Fable paint chip prompt

This week Linda Kruschke’s paint chip poetry prompt is particularly challenging.

Your challenge, if you’re up to it, is to write an original fable in verse. I’ll accept prose, if you must, but verse is so much more fun and challenging. In keeping with fable tradition, your poem should involve at least two animals and should illustrate a moral principle important to you. Maybe you want to show that lying is bad or that working industriously will yield good results.

The paint chip words and phrases that you have to work with for your fable are ghost, pins and needles, parchment, gauze, whirlpool, relish, and dawn. I’d like you to use at least four of the chips.

The Hole Story

A mouse, a stoat and a fox
Needed somewhere to live.
Said the fox, ‘A cardboard box
‘Would do for me. I don’t give
‘A fig for fine houses’.

The stoat would prefer a boat,
But the mouse wanted a house.
The stoat would stay afloat.
He doubted a whirlpool would douse
Any floating houses.

The three animals set out
Together on their quest.
From dawn they looked about
Searching their very best
For future houses.

The fox was first to be fixed –
A large cardboard box found
By the mouse in woodland (mixed)
Gave much space to run to ground
Far from fine houses.

The stoat and mouse continued
To search beside a stream.
Spiders’ webs of gauze imbued
The suspicion of a dream
Of finding houses.

The mouse spotted the boat first.
The stoat began to gloat.
‘It seems you have come off worst!’
He clambered in. ‘Off I float –
‘Boats are good houses!’

The mouse was left all alone,
‘Til a hedgehog came past.
Pins-and-Needles said, ‘Don’t moan!
‘Troubles hardly ever last.
‘Who needs fine houses?’

The poor mouse scurried back home.
He saw the boat capsized,
And the cardboard box home
Had collapsed. He realised
They weren’t fine houses.

Before they began their quest
All the animals resided
In holes in the ground. Guest
Suites were not provided
In lowly houses!

The hedgehog’s philosophy
That things should be relished
Helped the mouse, fox and stoat see
Their old homes should be cherished.
Who needs fine houses?

The moral is not that it is wrong to live in fine houses, but that it is good to be thankful for what we have. As for gloating – perhaps pride comes before a fall.

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