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Friday, 10 April 2015

KEEPING IT REAL with FRIZZY LIZZY


Hi dear friends and followers, I am pleased to see you here. Today is Frizzy Lizzy day, so take 5, put your feet up and enjoy the story, thank you


KEEPING IT REAL with FRIZZY LIZZY
Hello, again, it's me, Frizzy Lizzy. Thank you for allowing me to share some thoughts with you again this weekend.

Did you ever have something happen to you when you were quite young and find out the reason for it when you were a lot older? I doubt that such things take place very often in our lives but when they do occur, you usually know it, don't you? Maybe I have had one in my life, maybe not. You can be the judge of that.

It seems that sometimes men like to hoodwink women because we are female. They think that we are incapable of understanding the simple things that come together to explain the intricacies of some of the things in the world around us.

For example, some years ago, I was attending a very large business conference in the city of Winston-Salem, North Carolina. It was expected to draw thousands of people to the city's Coliseum for learning and motivational speakers. This was not the first time that I had been to such a get-together, and I had the pleasure of helping a woman who was traveling alone for the first time, to feel safe.

It was a rainy day and the wind was blowing from every direction when we arrived at the motel to check-in. I helped my friend to her room and it was as we were getting her settled that we found that the lock on the door of her room did not work. We tested it and the door barely stayed closed with no semblance of locking.

I went back to the front desk with the key to the non-locking door in my hand and told the desk clerk that the lock on the door did not work. He told me that the lock was not working because of El Niño. “El Niño,” I said to myself. Then I asked the clerk, “What do you mean? Did El Niño break the lock when he stayed in that room? Are you telling that to me because I'm a woman or because I'm a blond – or both?”

The clerk found himself unable to explain what El Niño, the warm current in the southern Pacific Ocean that influences our weather or anything else, had to do with the broken lock. He gave my friend another room with better amenities, and to me this story to share.

Going back to things that took place when I was quite young, I always think of my late father.

My father was a wonderful man. It's strange, how I grew up, but I adored him to the point that I wanted to be like him more so than I wanted to emulate my mother. He worked hard to provide for a family with six children and I remember him best for his gentleness and sunny attitude.

I also recall that he was mechanically challenged and probably did not know which end of a screwdriver was the handle. I did not inherit that from him, nor did I wish to grow-up like that, so I took things apart instead of playing with dolls, and read about how things were made instead of the usual books that young girls were reading.

Our first family car was a 4-door 1953 Buick Special. My father bought it used in 1956 and he soon found a mechanic that he thought he could trust to maintain it for him. That mechanic was a wolf who saw my dad as a nice, fat sheep, ready for a shearing, to put it mildly. When I look back on it, that guy was not a wolf. He was a thief.

Here I am, 45 years later, dealing with repairs to my own car. I seldom had questions about the necessity or correctness of a repair, but there was one time I did.

I was driving a 1992 Chrysler New Yorker Fifth Avenue that needed repairs. I took it to the Chrysler dealer to have the bearing in the passenger side front wheel replaced. It was making noise. That's how I knew it was what needed replacement. The car was 9 years old and such a repair was reasonable to me. I knew how the repair was to be performed because I took the time to research it, down to the last dab of grease, and when it was done I found the price fair and reasonable, paid the bill, and drove away.

It was not apparent right away, but something was amiss. My car was not accelerating like it should. It felt like something was holding it back.

I drove it to do my Saturday's shopping and the longer I drove it, the worse it was running. Finally, I got curious about the latest repair done and I got out of the car and stood next to the driver's side front wheel. It was radiating heat like it was on fire! The bearing was working well, but the disc brakes were stuck and that was why my car was running like something was holding it back! I immediately went home and took the car back to the dealer the first thing on Monday morning.

Repairs were done by the close of business Monday and I picked my car up after work. When I saw that the repairs were to cost me $750, I asked the service advisor why. He told me that there was likely a burr of metal on the piston of the brake caliper that got caught against the bore of the wheel cylinder and kept the brake on that wheel from fully releasing. That caused such heat damage that they had to replace the brake rotor, the brake caliper assembly, the brake pads, and the wheel bearing and that cost $750. I suppose he thought that I would stand there and look amazed. He was wrong.

I asked him if he was telling me that because I was a woman, a blond, or both. Then I asked him to take me to the general manager of the dealership, not the service manager, but the general manager. He was quick to oblige me.

