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Thread: Auntie's Fairly Flailing Tales #5 -- Dumb Clucks

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    Auntie's Fairly Flailing Tales #5 -- Dumb Clucks

    It's been a long time since Nitletters have been subjected to a Fairly Flailing Tale, but here comes another one to make an already lame fairy tale even lamer. It appears today in the fond hope that it will provide some laughs for all of my fans -- both of them!

    Auntie’s Fairly Flailing Tales #5 – - Dumb Cluck
    by Aunt Shecky

    All Rights Reserved

    From every indication a certain day in August seemed particularly auspicious. Farmer Gray happened to be holding a rare, albeit modest, wad of disposable income in the breast pocket of his overalls. He also had something better: a hot tip on Number 6 in the Fourth (or maybe it was Number 4 in the Sixth.) It was a perfect time to head to the track.

    The very second he finished his morning chores, Farmer Gray wiped his forehead with a faded red bandanna and climbed into the cab of his aging pick-up. The familiar choking sound of the moribund motor doing its damnedest to turn over alerted The Missus to storm out of the farmhouse. “Stop right there, Mister!” she shouted as she waved a rolling pin like a lethal weapon. “You ain’t movin’ one blessed inch offa this property until you fix the roof of that cockamamie henhouse!”

    With his plans ruined by a different kind of nag, Farmer Brown shut off the engine and slid out of the truck. Within moments he dragged the rickety old ladder from the shed. All across the barnyard it rattled like the bones of a hyperactive skeleton, and when Farmer Gray slammed it against the henhouse, it shook and shimmied like your sister Kate. The metallic clanging could be heard clear over in the next county.

    Farmer Gray realized that he was endangering his limbs if not his life by climbing those rusted rungs, but he did it anyway. He’d endure any fate other than the wrath of the Missus, although once atop the rotten wood of the henhouse roof, he endeavored to tread softly rather than risk falling straight through, and when he knelt down to start his repair job, he did so gingerly. Yet he slammed down the first blow of the hammer so hard that the shingle he was nailing – as well as the others adjacent to it -- shattered into hundreds of pieces. These bits of wooden shrapnel flew up into the air and rained down on the ground below.

    “Be-GAACK!” A large chunk of the henhouse roof had pelted one of the residents smack on the noggin. The victim, whose name was Chicken “Finger” Lickin’, had not been blessed with an easy-going nature; indeed, she was a glass-half-empty kind of gal. “The sky is fallin’!” she squawked. “This is it – the Big One! Be-GAACK! The sky is fallin’!”

    Screeching her jeremiad, she raced around the barnyard in the panicked way of a post-menopausal matron in search of a restroom. Chicken “Finger” Lickin awakened her husband, Rooster “Punky” Brewster. As was his daily custom, he’d been up at dawn for his chanticleer call. To be suddenly aroused from his late-morning nap put him in a “fowl” mood. Sticking his proud cockscomb high into the air, he strutted over to his screeching wife and glared at her with his beady eyes.

    “Be-GAACK!” she cried. “Sorry! Sorry to disturb you, but this is important, Dear! The sky is fallin’! Not a minute ago a huge piece of it landed right on my head!”

    “Are you sure?”

    “Cocksure, Dear. Want to feel the bump?”

    “There isn’t time. We must notify the authorities immediately! Better yet, we’ll go straight to the President.”

    Chicken “Finger” Lickin’ spread her wings. “Oh, I just knew you’d listen to reason!” She liked to believe her marriage was a happy one. Granted, her husband was a polygamist, but other than that, he was a pretty good egg.

    In the confusion which Chicken “Finger” Lickin’ had caused, her coop-mates all had fled, with one exception. Henny “Youngman” Penny had opted to stay behind lest she miss an important message from her agent, who’d promised to snag her a gig at the Comedy Barn.

    “The sky is falling, Henny!” explained her sister-wife. “We’re going to Washington, D.C. Come with!”

    “Oh, I don’t know if you’ll find anybody in Washington. They’re all in bars. Or behind ‘em. I’ll just sit this trip out, if you don’t mind. Besides, I’m waiting to hear from Swifty –“

    “But if the sky’s fallin’ on us, it’s fallin’ on him, too! “ Chicken “Finger” Lickin’ cried. “We’ve got no time to waste. Come on!”

    The rooster and the two chickens headed down the country road leading off Farmer Gray’s property. They had traveled less than a minute when they encountered a wild though harmless acquaintance, Ducky “You Should Be So” Lucky. He greeted the trio warmly. “ ‘Zup? Why did you chickens cross the road?”

    “What kind of quack is that?” Henny “Youngman” Penny asked.

    “Be-GAACK! This is no time for jokes. The sky is fallin’! The sky is fallin’! Be-GAACK!”

