Winnie and the Genie

Time for another Friday Fictioneers tale. This may be a really off-beat reply to today’s prompt, but I was wanting to write about Winnie again. I kind of like her querulous personality. To read my other tales about Winnie, click here and here.

She and Raylene are home from their Florida trip and Winnie’s finding other interesting things. Today she’s visiting with Ernie Phelps, a retired friend and potential sweetheart.

Thanks for the photo prompt, Liz, and thanks again, Rochelle at Addicted to Purple for being such a patient and encouraging host to this FF group. I have to butter you up today, Rochelle, since my story is five words over the limit. I welcome suggestions from anyone as to how I can knock these five words off.

Photo prompt c. Liz Young

Winnie and the Genie

“Found it under them bushes. Oddest bottle I ever saw! I uncorked it and Poof! This female’s saying she’ll grant my every wish. One look at her and I says, ‘Back in this bottle right now, young lady.’ ”

Ernie’s jaw dropped. “You could’a been rich, Winnie! New house, fancy clothes…”

“Clothes? Ha! You should have seen her skimpy clothes. No…your ol’ ticker might’a stopped.”

“So where’s that bottle now?”

“In the lake. Sure wouldn’t want some man seeing that indecent outfit!”

Next morning Ernie headed for the coast. Entering a shop near the beach he pointed to a sign. “I want them scuba diving lessons.”

Fox and Hound: A Fable

The Quick Red Fox and the Howling Hound

dog-219868_640Once upon a time a man who lived all alone in a small farming village was given a pup. He was a gangly creature with funny floppy ears — no beauty prizes would he ever win — but the little hound was very loving and his owner grew very fond of him. Every day the man would take his dog out to the field with him as he hoed his corn; at night he’d put the hound in a pen in his back yard and go to bed.
fox winking

Down the street a ways lived an elderly widow with a big rambling back yard. One night a prowling fox found the place to his liking and took up residence under an old shed in this yard.

Thus began an interesting routine: at night the fox, off on his hunting expedition, would hurry past the dog’s pen. The hound would catch sight of it and would bark and howl. Then he’d settle down and sleep for some hours.

At the first light of dawn the fox would slip back to its den. The dog, catching a whiff of it, would start baying again.dog & cat

The owner didn’t know what was setting the dog off, but he concluded it must be some wild animal passing. Anyway, dogs do bark now and then. He gave the matter little thought until one morning his neighbor came banging on his door.

When he opened the door his neighbor shook a fist in his face. “You have to get rid of that howling hound! He’s keeping me awake all night long.”

The owner was amazed. “How can that be! My dog only barks a few times at night and a few times in the morning. It’s not like he’s barking all night long.”

“That may be,” said the scowling neighbor. “But I lie awake all night because I never know when he’s going to bark.”

So is he who anxiously anticipates troubles that is he certain will come sooner or later.

Epilogue: The dog was spared because the neighbor,floppy-ear dog after getting all hot and bothered about the issue and losing many nights of sleep, finally made his request to the one who could actually do something about the matter.

(Note: This is my adaptation of an old fable.)

 

Bad Luck — A Legend

Once upon a time in far off China, there lived a farmer who had only one son — one precious heir to whom he would leave his small property. The farmer also had one horse. One day this horse managed to get out of his corral and ran off.

“Such bad luck!” the neighbors said to the man.

“Don’t speak too soon,” said the farmer. “How can you know if this is really bad luck?”

The neighbors were really surprised the next evening when the horse showed up with a dozen other wild horses following him. He led them into the corral and the farmer’s son quickly ran and shut the gate.

When they saw that he now had thirteen horses the neighbors congratulated the farmer. “This is such good luck for you!”

“Don’t speak too soon,” said the wise farmer. “How do you know this is going to be a good thing for us?”

Some days later the son attempted to ride one of the new horses, but the wild stallion would have none of it. He bucked frantically and the young man fell off, breaking his leg.