He spoke first and told the general manager what had to be done to make proper repairs to my car. Then it was my turn to talk.

I asked the general manager if he understood how the brake calipers were made. He looked puzzled by that question, probably because it came from a middle-aged blond woman. He said that he did know the process.

Then I related how the cylinder is made of a steel casting that is considerably softer than the piston of the caliper, which is made from 4140 steel, turned, ground, and polished, and in that form is not subject to having little burrs come off and lodge against the bore of the wheel cylinder because it is so smooth and hard compared to the cast steel over which it moves. Further, I pointed out all of the possibilities for the mechanic making the repairs to err, causing the brakes to lock in the applied position!

The general manager kept that invoice and I did not pay anything for the additional repairs.

I'm sure that there are times when I have had things put over on me because I thought they were correct and the other person had a better knowledge of them than I did. I don't raise hell without a good reason because I don't want to be caught without a sound argument. That's why I almost never ask my doctor, dentist, or tax advisor if they are telling me what they are telling me because I'm a woman, a blond, or both.

Thank you very much again, dear friends, for visiting my blog. Please share your thoughts with us, if you will. have a great Weekend.
 ڰۣIn Loving Light from the Fairy Ladyڰۣ

Nanomite

Nanomite

Hi, dear friends and followers. Today I thought I would share with you a little sci-fi and fantasy. I am pleased that you are, take 5 relax and enjoy the story, thank you  
by Patricia Duffy Novak

Oops, tactical error. Marla gave an internal grimace as she looked up from her salad-making to see her husband bustling down the hall with the latest issue of Woman's Journal in his hands. After the incident with the security system she'd vowed to stash her magazines where he couldn't find them. Looked like she'd gotten careless. Again.



Tom, on one of his tangents, was the last thing she wanted to deal with today, with a head cold coming on. All she wanted to do was get supper over and go to bed.

"Here, look at this." He thrust the magazine under her eyes, forefinger stabbing at the two-page "Health Roundup" spread.
"What?" She sliced the last bit of cucumber into the bowl.

"Dust mites." He pronounced the two syllables deliberately, in an almost oracular fashion.

She didn't remember anything about dust mites. "What about them?"

"It says here that a lot of people are allergic to them. What they think are head colds are really mite allergies." He held her in a speculative gaze, his thoughts clearly turning in diagnostic circles. It drove her crazy when he did that. He was an economics professor, not a medical doctor.

"So?"

Tom laid the magazine on the Formica counter, and held up one hand, finger extended, lecture style. "This is your second so-called cold in a month. And this house--" He turned and gestured toward the back door, and then to the beige-carpeted den. "So drafty. Dust is always seeping in under the door, and all these carpets are a breeding ground for the critters. You probably have allergies."

She ground her teeth. "It's a cold."

"Hmmm." Tom's face muscles went slack, which meant, Marla knew, that his mind was casting into the great beyond.


"Here." She thrust the salad bowl into his hands, hoping to reel him back. "Put this on the table and call Vic." Vic, their sixteen-year-old son, six-foot-two and two hundred pounds. Tom had installed a security system so that no one would break in and steal him, an obsession he'd developed the last time she'd been careless about where she left her magazines.

She didn't want to think about the cost of that security system. And the inconvenience. Two days of having her house pulled apart as the security team put in the infrared beams. And the false alarms every time the cat got into the living room. At least mites offered no expensive, high-tech solution. At worst, they would need to vacuum more often.

Marla woke from a deep sleep to the sound of Tom's chortling. He was standing beside the bed in his underwear, a pile of papers in his hands. "I have the answer," he said, grinning like a lunatic.

"Good." Marla rolled over. Tom had turned on every light. She loved the way he sneaked into bed late. The man was as subtle as a bazooka. "Tell me about it in the morning."

"Nanomites," he said, ignoring her request. "That'll clear up our problem."

"What are you babbling about, Tom?" Marla sat up, pressing a hand to her painfully full sinuses. "We don't have any problems." Other than a husband who woke his sick wife at--she glanced at the clock--two a.m.
"The dust mites!" Tom gestured with the papers. "I've found the answer. Nanos. Specially designed to chew up mites. Only approved last month."

Nanotechnology. Marla had heard of that. They had been used in medicine for a couple of years for exotic illnesses and gene therapy--but mites? Tom must be deluded.

