All Posts Tagged ‘Short Stories

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The Very Wise ToadMaster

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The very wise ToadMaster perched near the toadstool,
and with his croaky voice, he summoned all of the little tadpoles to swim up to the riverbank
to hear another lesson.

He, in his sagely way, bellowed, “Unfortunately, many of the upright, large apes — that we have mentioned in the past — foolishly refuse to judiciously see that they too evolved from swimming fish, even as you here, as swimming tadpoles (through a long passage of time), will soon be leaving your aquatic existence to join our terrestrial lot.  What is even more unfortunate is that the upright apes continue to mindlessly throw toxic debris into our water habitats and also
onto the beautiful terrestrial domain that you will all soon be graduating to.   
The upright, large apes continue to make things that destroy things.  The upright apes can be downright
destructive and dangerous, though some of them are very kind and considerate.  Overall, the whole world’s
life forms are all rapidly disappearing due to what these, large bipedal creatures are mindlessly doing.  Even as they claim that one of their kind is a God, they endlessly continue to pour cement and plastic over living things and spew out much toxic debris, killing our planet.  They often do what is called “mowing their lawn,” which they think is very beautiful (though such activity callously cuts and kills many precious creatures, including us amphibians.)  When you hop on land — which you all will be doing soon — do so with extreme caution, and avoid these large, bipedal creatures at all costs… and please
do your best to survive in
the excessive heat (due to the climate rapidly changing).”

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If you have time, please watch the following 60 Minutes video on ocean plastic and pollution…

The Very Wise ToadMaster … Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2019

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/the-great-pacific-garbage-patch-cleaning-up-the-plastic-in-the-ocean-60-minutes-2019-08-18/

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A Story-Poem (or Two)…

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Marla, my wife, said that my poems occasionally need to be more uplifting, so the first poem (here) is meant to fulfill that end.  The second poem is what was written before her comment.

Poem #1

 

Here in his hands
is a flowery treasure
with sweet petals and leaves
much joy beyond measure

He is of hopes and images where
as he ascends up in the elevator
flowing fields of smiling imaginary angels
open doors that were dreamt of later 

Can we lift a luminous whole
and bring new minds out of below
rise to the top ever so mindfully
in a towering highrise deep in the heart of Chicago?

 

(Well, elevators are uplifting, aren’t they?)

Poem # 2

 

There was a pond
and every time a frog jumped into the pond
the pond became a little froggier 
a little splashier

There was a grasshopper
and every time he landed upon a weed
the weed became a little leggier
a little jumpier

There was a propagandizing political news-channel
and every time a person watched it
the television became a little duller
and a lot more dim-witted

 

 

Leopard Frog, a species that will not survive long in a world filled with crass people who do not act diligently to prevent global warming and who think that “Windmills cause cancer.”. … Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2019

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Two Short Stories

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Once there was a very rich man who, every time he saw people in need, would quickly pass them by, saying, “Sorry, I don’t help strangers.”
Then, over a short span of time, the man lost everything.  When he reached out for help, the first person who passed him by mumbled, “Sorry, I don’t help strangers.”

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There was a man who, every time he looked up, worried about what was down…  and every time he looked down, worried about what was up. 
He suddenly died.
They buried him way down in the ground, facing up of course.  

 


 

Monarch Butterfly on Cone Flower … Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2019

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Short Story about the Best Wooden Thing

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Once, there was a burly man who carved things out of wood.
Many people in his village would each ask him to carve something special for them, and he usually would, with great pride.
The man would often boast about what he could expertly carve.
Then, one day, a little girl — who had never asked the man to carve anything whatsoever — asked him what the best wooden thing is.
“I am not sure,” said the man, perplexedly, “Maybe it is the large horse that I once carved for Mr. Hayes.”
“No,” said the girl, confidently, “It is that large, beautiful, living Oak tree that grows in our yard.”

 

 

Very young Oak tree sapling just beginning to get there. Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2019

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The Story of Lo Zu and the Mountains (Another short Lo Zu tale)…

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An inquisitive, young woman approached Lo Zu and asked him, “Why do you leave our village every day and go wandering off into the mountains?”

Lo Zu, the great sage, answered, “I have talked to all of you many times about ‘no mind’ and that, in essence, I do not really exist as anything concrete internally.  Yet, you all continue to see me as just another man.”

The inquisitive, young woman then pensively exclaimed, “I do not understand!”

Lo Zu then stated, “When this body is in the village, you say ‘Lo Zu is here.’  When this body is in the mountains, you say, ‘Lo Zu is not here.’  At least when one is in the mountains, you (in the village) speak the truth.”

