During the tumultuous Jacquelinian era, no fabulist or faerie-tailor was more esteemed than Groggery Tirade 'Grog' Gibbonman. From his famous home at 359 ½ Fourthpenny Avenue, London, he penned more than 7,000 short morality tales in his lifetime, many of them wickedly scathing in their derision of ... something.
"Oh dear!" said Little Blue Hat to the worm. "How is it that you know my name?" "Your actual name is 'Little Blue Hat?'" asked the worm with a dash of disbelief and a pinch of pity. "I can't say I expected that." He had no eyes to brow and thus no brows to arch, but certainly he did the best a worm could at it.
Groggery Tirade "Grog" Gibbonman was hailed by his contemporaries as a master of poetic rhythm. Of particular note are his nursery rhymes, the first printed collection of which was presented to the young sons of Sultan Aleksivus III via messenger as an act of war.
"Ahoy, good bees!" shouted the wolf to the bees' nest. "Your safety is much impaired, your lives at risk! For there is far too much honey in your nest! Though sweet, it is the culprit in your weighty danger! If you do not lighten your load, certainly you will lose it all to catastrophe!" The bees buzzed in shock at the wolf's claim.
The cat traveled as far as he could walk, and when he came to the sea he swam. And when he tired of swimming he sank to the bottom of the sea, and there he met Neptune slumbering in his chamber. 'Oh mighty Neptune!' cried the cat, awakening the god. 'What marvels I have seen on my journey!'
Of the many ghost stories penned by Groggery Gibbonman, surely none were better received than 'The Figure in the Fireplace,' a chilling verse first published in serialized form on the back of 'Sergio Cal’s Mystic Pastes of the Far East.' The hocus-pocus medicines ultimately proved unpopular due to radiation poisoning, but the hallowed rime remains!
‘Why have you forgotten us?’ moaned the skeletons. They strained with ancient clatter. ‘Let us die!’
"What trickery!" the butcher cried as he tore the makeshift ‘Wanted: Apprentice’ sign down from its place. "I made no such sign! And if I had, then even so, a raccoon would make for no honest apprentice! "Then why do you hang that other sign?" asked the raccoon, and again he pointed. And there it was, a sign that read "Wanted: Raccoon Apprentice.”
Two giraffes, who as all traveled men know enjoy gazing at clouds, were engaging in their famous hobby one day when a particularly interesting specimen wafted into view. 'That cloud...' said the first giraffe, as he gestured toward the culprit in question.'that cloud is the emperor of clouds.'
"BRICKS! BRICKS! BRICKS! BRICKS! BRICKS!" screeched the hen as she squawked about the clayfield in a fluttering panic. The brickmaker narrowed his gaze, trying to hone in on what he was witnessing. He had been wholly unaware of the phenomenon of talking animals until that moment, and this was a lot to absorb.
‘Absurd!’ scoffed the pterodactyls. ‘We are faster than the frogs, by any measure!’ But the pterodactyls were honorable sportsmen, and they believed themselves bound to oblige a fair challenge. When the day of the race came, the pterodactyls and frogs gathered at the starting line, each side sure of victory. The flag was raised, and off they went!
"Incredible! Marvelous!" squawked the gulls in cheerful unison, and they joined the great festival of wings with vigor. But this did not go unnoticed. "Oh hell," said a great owl to a hummingbird moth. "Who invited the gulls?"
‘Toad coin?’ wondered the traveler as he examined the pebble. It did not look all that different from any other pebble, and certainly nothing like a coin. ‘What manner of coin has no head or tail, and bears no seal or flag? Who backs this toad coin, the toad bank? The toad treasury!?’ The traveler laughed, but the toads croaked sternly back at him.
'We’re going to be in trouble!' Little Sister wailed, clutching her favorite book to her chest and sobbing. 'This isn’t fun like a story anymore!' But Big Sister was not listening, she was thinking. She grabbed Little Sister’s book from her and ran into town, yelling 'Help! A book made me and my sister hurt someone!'