She took the papers from his hands. The first one: a picture of an enormous dust mite, looking like a dangerously demented crustacean. The second: a diagram of a nano, all its little parts labeled in techno-babble. The third was largely text--a list of names and addresses. Bug Blasters. Roach Raiders. Things like that. "Is that what you were doing with the computer all evening, researching mites?"

"Yup." Tom beamed. "We'll get this problem licked. You'll see."

She let out a groan. What if she didn't want to see? "In the morning, Tom," she croaked, pulling the pillow over her eyes.

"Okay," Tom said. But instead of turning out the lights, he settled himself on the edge of the bed. Marla felt the bed sag under him and waited in vain for him to lie down. To heck with it, she finally thought, willing herself back to sleep. She'd have it out with him later, when she felt better. No crazy little machines were going to invade her house. Thank God,tomorrow was a Saturday. She'd have the weekend to recover from her cold before she had to face a roomful of sticky-fingered four-year-olds and their germs.

As she drifted into sleep, she heard Tom mutter something and felt him poke her back with his finger. "Okay, Tom," she muttered. "Now goodnight."

She dreamed of dust mites. Big ones, the size of kittens, scuttling along her curtains and plopping on the furniture, hissing at her as she tried to sweep them up.

Tom said nothing more about mites that weekend, and Marla assumed that he'd given up the idea of purging the house. She didn't ask. With Tom, it was almost always better not to ask. On Monday, after two days of lying around eating chicken soup and blowing her nose, she woke feeling better. Things, she decided as she got dressed for work, were looking up.

Tom woke with a snort as she was brushing her hair. "What time you coming home today?" he asked, rubbing his eyes. His thinning blond hair stood up in a halo around his face, making him look like a punk angel.

"Usual time. Why?" She frowned at the reflection of her red, peeling nose as she jabbed an earring into her earlobe.

"I've got some people coming by the house about two. Thought it would be better if you weren't home."

"I won't be." She shoved the other earring into place. "Who's coming? Graduate students?"

"No." Tom rose and stretched, patting the small paunch he had developed. "Gotta do something about this. I'll get some stuff out of the library on weight loss."

"Eat less. Exercise more." She ignored his pout. "So, who's coming?"

"The Nanomite people."

"Nanomite?" A small shiver of alarm crept up her spine. If her memory served her, and it usually did, "Nanomite" had been one of the names on that list of exterminators Tom had printed. "What for?"

"To give us an estimate on getting rid of the mites."

"Now whoa there, Mister." She turned, placing hands on hips. "Don't you think we should have discussed this?"

His features took on a hurt look. "We did. Friday night. You said okay."

She remembered, vaguely, some muttered question or the other and her drowsy and--she thought--nonspecific response. "I was asleep!"

"How was I to know!" He raised his hands in supplication. "And what harm could it do, anyway, just to get an estimate?"

Marla shuddered, but she didn't have time to argue. Drop-off at the preschool began at seven. "All right. Get an estimate. And then we'll talk." Exactly what she'd said when he'd proposed the alarm system.

She glanced at the clock. Almost six-forty-five. No time to argue now. "And be sure Vic gets up, will you." She hadn't heard any signs of life from her son's room, and he usually thundered through the house like a blind bull when he first woke.

Something crashed downstairs. Fortunately all their dishes were unbreakable. "Never mind," Marla said.


When she came home from work that afternoon, the smell of her favorite take-out Chinese greeted her, aromatic enough to penetrate through her stuffiness. Little white cartons lined the kitchen counter, and Vic stood in the center of the room, an egg roll in each hand.

"What's this?" Marla said.

"Dad brought it home," Vic said around bites.

She opened the cartons and peered in: Kung-bao chicken, boneless spareribs, Moo-shi pork. All her favorites. Not a sweet and sour in the batch. "Your father picked these out himself?"

Vic shrugged. "I guess." The second egg roll vanished into his mouth.

"Where is your father?"

Vic pointed down the hall, in the direction of the office. Marla found him there, happily pointing and clicking. "So what was the estimate?" she asked.

"It's all right here." He tapped the screen. "One standard price."

The screen displayed several diagrams of machines that reminded her of mechanical fleas. If a price was mentioned, she couldn't see it. "How much?"