 

 

 

Lichen … Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2018

 

 

 

 

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The Story of Lo Zu and the Atheist … (Another short Lo Zu tale)

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The elderly Lo Zu was sitting on a huge fallen log next to a beautiful pond that was not far from the village.  A much younger man, who was an atheist, came by and said to him, “Many people in the area say that you are a great wise man, a holy man, but if there is no God, then you are not a holy man, you are nothing.”

Lo Zu invited the man to sit next to him on the large, fallen log, which he did.  Then Lo Zu, said (while smiling), “We two can agree on one thing; I am nothing.”  

“Then there is no God,” the man pronounced with confidence.

Lo Zu then said, “‘God’, for most everyone, is an image (or series of images) that they have learned.  (They will insist that it is something much more than absorbed images.)  To these images, they associate power, dominance, kindly (special) protection, fatherliness, and unlimited knowledge.  However, these images (and their associative emotions) are self-protrusions of thought/thinking.”

“And so not anything real?” asked the man.

Lo Zu then said, “The sign on the road, just outside of town, that has the name of the town upon it, is not the town.  If someone steals the sign, they are not stealing the town.  If someone wants to visit the town, they do not crawl up the sign.  Additionally, to really be sure that the town is there, one must visit the town.”

“I see what you are getting at,” said the man.  “So, you are suggesting that one, such as you, can visit God.”

“Not really,” said Lo Zu.  “If one, through supposed will and choice, decides to visit ‘God,’ one is visiting one’s own learned images, one’s own learned thoughts and strong emotions associated with such thoughts.  Such a ‘visiting’ is usually a self-deluding form of acquisition that involves greed.” 

“So there is no real God,” the man insisted.

“Jumping to conclusions,” Lo Zu suggested, “may be as foolish as worshipping mere self-fabricated symbols, mere signs.   A strong belief that there is no God may be as superficial and primitive as a strong belief that there is a God.  Holistic perception inquires (without accumulated patterns) into what might be sacred; it inquires with a passion that surpasses beliefs of any kind (and actually finds out).”   

“So what are you saying?” the visitor queried.

Lo Zu replied, “I am saying that I will not encourage you to worship or to cling to any symbols of power, any symbols of divinity.  Worshiping self-created or learned images, that one projects (from what one absorbed from others), is similar to worshipping parts of oneself.  It may be that the true answer has to come to you.  (It cannot merely be visited, like an ordinary town.) The true answer is probably rather unapproachable, but that may be a real key; conclusions, accumulated images, and greed cannot expose it.  It is beyond foolish grasping.  The internal images of self are nothing when foolishness ceases.  When all of the windows are open and the room is not filled with garbage… only then can the breeze, perhaps, flow through.”

With that, Lo Zu stood up and began walking with his meandering cane and said,  “We must go; we see someone carrying a heavy burden and we will help them with it, to a certain point.  You can come along also… unless you prefer to remain stuck where you are.”

 

 

 

Bumblebee covered with Golden Pollen … Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2018

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The Story of Lo Zu and the Dog Chasing its Own Tail (Another short Lo Zu tale)

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Lo Zu, after one of his frequent walks into the fields and wooded areas of nature, came walking into the village.  He stopped to rest for a while and leaned on his sinuous pole, his meandering cane; nearby, a small group of men, all of them sitting together, continued to repeatedly laugh hysterically.

Lo Zu realized that they were laughing at the fact that a nearby dog was repeatedly chasing its own tail.  Lo Zu continued to walk again and came closer to the men who were laughing.  He heard one of them say, “That dog is really ignorant!”  All of them, except Lo Zu, continued to laugh at the dog as it continued to chase its own tail.

Lo Zu turned to face the sitting men and said, “It is so easy to come to conclusions; conclusions that are wrong.”  Lo Zu further went on, “That dog could chase that cat that is a little way down the road, but cats can quickly scratch and the dog could easily get a gravely injured eye.   Likewise, the dog could chase after that man walking across the street.  However, the man could kick the dog or throw something at it, injuring it.  Instead, the dog takes the prudent approach and, for great exercise, chases its own tail.  A most intelligent animal!  I, myself, walk daily to the meadows and woods to enjoy the sweet butterflies and creatures; therefore I get quite a bit of exercise.  I see that dog exercising ‘most every day also.  Sometimes I see it chasing butterflies, which is also a very wise and safe form of exercising.  Exercising often is great intelligence.  I see you men sitting around here a lot each and every day.  Do any of you exercise?”

“Not really,” said one of the men.  (The men were no longer laughing.)

“I didn’t think so,” replied Lo Zu.  He further added, “The beginning of this doglike life always chases its own end; let the dog be your teacher.”

 

 

 

Black Swallowtail on Thistle Plant … Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2018