dubiously true stories and cartoons

Friday, July 13, 2018

Creature Features Part 7

Some Grub in the Wood

Mr Buzz-Ard and Mr Tur-Tel
Were lazing around down by the well
When their visitor arrived – who was the very opposite of foul –
No other than the venerable, right-honourable Mr Owl.

“It must be nice to get away from the city’s congestion,”
Said Tur-Tel, “and I have a marvellous suggestion –
Why don’t we ask Nigel to pack us a box full of grub
And we’ll go for a picnic down in the Wood.”

“What a lovely idea!” said Buzz-Ard, and he reached for the bell
That was positioned precariously on the edge of the well.
A few moments later Nigel the lizard appeared,
Dressed in his finery and sporting a beard.

“What’s that thing on your face?” asked Buzz-Ard with a frown.
“A beard, sir,” said the lizard, “they’re all the rage around town –
Everyone’s got one, they’re a popular accessory.
If you’re to be in the in-crowd they’re an absolute necessity.”

“It makes you look old,” Tur-Tel said with a leer,
“But your beard’s not the reason we called you down here.
We’d like you to pack us a box full of grub
So we can go for a picnic down in the wood.”

“Of course, sir,” said Nigel, “I’ll get onto it right now,
And I’ll pack a freshly caught field mouse for Mr Owl.”
“You’re an absolute star,” declared Mr Buzz-Ard,
“And don’t forget to pack my English mustard.”

One hour later the box full of goodies was ready,
And the three friends set off with a pace that was steady.
The sun was shining and the sky was blue
And their hearts were filled with happiness too.

After a bracing walk they arrived at the Wood,
Tur-Tel was worn out and so he said, “Good,
I’m glad we’ve arrived here at long long last
So we can sit on the ground and enjoy our repast.”

“I’m tired and starving and my stomach is rumbling –
Surely you must have heard it gurgling and grumbling.”
“I want my ham sandwiches,” said Mr Buzz-Ard,
“And I want them with plenty of English mustard.”

The food was unpacked from the box on the ground,
But not everything was there as Buzz-Ard soon found.
A terrible shock was in store for Buzz-Ard –
The box did not contain any English mustard!

“I specifically instructed that bearded lizard
To pack my condiment,” moaned Mr Buzz-Ard.
“There’s only one thing for it,” he said with a snort,
“One of us will have to go back to The Court!”

“Well, I’m not going back,” said Mr Tur-Tel.
“Nor I,” said Owl, “count me out as well.”
“In that case,” said Buzz-Ard, after a pause,
“The only fair way is for us to draw straws.”

Three straws were selected and held in Buzz-Ard’s beak,
And Owl and Tur-Tel gave one each a tweak.
Owl was unlucky and said, “I’ll go on this mission,
But only if you abide by this one condition –

I’ll use my weary wings to fly back to the yard,
And retrieve the mustard for Mr Buzz-Ard.
But while I’m gone you’re not allowed to eat a single scrap –
You’re not to touch anything until I’m safely back.”

Buzz-Ard and Tur-Tel agreed to Owl’s request
But only because he was just an amiable guest.
So Owl set off in a light-hearted mood
While Tur-Tel and Buzz-Ard looked at their untouchable food.

An hour went by, followed by another –
“Some tea?” asked Buzz-Ard, “I will be mother.”
“Remember,” said Tur-Tel, “what Owl did dictate –
We’re not to touch anything – we just have to wait.”

So they waited and waited and waited and waited,
And waited and waited and waited and waited,
And waited and waited and waited and waited,
And waited and waited and waited and waited.

And waited and waited and waited and waited,
And waited and waited and waited and waited,
And waited and waited and waited and waited,
And waited and waited and waited and waited.

“It’s been a day now since Owl departed this Wood,”
Said Buzz-Ard, “and I’ve had it! I’m eating this grub!”
“We said we’d wait,” said Tur-Tel to Buzz-Ard,
Who replied, “I don’t care! I’ll live without the mustard!”

And then, as if by magic, Owl appeared
And his two friends leapt up and joyfully cheered.
But as Owl slowly approached, Tur-Tel and Buzz-Ard
Noticed the absence of English mustard.

Tur-Tel let out a gasp and cried, “Where have you been?
It’s been a whole day since last you were seen.”
“More to the point,” said Mr Buzz-Ard,
“Where on earth is the English mustard?”

“Don’t give me that,” said Owl, “you miserable swine.
For one whole day I’ve been hearing you whine!
I’ve been hiding behind a tree, just there in the Wood,
To test you – to see if you would begin eating that grub.

Willpower, it seems, is not in your dictionary,
So don’t try and mime it when you next play Pictionary.
You are selfish Tur-Tel, as are you Buzz-Ard,
And you can go back yourself for your English mustard!”

