Books, Humor, Short Stories, Uncategorized, Young Adult

The Simpleton’s Jackass

Once, two rogues spotted a simpleton leading a jackass by a leash. One rogue said to the other, “Watch, I’ll rob that fool of his jackass just as easily as anything you’ve ever seen!”

And so the two rogues walked behind the Simpleton, and, sneaking the leash from the jackass’ neck, he put it on his own, while his comrade lead the jackass away.

When the Simpleton turned around and spied what he still thought to be his jackass, he was utterly astounded to see a man standing there in its place.

“Who in the world are you?” cried the Simpleton in amazement. The thief replied, “I am your poor jackass, except I am really a man! Once, long ago, when I came home drunk, as I did very often in those days, my mother called down the curse of Allah upon my head. I soon found myself transformed into jackass, and have walked the earth in this unfortunate guise ever since. My mother must have prayed for mercy for me, for I have transformed back into a human while you have been leading me home.”

At this, the Simpleton was most aggrieved, and exclaimed, “Oh! You poor, unfortunate man! I’ll free you at once!”

And so the thief took off his leas, and ran away to join his friend and the jackass they had stolen. The Simpleton went back to his wife, who inquired angrily after the lost jackass.

The Simpleton replied, “Oh, my wife! We have made a terrible mistake, for our jackass was really a man. Allah transformed him into the shape of a jackass, to punish him, but now he has changed back, and I have let him go!”

At this the wife was sore afraid, as she feared the judgement of Allah for all the bad treatment they had meted out to the jackass. Both of them hid in their home for many days, scarcely daring to venture out in their gloom and despair.

Finally, hungry and lackin mone, the wife commanded that the Simpleton go out and buy another jackass, so as to do a little homest labor and earn some bread. The Simpleton went to the village to do just this.
The thieves, in the meantime, had sold the Simpleton’s jackass to the man who dealt in livestock, and it was here that the Simpleton went, in search of another animal to buy.

How amazed he must have been when, among the herd, he found what was, unmistakably, his old jackass! After confirming this to his own personal satisfaction, the Simpleton became quite indignant, and, shaking his finger at the beast, he exclaimed, “You sinful, disgraceful man you! You must have gone home drunk yet again!”

Once a fool, always a fool.

(Source: The Arabian Nights)

Books, Fiction, Humor, Short Stories, Urban Legends, Weird, Young Adult

The Miller, His Son, and Their Jackass

Once, coming him from a long stay in a nearby village, a Miller and his son lead their slow, ponderous jackass through a dense wood. Soon, while plunging along the path, they came to a trio of girls, who began to point and laugh, saying, “Look at those fools, struggling along in the heat when they could be riding upon that jackass. At the very least, the miserable old man might let his little son climb on the back of the jackass and rest!”

The Miller, not wishing to be mocked, commanded his son to ride upon the back of the jackass, and the son soon climbed on back of the creature. It was not long, however, before the man and his son met up with a trio of old codgers, who pointed with scorn at the lad riding the jackass, saying, “Look at how the young treat the old these days! Why, that healthy young scoundrel is riding that jackass,a nd forcing his poor old father to walk alog in this heat! It’s disgraceful!”

The Miller, not wanting to be spoken of in these harsh terms, commanded his little son to dismount form the jackass, and got on the animal’s back himself. They proceeded on their way, but soon came to a trio of young boys, one of whom pointed in mockery and derision, and said, “Look at that selfish old man riding that jackass! He is making his young son walk along in this heat! Why, shouldn’t they really be riding the jackass together?”

At this, the Miller again found himself sorely perplexed. So he hopped up on the jackass along with his son, and the two continued to ride.

Soon, however, they came to an animal husbandman, who, seeing both the Miller and his son sitting astride the struggling jackass, yelled out in consternation,”Look at those lazy fools! They have loaded that poor jackass down to the point where it can barely creep along in this abominable heat. Such as them should be taken and horsewhipped for their cruelty to dumb animals!”

At hearing this, the Miller yet again found himself facing the opprobrium of a complete stranger. So, thinking quickly, he commanded his son to get off of the jackass, and he set about carefully binding the animal’s hooves. Then, by aid of a stout tree limb, he and his son hoisted the jackass between them, and carried him along on their shoulders. Which, truth be told, was quite a sight to see.

