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