The Mouse, the Pigeon, and the Tanka (Weekly Writing Challenge)

Technically I already answered the Weekly Writing Challenge on my other blog. But darn it, there is a story to be had here.

The early bird may get the worm, but it’s the second mouse that gets the cheese.” -Jeremy Paxman


The mouse had a plan.
He’d go out into the land.
Maybe a nice man
Had left a meal he found bland.
Late night munchies from a band?

House_mouseThe mouse ventured out
Towards a quite popular park.
Though he some doubt
About escaping a lark
Or a mean dog who would bark.

He became angry,
clenched his jaw and got brave,
Made himself mangy,
And scurried from his enclave,
Looking for food he could save. 

It was there he saw
A rather worrisome sight.
His nerves became raw
As he neared, ready to fight,
The pigeon lit by sunlight. 

The pigeon saw him.
He cocked his head and cooed.
On a simple whim
He lifted a leg, pooed,
And ignored what had ensued.

The mouse crept closer
For he saw food in the lane
Right by the grocer.
The bird thought the mouse mundane.
The mouse thought, “Whatta birdbrain”. 

So he took the treats,
Gave the pigeon a quick nod,
Went down the streets,
Took a nibble of old cod,
And felt that the bird was odd. 

untitledHe’s seen the bird since.
Near a park, by a swing.
It never looks twice.
The pigeon pecks at its wing,
The mouse grabs everything. 

With his limbs so full,
Carrying back his next meal,
Pausing in the lull,
The mouse wonders, “What’s the deal?
This supposed ‘threat’ ain’t real!”

A Breakfast of Convenience

In “Anecdotal Tales”, stories will be told. Some will be fun, some will not. Some will be great, some will be less so. Some stories are true, some are merely possible. This is one of them.

A Breakfast of Convenience

Expect problems and eat them for breakfast” –Alfred A. Montapert

Charles was not having the easiest of mornings.  The hairball that he stepped in as soon as his feet left the bed had served as warning that nothing would go according to plan.  The blip in the power grid that had knocked out electricity just enough to reset his alarm clock had only added to his turbulent start.  Charles wiped the slippery gunk off his feet.  The sock had been just dirty before, now it acquired a new level of disgustingness.  A slimy residue clung to his skin while his cat looked on without remorse.  Charles needed food.  He would be fed and his anger would be soothed.  Or else.

Charles set foot in his kitchen without turning on the light.  He opened the fridge door and was met by a horrible scene.  The sole bulb in the refrigerator revealed that it was essentially bare.  There were some pads of butter, a jar of mayonnaise, and some sort of dish that had once resembled mashed potatoes in a purer, simply, less mold-encrusted time.  He looked to the freezer above and found only ice, garlic bread, and an ice cream bar.  Charles wanted cereal.  That was all that Charles wanted.  Moldy-potato-garlic-bread wasn’t going to suffice.

He went his cellular phone that he had placed by the front door and checked the clock.  As he had feared, Charles didn’t have time to run to the grocery store.  He knew that his commute was already going to be tight, so grabbing breakfast closer to work wasn’t an option.  Charles hadn’t gone to the bank in a while, so even the idea of using one of the vending machines at work was out of the question.  Charles cursed under his breath as his cat walked between his legs.  Glancing into the fridge, the cat looked to Charles and rubbed its chin against the man’s calves.  The cat could easily be fed with a scoop of cat food.  Charles’ dilemma was going to take a bit more ingenuity.

Determined to win at least one battle, Charles turned on the stove and went to grab some cat food.  Placing a handful of dusty cubes and stars in the metal bowl, Charles left his cat to merrily chew on its breakfast.  He returned to the kitchen and retrieved a bowl from the sink.  He checked the dish for cat hairs or debris, saw none, and placed it on top of the oven.  He removed the lone ice cream bar from the freezer, freed it from its packaging, and put the dairy product in the dish.  Then he reached for a clean bowl from the cupboard and filled it from the nearest cereal box.  Today, Charles was going to have bran flakes for breakfast, custom-made from his limited supplies.

Soon the heat from the oven melted the ice cream bar.  The chocolate shell still had a filmy texture to it, but the vanilla-flavored ingredient became a drippy pool.  Charles snatched the dairy product from the stove and turned off the heat.  He wanted the “milk” to be as cold as possible.  He poured the entire contents of the dish into the bowl with the bran flakes and stirred the concoction.  The chocolate still refused to yield entirely.  Charles dismissed the abstinent element and tried to rationalize its existence.  It seemed as if every other cereal was adding a chocolate-flavored version, why not bran flakes?