Neighbors shook their heads when they saw the injured son. “You were right, old man. This has been very bad luck.”

“Don’t speak too soon,” the old man calmly repeated. “How can you be sure of that?”

A few days later a local warlord came through the village and ordered all the able-bodied young men to come with him to help fight in his war. But when he saw the farmer’s son hobbling along, he shook his head. “This boys is of no use to me.”

So the farmer’s son was left behind because of his broken leg. The other young men who were forced to accompany the warlord in his conflict were never seen again. The farmer and his son rejoiced over the “bad luck” that turned out to be their biggest blessing.

The Oddest Strudel

Here’s what I’ve cooked up for the Friday Fictioneers prompt this week. Much thanks goes to Rochelle Wisoff-Fields who patiently hosts this flock of fiction fanatics. (My computer won’t do InLinkz, but you can click the blue frog on her blog to see this week’s smorgasbord.)

Special thanks also to Dale Rogerson for this week’s pizza photo prompt.

Photo © Dale Rogerson

The Odd Little House with the Odd Little Strudel

“Oh, Hansel! The birds ate all our crumbs! Now we’re lost.”

Her brother looked around desperately. “Wait…there’s a house! Maybe they’ll tell us the way home.”

The children ran to the cottage and knocked. “No one’s home.” Gretel sniffed. “But something smells delicious.”

“And I’m starving.” Hansel opened the door. “There it is… Whatever it is.” He hurried to the table, chopped off two chunks with a nearby knife, and handed one to his sister.

Hunger overpowered Gretel’s timidity. She bit into the odd food. “Mmm… But greasy. And this stringy cheese… Funniest strudel I’ve ever eaten.”

They heard someone cackle.

The New Laptop

“Look! This laptop is loaded with the latest and the best software programme available,” he proclaimed, holding up his newest acquisition.

“Right. For the next two months.” His wife looked at the clerk, rolled her eyes and sighed. She’d been checking out jigsaw puzzles at the stationery store next door, now she berated herself for not being here in time to officially protest this purchase.

The clerk who’d rung up the sale sensed an approaching atmospheric disturbance and strolled toward the accessories aisle. She’d be within shouting distance if the customer asked for a refund in a minute or so.

“Dearest,” said the wife in a longsuffering tone. “Remember the last time you changed computer programmes and it took me three weeks to figure it out enough to do our women’s club monthly newsletter? Two months ago you got me this new cell phone with all the bells and whistles, and I still haven’t figured out how to reply to incoming messages.”

“It’s not so hard to figure out. Besides, your old phone was a dinosaur.”

“So is my brain. I’m technologically challenged, remember? You can’t keep throwing new devices and new programmes at me.”

“You have to keep up with the times, dear. You’d still be working with WordPerfect 3.0 if I wouldn’t have upgraded.”

“And Word Perfect 3.0 worked just fine.”

He sighed. She sighed. The marriage counselor standing behind them at the cash register grinned — and pulled his business card out of his shirt pocket.

What Next, Grandpa?

Photo  credit : Jellico’s Stationhouse

With thanks to the cheerful and patient Rochelle Wisoff-Fields, for hosting our supposed-to-be-Friday Fictioneers group and inspiring us with a prompt every week. And to Jelli for the © photo.

Archie huffed. “Nursing is no profession for women, especially a youngster like yerself. It’s hard, dirty work, and too…revealing!”

Mary ignored the “Never contradict your elders” protocol. “Well, Grandpa, I’ve talked this over with my parents and they approve. In fact, Dad’s bought me a bicycle so I can attend classes to get the credits I need.”

“A bicycle! What next?”

The pop-up memory tickled Mary as she watched a jet land. Oh, yes, Grandpa. What next? Maybe it’s a good thing you didn’t live to see this, she thought as a young female pilot strolled past wheeling a suitcase.

Written in memory of my dear friend, Mary Strathdee, who braved her grandfather’s displeasure and became a nurse back in the 1930s. (I doubt she got the bike, though. 😉 )