Friday, December 26, 2008

The Christmas Goose

Fiction Friday is hosted by Patty at Patterings
Be sure to head over there for some new and some recycled fiction.

The Christmas Goose

The old farmhouse exuded glee –
Unbridled expectation,
While youth and elders strategized
Their Christmas celebration.

The merriment that overflowed
Infected fowl and beast.
In the barnyard peace ensued
And acrimony creased.

Except… that is, one envious pig
Got up his porker dander
When he observed the peacock strut
Of one illustrious gander.

The gander overheard the cook,
Whose silvered-tongue was loose,
That if he plumped-up, he’d become
This seasons Christmas goose.

The whole farmhouse, both young and old,
At once began to pander,
Feeding this and bits of that
To fatten up the gander.

To be the Christmas goose MUST BE
The wish of every gosling.
For every inch his waistline grew,
More lustrous grew his goose dream.

With each applause and patted-back
And lofty gander praise,
The pig’s hate exponentially grew
For all the gander’s ways.

Pig quipped, to put him in his place,
“They’re going to cook your goose.”
Then added, while his nose-ring bobbed,
“You’ll simmer in your juice.”

And then to emphasize his point
They waddled to a window.
From underneath they overheard
The children’s voices flow.

With sing-song voice they patty-caked
A chant that made him shiver.
“Pluck the fowl, discard the tail,
Take out his goosey-liver.”

“Add peppercorns, season to taste,
Then truss him up with kite string.
Cook will roast the Christmas goose that’s
Crammed with chestnut stuffing.”

Then goose-bumps on the gander flared.
His face grew flushed, then paled.
A plan began to formulate
So he’d not be de-tailed.

With not a moment left to spare,
He donned clothes from the clothesline.
When cook went out to dress the fowl,
He hid behind the grapevine.

The cook, with kids and jealous pig,
Searched far— all o’er the place
What started as a hunting crew
Wound up a wild-goose chase.

With nary a gander sighting
Of hide, nor hair or feather,
Cook then whipped up a Plan B –
The children thought ‘twas clever.


The gander near the window crept,
When deemed the coast was clear.
The children’s chant – a second verse?
Was music to his ears.

“Green-bean casserole, candied yams,
Pumpkin pie, and custard.
We’ll pig out on Christmas ham
That’s spiced with cloves and mustard.”

written for a writing challenge

Topic: Christmas Cooking/Baking
© Beth LaBuff -- October 2008

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Carol of the Bulls

Carol of the Bulls
by Beth LaBuff
Topic: Christmas carols/caroling

They sheltered in the weathered barn,
Their custom at end of day,
Added scents to mingle with
The stover and baled hay.

A microcosm of barn-life
That mirrored humanity,
Spats and greed festered and fostered –
Livestock disunity.

Like pots that called the kettle black,
Hogs beefed about the sheep smell.
They claimed their stench was nigh unto
An overflowing landfill.

The chickens hatched their plan for nests,
Pulled wool over sheep’ eyes,
Nests within the feeding troughs,
To hoard the hay supplies.

Old rooster was a barnstormer,
Who flew and goosed the duck.
The pig who watched these birds in flight
Had dreams of fowl potluck.

Then at the darkest midnight hour,
Since evil’s head had reared,
Though the window of the barn
A Christmas star appeared.

In that magic mystic moment
A lowing sound occurred.
It started in the pen where bulls
Milled near the cattle herd.

Then added to the lowing bass,
A countermelody.
A newborn lamb released his voice
With guileless harmony.

Their carol grew to a crescendo,
Livestock dissension ceased.
Lion and lamb peace resumed
For feathered fowl and beast.

In the barn a song arose
With mixed creation flavor,
A tonal sacrifice of praise,
A fragrant-smelling savor.

inspiration from:
Hebrews 10:4-7
4because it is impossible for
the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins.
5Therefore, when Christ came into the world, he said:
"Sacrifice and offering you did not desire,
but a body you prepared for me;
6with burnt offerings and sin offerings
you were not pleased.
7Then I said, 'Here I am—it is written about me in the scroll—
I have come to do your will, O God.'

written for a writing challenge
© Beth LaBuff -- October 2008

Monday, December 8, 2008

The Devolution of Planet eX-whY-Zee

Fiction Friday

Fiction Friday is hosted this week by
Shirley McClay at
Sunny Glade
Be sure to visit for cutting-edge fiction.

Author's Note:
If the theory of evolution is possible,
then reverse evolution (or devolution) must also be possible.
Today I am posting a TRUE STORY for Fiction Friday,
may the powers-that-be forgive this indiscretion.
This true account is the story of a superior race that begins to devolve.
Here are the facts...

The Devolution of Planet eX-whY-Zee
by Beth LaBuff
Young Adult Genre

Ten trillion billion years ago
On planet eX-whY-Zee
Dwelt 50 million comrades --
An advanced humanity.

The citizens were sacrosanct,
Professing to be wise.
And every action that was done
Was right in their own eyes.

Events began to happen
That man did not foresee.
The cause? …‘twas global warming
Or a planetary freeze?

