Sunday, June 3, 2012

A Fable


Once upon a time there was a baby tiger.  He lived in a jungle with his Mama Tiger and his Papa Tiger.  He was, for the most part, a good tiger, although he did have a tendency to be rather engergetic.  By which I mean, he was always going somewhere.

One night, after dinner, the baby tiger said to Mama Tiger, “Mother, may I be excused?”  The baby tiger was ever so polite.

“Yes, baby tiger, you may be excused,” replied Mama.  “Where are you going now?”

The baby tiger thought for a moment.  “I’m going to France.”

Mama Tiger smiled.  “Well, just be home before bedtime.”  (The baby tiger did not have to be home before dark, because tigers have excellent night vision.)

So the baby tiger set off.  And he walked and he walked.

Presently, he came upon a baby wolf.  “Hello,” said the baby tiger.

“Hello,” said the baby wolf.

“I’m going to France,” said the baby tiger.

“Sounds like a plan,” replied the baby wolf.  And they walked and they walked.

Presently, they came upon a baby dragon.  “Hello,” said the baby tiger.

“Hello,” said the baby wolf.

The baby dragon just giggled.

“We’re going to France,” said the baby tiger.

“You can come if you want to,” said the baby wolf.

The baby dragon just giggled.

“Very well then,” said the baby tiger, ever so politely.  And they walked and they walked, with the baby dragon fluttering along behind them.

Presently they came upon a large horse, standing in a field.  The horse snorted a bit and looked down at them.  He blinked his long lashes.

“If it would not be too much trouble, good Mr. Horse,” said the baby tiger, ever so politely, “could you tell us, if you know, have we reached France yet?”

“Nay,” said the horse.

“Ah.  Well, then, thank you so much.”  The horse shook his head.  So they walked on.

“Horses are very helpful creatures,” confided the baby tiger to the baby wolf.

“Indeed,” said the baby wolf.

The baby dragon just giggled.

Presently, they came upon a great horned owl, sitting on a branch.  The owl chuffed a bit and looked down at them.  He ruffled his fluffy feathers.

“If I may be so bold as to inquire, good Sir Owl,” said the baby tiger, ever so politely, “have you heard of a such a thing as France?”

“Who?” asked the owl.

“Well, it’s not so much a ‘who’ as it is a ‘where,’” said the baby tiger, ever so politely.  The owl showed them the back of his head.  So they walked on.

“The owl did not seem to be geographically inclined,” said the baby tiger to the baby wolf.

“Hunh,” said the baby wolf.

The baby dragon just giggled.

Presently, they came upon a pigeon, preening on a statue.  The pigeon gurgled a bit and looked down at them.  He bobbed his plump breast.

“If it would not be a great imposition, good Citizen Pigeon,” said the baby tiger, ever so politely, “we are endeavoring to find our way to France ...”

“Coo’,” said the pigeon.

“Well, yes, I suppose it is, as you say, ‘cool,’” said the baby tiger, ever so politely, “but I was more wondering if you might be able to point us in the proper direction.”  The pigeon tilted his head.  So they walked on.

“We must be close,” said the baby tiger to the baby wolf.  “We seem to have gotten as far as East London, at any rate.”

“Coo’,” said the baby wolf.

The baby dragon just giggled.

Presently, they came upon the Eiffel Tower, arcing over the Champ de Mars.  The tower rattled a bit and looked down at them.  It flashed its metal sides.

“By jove, we seem to have arrived.  Surely this must be France,” said the baby tiger, ever so politely.

“Could be Vegas,” shrugged the baby wolf.

The baby dragon just giggled.

“She sure is happy,” the baby tiger observed.

“Sunny disposition,” agreed the baby wolf.

The baby dragon shot out a great gout of flame which melted the Eiffel Tower into a puddle of iron lattice.  The baby tiger and the baby wolf had to back up to keep their paws from getting irony.  The metal fumes burned their eyes a bit.  The baby dragon giggled again and burped up a few plumes of acrid smoke.

“It’s getting dark,” said the baby wolf.

“Tigers have excellent night vision,” said the baby tiger.

“As do wolves,” pointed out the baby wolf.

They looked at the baby dragon.

She giggled and snorted fire, lighting up the dusky air.

“Good point,” said the baby tiger.

“Indeed,” said the baby wolf.

“Shall we off?” asked the baby tiger, ever so politely.

“Yes, let’s,” replied the baby wolf.

So they walked and they walked, with the baby dragon fluttering along behind them, occasionally giggling and snorting fire against the falling darkness.

And the baby dragon got home before bedtime, and she giggled at them happily as Mama Dragon and Papa Dragon waved goodbye.  And the baby wolf got home before bedtime, and he howled happily as Mama Wolf and Papa Wolf waved goodbye.  And the baby tiger got home just before bedtime, and Papa Tiger kissed his head, and Mama Tiger asked him where he’d gone that fine evening.

“Why, to France, of course,” answered the baby tiger, ever so politely.  “Thank you ever so much for asking.”  And then the baby tiger curled up, and went to sleep.


fin



[Yeah, I don’t what the hell I was going for there either.  But it sounded cool, so I just ran with it.  Maybe your kids will like it too.]

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