"Five hundred dollars."
"That's all?" She didn't know what she'd expected, something on the order of thousands, maybe. From the grin Tom shot her, she wished she could recall that comment. "That doesn't mean I want it done."

Five hundred dollars wasn't petty change, after all, especially with Vic's college expenses coming up.


"Come on, Marla, it costs more than that to get the carpets cleaned. And think how much more valuable this will be. We'll be mite-free forever. Your allergies will clear up."

"It's not allergies," Marla said. "It's a cold."

"You don't know that."

She sighed. Some arguments weren't worth pursuing. "What will the exterminators do to the house? Tear it apart installing the things?"

He shook his head. "They pipe them into the filtration system. Nothing needs to be moved."

"Into the filtration system? That's it?"

"Yup."

"Maintenance?"

"None. The Nanomites are self-replicating. Once they're introduced, they'll make new little Nanos as needed." He gave a rather rueful grin. "Look, I know I got a little carried away with the security system, but this is different. You can't really want the house to be a breeding farm for mites."

She remembered her dream, the kitten-sized mites darting across the furniture. And that picture Tom had printed of that lobster-like monster. He had a point, she really didn't want those things in her house, or in her lungs. "No tearing up the house?"

"Nope. Promise." He moved his finger in a cross pattern on his chest.

"All right then." If she didn't give in, he'd no doubt force her to look at pictures of dust mites until all her dreams were haunted.

He shot her a wide smile. "I knew you'd see this was a good idea."

"I wouldn't go quite that far. Let's get to the kitchen before Vic eats everything."

"Even Vic couldn't eat that much food," Tom said, but Marla noticed he turned off the computer and got to his feet. Yes, Vic could, and Tom knew it.

The exterminators came the following Saturday, arriving in a white Mazda pick-up with "Nanomite!" in red letters on the side. Two men dressed in green lab coats got out of the truck, carrying something that looked like a weed sprayer. They went around the house, blasting whatever was in the bottle down the vents. The entire visit lasted less than fifteen minutes.

Other than the five-hundred-dollar debit to the checking account, Marla noticed no difference in the quality of her life, but that was not necessarily a bad thing, she reasoned, remembering the alarm system. She had no new colds that summer, true. Tom took this as proof that the Nanomites were busy doing their job, chewing up dust mites and keeping her sinuses clear. But summer had always been a slow time for diseases at the daycare. The real test, she assumed, would come in the fall.

Right on schedule, Marla developed a runny nose in late September. She sat on the couch one Saturday with a box of tissues at her side and a pile of magazines in her lap, while Tom watched a game on television. A fire roared on the hearth and it would have been a lovely afternoon, if it weren't for the darn sniffles. She crumpled yet another tissue into a ball.

"You got a cold, huh?" Tom said.

She sighed. Tom's attention had already returned to the game. No point in discussing the five hundred dollars they'd spent on nanotechnology to cure her "allergies." "Yes."

"Too bad." His gaze remained riveted on the screen.

Marla picked up the top magazine on her pile and flipped through it. Bold black headlines caught her eye: "Cold or Allergies?" At the top was a blowup of a nano, looking much the same as the one Tom had shown her months back. The article discussed the new method of purging dust mites. Marla relaxed. Here at least was an article she need not fear Tom coming across; they'd already been nanomited.

On the next page, her gaze was drawn to a red sidebar with white lettering, bearing the title "Warning," all in caps. She felt the blood drain from her face as she read it. Nanos, it seemed, could provoke allergic reactions in sensitive people. To rid a house of nanos took considerably more effort than installing them. Floors would have to be pulled up. It could cost tens of thousands of dollars.

Marla felt a sneeze coming on. A cold, dammit, she knew it was a cold.

"Whatchya reading, Marla?"

She blinked, a deer-in-the-headlights feeling coming over her. Of all times for a commercial break.

"Nothing much." The floor boards. Tens of thousands of dollars.

She crossed the room and shoved the magazine into the fire. The bright red cover blackened and smoked. Marla hadn't had a chance to read the article on her favorite movie hunk, but it was a sacrifice she made willingly.

"What are you doing?" Tom sat up straight, eyes wide.

She shot a glance at the TV. The game hadn't returned. Drat. Then inspiration struck, aided by the fast food ad, sizzling burgers and piped-in scent that penetrated even her stuffy nose. Tom had been sitting in that chair for hours. He must be starving. "You want a sandwich?"