Charles went to his living room couch and put the bowl of ice cream-topped cereal on his lap.  Not two seconds later, his cat jumped up on an unoccupied cushion and sniffed at the bowl.  Charles assumed that the feline still craved sustenance, as it always did.  The cat approached merrily, meowed expectantly, and then made advances towards the bowl.  Its tail flicked with anticipation.  Curious, Charles watched as his cat sniffed at the cereal.  Suddenly, the cat hissed, drew back in fear from the bowl, and ran off to the bedroom.  Charles began to wonder if his cat could hack up hairballs of revenge whenever it wanted.

Undeterred by his cat’s reaction, Charles put his spoon to the bowl and pulled out a few drippy flakes.  He looked at the lumpy mess in front of his mouth.  He felt his lip start to curl in revulsion.  Before he could overthink the matter, Charles jammed the spoon into his mouth and swallowed.  His gag reflex kicked in, but Charles fought through it.  The meal wasn’t much better than Charles had believed it would be.  He took the ceramic container and its contents of grossness back to the kitchen.  If he was going to choke this breakfast down, he was going to need help.

He reached inside the cupboard and pulled out a box of granulated sugar.  As he poured a large quantity into the bowl, Charles could only shrug.  If he was going to go down the road of dietary madness, he was going to take it that last mile and then some.

The Tragedy of Being Kneady

In “Anecdotal Tales”, stories will be told. Some will be fun, some will not. Some will be great, some will be less so. Some stories are true, some are merely possible. This is one of them.

The Tragedy of Being Kneady

“It is better to deserve honors and not have them than to have them and not deserve them.” –Mark Twain

Olive lived a lonely life.  She was always told that she had something unique about her.  She tended to be the one that loafed around, never really engaging anyone.  Olive tried to bring a bit of herself to the table, but she found that her offerings were often tossed aside.  She didn’t seem to fit peoples’ tastes.  Time and time again, she felt undesired by all.  Whenever she let strangers sample a piece of what she was, she was always met with disgust.  Yes, life was hard for Miss Olive Loaf.

ImageThere were plenty of foods to be sample at the company barbeque.  Not surprisingly, the hot dogs and hamburgers were enjoyed by the masses.  There were even a few people that liked a bologna sandwich.  Olive, on the other hand, sat untouched by all.  Even the man who had gifted her refused to partake.  Secretly, Olive suspected that the man had brought her because he had accidentally bought her at the grocery store and wanted nothing to do with her.  The sun beat down on Olive and she started to wonder what it would feel like to congeal.  Her vacuum packing was still sealed; would that protect her from the heat and the germs?  Olive started to think that maybe it wouldn’t be so bad if she developed a case of mold.  Then she would at least have some bacteria to keep her company.

The thought of tiny life forms attaching themselves to her made Olive uncomfortable.  She looked around at the scene in front of her.  Children, complete with their summer-induced freckles and grass stains on their knees were running about in shorts and sandals.  The giant rubber slide had been a huge success; parents and children alike were running and diving onto the plastic chute.  They laughed as the water drenched them and their friends applauded their speed and bravery.  Further down the field, a relaxing game of Frisbee was being enjoyed by a few tired parents and their coordination-challenged toddlers.  More often than not, the tiny children would drop and stomp on the Frisbee.  Every once in a while though, the adults got their hands on the hardened plastic disk and managed to let it fly softly and lazily through the air.  On the very edge sat a cluster of elderly people and several dogs.  The older, polo-shirt clad humans sat with their big-brimmed hats and sunglasses as they commented on the youthful folks and all their sundry activities.  The dogs, furnished with a water bowl, lay next to each other with just enough space in between them that the fleas and ticks had to touch grass for a moment before hopping onto the next dog.  The canines considered scratching the parasites away, but they were so pleased to finally be laying in shade that they decided the effort of lifting a paw wasn’t worth the trouble.

Olive looked at all this longingly.  She was free of monosodium glutamate.  She had no gluten to trouble those with health concerns.  She wanted to cry out, “Why won’t you look at me?  I’m all natural!”  However she wisely realized there were two obstacles prohibiting her from taking that action.  First off, this was a family affair.  One simply does not brag about being “all natural” in public; certainly not in front of impressionable young children.  Secondly, loaves of meat have no mouths.  Olive wanted to cry, but loaves also lack tear ducts.

Olive collected herself, got her emotions under control, and sat there with unmoving resolve.  By gum, if any glob of meat mangled and massaged into a slab of food was going to have composure, it was going to be Olive.  Olive Loaf was not one to give into despair.  She was exactly what she was supposed to be.  She wouldn’t question the nature of why, she would simply just be.  A defeatist attitude was not going to help matters.  No, Olive decided, she would not let the fact that most people found the very of idea of her existence repugnant get her down.  She knew someone would appreciate her.  Looking out at the throngs of people having a wonderful time, Olive dared to hope that one day she would find someone with a refined pallet.

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