact, it'd be wise for us to all to lie low."

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Audio: Fortifying Fables: Filippa the Filly

On wish fulfillment

"How do we corral her, Señor Verdadero?"

Filippa, a beautiful white filly with a long golden mane, overheard a stable hand ask this question of a tall black-bearded man in his early thirties, Señor Fiel Verdadero—Filippa's rider.

"Why, what is the problem?" he asked.

"Well, haven't you seen? Filippa keeps charging at the fencing and rearing up with hooves flailing, especially when we come around. It's downright scary."

"Then take charge."

"Easier said than done, señor. She's ornery even when we try to lead her back into the stables for the night—brush her down and so on. Won't you please get her to submit?"

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Audio: Fortifying Fables: Boris the Bear

(Based on an old African fable)

On considering the source of your criticism and praise

"That wasn't too bad," young Boris, a big, black Russian bear said to himself, as he swayed on his hind paws in front of the large mirror. "I'll try it again."

He pressed a button on the MP3 player and strains from Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker Suite resumed. Clumsily lifting a hind paw, Boris attempted a turn and fell, rolling on his back. He stood up and after a few further attempts, managed the initial steps required to dance a waltz.

"Excellent," he muttered. "I think I am ready to show what I can do for Garibaldi, my wise little monkey friend. His rehearsal with the organ grinder should be over by now."

With a smug grin, Boris lumbered out of the tent, carrying his MP3 player.

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