Animal Fantasy, Fable, Fantasy, Main Genre: Adult Fable, posts

“The Jellyfish Who Wanted a Backbone” (an Adult Fable)

One fine blue day in the ocean, Jellyfish was floating through the water, propelling himself with his tentacles. He did not have a fancy backbone or fins like the fishes in the sea, and felt rather limited by his own form of movement.

Nevertheless, he drifted around quite effectively, working with the currents to always get where he was going.

When twilight fell, he happened to float by Sponge—the longest-living creature in the ocean. Sponge was more than 1,000 years old and always oozed out his wisdom, while other creatures took in his advice.

And as usual, Sponge was secreting sage words to the fish that hovered around him, stopping and using their backbone to sway gently back and forth and stay in one place.

Sponge declared, “Character is everything! Humans sometimes call it having a backbone.” He gurgled ruefully. “Of course, some of us have character without a backbone.” And all the fish bubbled in laughter.

Jellyfish was stunned—he wanted a “character” type of backbone if he couldn’t have a real backbone himself. He knew exactly who to ask about character: the only writer in the ocean, which was Octopus (he was the only one with ink). He was writing about characters all the time.

Once Jellyfish asked Octopus how he could have backbone—or character—Octopus explained the concept with a smile and gestured with his eight tentacles.

“Oh yes, oh yes….It’s true,” he said, in his quick speech that flipped through the waves as quickly as his arms. “You can have character in this way. Sponge was talking about having character in life. How can you get it, you ask? Why is it everything?”

Jellyfish did not have eyes, but he felt himself blink, for Octopus knew his questions before he asked them.

Octopus continued, “Finding your character is not a destination, like reaching the other end of the ocean. You have character now—you’re a good jellyfish. You will become an even better jellyfish as you swim through even more waves, and by the end of your life, you will have even more.”

Jellyfish did an internal blink again. He thought he understood what Octopus meant. It was enough to know that even in his current form, and even though he had no backbone, he already had formed character.

MORAL: Character is what you become…and for good creatures, what you are while becoming it.



Animal Fantasy, Audio Readings, Fantasy, Main Genre: Adult Fable, posts, Truth

“The Cat and the Ice Cream Parlour” (an Adult Fable)

A cat eating ice cream

(Audio reading at end of text.)

In a small town, there lived a group of stray cats. The cats walked around at night and had fun until morning. They got along splendidly, for they were all decent, nice cats that liked each other’s company. They liked the same music that people played on the street in the evening. They liked finding the same scraps and would share them. They liked going to the same hill with flowers, which in the middle of night, smelled with soft beauty from the fading day.

There was a tabby cat, a cat with blotches, a gray cat and a cat named Speckles, who looked as her name described.

At night, when they talked cat talk under the moon, they could see the town from their view on the hill. They saw a fancy group of cats go every night into the ice cream parlour. They would sneak into a small hole on the side of the building and smush their way in its walls.

Gray Cat would say, “I bet they drink the milk. I heard the ice cream-selling humans worried because their bottles had been turned over, and they were empty.”

Speckles, however, looked upon the fancy cats in awe — and wanted to be their friend instead. There was a fluffy white cat with a gold collar, a smooth-haired black cat and one that looked sort of like a lion.

One evening, Speckles got brave and went up to Furry White Cat. “I like your collar,” said Speckles.

Furry White Cat sat and licked her paws. “My human got it for me. You probably don’t get to see gold collars at your house. Why don’t you come with us tonight, and you’ll see how real cats live?”

So Speckles did not go back to her old true friends on the hill. From that moment on, she vowed to be friends only with the fancy cats. They stole milk from the humans and said the milk outside wasn’t enough. They even put their heads in the ice cream tubs at the parlour and licked it up.

“This one’s bubble gum,” said Smooth-Haired Cat, of some blue ice cream. “It’s flavor of the month — and it is the cat’s pajamas.”

And as you can imagine, a cat saying “it’s the cat’s pajamas” is the highest compliment a cat can give (because they did not wear pajamas and coveted them in winter).

Eventually, the fancy cats got bored with Speckles and suddenly said she needs to find “cats of her own kind,” accusing Speckles of being boring.

Speckles walked back to the flowery hill with her head down. She saw only the flowers and the moon all night — she knew not that her old and true friends had all started gathering on a different hill.

Thus it happened that Speckles lost her old and true friends.

Moral: Be leery of those who befriend based on “flavor of the month.”