Saturday, August 18, 2007

Once upon a time


Not so long ago, there was a stick insect. She was very beautiful --- the absolute spit of a twig. No insectivore gave her even a first glance, let alone a second one.

The stick insect liked romance novels and spent her weekends at the shooting range improving her accuracy. She figured that it was best to be prepared. She was a really terrible shot, but she daydreamed about taking out a predatory bird or two, SWAT-style.

But mostly, she made like a piece of wood. She was great at it. She had the most sophisticated anti-bird system in the world. To realise her dream, she'd have to go out to the end of the branch wearing a caterpillar hat and make like an edible cheerleader.

But she didn't. She made like a stick, and dreamed of riot shields and hand signals and automatic weaponry. Perfect.

Moral: sometimes life is dreaming and staying alive.

11 comments:

dr. hypercube said...

My favorite so far. A good start to a day that promises to be a bit of a rollercoaster - thank you.

Krista said...

These are lovely. I've been enjoying them quite a lot.

They remind me somehow of tiny versions of A.S. Byatt's grown-up fairy tales, perhaps because I'm reading the last book now. Maybe you'd like them too. Or mwwaybe you've already read them.

Krista said...

Maybe, not mwwaybe. Hrmph. Although that might be a good word.

Xtin said...

Thanks Doc and Krista.

Krista, I think mwwaybe is a fantastic word. In fact, I'm pretty sure I use it quite a lot, already.

I'm glad you like my tiny stories. I've not read AS Byatt's, although I've been planning to for one billion years (story of my life. No pun intended). But I'm flattered that I invoke something of them for you!

I am a zealous fan of Angela Carter's fairytales (both the ones she's written and her collections).

O'Donovan said...

Delicious. And, as Dr. Hypercube said, my favorite so far. Go, stick insect.

Phantom Scribbler said...

I have adored all of these, but this most of all. I want them beautifully bound and sitting on my bookshelf. (Sure, next to the A.S. Byatt. Why not?)

Xtin said...

Wow, thanks everyone, really. I'm touched that this is a favourite -- I can never tell what the stories look like from the outside, so I don't really know what people other than me like best about them. It's a wonderful mystery.

Reid Farmer said...

Thank you, Xtin, that really was wonderful.

Also reminds me of a favorite pic I have of a walking stick crawling up my forearm.

Krista said...

I'm almost a little bit jealous of the fact that you haven't read them, because if I also hadn't read them that would mean I would still have them ahead of me instead of being nearly done. They're that good.

Don't wait another million years. Read The Little Black Book of Stories posthaste. It'll be worth not being able to look forward to it anymore.

Krista said...

Also, I hadn't heard of Angela Carter until right this very second. Where should I start with her? It'll make me feel better about finishing the Byatt.

Heidi the Hick said...

HEY! Cool video! I love Muse- so creepy and slick and fun!