Maybe the ozone buildup
Caused an air pollution trap.
Or aliens used their ray guns
To melt the polar cap.

Eight trillion billion years ago
Man’s shoulders start to stoop.
A tail soon develops
And his arms begin to droop.

Six trillion billion years ago
Cro-Magnon’s cave is home
Where pterodactyl soar
And the brontosaurus roam.

Four trillion billion years ago
Monkeys become bees.
Man becomes a monkey and
The bees become small fleas.

Two trillion billion years ago
A single life-cell group
Mutated then transitioned into
Thick primordial soup

One trillion billion years ago
There remained some dull green fuzz.
A little bang transpired then
From something …nothing was.

9th grade Science Class --
Students, please review these facts. There will be a test on Monday.

Inspiration from:
Romans 1:20-22 For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse. For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools.

written for a writing challenge
© Beth LaBuff -- June 2007

Friday, December 5, 2008

Forgive Her Trespasses

Fiction Friday

Fiction Friday is hosted this week by
Yvonne Blake at My Back Door
Be sure to visit for inspirational fiction!

Forgive Her Trespasses
by Beth LaBuff
Topic: Christmas Lights

A couple – married forty years,
The secret to their bliss?
Through the house and down the hall
An unseen line exists.

Two rooms were separated by
This line of demarcation
One chamber “his,” the other “hers”
For spousal isolation.

In her room, a rocking chair
With cushioned floral print.
A knitting basket perched nearby
With yarns of pastel tint.

In his room, a den of sorts,
And homage to his passions,
Where guns and mounted trophy heads
Were tributes of his actions.

She had, while settled in her chair
Resplendent inspiration—
Clandestine entrance to his room
For Yuletide decoration.

She hauled her stash of trimmings
To his hallowed, leathered lair.
Strands and strings of blinking lights
While he was unaware.

His south wall held a mounted bass,
Hung from its mouth, a lure.
She held a bauble to its fin
And tied it there, secure.

Great Uncle Albert’s picture hung
Next to the baubled bass –
She added chaser lights that lit-up
Clockwise round the glass.

She turned around then gazed upon
The wall that bordered east
Where smack dab in the center
Was a shoulder-mounted beast.

The beast was angled oddly,
His head wrenched, facing south.
She lit a Christmas candle
And placed it in his mouth.

The north wall held a bird in-flight
From Canada – a goose.
The goose-in-flight was wall-mates with
A mammoth head of moose.

Then up above, the light fixture,
Were cast-offs from some deer,
She hung some blinking snowflakes
From the antler chandelier.

Extension cords hid ‘neath a hide
Of pronghorn mammal fur.
She plugged the cord with three prongs in
A two-prong adapter.

Wrapped in the Yule moment,
A decorating whirlwind,
Multitudes of Christmas lights
Plugged end to end to end…

And still, she kept on adding lights—
Obsessed, compulsive urge.
Until the lights blinked off, then on—
Electric power’s surge.

AC/DC, watts, and amps,
Ungoverned energy,
By adding more the room maintained
High-powered synergy.

Finally, the last beast had been graced
With bulbs and decoration.
Back stealthily, she crossed the line
To gender segregation.

Expectancy for his return,
Excitement on her face,
She thought she heard a tiny “pop”
Perhaps … the fireplace?

A beep began to issue from
The sensor on the wall.
Smoke seethed from underneath the door
Then spewed into the hall.

Aghast, she peered across to see
Her husband’s char-broiled shotgun.
Who knew the room’s propensity? —
Spontaneous combustion!

The print of Uncle Albert
Shot high into the air.
It then became impaled upon
The antler chandelier.

The north wall saw excessive heat.
The goose – incinerated.
And on the floor a pile of ash,
Ill-fated moose — cremated.

With fried bass on the south wall,
She then rotated east—
Shocked electrocution of
The shoulder-mounted beast.

The leaning candle in the mouth,
That had been left ajar,
Made the beast appear like he
Was smoking a cigar.

They planned on eating out that night,
Cheeseburgers with some fries,
Instead, they opted to stay home.
For “Bar-B-Q Surprise”.

Inspiration from:
Forgive us our trespasses... Matthew 6:13

written for a writing challenge
© Beth LaBuff -- November 2008

Friday, November 28, 2008

Serengeti Subterfuge

Fiction Friday

Fiction Friday is hosted this week by
Be sure to visit for avant-garde fiction.

Serengeti Subterfuge
by Beth LaBuff
Topic: Charade

In the darkness rife with night sounds,
‘Neath an umbrella tree,
Crouched young Paka* of the woodlands –
Serengeti sovereignty.

Paka Leopard was courageous
As he thrived upon the plain.
In Serengeti’s rank he neared
The apex of the food chain.

He hoped for an appearance,
Kept his respirations quiet,
Craved a meal that conformed to his
High protein – low-carb diet.

With the tardiness of dinner
And scratching of the bramble.
His thoughts began to wonder
While his brain began to scramble.

