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Friday, June 2, 2017

JUST NOT SO STORIES: HOW THE RHINO GOT HIS SKIN





(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!!)

Many years ago rhinos had skin that was a lovely shade of pink and as soft as velvet.   They used to get very bad sunburns, because at that time suntan creams had very low SPF numbers and they believed, probably rightly so, that carrying a parasol to ward off the sun would make them look like wimps to the other animals.

One particular rhinoceros, whose name was Rodney, was desperate.  He badly needed something to cover his extremely sensitive skin.  He went online and although it took him a long time to type in anything correctly on his computer because of the size of his hooves, he eventually found a listing for Angelo Anteater, an Italian tailor.  Fortunately, he was listed under “a” because it was too difficult for Rodney to scroll down to anything under “x”, “y” or “z”.  He called an Uber driver with a van (it was a tight fit but, as you know, rhinos aren’t allowed on buses) and went to see him.

He introduced himself formally to the tailor.  He said, “I am of the kingdom animalia, the phylum chordate, the class mammalia, the infraclass euthena, the order perissodactylia, the suborder ceratomorpha, and the superfamily rhinocerotoidea, but you can call me Rodney.”  He explained his problem to Angelo.  He told him how easily he sunburned.  He said he realized that was probably because he spent so much time wallowing in mud holes instead of under a tree, but that was the only way he could cool down.  He told him that he liked wallowing so much that he would probably keep doing it, even if he was cool.

He asked Angelo if he could possibly make some kind of a suit for him.  Angelo thought and thought and then said, “I believe I can, signore.  It would have to be waterproof and soil resistant, because of the mud holes.  The fabric would have to be thick enough to keep the sun out.  I don't mean to insult you, but you realize that since you are a plus size it will require a lot of fabric, so there will be an extra charge.  There will have to be a hole in it so your horn will stick out, but I think I can do it!”  He tied several tape measures together and took Rodney’s measurements and told him to come back in three weeks.

When Rodney returned, Angelo was apologetic.  The tailor brought out the pieces for Rodney’s suit.  They were all cut, but not sewn together.  Angelo told him that he had broken several sewing machine needles trying to sew them, but that he hadn’t been able to find one that was strong enough to go through two layers of the thick material.  He didn’t know what to do and even though Rodney was brilliant for a rhino (see his introduction to Angelo), neither did he.  They were both puzzled.

It was then that Oliver Owl came into the shop to pick up the new feather coat he had ordered.  He looked at the other two and saw that they seemed confused about something.  He said, “Got a problem, guys?  Haven’t you heard how wise owls are?  Maybe I can help you.”  They explained about the thickness of the fabric and the broken sewing machine needles.  Oliver said, “Easy, peasy—that’s a hoot!!  If you don’t mind leaving it on, Angelo can put it on you piece by piece with Super Glue.  That should work just fine!  The glue's waterproof so you can rinse it off by going into the river.  Bye bye, gotta fly!”  He slipped into his new coat, paid Angelo and flew away.

Rodney said that would be fine with him, since staying clean wasn't high on the list of any rhino that he knew.  Angelo glued the new suit on Rodney, who loved it!  Because of its weight, he did move a little slower, but he didn’t mind that.  Then there were those little oxpecker birds (members of the Sturnidae family, he found out) that kept hitching rides on his back, but that was OK with him, too.  He couldn’t feel them through the suit and they ate the crumbs that fell inside the seams.  Most importantly, he could wallow all day and never get sunburned!!


He sent all of his relatives to Angelo, who changed the name of his business to Rhinos R Us, patented the suits and made a fortune.  If you see a rhino today, he’s probably wearing one of Angelo’s suits!!

















Dust is just mud with all the water wrung out----fishducky

 


25 comments:

  1. Poor Rodney. Sensitive skin is no fun. Wallowing in the mud on the other hand...

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    1. I'd rather wallow in a $5,000,000 payroll!! This is from an older post:

      When we were first married we lived in a small, free standing house in nearby Seaside which was part of a court. I worked on post as a dental assistant. We would leave our home in sunny Seaside & drive 10 minutes to work every morning to find the sign that proclaimed “You are now entering Fort Ord” completely shrouded by fog. I loved being there with him except when the payroll of about $5,000,000 in cash was in. Then, not so much. He was a very restless sleeper. He would toss & turn & even argue in his sleep. When the payroll was in he was required to sleep with a loaded .45 caliber weapon on the nightstand. Those nights, I decided the better part of valor was to stay awake--& live!! (Ed. note: Bud promised me that one day he'd let me wallow in the payroll. Sadly, it never happened.)

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  2. Super glue? I thought they all used duct tape. I used to wallow in mud when I was pre teen, we all did, down at the mangrove end of the beach where the mud was grey. I really don't know why we did that.

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    1. Super Glue holds up better than duct tape when it gets wet!!

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  3. Rhinos can move pretty fast when they need to--LOL!
    I love the neighbors owning a pet rhino!
    Have a great day, Fran. :)

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    1. I'm sure King was very happy to have a little playmate!!

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  4. Hi Fran, I bet that took more than one tube of super glue, must have had to come in a five gallon bucket.

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    1. A little Super Glue goes a long way!!

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  5. Finally their seams are explained.I can rest now. Viagra use in some countries really might put the rhino's and tigers at ease eventually. Let's hope.

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    1. The idea of Viagra induced rhinos & tigers is frightening!!

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  6. I have sensitive skin. I wonder if there's any help for me.

    Love,
    Janie

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    1. That depends, are you allergic to Super Glue?

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    2. I've gotten it on my fingers a few times. It didn't cause a problem other than my fingers sticking together for a few days.

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  7. I'm a pretty good speller, but I don't think I can spell you either. Well, I can spell "you" just not you beginning with R.

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    1. That's why God gave us Spell Check!!

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  8. How did the human with the rhinovirus get his sweater on without needing the sweater-mending tailor? Or maybe that tailor has a mobile crew who rushed out to repair it while the guy was wearing it...

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    1. He's obviously wearing one of Angelo's new line of casual sports outfits!!

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  9. Gotta watch out for those wine winos. :)

    Another fun post.

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    1. I was worried that cartoon might be racist!!

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  10. Who knew? The only thing I've successfully glued together with super glue is my thumb to my forefinger.

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    1. At least you were successful once!!

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  11. I just tried to find your "THE BEST OF FISHDUCKY, PART 1" post, and when I clicked on it, I got that message again that it doesn't exist!

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    1. I sent you an email explaining it!!

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