A band of traveling pilgrims spied them, however, and found themselves too dumbfounded to make any utterance. Just as the shocked pilgrims came upon the scene the braying, struggling jackass kicked free of its bonds, and, giving the idiot Miller and his son a series of punishing kicks, ran of into the brush, never to be seen again.

The group of pilgrims began to laugh and point, in spite of themselves, and the Miller and his son were forced to walk home in humiliation. The strange fiasco of the Miller and his son carrying their jackass between them was talked about in town for years thereafter.

So the Miller lost both his dignity AND his jackass. Proving, once again, that, by trying to please everyone, you never really please ANYONE.

Please yourself.

(Source: Phaedrus)

Fiction, Humor, Short Stories, Urban Legends, Weird, Young Adult

The Fox and the Mask

Once, the nimble Fox, who is ever lurking about, looking for a free meal, crept into the home of a famous actor. The actor was away on business, but the Fox managed to steal into his private wardrobe, and find a beautiful, colored mask.

The Fox, having never before seen such a thing, wondered at it, but was pleasantly amused to turn it around and see that the back of it was simply an empty space.

“‘Tis a pity!”, exclaimed the Fox. “Such a beautiful exterior, but wanting for a brain!”

Truly, a beautiful face is no substitute for intelligence.

Books, Fiction, Humor, Short Stories, Urban Legends, Young Adult

The Brahman and the Three Rogues

Once, there was a Brahman who traveled to find a goat to sacrifice. Coming home along a forest path, he was met by three rogues, all of wanted to divest him o the burden he was carrying over his shoulders.

Conceving a plan, the first rogue said, “Brahman, why are you carrying that dead dog on your shoulders?”
At this the Brahman found himself sorely perplexed. He flung the goat from his shoulders and looked at it carefully. Then, shrugging at the first man’s ignorance, he put the carcass back on his shoulders and continued onward.

The second rogue then called out, “Brahman, why are you carrying that dead dog on your shoulders?”
The Brahman, at hearing this, was once again confused and troubled. He whipped the dead dog off of his shoulders and examined it carefully. He then shrugged uneasily at the ignorance of the second man, and put the dead goat back on his shoulders, continuing (more nervously now) upon his way.

Finally, the third rogue called out from the path, “Brahman, why are you carrying that dead dog on your shoulders?”

At this, the Brahman finally lost his nerve, and, whipping the dead goat from his shoulders, he went and ran to the creek, cafefully washing himself from what he was now convinced was the filthy contamination of carrying an unclean beast on his shoulders.

The rogues, having convinced the Brahman that a dead goat was, in fact, a dead, dog, took the goat and cooked it, enjoying a hearty meal and laughing at their grand deception.

Sometimes, it is better to trust our own senses rather than listen to the carping opinions of others.

(Source: Hindu folklore)

Books, Fiction, Humor, Short Stories, Young Adult

The Farmer, the Fox and the Hen

Once upon a time a conniving old fox crept into a chicken coop, snatching for himself as many of the plump chickens and eggs as he could swallow before making off like a bandit, with the Farmer being none the wiser.
This greatly upset the Hen, who went to Farmer and said, “Cluck! That terrible Fox has been in the chicken coop! Cluck! You must do something to protect us! Cluck! If you don’t act now, you’ll lose all your chickens! Cluck! Cluck!’

And so the Farmer, knowing that this was true, lie in wait one lonely, moonlit night, and watched and listened for the approach of the Fox. Soon, he heard the old thing creeping through the brush, and he got out his heavy spade.

When the Fox tried to enter the door of the chicken coop, the Farmer suddenly sprang upon him, yelling, “I’ll teach you to steal my chickens, you dirty, sneaky varmint!”

And with that, he beat the Fox in the head until his eyes popped out and his brains were leaking out of his ears.

After the Fox was dead, the old hen came waddling out of the chicken coop, and thanked the Farmer for killing the Fox.

The Farmer, who had forgotten to eat dinner, suddenly found he had worked up an appetite. He looked at the plump little hen, and his jaws began to drip, and his eyes bulged and his stomache rumbled. Suddenly, he reached down and grabbed the Hen by the neck.

He wrung the Hen’s neck with his powerful hands, then, putting the carcass in a sack, he strode off for home, eager to clean and fry the bird and have a late-night snack.

The enemy of your enemy is not always your friend.

(Source: Traditional)

Dreams and Nightmares, Experimental, Fiction, Humor, Short Stories, UFOs, Ultraterrestrials, Urban Legends, Weird, Young Adult

The Little Man

–It’s all nonsense, anyway,

said the old man with withering contempt.

