Scan 4

Playing in the role of Old Boar is a javalina from Sedona. Design by Meredith Eliassen, 2017.

An Old Boar was busily sharpening his tusks against the stump of an old tree, when a Fox happened by.

Scan 6

No tree trunks were harmed in the telling of this fable. Design by Meredith Eliassen, 2017.

Now the Fox was always looking for a chance to mock his neighbors, so he made a great show of appearing anxious, as in fear of some hidden enemy, but Old Boar kept on with his tusk task.

Scan 3

Cactus design by Meredith Eliassen, 2017.

Fox asked, “Why are you doing that, old friend?” With a smirk, he added, “I don’t see any danger lurking about.”

Scan 2

Dragonfly design by Meredith Eliassen, 2017.

“True enough,” Old Boar responded. With a sigh, he added, “but when danger comes, there won’t be time to do this kind of preparing. My tools and skills will have to be ready for use then, or I will suffer for it.”

Preparedness for adversity is the best guarantee of peace.

 

The Country Mouse

November 16, 2017

A Town Mouse went on a visit to his cousin in the country. Country Mouse loved his town friend and offered him heartily welcome. Beans and bacon, cheese and bread, were all that Country Mouse had to offer, but he offered them freely. Town Mouse rather turned up his long nose at this country fare, and said: “I cannot understand, Cousin, how you can put up with such poor food as this.” He continued, “but of course you cannot expect anything better in the country.”

Country mouse

Country Mouse design by Meredith Eliassen, 2017.

Country Mouse scurried about beneath some nearby ferns trying to find some more elegant provisions. Then his urban cousin suggested, “Come you with me and I will show you how to live. When you have been in town a week you will wonder how you could ever have stood a country life for so long.”

No sooner said than done: the two mice set off for the town and arrived at the Town Mouse’s residence late in the evening. The polite Town Mouse offered, “You will want some refreshment after our long journey.”

He led his rough and ready cousin into the grand dining room where they found the remains of a fine feast. Soon the two mice were eating up jellies and cakes and all that was nice.

Suddenly they heard growling and barking.

Country Mouse asked, “Ieck!!! What is that?”

“It is only the dogs of the house,” his companion responded.

“Only!” squeaked the Country Mouse. “I do not like that kind of music at my dinner.”

Just at that moment the door flew open. In ran two huge mastiffs, and the two mice had to scamper down from the table and run off.

“Good-bye, Cousin,” said the Country Mouse.

“What! Going so soon?” said the other.

“Yes,” Country Mouse replied: “BETTER BEANS AND BACON IN PEACE THAN CAKES AND ALE IN FEAR.

Happy Thanksgiving!

 

Bee and berries

November 14, 2017

A Bear roamed the woods in search of berries. He happened upon a fallen tree in which a swarm of bees had stashed their honey. The Bear began to nose around the log very, very carefully to see if the Bees were at home.

Just then one of the swarm happened home from the berry patch with a load of sweet pollen. Guessing what the Bear was after, the Bee flew at him, stung him sharply. Then he disappeared into the hollow log.

The Bear lost his temper and sprang upon the log attacking tooth and claw, hoping to destroy the nest, but this only brought out the whole swarm. The poor Bear took to his heels and ran. He only saved himself by diving into the nearby stream.

The weakest united may make for a strong alliance of protection. Overlooking the fact that many bees united can make even the strongest creature uncomfortable, it would be wiser to bear a single injury in silence than to provoke a thousand by flying into a rage.

bee and berries

Note: No animals were actually stung in the telling of this fable.

 

Crow and the pitcher

A lesson from Aesop: “In a pinch, good use of our wits may help us out.” Design featuring pitcher with an Etruscan cat motif by Meredith Eliassen, 2017.

A crow with an unquenchable thirst happened upon a pitcher that once had been full of water. The crow tucked her beak into the pitcher only to discover that much of the water had evaporated and the pitcher was nearly empty. She could not reach down far enough to get at the water. She tried and tried until she stopped in despair.

Then a thought came to her… she took a pebble and dropped it into the pitcher, then another, then another, and another, and another, until the water slowly rose close to the rim. After casting a few more pebbles in, she learned that little by little does the trick, and she was able to quench her thirst at last.

Aesop Crow and the Pitcher Notecard

 

A sleeping lion was awakened by a little mouse that was running back and forth on him. With his big paw the lion lifted the little mouse by the tail and opened his big jaws to swallow him.

