Instalment One Hundred and Eighteen

I was studying the broadsheet, reading something frivolous, when a Thought passed me by.

Judging by the purposeful stride and resplendent attire, I recognised this was an important Thought with somewhere to be.

I never had come across such a grand Thought in all my life, yet I let this one past me by like a common urchin in the street.

The Thoughts I attracted were meandering fellows, never had anywhere to be and no respectable plans for the future at all.

Tugging at my coat sleeves, Mister I got this idea, they would begin before rambling about some cockamamie scheme, never original mind, involving me loaning them sums of coins, doubtless spent at the nearest ale house, such were my Thoughts.

This fleeting Thought was different. I hurried to catch up.

I say there, I puffed.

Dear boy, the Though answered, I’ve a damned fine plan and find myself in need of a likely co-conspirator.

It would be my humble honour, I replied eagerly.

Well the plan is... the Thought tailed off, Sink me I believe you have driven it clear out of my head. You wouldn’t spot a fellow tuppence for an ale til it returns would you?  

Instalment One Hundred and Seventeen

Illustration by James Hutson - click to embiggen
T’was the case since I was five, that every bee in every hive.

Flew with unfailing poise and utter grace, each a tiny little flying ace.

When not flying they would strive, to take a moment to dance and jive.

Across the world this was the case, for every bee, in every place.

There was one bee with no such charm, there was one bee who caused alarm.

When this bee danced, it danced alone, the bee you see was accident prone.

Take off, landing caused it harm, all too soon it would buy the farm.

From throne to worker down to drone, they all did wish this bee was not their own.

Then one day the hive was struck, by an irate clucky, plucky duck.

Those skillfull bees did waste no time and attacked the duck in one straight line.

The offending duck had time to duck, so those predictable bees had no luck.

One bee was left to avenge this crime, the bee that flew like it was drinking wine.

You will find you cannot flee, from a crazy bee you cannot see.

So now you’ll see each hive agrees, to fly like stumble, tumble, humble, bumble bees.

Instalment One Hundred and Sixteen

Snap Dragons, Crab Apples and Lantern fish - Click to embiggen - Illustration by Alex Douglas

No sooner than we had chased those Dandy Lions from our garden than we were beset by the damn Snap Dragons.

The pesky things flittered around our ankles and gave such nasty little bites that would sting for days.

It had started with the Pussy Willow who came prowling hungry at our back door and the children told Nanny to feed her.

Once encouraged, we could not shake Pussy Willow loose, soon she set up selling Fox Gloves by the bird bath, which of course brought in foxes. And dapper foxes in gloves led to Dandy Lions.

Word was out we were at home to visitors.

Our orchard was overrun with Crab Apples that pinched at any fingers that dare pluck at fruit.

Our lovely forest, past the pond charmingly lit by Lantern fish but now wild with Tiger Lilies, was a shambles. Suddenly part Worm Wood, part Dog Wood, it slithered and snarled and one was not safe day or night.  

My beautiful lawn! Buffalo Grass had taken over, tramping, grazing and befouling its lush green splendour.

Our grounds, with barely a week’s neglect, became a jungle.

Surely I would fire the Gardner, if he survived the Leopards Bane.

Instalment One Hundred and Fifteen

Illustration by Alex Douglas - Click to embiggen

“All aboard” Aadvark announced, ascending awkwardly atop Alphabet’s ark.
Bad breathed Badgers bellowed but boarded belligerently.

Climbing catwalks, clownish Cassowaries convened.
Darting Dingos ducked, dodged, dived, doggedly driving disrespectful developments.

Ernest elderly Echidnas emerged emotionally embracing everyone, eager Elk entourage entered.

Furious Flamingos flapped flamboyantly forward, foxes ferreted ferrets fretfully.

“Get going goofy, grinning, greedy, greasy, great grotesque goons,” happy helping Impala imprudently joked, jostling Jackals.

Kiwis, literally mortified now, offered penance.

“Puh-leasssssssssse! Perfunctory, phony phrases pretend prudence. Pitying placebo pleas placate poorly. Quiet quirky Quasimodo. Quickly quit quaint quackary,” reptorted rakish, rubbernecking reptiles.

Rabble rousing Rattlesnakes, really relished righteous rage, rumbled resplendently, “SSSSSSSSSSSSSSilence! Stop shameful sorrys. Silly seaward ssssshipmates should suitably substitute sustenance.” 

Single solitary Sloth, starting sobbing, sighed sadly, “Saints save sanity,”

The truth teased the troubled Tapir, “Tenderness triggers teamwork. Undergoing unbelief undoes unknowing, unearthing unimaginable understanding unilaterally.”

Vagabond Vole vocalised verily, “Vexation vanquished villainous, venomous, vampiric, vulgar, vitriolic vipers.” “Victory!” ventured vibrantly visiting Vulturs.

Wombat with Walrus waddled waggishly, wading without wariness welcoming xray-fish yacht-ward.

Zestful Zebu zipped, zig-zaging zanily.

Alphabet bellowed, "Calm down! Everyone’s final groupings help instil jovial kinships. Let’s move nicely okay? Prime quickly, rowdy sightseers turn up visualising wondrous Xanadu, young Zoo.”

Instalment One Hundred and Fourteen

The speed of light is 299,792,458 metres per second.

The speed of sound at sea level is 340.29 metres per second.

The speed of grief is that of a glacier, grinding slow and languid, gouging gaping trails of scarring in its wake.

The speed of insanity is erratic and creeping.

The speed of insanity through a crowd is rapid and wild. Contagious, it consumes reason as tinder in its wildfire.

The speed of time is variable and is dependent on levels of happiness or sadness. Happiness does not have a speed as it is an accelerant. Similarly sadness is a retardant. They act upon time as the pedals of a motorcar act upon an engine, you however are not the driver, merely the gearbox, often ground down as time is roughly shifted between these two competing forces.

The speed of regret is exponential, as is
its weight.

The speed of laughter arcs and crashes as a wave, all froth and foam, then scuttles away like the tide.

The speed of life is an equation of an individual’s exposure of the all these measures, as subtracted from an unknown constant X.

The speed of death is an endless and unbroken stroll.