    “In that case, maybe I’d better join you,” Ducky “You Should Be So” Lucky said.

    Continuing to scratch tracks in the dirt road, the four travelers advanced a few hundred yards when they met two more neighbors, Gander “Grover Cleveland Alex” Zander and his lovely lifetime companion, Loosey “Bowels” Goosey. They had recently emigrated from Canada. “Hullo. How pleasant to see you oot and aboot this fine day.”

    “NOT pleasant! Be-GAACK! NOT fine! Be-GAACK! The sky is fallin’! “

    “Aha!” Loosey “Bowels” Goosey swatted her husband’s left wing. “What did I tell you? I told you I distinctly heard cracking and crashing sounds, and you said I was looney.”

    “We feel it’s our duty to spread the word about the impending disaster,” Rooster ”Punky” Brewster announced. “As part of that aim, we’re making a pilgrimage to Washington, D.C. If you care to join us, you are more than welcome.”

    With the tip of his left wing, Gander stroked the bottom of his bill. “I really don’t know about that. Perhaps we’re not intimidated by jet airplanes, but we’re quite leery of government agencies. You see, my wife and I haven’t yet received our green cards –“

    “The sky is fallin’! “ Chicken “Finger” Lickin’ shrieked. “Ya think Immigration is gonna bother checkin’ papers? Be-GAACK! The sky is fallin’!”

    “That’s an important point,” Rooster “Punky” Brewster remarked. “You’ll be better off with us. There’s safety in numbers and all that.”

    I’m still here,” reminded Ducky “You Should Be So” Lucky.

    Henny “Youngman” Penny reassured him. “We haven’t forgotten you, Ducky.”

    The numbers in the group increased with the addition of one more member, Turkey “Beef” Jerky. He shook all over, as if a peck of Mexican jumping beans had infested his belly. His feathers dropped from his body like late-October leaves, and he gobbled frantically, as if he were in constant distress. And that’s before he got the frightening news! This skittish, nervous nature was like that of Chicken “Finger” Lickin’. Another similarity lay in the fact that -- despite lacking the ability to fly very high –-both had a tendency to jump to conclusions. For instance, Turkey “Beef” Jerky swiftly took the “sky is falling” meme to a whole new terrifying level. “The end is nigh!”

    “In that case, we don’t have much time,” Rooster “Punky” Brewster remarked.

    “Be-GAACK! Gotta hurry! The sky is fallin’!”

    “Not to mention the end is nigh,” added Turkey “Beef” Jerky.

    The intrepid group picked up the pace somewhat, but even at this quickened rate the ETA in our nation’s capital might occur at some time in the year 2024.

    Abruptly stopping, Gander “Grover Cleveland Alex” Zander addressed the group. “Allow me to interject an opinion, if I may. I realize that my wife and I are more or less foreigners, but we seem to think that there are more expedient ways to complete our important mission.”

    Rooster “Punky” Brewster looked at him with a jaundiced though still beady eye. “Such as?”

    “Such as the notion that we don’t really have to go in Washington to sound the alarm. Physically, I mean. Couldn’t we try the electronic route? Via email or tweet?”

    “ ‘Tweet’?” Henny Youngman Penny scoffed. “Do we look like robins to you?”

    Rooster “Punky” Brewster raised a drumstick and kicked his second wife right in the gizzard. “Quiet! The Goose makes –“

    “Gander –“ the Canadian bird corrected.

    “The gander makes a good point. Let’s all head back to the barnyard and see if we can’t pilfer Farmer What’s-his-name’s cell phone. We’ll figure out how to use it once we get it our claws.”

    With that, the hardy group turned tail and started heading back to the old homestead. “Get a load of us,” Henny Youngman Penny said. “We look like a bunch of refugees from the poultry department of the Cost Cutter supermarket.”

    “Shut your beak, you old biddy! I’m not going to tell you again.”

    Meanwhile, back at the ranch, “Downtown” Foxy Brown had finally arrived at work. His job was to guard the henhouse, but on that particular afternoon, there was nothing to guard.When he saw the little band of would-be heroes pass through the garden gate, “Downtown” Foxy Brown didn’t know whether to cheer or to groan.

    “Where have you been?” he asked. “More importantly, why did you come back?”

    “Haven’t you heard? The sky is falling,” Rooster “Punky” Brewster said.

    “The end is nigh,” Turkey “Beef” Jerky said.

    “Ge-BAACK!”

    “Downtown” Foxy Brown looked at them all lined up like soldiers awaiting inspection. Or a firing squad. Pacing back and forth, he sized them up like a drill instructor. Finally, “Downtown” Foxy Brown reared back his head and howled. “OMG. Oh, you paranoid maniacs. You stupid bunch o’ pinheads. ‘The sky is falling! The sky is falling!’ This is just too funny. ‘The sky is falling! The sky is falling!’ During that whole time, didn’t it occur to at least one of you clueless birdbrains to look up?”

