Folklore and an artsy, fartsy, crafty ending

Well, it’s Thursday, and I’m surprisingly happy to announce that it’s the end of our Thursdayly adventure, Arts and Farts and Crafts. It’s been a fun ride, and I’ve been happy with all of your contributions over the weeks, but I feel like I’ve accomplished what I’ve set out to do with this thing: I’m writing again. I’m in the middle of a couple of larger screenplay-type pieces, and while they’ll never be produced or any of that shazooski, they are much more time-intensive, artistically worthwhile, and interesting to me than my two-paragraph weekly poop jokes.

I thought “Fairy Tale” would be a suiting end. After all, “Happily ever after,” yes? But no. I didn’t even follow my own prompt. I wrote folklore instead. And it has the saddest last sentence I’ve ever written. So boo hoo to you! I hope that some of you had some fun reading these entries, or participating in the challenge. I’ll smell you later, crocogator.

Hootie and the Blowfish:  a folktale

This tale was passed down from the Arapaho and Apache tribes through generations and generations of oral tradition.  Unfortunately, the Arapaho and the Apache hated each other.  As a result, the history of this tale has been lost for the ages amongst the bloodshed.  All references to the Arapaho/Apache feud, including instances of the tribes proclaiming “RABBIT SEASON!” and “DUCK SEASON!” (respectively) have been removed for clarity.

Once upon a time there was a great, bearded owl named Hootie.  He was a wise owl (beyond his years) and a fearless owl (beyond his fears).  In the forests and hills, Hootie was a right, jolly old owl.  Hootie was friend to the bears and the rabbits; the donkeys and the hoglets; the bouncy, trouncy, flouncy, pouncy tigers and the boring, boring, boring, boring gophers; the Christophers and the robins; the heffalumps and the woozles; the kangaroos and the slightly smaller, younger kangaroos.  The owl would nestle the furry woodland creatures in his gentle talons and nuzzle them with his razor-sharp stabbing-beak.  Hootie was a good owl, and a good friend.

Hootie’s reputation did not precede him outside of his sheltered wood, however.  In the sea, Hootie was a menace.  The crabs, lobsters, coral, and kelp would all shirk in his presence.  Hootie’s fearlessness became fearsomeness, and his friendly talons became evil, scary talons.  Every day, Hootie would dive into the murky depths, only to emerge with screaming, crying fish wriggling in his razor-sharp stabbing-beak, and water droplets sprinkling from his magnificent, glistening brown plumage.

Say what you want about fish.  “They think they’re so smart!  I’ll give them the ol’ what-for!”  “They’re smelly and I hate them!”  “Et cetera!”  All these things are true, of course, but there are some nice things you can say about fish as well.  For instance, they are a good source of Omega-3 fatty acids.  Some of them make for excellent cheese-flavored crackers.  And sometimes they’ll let you in on their poker game, even though you’re not a fish and really they shouldn’t but they’ll let it slide just this one time.  And, of course, fish are really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really very good at revenge.  It’s one of their favorite things, next to soda pop and that cute, shy waitress at Bennigan’s that doesn’t know it yet but she’s totally going to marry fish some day.  You know–the one with the glasses.  No, not that one.  Not those glasses.  The bigger glasses.  Yeah, her.

Anyway, revenge.

The fish were sick and tired of being sick and of being tired, so they convened at a great Fish Convention.

“I hate it!” said one fish.  “The owl never leaves us alone!  And my neighbors always park on the street in front of my house!  I had to cut a hole from my curtain just so that I can watch!”

“Quit carping, you old carp!” said the sea bass.  This was how the majestic carp got its name.

The salmon spoke up.  “I, too, am infuriated by this terrifying owl!  I wish there was something we can do!”

“Burble burble burble!” burbled the crowd.

“Order!  We will have order!” yelled the shark, king of all fish.  “The owl is making you all mad because he is eating you, correct?”

The school nodded.

“And he is making me mad because there are less of you for me to eat, correct?”  The shark nodded at his own question.  “Well, it’s official.  Kill the bird!”

“Burble burble burble!”

Then, one meek voice overtook the burbling masses.

“Woah woah woah, wait just a minute you guys,” said a fat fish.  “I don’t think killin’ anyone is such a good idea now.  Violence isn’t the answer to more violence.  A fish-eye for a fish-eye will make the whole world fish-blind!  The only answer…is love.”

A silence descended upon the group of fish.  Then, the shark spoke.

“What a fat little fish!” exclaimed the shark jovially.  Laughs bubbled out of fish here and there until eventually the whole school was laughing at the poor, fat fish.

The fat fish looked dejected.  “Woah woah woah, wait just a minute you guys,” he said.  “I may be fat, but I have feelings too!  Fish-feelings!  And I don’t think it’s right–

“I have an idea!” exclaimed the scuttlefish.  “Let’s use fatty here as bait!  Yes, that’ll do!  He’s all fat and tasty.  All we have to do is poison that poisson!”

Applause led to capture and ritual poisoning of the fat fish, who put up a fight (but it was a fat fight, so easy to conquer).  They threw that fat fish back out to sea, and sure as shamrocks that owl ate that fat little fish all up!

This is the cautionary tale of the blowfish.  The blowfish may look succulent and fat, but chances are that it is full of deadly fugu poison.  You should not eat the blowfish.

Hootie died later that afternoon in his own nest.  The adorable woodland creatures wept for days before holding a well-attended funeral.  It was the most terrible day in every one of their lives.



One Response to “Folklore and an artsy, fartsy, crafty ending”

  1. When I go to write, I almost always think about stealing things from you. I am humbled by how incredibly funny your writing often is.

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