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Wednesday, May 31, 2017

JUST NOT SO STORIES: HOW THE ELEPHANT GOT ITS TRUNK



(Ed. note: Rudyard Kipling submitted these "Just Not So Stories" to his editor in 1895. They were rejected.  Following his editor's suggestion, he reworked them into a book called "Just So Stories" which was finally published in 1902.  We were fortunate enough to find these drafts among his papers.)

(Disclaimer: OK, I admit it; These are from my book, "Fishducky's Fables" and I've run some of these before, but, hey, I'm 82.  You can't expect me to run a new post five times a week.  At least I've reworked them and the cartoons are all new!!)



You all know, of course, why some animals are the way they are.   For instance, the giraffe’s neck is as long as it is because he was so snooty that he wouldn’t talk to or even look at the other animals and he kept stretching his neck farther and farther until it just stayed that way.  But did you know about the elephant and his trunk?  No?  That’s all right, I’m going to tell you.

One African elephant, Elroy, who lived in the jungle was very prone to allergies.  He was allergic to many of the local plants.  Neither handkerchiefs nor Kleenex had been invented yet so people and animals used to wipe their noses with their shirts or arms after they sneezed.  Elephants are so big, you can just imagine the mess he made.  They used to have snouts, like pigs.

One day Elroy was walking through the jungle and sneezing every few minutes.  He would eat some grass and sneeze.  He would say hello to another animal and sneeze.  He would drink some water and sneeze.  His fairy godmother (yes, animals have fairy godmothers, too!) appeared before him and he sneezed on her, too.  She got upset at first, but he apologized profusely and she realized he couldn’t help it.

She moved behind him, where she would be safer, and told him that she would grant him one wish because he had just stepped on a snake and she was deathly afraid of snakes.  Elroy said, "I didn’t do it 'AH-CHOO' on purpose.  I'm just clumsy and step on a lot of animals without 'AH-CHOO' even knowing it."  She said that was okay, that made one less snake anyway, and that he could still have a wish.  She told him to think carefully before he made his request, because one wish was all union rules permitted.

Elroy thought and thought and finally said, “I’m so tired of 'AH-CHOO' sneezing all over myself.  I really wish you could 'AH-CHOO' do something about my 'AH-CHOO' allergies.”  She told him to give her a few minutes to think of something.  After due consideration, she said, “I‘m sorry, Elroy, but I can’t get rid of your allergies because antihistamines won't be discovered for a few hundred years and then the makers of Benadryl and Claritin would probably sue me retroactively.  Would you settle for a really long, flexible nose so you could at least aim your sneezes up in the air or over your shoulder?”

He elephant thought about it and decided that was better than nothing so he accepted her offer.  After using his new nose it for a while, Elroy decided that it was much better than the old one, allergies or no allergies.  At least he could aim his sneezes.  He could get grass off the jungle floor with it and pluck delicious leaves from the trees.  He could get a drink without sticking his face in the water and even take a shower.  He could lift things and carry them around.  When he got a girlfriend, he could wrap his nose around her shoulders.  Elroy’s new nose could do so many things that all the elephants who saw it wanted one just like it.  

Their fairy godmothers decided that it would be a lot less work if elephants were born that way rather than to change them individually, so they got together and made it happen.  There’s not an elephant I’ve talked to, either African or Asian, that would prefer that old style nose.














































































----fishducky


 


Tuesday, May 30, 2017

JUST NOT SO STORIES: HOW THE KANGAROO GOT ITS POUCH



(Ed. note: Rudyard Kipling submitted these "Just Not So Stories" to his editor in 1895. They were rejected.  Following his editor's suggestion, he reworked them into a book called "Just So Stories" which was finally published in 1902.  We were fortunate enough to find these drafts among his papers.)

(Disclaimer: OK, I admit it; These are from my book, "Fishducky's Fables" and I've run some of these before, but, hey, I'm 82.  You can't expect me to run a new post five times a week.  At least I've reworked them and the cartoons are all new!!)




