by Esiad L. Werecub
The Ants & the Grasshoppers
Among the lithodora’s tiny azure flowerettes,
diminutive grasshoppers clustered on green minarets.
They sat there stridulating, with a quiet, scraping rasp,
content to sit there strumming as the daylight hours passed.
Below the busy little ants were traveling about,
across the rocks, around the porch, and even in the house,
where glum home-owners had been using terror-liquid bait,
content to see the number o’ th’ obnoxious pests abate.
And so when winter came, one saw no scurrying black legs;
borax had done the trick, outside the hoppers left their eggs.
The moral of the story, live your life naturally;
don’t rush about in getting, spending, work dependency.
The Turtle & the Rabbit
Among the garden cabbages, there was a whiskered hare;
in truth it was a fuzzy, little, bunny rabbit there;
and it was munching, crunching garden herbs upon the ground;
and by the orange honeysuckles, others lolled around.
A turtle, not a tortoise, came up to the bunny horde;
and challenged one small rabbit to a race; since he was bored.
The rabbit found the thought absurd, and disregarded it;
until a young lad saw them, and he quickly high-tail’d it.
Unfortunately for the turtle, who could not move fast;
the young lad picked it up and placed it in a tank of glass.
The moral of this story, misplaced confidence is dumb;
not every race you challenge has a positive outcome.
The Swallow & the Crow
One day a swallow landed on a branching maple tree,
and found himself beside a crow in cawing company.
“Just look at my bright downy feathers’ iridescent sheen.
Your plain and ebony, stiff quills are hardly glistening.
Why don’t you dress a little better? Show a little pride.”
The crow turned to the sparrow, who was sitting at his side,
“Your feathers may do very well in spring when it is warm,
and I see well that when you fly you sweep out wide with form;
but I do not remember ever seeing you around
in winter when I have free reign and hop along the ground.”
The moral of this story is that fancy clothes are nice,
but may not be as good as though that simply will suffice.”
The Fox & the Crow
A crow had found some rodent roadkill on a highway spree,
and carried it away off to a Western Hemlock tree,
where he began to munch on it—that thorough scavenger—
when all at once appeared a fellow woodland passenger.
Supposedly a clever beast, what did the fox then say?
“A-hem, a-hem, a-hem. You are so beautiful today.
I wonder if your voice as well displays a lovely sound,
a raucous racket, Ylvis-like, a hacking, packing pow.”
The crow let out a crisp, curt caw, and dropped the bloody prize.
It hit the fawning fox below him—smack dab in its eyes.
The moral of this story is who covets mice entrails,
may end up with them on his face; beware of dinner pails.
The Fox & the Grapes
A hungry omnivore, the fox, with upturned snout and bushy tail,
had just missed out on capturing a gallinaceous quail.
While walking on his toes, he saw grapes hanging on a vine,
“O, yes, indeed, I think that I would like to make them mine.”
He leapt up high with all his might, and tried it sev’ral times;
but as it was, he didn’t have enough strength for those climbs.
And so he walked back to his den, yet growling all the way,
“Those unripe grapes were probably as sour as the day.”
He shook his auburn, pointy ears upon his flattened skull,
and twitched his ebon vibrissae, “Most like inedible.”
The moral of this story is who covets sour grapes
is just as likely to disdain strawberries, cream and crepes.
The Crow & the Pitcher of Water
A thirsty crow once came upon a pitcher—ancient Greek—
with water at its bottom out of reach beyond its beak.
With an encephalization quotient approaching apes,
the crow thought he could handle this pot with its painted grapes.
At first he tried to push it over but it wouldn’t budge;
he had misjudged its thickness; it would take more than a nudge.
So standing on a nearby stone, while gazing down its neck,
he dropped a pebble, then plopped more in, one-tenth of a peck,
until the water reached the top, and he could take a drink.
The virtue of such bird-brain ingenuity, you think?
The moral of this story is where there’s a will, a way
can be discerned, and it’s not easy to dissuade a jay.
Esiad L. Werecub is a poet fond of ancient Greek writing, like that of fabulist Aesop.