Tom beamed, the magazine clearly forgotten. "Sure. Ham and cheese. Lots of mayo. And some chips on the side."

"I thought you were trying to watch your diet."

Tom waved a hand. "Oh, you can't pay attention to every crazy thing that gets published. You should really stop reading those alarmist magazines."

Indeed. Marla hid her smile with a raised hand. What had she expected from a man who thought potato salad was a breakfast food? "Be right back with that sandwich, dear."

"Thanks."

In the kitchen, she stood on tiles that would not be torn asunder, breathing in tiny machines. Tiny, harmless machines, she reminded herself. In spite of her best efforts to direct her thoughts elsewhere, she recalled that diagram of the nano-thing that looked like a tiny metal flea. Nah, she didn't have allergies. She suffered colds, a hazard of her work.

She washed her hands and got to work, spreading mayonnaise thickly on white bread, assembling Tom's sandwich. Her nose started to run and her throat began to tickle.

"You okay in there, hon?"


"I'm fine." She tried to take a deep breath and nearly choked on congestion. Annoying, but after all, it was only a cold. 
Wasn't it?

Thank you very much again, dear friends, for visiting my blog. Please share your thoughts with us, if you will. have a great Week.
 ڰۣIn Loving Light from the Fairy Ladyڰۣ

Thursday, 9 April 2015

Eternity is 20 Seconds Long

Hi dear friends and Followers. It is nice to see you here, today I have a strange but interesting fable for you. Take five, relax and enjoy.  

Eternity is 20 Seconds Long
Paul Trembling

Kev adjusted his position in the hammock, just enough to look round.

Beyond the shade cast by the trees, the beach was ablaze with sunlight. The glare from the white sand would have been painful if it hadn't been for his sunglasses. Even with them, the flicking pinpoints of light from the sea stabbed sharply into his retina.

There was still ice in the bucket, though, and the drinks were cold.
Along the beach, he could see the girl coming back towards him. The bright orange bikini glowed against her tanned skin. She waved.

He'd promised her a special experience. She didn't know how special it would be. They would have the time of their lives. A very long time. He waved back.

Everything was perfect. Now was the moment.

The device resting on his chest looked like an irregular collection of cylinders, in several different shades of red to purple. The interface unit attached to the side was a crude human intrusion, but necessary. He picked up his PalmPC, linked in to the interface, brought up the programme.

Took a deep breath and hit go.

The rush of alien symbols across the screen was as expected - but surely that configuration was wrong? Alarmed, Kev reached a finger to the abort icon….

DISCONTINUITY

"That's the loop point."

Kev adjusted his position in the hammock, just enough to look round.

Beyond the shade cast by the trees, the beach was ablaze with sunlight. The glare from the white sand would have been painful if it hadn't been for his sunglasses. Even with them, the flicking pinpoints of light from the sea stabbed sharply into his retina.

"How come he doesn't see us?"

"Different time streams. We weren't there then."

< 2 >
There was still ice in the bucket, though, and the drinks were cold.

Along the beach, he could see the girl coming back towards him. The bright orange bikini glowed against her tanned skin. She waved.

"What about the girl?"

"Outside the field, fortunately. If he'd set it differently, she'd be in there with him."

"How big could it have got?"

"We're not sure. Perhaps the entire planet."

He'd promised her a special experience. She didn't know how special it would be. They would have the time of their lives. A long time. He waved back.

"What was he trying to do?"

"We're not sure. Extend his holiday, perhaps."

Everything was perfect. Now was the moment.

The device resting on his chest looked like an irregular collection of cylinders, in several different shades of red to purple. The interface unit attached to the side was a crude human intrusion, but necessary.

"What is that thing?"

"Temporal field node. Part of a star-drive. Isha'hassat technology."

"How did he get hold of it?"

"That's being looked into. There's quite a black market in alien tech, but this is new. The Isha'hassat are upset about it."

He picked up his PalmPC, linked in to the interface, brought up the programme.

Took a deep breath and hit go.

The rush of alien symbols across the screen was as expected - but surely that configuration was wrong? Alarmed, Kev reached a finger to the abort icon….

DISCONTINUITY

< 3 >
"So what happened?"

"He set up a self-perpetuating temporal loop."

Kev adjusted his position in the hammock, just enough to look round.

