the shark that ate people

Over the Hedge [NOTE: This isn’t exactly a break from the blogalectic with Jenna St. Hilaire. And I urge you all to read her excellent new post. But, mostly because of time, I’ve decided today should be something a bit—different. It’s a fable. Really. I think.]


 The Shark that Ate People
or, probably a fable

Once upon a time there was a strange little boy name Willy who sang a strange song at the bottom of the bottom of the bottom of the sea.

The Mer-King appeared and said, “You stupid ape, you could drown down here.” Willy, who was irrational at the best of times and the worst of times anyway, ignored the Mer-King and kept singing.

The Mer-King listened for a while, and then said, “Your epistemology needs rewiring. Why not have the help of this handy pointy stick?” And he made as if to kill Strange Willy. But Willy said, “Hey, hey, watch it, hotshot!”

So the Mer-King, who wasn’t bright anyway, sat back tiredly and watched Strange Willy sing The Strange Song at the bottom of the murky gray sea.

Finally, a passing shark ate Strange Willy, and the Mer-King went home. But he couldn’t stop thinking of the strange, strange song Strange Willy sang, and he couldn’t stop humming it even though the Mer-Queen told him in no uncertain terms that she wouldn’t have any of that language at her dinner table, thank you, and do you know the servants can hear you?

“So gently I rubbledy tubbledy,” the Mer-King hummed. “So sweetly gubbledy-gorp.”

So the Mer-Queen threw him out of the house, saying he could sleep in the Dogfishhouse and see how he liked it. The Mer-King did like it, actually, but the dogfish hated the song and howled all night at the moon they couldn’t see but knew, despite the insistence of their most learned professors, must be there.

This alarmed the Mer-King , for he realized the dogfish still thought there was a moon despite the insistence of the learned professors. In the morning he told the Mer-Queen that they were in grave danger of being overrun by barbarians, as the dogfish hadn’t given up their barbaric beliefs in the moon.

“Well, don’t look at me like I can do anything about it,” said the Mer-Queen. “You’re the king, after all.”

“Oh, yes, well, so I am,” said the Mer-King. He had all the dogfish roasted over a fire of slow-burning salamanders, and felt much better about the safety of the kingdom, once the yowling finally stopped. He fell asleep in the now vacant dogfishhouse that night, humming happily to himself, and woke to discover that venomous sea serpents had devoured and ravaged the kingdom why he slept, since the watchdogfish had all been roasted.

The Mer-King felt rather bad about this, but thought himself rather lucky that the sea serpents hadn’t found him, being afraid of the dogfish house. So the Mer-King swam off, gubbledy-gorping and rubbledy-tubbleding, until the shark, who recognized the tune, found and ate him.

Moral: It’s the song, stupid.

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