Fair-weather Woods

I’ve begun illustrating and assembling the first edition of fables entitled, “Fair-weather Woods”. A lot of what has been posted here will be in it and I’ve only just begun but I plan on keeping up to date posts for my 5s and 10s of fans. Here was the first page I finished:

the bear cub's honey

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A Little Mouse

A little mouse,

awakes with glee.

Little mouse,

come play with me.


Little mouse,

so fast and nimble,

you make my heart,

crash like a cymbal.


Little mouse,

to his dread

finds his heart,

all torn to shreds.


Little mouse,

down a hole.

Little mouse,

bruised his soul.


Little mouse,

found a friend.

Little mouse,

meets his end.

The Self-Assured Robins

One fresh morning a Robin was gently awoken by a cool breeze, the bird felt great and sprang out of her nest. She swooped down from the high perch at the top of a great oak tree, the gleaming sun warming her feathers as she flew. Almost immediately she noticed a squirming little worm wriggling its way across the forest floor. As smooth and quick as an eagle she dove, easily coming up with her prize.

With a full belly, warm feathers and a good mood the Robin decided to make the day even better by making a stop at the pond. The local frogs were already neck deep and urged her to join them in the water. After a few dives the Robin bid her new frog friends farewell and continued on her day.

Her only plans were to pick up a bundle that was being delivered to her mother and as she began her trek she was stopped by a friendly voice from above. It was the joyful old post-pelican, Georgie, he was smiling and waving her bundle as he flew towards her.

“Georgie, what a pleasant surprise, I was just on my way to meet up with you!”

Georgie chuckled as he gracefully landed next to her, “Don’t I know it, I was already in the area and thought I might run into you and wouldn’t you know it?”

“Here we are. Thank you, Georgie.”

“You’re welcome, ma’am,” Georgie gave his trademark salute, turned took flight, resuming his route. Robin fit the bundle in her backpack and headed towards her mother’s.

Robin arrived to find her mother’s nest was empty; she dropped the package inside and went looking for her. After a quick glide around the tree she came upon her mother on the forest floor and she was gathering nuts.
“Mom, what are you doing?” Robin said landing next to her.

“I accidentally dropped your father’s nuts and I was hoping to get them back into the nest before he returned.”

“Let me help you,”

Through suppressed laughter Robin helped her mother and they retrieved all the dropped items successfully. Her mother was delighted to finally get her bundle, she hugged and thanked Robin and they said their good byes.

“I promise we’ll be over for dinner tomorrow night,” Robin assured her mother.

“Good, and be sure to bring that boy you’ve been seeing, I want to meet him.”

“…maybe.”

Robin quickly took flight and headed back to her nest, her mother began unpacking and storing the goods from the bundle, both ladies feeling especially clever for things neither of them did intentionally.

The Chipmunk’s Last Hunt

The wind whipped through the trees as the chipmunk scurried along the forest floor. The fall season was upon them and the chipmunk was out on the last hunt for food to store away for winter. The chipmunk would scan the area for various nuts and fallen acorns, when he’d come upon a potential juicy morsel he would check its quality and then shove it in one of his two big cheeks.

He had been out for quite a long time and decided to extend his last hunt just to make sure he gathered as much as he could. He pushed onward, jamming more and more food into his cheeks, stretching them further than ever before. He seemed to be on a lucky streak and he wouldn’t let a little pain end the fruitful hunt. In his mind he dreamed of the fun filled feasts that he would be able to give to his family, nobody was going to hungry this winter. And the food kept coming, it seemed as though the little chipmunk was running directly to the awaiting pieces of food.

After a few extra hours even the chipmunk’s legs were urging him to quit. The sun’s light had just about gone completely and darkness was overcoming the forest. The chipmunk crammed another seed into his strained cheeks. This was when he decided it was time to go home, he figured he had enough food to feed his whole family at least two winters if need be. As the chipmunk turned to head home to his warm home a particularly small acorn fell from one of the aged trees above. It was already right in his path so the chipmunk figured he may as well pick up this last piece on his way home. He gathered the nut and opened his mouth slowly to put it in, but as he did he lost control of one of the acorns inside and it slipped causing every single piece of food to tumble and spit out of the chipmunk’s mouth. It was all over in only a matter of seconds but the chipmunk stood over the giant pile of food struck with shock. Just then a crack of thunder roared overhead and a streak of lightning shred through the sky, causing the chipmunk to jump. He knew his time was short and he did not have enough time to pick it all up before the storm began. As quickly as he could he gathered some seeds and shoved them in his cheeks, grabbed an armful of acorns and nuts and hurried home.

Instead of having a surplus the chipmunk family would have less food than normal that winter.

The Two Hens

Two mother hens slowly walked together towards the marketplace one morning, as they always did, when they came upon a gopher attempting to repair his small cart.

The first hen noticed him first and whispered to the other hen as they approached, “Don’t make eye contact and we won’t have to help him.” The second hen did not take her friend’s advice and immediately sympathized with the poor gopher became transfixed on his dilemma as they approached. The gopher paused to wipe his brow, when he did he noticed the hens walking up and he and the hen made eye contact.

“Please, Ladies, I’m sorry to interrupt your beautiful day but won’t you help me for a moment?”

The first hen pretended she didn’t hear him and continued on her way, while her more empathic friend instantaneously offered her services. With the hen’s help the gopher easily completed his repair work. The gopher thanked the hen and they went their separate ways.

———————————————–

The hens met back up at the marketplace and continued their day as planned, it seemed the hen wasn’t even that much later and didn’t miss a thing; she even made it to a sold out, one-time performance by the Opossom titled, ‘Fear and Death’.