–Children don’t dress like that.

He was conferring with his wife at the bottom of the stairs. She was a dowdy woman in grey frock, with dust clogging the creases of her face. Her husband was an elderly man whose hair (what remined of it) stuck up in wild little spikes even when it was wet down and combed flat. For all his age, the man could move, with lightning speed.

–But, it must be a child, his wife intoned. –What other explanation do you have?

–It could be a prank by a dwarf. A malicious dwarf. Maybe someone from a circus or carnival.

–Perhaps, said the wife thoughtfully, –It’s one of those reality television programs. Like a Candid Camera or something?

The subject upon which they were conferring was a diminutive, child-like little figure in an old-fashioned suit with a bow-tie and what was obviously a thin smear of grease paint across his upper lip, supposed to simulate a curling, 1920’s mustache. He looked as if he might be a dastardly silent cinema villain tying a young lady to a railroad track in an all-midget Western.

He said very little, flipped out his card, introduced himself as a friend of a cousin, and claimed he very badly needed something to drink.

–Preferably buttermilk.

Something inside Herr Gustave said,

–The little bastard is going to make some sort of social faux pas, something unforgivable. He’ll overplay his hand, and give us a good excuse to have him kicked right out the door.

But, with a speed his haus frau could hardly have credited him with, he bolted up the stairs to the upstairs kuch, to fetch the buttermilk out of an old fridge they kept, chiefly, for snacks and goodies for visitors.

He got the entire carton, brought it downstairs, wondered if the situation had anything at all to do with the present situation in Israel…the world was always trying to foist collective guilt upon Germans for Hitler.

The little man, sweating profusely, kicked his feet up on the divan, leaned back, took his glass of buttermilk, thanked the perplexed deutschlanders in a rolling baritone no one would have imagined he possessed, and then proceeded to drink.

Gustave and his wife excused themselves with obsequious bowing and scraping, and then went behind the corner to confer.

–Is he an American? I’ve never heard an accent like that before.

Gustave’s wife, who looked an awful lot like the Edith character on the All in the Family television program, held her fingers to her mouth and said, –I don’t suppose we can very well turn him out. How rude. He may be a visitor from some other planet, after all.

Gustave, who secretly thought this must be the most likely explanation, was, however, not ready to admit it.

–Nonsense! he exclaimed.

–It’s all nonsense, anyway.

His wife wondered,

–Perhaps we’ve fallen asleep, and one of us has forgotten that the other is a contestant on an American television game show. Oh! And I have had no time, my Gustave, to fix my hair or dress!

But when they looked in the living room, the little man had already gone.

Leaving them short one glass of buttermilk, and an explanation.

Books, Fiction, Humor, Short Stories, Young Adult

The Jackass and the Pigs

Once, there was a miserable, grumbling jackass, who was filled with envy when he saw how the pigs on his farm were treated. It seemed they were slopped with delectable vittles, and then left to lie around all die and sleep. The Jackass wished for himself a comparable life, and so he said to himself, “I shall deceive my master, and feign sickness, so as to get a nice and easy life like the pigs.” And so this he did, lying down in the stable and refusing to get up, and moaning and groaning as if in pain. The farmer at first tried to rouse him with the whip, but, seeing as this was no good, he said to his wife, “Apparently, our jackass is sick. We’ll have to try and nurse him back to health.”

And so the farmer gave him a pail of milk and a bucket of oats, and let him lie there all day and do nothing. Soon, the Jackass, who was getting mightily hungry, began to chomp and eat the oats, and then having satisfied his hunger, lay back on the quiet earth and slept.

Soon, he peeped his eyes open at the arrival of a few men who were butchers. he saw them line the pigs up, one after another, and then, horrors! he saw the pigs slaughtered cruelly, gutted, and cut-up into pieces for market. The Jackass, who had grown quite fat recently, found himself terrified that they would soon slaughter him. For, wasn’t he now living like the pigs?

So he immediately quit his playacting, and, bounding up from the ground, began to trot around briskly, as if he were the very picture of health.

And so the farmer whipped him soundly and sent him back to work.

And the moral of the story is: Sometimes, the grass really IS greener on the other side. Or, sometimes appearances can be deceiving. Or, sometimes it is better to be content with what we have, then covet what our neighbor has, as his circumstances may be completely different from our own.
But what do YOU Think the moral of the story is?