Owl could have stayed at The Court, but he thought instead,
There was a party later today being hosted by Ned.
His visit to Buzz-Ard and Tur-Tel had turned sour,
So he left in his car with its twenty horse-power!

Next week: Mumbo Jumbo

Friday, June 29, 2018

Creature Features Part 6

A Rhino on the Lino

The next night in the Red Lion, Giraffe ordered two drinks
From Benny the bar-owl who was stood at the sink.
He ordered one for himself and one for his friend
Who was none other than Gnu – that well-known fiend.

“Strike a light and knock me down with a feather,”
Said Benny, “I didn’t expect to see you two together –
I thought you’d be enemies forever after last night,
When your dog was beaten by Giraffe’s in that fight.”

“It’s all in the past,” Gnu said,
“And it is a shame that my dog is dead.
But let bygones be bygones, that’s what I say –
Giraffe’s dog was the best at the end of the day.”

“That’s very magnanimous of you, Mr Gnu,
And I hope what you say is perfectly true.
It’s good to be friends,” Giraffe said with a wink,
Unaware that Gnu had just spiked his drink.

The TV in the bar was showing something magnificent –
A wildlife documentary about the African elephant.
The presenter was someone who was awfully thorough –
None other than that nice David Attenborough.

He was explaining in his smooth, velvety voice
Why the elephant was the beast of his choice.
“I keep an elephant,” said Gnu, “on the end of a chain,
Secured to a post, sometimes in the rain.

I keep it like that to show who’s in charge
And I’m not the least bit scared just because it’s so large.”
“Well I have a rhino,” said Giraffe, “and I feed it jelly
While he’s sat on the couch watching the telly.

My kitchen, however is out of bounds to my rhino
Because he’s forever slipping on my ivory lino –
The lounge is much safer, and that’s where he’ll sit,
Unable to slide on my magnolia carpet.”

Then Benny interrupted and said to Gnu,
“I once knew a moose who was exactly like you –
He had a rhino that he treated like dross
In order to show it that he was the boss.”

“But one day the rhino escaped and ran free
And headed off to find a home by the sea.
The moose didn’t care and he soon forgot –
Did he think of his pet? Of course he did not!

But the rhino made his way back to the house,
And climbed up the stairs as quiet as a mouse.
He found the moose upstairs in bed, asleep,
And decided to teach him a lesson – the creep!

The rhino lifted its foot over its ex-master’s head
And brought it down hard until he was dead.
The moose got what he deserved for mistreating his pet.
He should have remembered – rhinos never forget!”

“What are you talking about?” Gnu said with a sneer,
“It seems you’ve been drinking too much of your beer!
It wasn’t a rhino – you dunce – so let me confirm –
The animal you speak of is a pachyderm.

You do it all the time – you’re off your head –
Whenever you mean elephant you say rhino instead!
Do you suffer from some kind of dyslexia?”
“Actually,” said Benny, “I suffer from alexia.”

“That’s word blindness to you, you horrible rotter,
And if you want to write it down I’ll lend you a jotter.
There’s nothing wrong with me – I’m not off my head –
It’s just when I want to say rhino, I say rhino instead!”

By this time Giraffe was feeling quite queer
From the Mickey Finn that Gnu had slipped into his beer.
He tottered and wavered about like a stick –
His stomach was gurgling and he was feeling quite sick.

“Are you sure he’s all right?” Benny asked in alarm.
“He’s fine,” said Gnu. “He’ll come to no harm.
Don’t worry about him – please do not fear –
Just give him a pint of your excellent beer.”

“I hope he’s not driving,” said Benny, showing concern.
“Of course not,” said Gnu, “Look, when will you learn?
The customer is always right – that’s what I think –
Now stop your complaining and pour him a drink.”

Giraffe’s stomach was now feeling terribly dicky –
Unaware Gnu had slipped him a Mickey.
He took one sip from his beer, then made a gurgling sound
Before slumping unconscious onto the ground.

“That’s it,” said Gnu, “I’m off – my job is done.
Revenge is sweet and I’ve had my fun.
I’m going to bed now, early start in the morning,
Delivering manure as the new day is dawning.”

As he walked to the door, Benny gave him a glare.
“Oy!” he called, “You can’t leave that lyin’ there!”
“What are you talking about?” Gnu said with a laugh,
“That’s not a lion – it’s a drunken giraffe!”

Gnu stepped out of the pub and into the rain,
And what happened next caused him a great deal of pain.
He was strode into the road with a swaggering strut
When a car came out of nowhere and ran over his foot.

He was jumping and cursing and yelling and hopping
As the car drove away without even stopping.
The hit-and-run driver drove an elegant machine
That had one previous owner – a mouse called Maureen.

Next week: Some Grub in the Wood