"Can we stop it?"
"No. The controls are inside the loop. No one from outside can reach them."

Beyond the shade cast by the trees, the beach was ablaze with sunlight.

"So how long does it last?"

"Twenty seconds. Twenty point two five to be accurate."

The glare from the white sand would have been painful if it hadn't been for his sunglasses. Even with them, the flicking pinpoints of light from the sea stabbed sharply into his retina.

"No – I meant how long will it last? The time-loop-field thing?"

"From his point of view, twenty seconds. From ours – eternity."

There was still ice in the bucket, though, and the drinks were cold.

Along the beach, he could see the girl coming back towards him. The bright orange bikini glowed against her tanned skin. She waved.

"But what happens if the sun explodes – or something like that?"

"If the sun explodes in five billion years, will that affect you?"

He'd promised her a special experience. She didn't know how special it would be. They would have the time of their lives. A long time. He waved back.

"No."

"And it won't affect him either. For the same reason. He's in a different time. Always."

Everything was perfect. Now was the moment.

Thank you very much again, dear friends, for visiting my blog. Please share your thoughts with us, if you will. have a great Week.

ڰۣIn Loving Light from the Fairy Ladyڰۣ


Wednesday, 8 April 2015

The Cubelli Lagoon

The Cubelli Lagoon

Hi dear friends and followers. I am pleased to see you here today and welcome you to my blog. Take a little time, relax and read this odd but interesting little story, thnak you  

In the southeast region of the provincial plains of Buenos Aires, you might come across the Cubelli Lagoon, familiarly known as the "Lake of the Dancing Alligator." This popular name is expressive and graphic, but — just as Doctor Ludwig Boitus established — it is inaccurate.

In the first place, "lagoon" and "lake" are distinct hydrographic occurrences. Secondly, though the alligator — Caiman yacare (Daudin), of the Alligatoridae family — is common to America, this lagoon is not the habitat for any species of alligator.

Its waters are extremely salty, and its fauna and flora are what you would expect for creatures that inhabit the sea. For this reason, it cannot be considered unusual that in this lagoon a population of approximately 130 marine crocodiles are to be found.

The "marine crocodile," that is, the Crocodilus porosus (Schneider), is the largest of all living reptiles. It commonly reaches a length of some seven meters (23 feet), weighing more than a ton. Doctor Boitus affirms having seen, along the coasts of Malaysia, several of them that were over nine meters (30 feet) in length, and, in fact, has taken and brought back photographs that supposedly prove the existence of such large individuals. But, as they were photographed in marine waters, without external points of reference, it is not possible to determine precisely if those crocodiles were truly the size attributed to them by Doctor Boitus. It would of course be absurd to doubt the word of an investigator with such a brilliant career (even though his language is rather baroque), but scientific rigor requires that the facts be validated by inflexible methods that, in this case, were not put to use.

Well then, it happens that the crocodiles of the Cubelli Lagoon possess exactly the taxonomic characteristics of those that live in the waters around India, China, and Malaysia; hence, they should by all rights be called marine crocodiles or Crocodili porosi. However, there are some differences,which Doctor Boitus has divided into morphological traits and ethological traits.

Among the former, the most important (or, better said, the only) is size. Whereas the marine crocodile of Asia can be up to seven meters long, the one we have in the Cubelli Lagoon scarcely reaches, in the best of cases, two meters (6 feet 6 inches), measuring from the tip of the snout to the tip of the tail.

Regarding its ethology, this crocodile is "fond of musically harmonized movements" according to Boitus (or, to use the simpler term preferred by those in the town of Cubelli, "dancing"). As anyone knows, as long as crocodiles are on land, they are as harmless as a flock of pigeons. They can only hunt and kill when in the water, which is their vital element. They trap their prey between their toothy jaws, then rotate rapidly, spinning until their victim is dead; their teeth have no masticatory function, being designed exclusively to imprison and swallow a victim whole.

If we go to the shores of the Cubelli Lagoon and start to play music, having previously chosen something appropriate for dancing, right away we will see that — let's not say all — almost all the crocodiles rise out of the water and, once on land, begin to dance to the beat of the tune in question.

For such anatomical and behavioral reasons, this saurian has received the name Crocodilus pusillus saltator (Boitus).

Their tastes are varied and eclectic, and they do not seem to distinguish between esthetically worthy music and music of little merit. Popular tunes delight them no less than symphonic compositions for ballet.

