April 1999
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Ed Parker's Fables

by Ed Parker

The Beaver Brothers

There once lived a pair of young beaver brothers named Axolotl and Guilderstern. The brothers spent many hours working for their uncle, Penobscot, in the construction business. Penobscot’s company had made quite a reputation for itself by designing and building the most durable and dependable dams in the valley.

Axolotl had always been a busy body, laboring tirelessly in the field and meticulously manufacturing every structure he was assigned to. He always lived by his Beaver Credo, “Do one thing at a time, do it very well, then move on to the next thing.” He made it up himself.

Axolotl wasn’t the creative one in the family: that was Guilderstern. Guilderstern loved reading and listening to music and had several lyrical poems published in various scholarly periodicals, such as Beaver’s Digest and Muskrat Monthly. Guilderstern also worked for Uncle Penobscot’s Dependable Dam Company, building dams, but he didn’t enjoy his work as much as Axolotl. Guilderstern enjoyed working for his uncle but had higher aspirations. He had to stay, though, because Penobscot’s health was failing, and he needed lots of help.

Uncle Penobscot appreciated both of his nephews’ work, although he wished that Guilderstern would accomplish as much as his big brother. One day, he called the brothers into his office and said, “I have been thinking of bringing one of you boys on as a partner of mine to take over the business when I retire. I can’t decide which of you would be better for the job -- industrious Axolotl or imaginative Guilderstern. I would like each of you to think of an idea to revolutionize the dam building business in the future. The one with the best concept will become my apprentice.”

About a week later, Axolotl came to Penobscot with a set of blueprints entitled, “Luxury Logs: The Dams of Next Week.” The report had details on fancy dams with state-of-the-art features such as intricate ventilation systems and dapper draperies. The sketches were painstakingly hand-drawn right down to the smallest twig. Uncle Penobscot was incredibly impressed with Axolotl’s plans and was seriously contemplating bringing him on as his partner. He only had to wait for Guilderstern’s idea.

Several weeks after Penobscot’s proposition, Guilderstern came to his uncle. He had put much thought into his concept and had made an important decision. “Uncle Penobscot,” he said, “I tried to design a dam of the future like Axolotl, but while I was trying to draw up the plans, I came to the conclusion that I’m going to let my brother have the job. If Axolotl helps you run the company, you won’t need as much help. There’s something I have always secretly wanted to do. I’m going to leave this hole in the wall. I’m going to go to the city, and I’m going to dance!” With that, the large rodent did a triple-reverse thunderclapper onto his uncle’s desk, then left.

Guilderstern moved to New York and went directly to Broadway to star in a production of "Bring In Da Noise Bring In Da Funk." He was an immediate success and was much happier than he ever was at his uncle’s construction company. Both Beaver brothers became rich beyond imagination and both were very happy with the paths they had chosen.

The End

Fuad Falafel, Frontier Farmer

At one time, the Falafel family was one of the poorest in all of Wallaby county. They were so poor that in order to have a hot meal, they often would be forced to have a plate of steam. Then little Fuad came along and changed everything. They say he wasn’t what you would call smart, or even below average, but he knew everything you could possibly know about farming. Fuad could grow more wheat in a day than the entire state of Kansas, more rice in a day than all of China, and he made billions of dollars every day. Fuad soon got bored with growing grain, so he decided to try his hand at livestock. Soon, Fuad’s farm was filled with cows and pigs and sheep and chickens.

Because of his dealings with businessmen, Fuad learned a little about business, too, and he decided to invest in the stock market. Soon, Fuad Falafel made millions in amalgamated unitarian stocks.

About this time, Fuad saw a future in health food. He tried several unsuccessful ways to make health food, until an idea hit him one day while laying some cable. He worked tirelessly for weeks on his idea. Fuad started feeding his cows a strict diet of special lo-fat grass for several months. Then he bred a cow with a goat and got a coat. After that, he bred a cow with a pig and got a pow. Then he bred the coat with the pow and got pickleloaf. Once Fuad took a bite of that pickleloaf, he knew he would make a million billion dollars off of it. And he did. Or at least he would have, because, unfortunately, the gruesome hybrid didn’t like having a bite taken out of him, and he killed Fuad with his razor-sharp beak.

So whenever you eat pickleloaf, remember Fuad Falafel and how it cost him his life.

The End

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