    With that, the members of the entire crew stretched their necks or reasonably facsimiles thereof to see Farmer Gray finishing up the roof repair. When he brought his hammer down on the final shingle, that one exploded just as the first, its splinters likewise littering the ground. And just as the fowls were looking up, Farmer Gray happened to look down. He was flabbergasted by the sight and sounds of birds engaged in human-style conversation but retained the presence of mind to grab the mobile device from the side pocket of his overalls.

    The subsequent video, posted on TubeBoob, immediately went “viral,” thanks to the enthusiastic clicking and forwarding by Americans who were suckers for any kind of "cute" anthropomorphism. In no time, a cable channel approached with an offer to produce a six- episode reality show. At last Farmer Brown and the Missus would have an opportunity to get away from this godforsaken hardscrabble existence.

    On further investigation, alas, Farmer Brown discovered to his dismay that the so-called “windfall” to be gained from the proposed project, tentatively titled Cluck, Quack, Honk, Gobble, and Crow was at bottom a losing proposition. As the Feds, the State, the County, and the School District hovered like vultures, waiting to take their respective cuts, it dawned on Farmer Brown that he'd be left with -–well, chickenfeed. He’d be fortunate if he could salvage a lousy two-buck bet on a pony, let alone enough to have the henhouse roof repaired properly. Thus the moral of the story: “Don’t count your chickens until they’re taxed.”
    Last edited by AuntShecky; 09-16-2014 at 03:53 PM.

  2. #2
    Maybe YesNo's Avatar
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    I like the part about the ETA being a decade from now as well as others. Isn't the fox supposed to eat them?

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    Quote Originally Posted by YesNo View Post
    Isn't the fox supposed to eat them?
    In one of the original versions, I suppose. But not here.

    Thanks for reading this, YesNo.

    Auntie

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    Registered User 108 fountains's Avatar
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    Writing humor is difficult and risky, but is worth it if done well like this. You’ve got all sorts of crazy and zany things going on all over the place here – lots and lots of puns, a fox guarding a henhouse, and bits of social commentary here and there. Not all the humor worked for me – I didn't particularly care for all the comic names (Henny “Youngman” Penny, Loosey “Bowels” Goosey, etc.) - but I did like all the other puns and enjoyed the story overall.

    I especially liked

    -- With his plans ruined by a different kind of nag…

    -- “Oh, I don’t know if you’ll find anybody in Washington. They’re all in bars. Or behind ‘em...”

    -- “ ‘Zup? Why did you chickens cross the road?”

    -- “What kind of quack is that?” Henny “Youngman” Penny asked.


    And I liked the ending, even though you had to go a long way to get to the final pun in the moral of the story. I suspect you were inspired by the Rocky and Bullwinkle’s Fractured Fairy Tales, which I always thought were brilliant.
    A just conception of life is too large a thing to grasp during the short interval of passing through it.
    Thomas Hardy

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    Quote Originally Posted by 108 fountains View Post
    I suspect you were inspired by the Rocky and Bullwinkle’s Fractured Fairy Tales, which I always thought were brilliant.
    Though I was a big fan of Jay Ward and company back in my youth, and agree with your assessment, I'm not sure they directly influenced this. On the other hand, MST3K was in front of my deranged mind, as was the unsung Stan Freberg.

    I truly appreciate your comments, 108 Fountains!

    Thank you!
    Auntie

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    Quote Originally Posted by 108 fountains View Post
    I didn't particularly care for all the comic names (Henny “Youngman” Penny, Loosey “Bowels” Goosey, etc.)
    These were an attempt to mock the source. All I can think of is some little kid listening to his mother reading the original tale, with the lame character names: "Henny Penny, Ducky Lucky" etc. The kid must've thought Mom was knocking back the cooking sherry again.

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    Quote Originally Posted by YesNo View Post
    Isn't the fox supposed to eat them?
    Please note that:
    No animals were harmed in the production of this story.

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    I'd have thought that being pelted with bits of shingle counted as some sort of abuse

    It was very funny though. Loved the punchline. My only criticism would be that the names were overdone a bit. The nicknames are ok once, when first introducing the characters, but after that I'd stick with the shorter version. There is one typo. Tread for Trod (para 4).

    Great fun, thanks for sharing.

    Live and be well - H

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    Thank you, Hawk. Fixed the typo and in the process discovered another error in noun/pronoun agreemt.

    Glad that you and the small handful of fans got a couple chuckles.

    Hope to post another one within a week or two. (Slow going.)

    Auntie

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