These crocodiles dance in an upright position, balancing only on their hind legs, reaching an average height of one meter, seventy centimeters (5 feet 8 inches). In order not to drag on the ground, their tails rise at an acute angle, roughly parallel to their spines. At the same time, their front limbs (which we could well call hands) follow the beat with various amusing gestures, while their yellow teeth form a wide smile, exuding enthusiasm and satisfaction.

Some townspeople are not in the least attracted by the idea of dancing with crocodiles, but many others do not share this aversion. It's a fact, every Saturday when the sun goes down they put on their party clothes and gather on the shore of the lagoon.There the Cubelli Social Club has set up everything necessary to make the evening unforgettable. Likewise, people can dine in the restaurant that has arisen not far from the dance floor.

The arms of the crocodile are rather short and cannot embrace the body of their partner. The gentleman or lady dancing with the male or female crocodile that has chosen them places both hands on one of their partner's shoulders. To achieve this, one's arms must be stretched to the maximum at a certain distance; as the snout of a crocodile is quite pronounced, one must take the precaution of standing as far back as possible. Though disagreeable episodes have occasionally occurred (such as nasal excision, explosion of ocular globes, or decapitation), it must not be forgotten that, as their teeth may contain the remains of cadavers, the breath of this reptile is far from being attractive.

According to Cubellian legend, occupying the small island in the center of the lagoon are the king and queen of the crocodiles, who it seems have never left it. They say they are each more than two centuries old and, perhaps owing to their advanced age, perhaps owing simply to whim, they have never wished to participate in the dances organized by the Social Club.

The get-togethers do not last much past midnight, for at that hour the crocodiles begin to tire, and maybe to get a little bored; in addition, they feel hungry and, as their access to the restaurant is prohibited, they want to return to the water in search of food.

When no more crocodiles remain on terra firma, the ladies and gentlemen go back to town, rather tired and a little sad, but with the hope that, maybe at the next dance, or perhaps at a later one, the crocodiles' king, or the queen, or even both together, might abandon their island for a few hours and participate in the party. If this were to happen, each gentleman, though he takes care not to show it, harbors the illusion that the queen of the crocodiles will choose him for her dance partner; the same is true of all the ladies, who dream of dancing with the king.

"La albufera de Cubelli" was originally published in Cuadernos del Minotauro (edited by Valent'n Pérez Venzalá), Ano IV, No. 6, Madrid, 2008, pp. 117-120. The present English version was translated from a slightly modified text.

Thank you very much again, dear friends, for visiting my blog. Please share your thoughts with us, if you will. have a great Week.

ڰۣIn Loving Light from the Fairy Ladyڰۣ


Monday, 6 April 2015

Token Wolf on Council

Hi, dear friends and followers. Thank you for visiting my blog today.  I have a wonderful legend for you. Take 5, relax and enjoy. 

And now for something completely Kafkaesque. It's not exactly a Kafka story that I am about to share with you but it's a brief excursion into the realm of an alternate reality that I hope you will find interesting and worthy of your comments.

My thanks!


Token Wolf on Council

I looked up at the delicate wooden chair above me and whined softly at it. They knew I was coming, I thought, so why didn’t they put in a decent chair for me to sit on? I’m not going to fit in that. I turned to one of the elves that were setting up for the council meeting and spoke telepathically. Excuse me, but I cannot fit in the chair provided. I’d like to request a larger seat, preferably with cushions so that my claws don’t scratch it up. The elf looked down at me and blinked.

“Oh, you must be the new Warwolf council member.” He looked me up and down. “I suppose you wouldn’t fit in the chair at that. Would you fit in one of the ones designed for humans?”

It will be uncomfortable, but I can manage for today, I answered. I know there exist chairs designed for my people which are wider and with cushions. I’d like one of those tomorrow, please. Have you seen my interpreter?

“Your handler? I wouldn’t know what he looks like.”

Not a handler, an interpreter. I am a diplomat, not a pet. I need someone to speak my thoughts to humans and non-telepathic elves so that they can hear what I have to say. I cocked my head at the elf. If he doesn’t show up, would you like a promotion?

“I, um, err… am allergic to dogs. And wolves.” Behind his speech, I heard another different reason. The speaker for an abomination? I don’t think so.