Did you know that many years ago, the kangaroo had no pouch?  That’s true.  I wouldn’t lie to you.  (I might kid you a little bit, but I wouldn’t lie to you.)  Let me tell you how they got the pouches that they have today.

Since most of them couldn’t afford babysitters or even the least expensive day care facility, when they went out to feed, the mother kangaroos always had their children with them.  Every time they let go of their paws to bend down to take a bite of a delicious plant or munch on some grass their joeys (babies) would run off to play.  The moms would have to stop eating and go off in search of them.  It was okay when the joeys were tiny and in their strollers, but they soon outgrew those.  True, it kept the mothers slim, but they were always hungry.


The fathers were no help;
they just drank beer

or played with their balls all day

One day one of the mothers had a great idea.  “If we just had something to put them in,” she thought, “We could finally finish a meal without all that hassle.”  She went online and typed in “baby carriers”.  She found Baby Bjorns and Moby Wraps and some other brands.  She ordered several so she and her friends could try them out.  They were fine when the mothers were standing still, but when they bent over to eat, the joeys still slipped out.  And there was no way they would stay in when their moms started hopping!!  They had to come up with a Plan B.

They thought and thought and they watched many other animals.  They saw an alligator with her baby sitting on her head and they tried that but it gave them headaches.  They saw an opossum with her babies on her back and they tried that, too, but when they stood up, the joeys fell off.  It was then that they had another idea--why not carry them in a purse?  A few of them went to the local Dollar Store and got some inexpensive purses to try it out.  They worked perfectly but human (and kangaroo) nature being what it is, some of the mothers had to show off.  They began carrying their joeys in handbags designed by Louis Vuitton, Kate Spade and even Prada.

Naturally, that made the kangaroo mothers who couldn’t afford the designer brands very sad.  One of them (I know her first name was Martha and I think her last name was Stewart, but I'm not sure) went to Pinterest and found a pattern for an apron.  She played around with it and discovered that if she sewed two of them together, with an opening at the top which could by kept closed with a drawstring, she had the perfect baby carrier.  She made enough for all her friends, who loved them.  She decided to start a business online and it wasn’t long before all of the lady kangaroos, even the Prada carrying ones, started ordering them from Martha and wearing them.

Apparently, Mother Nature thought that was a really good idea, too, because now all female kangaroos are born with her version of that apron.  She didn’t include the drawstring closure, though.












Carol Wyer's new book is being released today!!
To read a review, click here & also here.
To hear Carol read the first chapter, click here.






 




Monday, May 29, 2017

SAVE ME, ATTACK ANT!!

This apparently didn't appear on some people's reading list on Wednesday, so I'm posting it again.



Why are all superheroes in movies & comic books human, or at least in human form?  I’m sure our animal friends would like to get in on the action.  Even insects should be given a fair chance at the superhero business.  Most of their capes & masks would be tiny, so look at how inexpensive their costumes would be.   I can visualize them now.  This is how I see them, with their names & superpowers, from small to large:


Courageous Caterpillar: He could climb up a bad guy’s neck & tickle him until he surrenders.

Surefoot Silkworm: He could not only climb up a bad guy’s neck, but he could wrap him in silk thread.

Mighty Moth:  He could flutter around someone’s face until they go crazy.

Spontaneous Slug: He could leave a trail of slime that the perpetrator  would slip on.

Keelhauling Kitty:  He could scratch until the guy gives up.

Daring Dog: He could either bite the bad guy or lick him to death.

Prudent Pelican: He could hold the bad guy in his pouch until the authorities came.

Obdurate Ostrich: He could bury the perp's head in the sand.

Contrary Cow: She could fill the entire area with cow patties, making escape difficult.

Cunning Camel: He'd only have to slobber or spit (which is actually vomit) on them once.

Rambunctious Rhino:  He has a short temper & a big horn.

Expeditious Elephant: If he sat on them that would be the end.


If you want to see some animals & fish that have 
weird & downright scary abilities, click here. 














































----fishducky