“Forgive me!” The mouse cried, “And I will never forget it.” He continued, “I may even be able to do you a good turn one of these days.”

The lion was so tickled at the idea that a little mouse might be able to help him that he lowered the mouse to the ground and let him go.

Lion

Aesop: Kindness is never wasted. Design by Meredith Eliassen, 2017.

Some time later, the lion was captured in a trap set by hunters who were intent on keeping him alive in captivity. As the hunters left to go in search of a cart to carry him, the little mouse happened by and saw the plight of the lion. Soon the little mouse gnawed away the netting that bound the lion, and then smiled up at the King of Beasts: “Was I not right.

Aesop Mouse and the Lion Notecard

Fox

Fox design by Meredith Eliassen, 2017.

A fox observed a Crow swoop down and pick of a choice piece of cheese then take safety on a tree branch. He said to himself: “That’s for me.”

Mr. Fox sauntered to the foot of the tree and address the Crow: Madam Crow, how well you look today: how glossy your feathers are, and how sparkling your eyes are. I am sure your voice surpasses that of all other birds, just as your figure does. Please let me hear just one song from you that I may greet you as the Queen of the Birds!

The Crow lifted her head to perform her best “Caw! Caw!” But the moment she opened her beaks, the piece of cheese fell to the ground to be snapped up by Mr. Fox.

“That will do,” he smirked. “All I wanted was your cheese.”

Then he went on his way leaving Madam Crow pondering how this Flatterer robbed her by stealth of both wit and wealth.

Ant

A Celtic ant design by Meredith Eliassen, 2017.

An Ant will carry a leaf hundreds of miles to bring it to the anthill or the “group mind.” An Ant work for the good of the entire community. This ant (pictured above) was just rescued from a raging river by a dove that dropped a feather that he climb upon. The feather carried him to shore were he sits and contemplates the world.

Bees

Bees buzzing design by Meredith Eliassen, 2017.

Bees. We cannot say enough about bees, that bring the sweet honey of life… and sting only with provoked. Bees spread pollen from flower to flower and mix things up to keep things growing.

Mouse

Little brown mouse design by Meredith Eliassen, 2017.

A Mouse must touch everything with his or her whiskers to know it, yet he or she can chew every little thing or idea to pieces. And oh, the Mouse must watch out for predators like birds, cats, and snakes. Life is not easy when you must watch closely, little brown mouse, for that piece of cheese may be sitting on trigger that will spring a deadly trap.

We take these small creatures for granted in our daily walks, but they will figure large in some of the coming stories on this page.

For my May10Boys.

In a recent post, I have the impression that rabbits might be asleep and not paying attention to completing the race… True, the old belief that plodding wins the race, but in the race of life, much strategy is needed to continue the race. This page has been loosely focused on minimalist texts and quotes that offer hope in a world seemingly filled with conflicting forces. It is going to increasingly be populated with creatures, including the Hare, that offer lessons within parables.

Rabbit1

A parable is a short story that illustrates a practical moral lesson; it is a simulative that expresses a relationship under which something else is figured. Many storytellers through the ages have used parables to reveal truths about human nature and relating to others in layered situations. I hope to continue this tradition in my own way.

A Jay ventured into an area with some peacocks during molting season. There were lots of feathers on the ground, but the feathers started to fly after the precocious jay tried to re-purpose some of the discarded plumage by tying them to his tail and head. He thought himself quite a sight and strutted towards the peacocks with great swagger.

Ah Oh Bird

Disheartened, the Jay was compelled to return to his own kin-birds. Design by Meredith Eliassen, 2017.

As he approached the group, the peacocks quickly recognized the cheat and plucked his borrowed plumes. Disheartened and naked (they removed some of his feathers as well), the Jay was compelled to return to his kin-birds. However, as the other Jays observed his behavior from a distance, they were equally annoyed.

Turning their backs to the Jay, the understanding among all the birds was clear: it is not only fine feathers that make fine birds.

It’s never wise to compare yourself to others.

Fish

Fish design by Meredith Eliassen, 2017.

Earlier in the day, a fisherman was drawing up a net from the sea that was full of all sorts of fish. While the big fish were all caught and hauled into the ship, a little fish escaped through the net mesh and swam back into the deep. As he crossed paths with more big fish, the little fish was grateful that his seeming insignificance was actually his safety net.