Thursday, February 26, 2009

General Bullregard -- A North South Tale

I'm excited to host Patty Wysong's Friday Fiction this week.
At the bottom of this post is Mr. Linky. Add your name
and a link to your fiction, then click on other links
to read fiction by some excellent writers.

Thanks for laughing at the days with me.

General Bullregard -- A North South Tale
by Beth LaBuff
Topic: Don't cut off your nose to spite your face.

Back in the fall of sixty-three
Or was it sixty-four?
There was a minor skirmish that
‘Bout caused a barnyard war.

South feedlot yard on Shiloh Farm
Was where they kept the bull.
His name was Pierre Bullregard --
For short -- The General.

Fenced inside north pasture hills,
The sheep would safely lay
Beside the still creek waters,
With no worries that they’d stray.

North pasture hills and south feedlot
Were separated by
A current wielding ‘lectric fence
That stood ‘bout three feet high.

The General would often graze
Next to the ‘lectric fence.
His tough old hide got many zaps
Before he gained some sense.

Some days he’d walk the fence line
And some days trot -- for fun.
He carved a furrow in the ground --
A trail we called Bull Run.

That day of infamy that left
The General so distraught --
A sheep was grazing near the fence
Next to the south feedlot.

The General from across the fence
Was thinking, Muttonhead.
Then sheep’s eye locked with bull’s eye,
And “Baaaaaaaad,” the sheep’s mouth said.

“How dare that sheep from ‘cross the fence
Accuse me with that word!”
Sheep bleated out that “Baaaaaad” again
And “Baaaaaaad” The General heard.

Instead of letting bygones be
At night he counted sheep.
Then “Baa-Baaaaaad” echoed through his mind
And drove away his sleep.

Like chewing cud, his anger was
Regurgitated bile.
His all-consuming thoughts ’bout sheep
Envisioned things hostile.

The bull was livid and revenge
Became his sole obsession,
Payback for a misconceived
North pasture sheep aggression.

He pawed the ground then charged the fence
His eyes were seeing red.
And steam expelled from out his nose
And dust shook from his head.

He shorted out the ‘lectric fence.
Sparks crackled in the air.
His hair was singed, but in he slipped
Though none the worse for wear.

So blinded by his anger
He chased the sheep that day,
Till men in white coats were called in
And carted him away.

Folks said he went to market.
Some said he bought the farm.
Perhaps he cashed his cow chips in --
He ain’t been ’round this barn.

inspiration from: Psalm 23:1-2 NIV
The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.

He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters.

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

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Thou Shalt Not Covet Thy Neighbor's ...

This week Fiction Friday is hosted by
Vonnie at My Backdoor Ministry
Stop over there for more avant-garde fiction.

Thou Shalt Not Covet Thy Neighbor's ...
by Beth LaBuff
Topic: Australia

Kookaburra sits on the old gum tree,
Merry merry king of the bush is he.
Laugh, Kookaburra, laugh, Kookaburra,
Gay your life must be!

Australian Folk Song by Marion Sinclair--

In the bush-land of Australia
A diverse Society
Met each week at three o’clock
To brew their billy tea.

Each member of this Aussie guild
Were seated ‘round a bog,
The wombat and the bandicoot
The sheep and dingo dog.

The crocodile sidled up
Next to the Kangaroo.
The emu and the rabbit
Came from the Uluru.

The kookaburra, merry in
The Eucalyptus tree,
The koala and the lorikeet
Treetop society.

Each member reaffirmed an oath
In lingo, fierce and strong.
They pledged the preservation of
Their outback billabong.

Until one diabolic day
That twirled them for a loop,
A devil from Tasmania
Came to infiltrate their group.

He pointed out the differences
‘Tween haves and the have-nots
Them that have the pockets
And them that haven’t got.

He incited racial hatred
With zoologic prejudice,
A billabong dissension—
Down Under outback fuss.

The koala and the kangaroo
Had the pocket attribute
Likewise the dervish devil,
The wombat and the bandicoot.

When the meeting terminated
Haves left and headed home.
The have-nots lingered at the swamp
To empathize and moan.

Then derogatory comments
With a hissed, “marsupial,”
As speculation mounted what
Their pouches might conceal.

“Perhaps they stash a boomerang—
Protection in the outback,
Or maybe a $5 note
To buy their Cheezels snack.”

“A self-contained doggy bag
For when they’re dining out,
Or perhaps to tote their lipstick
While on a walkabout.”

Kookaburra fueled the spark
Tas-devil helped create.
The mates – urged to get pockets.
The devil’s advocate!

They brain-stormed ‘bout their have-not plight
Their words – highly explicit.
They’d each construct a pocket-pouch
And then would retrofit it.

The kookaburra’s wisdom solved
Their tacky-sticky problem.
To glue the pockets on themselves
Required old gum tree gum.

The crocodile insisted that
His pocket be astride
His nose, but as he focused
His eyes became cross-eyed.

The emu had his pocket glued
Upon his feathered chest,
Where inside he could bury his head
When he became distressed.

Rabbit’s grand idea to grow
The bunny population,
He could overrun the nation.

The dingo glued an ample pouch
On ‘bout shoulder-height.
He filled his spacious pocket with
Some Aussie Vegemite.

