writing

A Taut/Caustic Little Fable



Broderick Emerson Keswick III stood 3.7mm tall and weighed a mere 7 milligrams. He was a worker. He was middle-aged, maybe a bit older than that. He had already seen a complete cycle of the moon.

One memorable day he had been cutting artichoke leaves in Mr Cheswick’s garden. As he began carrying away a piece, that weighed about 15 times more than he did, he spied a toad approaching who looked ravenous. Broderick sounded the alarm. His mates began to scatter. Sharp-eyed Mr Keswick, however, noticed that several of his co-workers were missing. They had been there one moment and were gone the next. As horrible as it was; the toad had been feasting on Broderick’s friends, neighbours, and workmates.

Thinking quickly, our hero dropped the bit of artichoke he was carrying and climbed back up the stalk of the plant he had been working. He scurried back up onto the globe of the flower and positioned himself on an outer bract. The sun hung low behind him; his shadow was large. His shadow fell across the marauding toad, distracting him from the carnage. Realizing that the shadow was an ant, and seeing the size of it, the murderous amphibian was frightened and fled the scene – cutting short his glutinous rampage.

The rest of the colony recognized the bravery and fearlessness exhibited by one of their own and commissioned the renowned Ms Farrell to immortalize him in a photograph. The name Broderick Emerson Keswick III will live forever in the tunnels of his old anthill.

Be strong, be brave, and cast a big shadow.