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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.

What I read in November (Part 2)

The Boy Who Could See Death by Salley Vickers

When I borrowed this book from the library I hadn’t realised it is a book of short stories, which takes its name from perhaps the most haunting one. I may have mentioned previously that I prefer novels to short stories. Starting to read a short story is as much work as starting to read a novel. Then a few pages later it comes to an end. I don’t always manage to work out what the whole story has been about! There was at least one story in this collection, which left me guessing. (I like all the ends tied in and no room for doubt in a story!)

However, Salley Vickers writes extremely well and remains on my list of authors to look out for in the library. A review of another of her books appears in a previous post.

Meadowland: the private life of an English field by John Lewis-Stempel

I am cheating by including this library book here as I had not finished it by the end of November. It is a book I have been savouring. Each month of a particular year has a chapter to itself. The author describes life on his farm in Herefordshire near to the Welsh border. The history of the area, traditions, literature and patient observation of creatures and plants go to make this book rather special. While the author is very knowledgeable, he manages to communicate his knowledge in a way that is interesting to those with different levels of knowledge of the natural world.

It is the kind of subject, where the more you know, the more you learn. I found the prose particularly enjoyable, with a very gentle sense of humour being apparent. As in many of my favourite books, a map is included at the beginning. This one is of the farm. There are also lists of species observed, a list of nature books in the author’s possession and a list of music.

The Flower Show 2016

There is a summer flower show here every August. I usually find something to enter. In spite of torrential rain I ventured out and entered some photos and a child’s knitted garment. Most of the photos I entered had appeared on my blog, Sue’s words and pictures or on Twitter.  My photos were printed off at home on 6”x4” photographic paper.  One of them won a second prize in a category, which turned out not to be popular.  There were only two entries!

I am posting a photo of the cardigan and the photos with the name of the category in which they were entered. The lambs were in the category Animal offspring, but the caption is from an earlier post on this blog.

Cardigan

Cardigan

The cardigan was knitted using Robin Bonny Babe 4 ply yarn.  The pattern was from Lister-Lee and had two pattern repeats.  I decided that a boy’s garment would be better with only one.  This modification was time-saving.  I bought loose buttons from a local shop, where the assistant was very helpful.

The show was very well organised.  There was a friendly atmosphere with local people and holidaymakers attending.  Exhibitors ranged in age from 2 years to over 80.  I enjoyed tea with a group of friends.

Click on a photo to begin a slide show. Esc to exit. Which photo do you think won a prize?  Which is the best photo?