As the day ended and the hens began their journey home with their arms filled with various bags the birds began to hear a rip, then a tear, then silence… then simultaneously all of the items in their bags fell through newly opened holes in the bottoms  of their strained bags, letting all their purchases fall right onto the ground.

“Oh no! How can we get all of our goods back home now?”

At that moment, coming around the corner, was the gopher gleefully piloting his cart right up to them.

“Have no fear, gopher is here. You can put your stuff in my cart; I’ll take you ladies home!”

The hens piled their groceries into the back of gopher’s cart and climbed in next to him. Together they happily made their way back home.

A Bee’s Quiet Time

On a bright day a bee was laying in the cool grass bathing in the warm sunlight. After a long hard day and a refreshing wash simply recuperating his tired limbs was very relaxing for the bee. Just as the breeze was gently lulling the bee to sleep he was startled by a harsh voice that came out of nowhere.

“Relaxing, huh?” His brother stood over him, blocking the sun.

“I was.”

“That’s cool, mind if I relax with you?” His brother had already set up right next to him and was basking in the afternoon warmth before the bee could politely tell him to go away, so he went back into his quiet tranquility.

“So, I was…”

The bee holds up his tarsal claw to silence his brother. Together they silently bask in the warm sun for the remainder of the afternoon.

The Ant and the Grasshopper

An ant was carrying a blade of grass back to his hill when he noticed a grasshopper walking by whistling a jaunty tune. The sun was just overhead and to the ant it seemed he had only begun his work. “How could the grasshopper already be finished with his daily chores?” the ant thought.

The ant called out to the grasshopper to stop.

The grasshopper spun around with a flourish and greeted the ant, “How are you this fine day?”

“I’m sorry to disturb your pleasant afternoon but I was just curious as to how you could already be able to relax. The sun had only nearly come up and you seem to walk about as if you have finished all of your work.”

The grasshopper laughed out loud and slapped the ant on his back, “Work? What work? You are witnessing how I live – free and full!” And with that the grasshopper started up his jovial whistling and leapt high into the air. He began hopping and whistling in rythm; he bounced onto a tree branch, then back onto the ground, then onto a lily pad in a nearby pond, then away into the forest leaving the ant alone and confused.

—————————–

Quite some time had passed and the ant was again working hard one day, looking for a specific type of wide leaf, when he walked into a small clearing to find the grasshopper arranging leaves and jumping on top of them. He was confused because here was the grasshopper hard at work, even though he had told him he didn’t have any work.

The ant approached the grasshopper angrily, “Excuse me; I thought you said you didn’t have any work.”

The grasshopper paused his bouncing, “I don’t have any work.”

The ant pointed at all the leaves surrounding them, “What do you call this? This looks like very good leaf-flattening work to me.”

“Well, thank you, but I don’t have to do this. I choose to do this!”

The Young Fox

A young Fox made his way through the forest one fine day. He looked up into the sky and saw the sparrows fly by; he wished he could be someone others looked up to.  After a grueling hike up the highest mountain he could see the young fox finally found himself at its peak.  As he stood proudly on top gazing over his rightly earned kingdom he looked out over the vast, flat plains and thought, ‘Was it all worth it?’

The Bear Cub’s Honey

A bear cub left his den early one morning with his stomach rumbling. He walked through the forest, both paws gripping his empty stomach as he searched for his breakfast. Finally he came upon a buzzing beehive perched on a branch not very high off the ground above him. He could see the hive was teeming with hard working bees flying in and out and, at this point, he had no doubt it was filled with delicious, golden honey. The cub began climbing up the trunk of the tree, digging his claws into the old bark and pulling him upwards.

After climbing for what seemed like awhile he looked down, this is when he realized the branch was a lot higher than he previously had thought. Only now did he realize that it was much higher than he had ever climbed and he was only halfway up. His gut let out a sharp growl to remind him to stay focused and he continued his ascent.

He finally reached the branch and slowly started to make his way out onto the flimsy branch. The branch bent under his weight more and more as he crawled out towards the hive so he slowed his pace to prevent the branch from snapping. Ever so carefully he crept out to the hive.

After what seemed like hours of inching his way closer he finally found himself next to the buzzing hive. This is when the cub noticed the hive was not a beehive at all, but a wasp’s nest.  And since everyone knows wasps don’t make anything useful the bear cub hung his head and made his way back down in disappointment, his tummy angrily grumbling in frustration.

The Lion and the Weasel

 

A lion was searching for food when he came across a cart that had been tipped over, the contents of which were strewn about on the ground, revealing it to be transporting all sorts of delicious and exotic delicacies. Just before he is about to sink his teeth into a juicy fowl he hears a small voice say, “WAIT!”

A weasel slinks out from an empty toppled basket, he says, “Hello, King, I’m sorry to have frightened you but I implore you, do not eat a single crumb of this food. For you see, it is poisoned.”

The Lion examines the food closely, “How do you know it is poisoned?” he questioned.

“I overhead the owner told his apprentice to poison the food just before they left so that no animals could eat it.”

The Lion thought for a moment, “Alright, you will test it then.” The Lion holds the bird out to the weasel.

“I would, King, but alas I will not take a bite for I also overhead them saying they were returning with three times as many men! And any animal caught pilfering their food was to be skinned, and I will be no man’s scarf.”

The Lion thought for a moment, and then set the bird down next to the weasel.

“You made the right choice, King.”

Just then the lion brought down his mighty paw onto the weasel, gobbled him up and strolled away content, leaving the food to rot.