Paka had a revelation,
“My spots are so cliché,
I’ll change my spots, expunge them
To blend in among my prey!”

He borrowed spot remover
From a clean safari guest,
Who’d hoped to spot a spotted cat
While spotless on his quest.

With spots obliterated,
Spotless Paka formed a plan,
To mingle with the monkeys
And blend in among their clan.

In order to pull off this hoax
He learned some monkey antics
Like eating ripe bananas
And monkey speech semantics.

With just a smidge of exercise,
Plus a scoop of guile,
He practiced swinging from the trees
His tail — faux prehensile.

The whole charade was scrutinized
By a watchful gnu,
Who faithfully transcribed it
From his hidden gnu’s eye view.

The gnu was an informer
To the Brotherhood of Apes,
Who voiced their stern distaste on
How events had taken shape.

The monkeys weren’t bamboozled
By Paka Leopard’s cheating.
They called each head of household to a
Monkey business meeting.

The Brotherhood of Apes
Then posted union views,
Saying “Leopards can’t be monkeys
‘Cause they pay no union dues.”

And with the union’s statement
That was posted in a hurry,
No hakuna with matata
Made Paka start to worry.

To reverse a spot remover
Became his chief concern.
And all the wishful thinking
Wouldn’t make the spots return.

Accounting of this tall charade
Might be a bit askew.
We asked around before we found
Just what the old gnu knew.

It seemed that Paka Leopard
Then simmered in a stew,
Till he found a place that could replace
His spots with ink tattoos.

*Swahili for cat

Inspiration from:
Can the Ethiopian change his skin or the leopard its spots?
Jeremiah 13:23 (NIV)

written for a writing challenge
© Beth LaBuff -- August 2008

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Le Curator of the Shed

Fiction Friday
Fiction Friday is hosted by Patty at Patterings
Be sure to stop there for avant-garde fiction.

Le Curator of the Shed

by Beth LaBuff
Topic: A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.

‘Twas just an old abandoned shed
Decaying in the dell,
Inside were treasures of all sorts
That time had bid farewell.

Objects d’art were hung with twine
And carefully displayed,
Buckets, leather harnesses,
Steel plows, and rusty spade.

Then the pièce de résistance
In room’s center could be viewed.
It was most carefully guarded --
Le sac of dry cat food.

Asleep within this gallery
On sculptured hay bale bed
Was the steward of these items --
Le Curator of the shed.

At first glance he appeared to be
Chat noir -- a cat of black.
The second glimpse revealed to all
A white stripe down his back.

Few animals dared to trespass in
Le Curator’s domain,
Especially if their nose could smell
And they possessed a brain.

‘Twas greed that gripped Le Curator
With plans to boost his stash.
He snuck up to a refuse heap
To sift through other’s trash.

That’s when the fracas happened,
A thief came forth to steal,
He had a mask and banded tail
And planned to snitch a meal.

Time the brigand bided when
Le Curator left his shed,
The bandit came and havoc wrecked
Then in the dark he fled.

Grievous sight met beady eyes,
There’d been a bold incursion,
And Le Curator regretted
His scavenger excursion.

The thief defaced the gallery
And through the twine he chewed.
He kicked the buckets out the door
And stole le sac of food!

Inspiration from:
The thief comes only to steal... John 10:10 (NIV)

written for a writing challenge
© Beth LaBuff -- January 2008

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Go to the Ant, Thou Slug

Laughing at the Days, a paraphrase of Proverbs 31:25.
She is clothed with stength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come.

Go to the Ant, Thou Slug
by Beth LaBuff

Betwixt svelte emerald spikes of grass,
Within the loam they thrive en masse,
And toil to lay-up treasured foods --
An ant hill colony.

Martha Ant, a lively worker,
Never was a slacker-shirker,
Gathered foodstuff for her queen --
She served most faithfully.

A strange encounter, Monday late,
While foraging ‘neath garden gate,
A caller sought out Martha Ant
One question on his mind.

His name was Rusty Vander Slug.
He voiced his query to the bug.
“Wise Ant, why do you stash and hoard
The provender you find?”

“I’ve watched you scurry, laboring,
Never changing your routine.
Your drive I cannot comprehend --
Nor logic can perceive.”

Then Martha eyed the gastropod,
She saw no trace of a façade.
His enquiry was most sincere
With no thought to deceive.

With prudent words, Martha explained,
“With summer’s store we’ll be sustained.
Of deprivation -- meager fare,
We’ll be delivered from.”

“With winter’s peril, ravaging,
We have in stock insect cuisine.
So for the morrow we’ll not fear --
We’ll laugh at days to come.”


Inspiration from:
Proverbs 6:6 - Go to the ant, thou sluggard;
consider her ways, and be wise. (KJV)
Proverbs 30:25 - Ants are creatures of little strength,
yet they store up their food in the summer. (NIV)
Proverbs 31:21 - When it snows,
she has no fear for her household. (NIV)
Proverbs 31:25 - She can laugh at the days to come. (NIV)

written for a writing challenge
Topic: confident
© Beth LaBuff -- July 2007