I almost growled, but managed to restrain myself. It wasn’t as if my people’s existence as an intelligent race was our fault – a renegade elvish scientist had altered us from ordinary wolves. When the elvish government had found out what had happened, they had agreed to treat us as equals. Apparently what they said and what they did were two completely different things.

Then please help me find somebody who can act as interpreter! I do not intend to have my voice muffled because your government falls short in what they promised to provide.

“Yes yes,” said the elf, smelling rather harassed, who then turned to one of the other elves and said “You are a good telepath, Myralla, and you’ve just been volunteered to play interpreter for the wolf member of the council. His interpreter hasn’t shown up, and the council is starting in five minutes.”

he blinked, but agreed to help me. The first thing, I thought at her, is to find a human-style chair. I can’t fit in the elvish ones. 

After a little searching we located one and she dragged it to the table. I could have done that, but I would probably have damaged the finish with my teeth, and furniture polish tastes really bad. I thanked her and scrambled up into the chair. My official interpreter still hadn’t arrived and the

meeting was about to start so it looked like we were stuck with each other.High King Saeryl ki Irisen called the meeting to order, and we began. We were discussing the levies of metals and finished weaponry for the war. It didn’t really have much to do with me, since we Warwolves use little but our own bodies when we fight and do not create weapons or mine ore. I listened attentively anyway. Perhaps later we would come to something that I could usefully add to. It would be a shame not to speak at all after I went to all the trouble of bullying Myralla into interpreting for me.

The opportunity came, but not in any way I would have wished. I made the mistake of trying to drink from the water glass in front of me. It wobbled and fell over, spilling water across the council table. Everyone whisked their notes out of the way, and a servant went out to get a cloth to mop it up. I’m sorry, I thought at Myralla, but before she could speak the human sitting across from me spoke.

He looked at me with a sour expression and asked: “Excuse me, but is it really necessary to include a wolf in a discussion of weaponry? I don’t understand what right he has to be here.”

I started to growl and caught myself, thinking at Myralla instead. She spoke my thoughts: “Swift Runner apologizes for the water accident, but also says this: My people are sentient members of the High Kingdom, and a far larger proportion of us risk our lives daily in the war than do yours. We have every right to be here even if our methods of fighting and speaking differ from yours.”

“Is that you or the animal?” he asked.

“He is not an animal,” the High King said, sounding almost like he was going to growl himself. “He is a fellow council member and you will treat him as such. He speaks via telepathy and, therefore, must have someone to speak his thoughts aloud to those that cannot hear his mental voice. I can hear him perfectly well, and Myralla is only speaking what he dictates to her.”

The human spread his hands in embarrassment. “Sorry, Master Wolf.”

“It is forgiven. However, my name is Swift Runner, not Master Wolf.”


“Sorry.”

Wasn’t there some sort of debriefing given about my people? I wondered. Were you completely incommunicado during the extremely noisy scandal that occurred when the High Council discovered we were people rather than animals? I wouldn’t have thought it would be possible to miss that – especially considering this is that same council. Oh well, never mind.

That disruption over, the meeting continued.

Afterward the High King came over to me. “I do apologize for Prince Curyn’s behavior. His people have little experience with yours, and he is young and somewhat tactless.”

That is understandable. I assume that now he knows I do belong in your pack things will be easier.

“You looked like you were having trouble with the water glass.”

Yes, rather, I thought at him. It seems nobody thought to prepare any of the things a Warwolf on the council will need. The government-supplied interpreter never showed up either. I imagine they, the chair, and an explanation to the human members of the council got lost somewhere in the piles of paper.

“Indeed. I will issue instructions to relevant parties to make certain it does not happen again. I fear it may take time for both humans and elves to get used to your presence, but I do believe that you will be a useful member of this council.”
Thank you for your support. I will certainly do my best for both the High Kingdom and my own people. We are all of the same supra-pack, after all.

He nodded. “I must leave, but do let me know if you have problems of this sort again.”

My first council meeting over, I left the room. Hopefully now that the pack structure had been sorted out our discussions would be more useful. Perhaps I would not be such a token after all. I almost found myself looking forward to tomorrow.



Thank you very much again, dear friends, for visiting my blog. Please share your thoughts with us, if you will. have a great Week. 

ڰۣIn Loving Light from the Fairy Ladyڰۣ

AYÚDEME PROSPERAR, IGUAL QUE TÚ

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