Next week at three o’clock when
The group convened again,
Each one had a pocket.
Glued to feathers, fur, or skin.

The have-nots then became the haves.
Attained marsupial status.
But their pockets were ill-fitted
And declared “preposterous.”

When prejudicial comments flew
The new-haves weren’t amused.
To remove their added pockets
Faux-supials felt behooved.

Backwater from the billabong
Removed the gum adhesive.
The have-nots said they’d had enough
And swiftly made their leave.

The Society disbanded.
The effort, understaffed.
The water was depleted
...And the kookaburra laughed.

Author’s note: While this story may seem far-fetched,
the kookaburra insists it is fair dinkum.

Inspiration from:
Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's house,
...nor any thing that is thy neighbor's.
Exodus 20:17 KJV

© Beth LaBuff -- January 2009
written for a writing challenge

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Tutankhamen -- Romance on the Nile

Tutankhamen -- Romance on the Nile
By Beth LaBuff -- March 2008
Topic: Homespun Wisdom -- Every dark cloud has a silver lining.

Adrift among the bulrushes
Upon the river Nile,
A lily pad meandered --
An aquatic floating isle.

The lily pad’s lone occupant
A bullfrog -- Tutankhamen,
Would sun upon yon’ lily pad,
Then swim, then sun again.

Life, unharried, drifted out
Amongst the river folk,
Speaking when the spirit moved,
His solitary “croak.”

Tut came from royal bloodlines.
His lineage -- traced with pride
To kindred frogs in Pharaoh’s halls,
On his mummy’s side --

Four thousand generations back,
Give or take a few,
To frogs in Egypt’s kneading troughs
And those in oven’s stew.

His lily pad, with leak issues,
Drooped on it’s starboard side.
It caused Tut’s leg to ebb and flow
And dangle in the tide.

His marinated frog leg
Showed dire discoloration --
A sickly sort of sallow xanthous
Chartreuse combination.

How does one hide a mismatched leg
Or cloak humiliation?
His personal plague, thorn in the flesh --
Disgraceful situation.

Tut hopped to town to seek out shops
So that he might compare
The price to stabilize his pad
With leak and droop repair.

The knowledgeable merchant
Insisted that he knew
Precisely what his pad would need --
New gutters, paint, and glue.

Tut juggled all his purchases
As he hopped out the door
To a “Thank you, please come back again"
From Bart’s Botanical Store.

Before he’d taken twenty steps
He lost his gutter grip.
Paint then glue and gutters flew
And that caused Tut to trip.

His flailing leg flashed like a light,
Stopped traffic on the road.
And caught the eye and interest of
One Cleopatra Toad.

Miss Cleo’s fairy tale world
Desired hoppy bliss,
With visions of a frog turned prince
After a magic kiss.

Enamored with Tut’s garish leg,
‘Cause printed in black ink
She’d read in Fashion Magazine,
“Chartreuse is the new pink.”


A cloud burst on the lily pad
New gutters were in use.
Two amphibians, eight total legs --
Seven green and one chartreuse.

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

Monday, February 2, 2009

Go West Young Man

Fiction Friday is hosted this week by
Sherri Ward at A Candid Thought
Be sure to stop over there for more cutting-edge fiction.

Go West Young Man
by Beth LaBuff
Topic: The USA

In Old English, on the sheepskin
Conferred from Mid-State College,
Joe Peacock proudly eyed his name
And reveled in his knowledge.

He headed home on gravel roads,
Past the dirt road junction,
With grandiose ideas to
Increase the farms production.

With eagerness to implement
New methods and techniques,
But on deaf ears his concepts fell,
Were squashed down, so to speak.

Self-righteous anger boiled to
A discontented state.
Old farmers with archaic ways—
That would not be his fate.

A deft smooth-talking salesman,
Whose snaked tongue dripped with oil,
Filled young Joe with promises
Of western fertile soil.

“A progressive farmer should not
Stay here when I’ve land to sell.
Go west, young man, and leave this farm.
Just bid the past farewell.”

Sans common sense with a sound mind,
Joe bought the proffered land.
Paid the con with currency
Then shook his clammy hand.

Joe took his old green tractor
And a wagon for the load,
Donned a sign, “Westward or bust!”
Then throttled down the road.

Drove through “What Cheer” in Iowa,
In Colorado – “Hygiene”,
Aye-yi-yi! – the names of towns!
What were “town fathers” thinking !?!

One evening’s stop at a cafe
On his cross-country tour,
He went inside a restaurant
And ordered soup du jour.

He puzzled o’er the “mystery meat’s”
Stringy perpetual chew.
The waitress mumbled, “jackrabbit”
How gross! Hare in his stew!

As on he traveled he recalled
Sage council from Bugs Bunny,
“Hey doc, be careful that you don’t
Turn left in Albuquerque.”

At length his destination reached,
His eyes surveyed his land.
His mind – pow’rless to comprehend
And slow to understand.

“Hoodwinked!” the word came to his mind.
He pondered what he’d done.
His farm was situated in
The Grand “abyssal” Canyon!

He tossed his sheepskin in the gulch
And then …he had a notion.
He’d contour farm the canyon
To stop the soil erosion.

inspiration from: Philippians 4:11
Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned,
in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.

written for a writing challenge
© Beth LaBuff – January 2009