Fables by jamball

The fables by jambbal are:

The Bee and the Forest Dwellers
The Snail with a Broken Shell
The Antarctic Bird Who Couldn’t Fly
The Finicky Frog
The Scared Stream
The Divot
The Caterpillar and the Fawn
The Man of the Forest
The Jealous Herd of Jerseys
The Bear and the Beehive
The Beaver and the Otter Gang
The Hammerhead and the Humpback
The Tree Elder
The Boding Bacteria
The Wisdom of the Wapiti Cow
The Holy Dale
The Vixen and the Grouse
The Peacock and the Blue Jay
The Terrier and the Tiger
The Wayward Wolf
The Oak Tree and the Squirrels
The Adopted Squirrel
The Weather Forecasters
The Bull and the Bear
The Bald Eagle and the Golden Eagle
The Wandering Albatross
The Lamb, the Ram and the Ewe
Lady Springbok and Mama Cheetah
The Song of the Swan
The Source

Sample Fable:
" The Hammerhead and the Humpback"

For reasons beyond our understanding, somewhere off the coast in a southern ocean near a submerged reef, a young male hammerhead shark cautiously approached a huge humpback whale of many seasons and, with all the respect commanded by such a magnificent creature, asked: “Excuse me, Sir, but would you show me how to sing your song and dance your dance?”

The whale ignored the small voice, or so it seemed, as he arched his back, thrust his enormous fluked tail, and with surprising speed for such a massive body, catapulted himself through the surface of the ocean into the air above.

“Oh my,” the hammerhead exclaimed never having seen a whale breach before. “He is sure to drown up there out of the water.”

Seconds later, the water directly above the hammerhead exploded as the huge humpback returned to the ocean depths with a twist and a turn and a wink at his startled admirer.

“How do you do that, Whale?” asked the hammerhead.

“With a strong flip of my tail, young man” replied the humpback.

“How come you don’t drown in the air? All the shark elders warn us that the world above the ocean is dangerous.”

The humpback issued a small giggle, at least as small as a 50-ton humpback can giggle, so as not to offend the curious stranger. “Since you are too young to know such things, I will tell you whales breathe air. We need to visit the world above the ocean every so often.”

The shark was interested in whales breathing air, but returned to his original question: “Can you teach me your dance and your song?”

“Why, young shark, do you want to do whale things instead of simply being the shark that you are?”

The hammerhead swam closer to the humpback who clearly had signaled his acceptance of continuing this odd conversation between two different species of the ocean.

“Well, Sir,” the shark explained, “I have been watching you ever since you moved here from wherever you lived before. Your songs and dances make me feel different than I ever have. They make me feel…uh, special.”

“What do you mean, young shark?”

The hammerhead moved even closer to the whale’s ear for fear another shark would overhear their conversation. “I have been learning about shark life as I grow up here. There are some pretty great sharks here, strong, smart, fast, hard workers, expert hunters and very, very reliable, I mean, you can count on them to be sharks every minute of every day of every week of every month of…”

“Shark!” interrupted the humpback. “What are you trying to tell me?”

“Please forgive me, Sir,” he apologized. “It’s just that I’ve never felt this way before and I’m not sure what to do about it, except come to you, since it is your singing and dancing that is making me feel this way.

“I have been taught that what sharks do,” he continued, “not only is crucial to the survival of our group, but also to help the ocean survive by keeping it clean and healthy. The motto we learn is: ‘Sharks are lovers of labor, so labor becomes love.’

“But after watching and listening to you, I wonder if sharks aren’t meant to do something more than just work and survive. I mean these feelings I get when you sing and dance…I don’t know. They are so new to me. No shark I know has ever described such feelings.”

“Well, young man,” replied the humpback, “I can show you how to do a few songs and a dance or two, but remember, you are a shark, not a whale. You will have to make the songs and dances your own, not mine.”

“I will, Sir. I will,” answered the hammerhead with excitement in his voice.

Some months later, after the humpback had left the area for his summer migration to the cold water feeding grounds, the young hammerhead male made his way into the inner circle of female sharks to find a partner. Unlike any shark before, he approached the group by dancing and singing what he had been practicing by himself all winter long.

As he neared the center, a very large, dominant female hammerhead confronted him with her head forcefully shaking back and forth, left and right, as hammerheads do, warning him to back off from the inner circle. In a loud voice so all could hear, she scolded: “What kind of worker would you be, gyrating and muttering into our circle like this? Haven’t you learned how to act like a proper shark? No one would ever choose you as a partner!”

The young hammerhead had no choice but to retreat to the outer edge of the circle in humiliation. Near the edge, he was joined by a small young female hammerhead who quietly swam alongside him. After a while she spoke in a soft voice: “Watching you dance and sing made me feel…uh, different…special…like I’ve never felt before. Will you sing and dance for me again?”

And he did for many, many seasons; and, eventually, so did she.

jambbal‘s message: Labor keeps life on the level; art uplifts it.


(back to top of page)


© Copyright 2011-14 Dahl Quarray • published by NGC Publishing