Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The Frog and the Cat

Sometimes, I just need to write a fable.  Yes, you read correctly -- a fable.  I'm not writing a lot of fiction lately, and I'm not sure if that is so good for me.  Therefore, I have to dive into something short and punctuated to ease that ravenous inward Muse when she's been hungry too long.  Sometimes it's bits of a novel, sometimes it's jotting down a commercial idea...and sometimes, it's a fable.  Other times, when she's completely starved or either well-fed, plump, and happy (it's either/or), it's a screenplay.  I look forward to indulging Her on that one again one day.  That will make her very happy.

Anyway, for the fable-writing, my process is like this:  Sit down (preferably on my sofa), open my spiral college-ruled notebook, un-cap my felt-tip pen, and start.  I don’t know what I’m going to write until I start writing.  I know it is going to be a personification of an animal, but that’s it.  It’s great exercise, and yes, I will even endeavor to call it satiating.  

There is always the risk of nothing happening when I do this.  I think that's why it's such a good workout.  

Here’s what came to me today:


A frog sat upon a rock near his local pond.  He was shaded and content, not moving except to blink his big eyes on occasion.  He was as still as the stone upon which he sat, and the reeds and water around him were quite still too.  It was a quiet day and a lazy one at that.

The frog, however, did not see the cat in the tall grass who lay crouching some short distance behind him.  The cat was a master stalker, and silence was her forte.  Although frog was not her favorite meal, she thrilled at the thought of catching him, taking an indifferent bite or two, then moving on to the next prey.

She gathered herself, measuring the moment that her pounce should prove successful.  Her hind legs geared for activity, one…two…three, and she sprang swiftly into the air, landing perfectly onto the rock where the frog was pinned beneath her paws –

--or so she thought.  Opening her grasp, there was nothing but the sleek stone where the frog had been.  She looked up; the frog was sitting on a lily pad on the other side of the pond. 

Bewildered, she called out in question, “How did you know I was there?”

Frog replied from where he was:  “Instinct aids those who sit still and listen.”

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