Capture a Critter #1: Monkey Buffet Festival

Excuse me, sir, but could you spare

A pineapple (we have no pears) —

Here, in this place

Of grandeur, grace

…And about 3,000 monkeys?

Image result for thailand monkey buffet festival

Poemed for Deb Whittam‘s new writing prompt: Capture a Critter. I wrote in response to the Monkey Buffet Festival, an annual tradition of setting out a feast for the local monkeys in Lopburi, Thailand. This year’s event, held on November 24, will be their 31st year.

©2019 Chelsea Owens

WINNER of the Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest

After a long day with a headache (thanks, human pregnancy), I’ve rock-paper-scissored a winner from my final choices.

And that winner is Peregrine Arc.

The Hallmark of Irony: An Elephant’s Tale

by Peregrine Arc

Here’s a card just for you
For 22 months, I’ve had spew
All over the savannah after every meal
Two hundred pounds sitting on my bladder for almost two years
Growing by the day and your father asks me
Dearest pachyderm-a-booble, whatsoever’s the matter, my dear little poodle?
Chin up, dear lady, this won’t last forever.
The labour pains will only last two nights, no matter.

So dearest child when you’re born,
If you ever wonder why your father walks with a limp–
It’s because I sat on him
To make him suffer for being a nitwit.

Congratulations, Madame Arc! You are the most terrible poet of the week!

Almost all of the entries went above and beyond the criteria: horrible, educational, interesting, and painful to read. P’Arc’s contribution did all that, plus garnered the promised bonus points for trying to make hers more like a Hallmark card. Maybe it’s my current pregnancy speaking, but I especially appreciated the elephant daddy getting a bit of payback in the end.

Meanwhile, National Geographic may want to get in touch with the other fabulous poets:

Untitled piece

by Deb Whittam

Pregnancy is wearing,
As I’m sure you know,
But not if you’re a Surinam toad,
For guess where their babes grow.
If you said on their back,
You would be halfway right.
If you said the male digs holes
To stash the eggs in you’ve seen the light.
In a 12 hour mating ritual,
He buries those babes deep,
Then the skin grows back,
It’s enough to give me the creeps.
Four and a half months later,
The babes emerge,
Momma Surinam toad must sure shriek,
And lament her maternal urge.

—–

A Tale of Two Widows

by Mathew S

Two arachnids met eyes across a room
All eight pairs of eyes made contact in fact
That bulbous rump had made males swoon
Those long legs called out for contact

Mmmm mmmmm yum yum yum
He thought, what a night of ecstasy
We sure will get us much of some
They lay there tangled plain to see

Dreaming up their spider plans
They spoke to make a web for both of thee
He was arachnid putty in her hands
She hissed, “you’ll always be a part of me”

He thought he knew just what she meant
Like newly webs, not you or I, but we!
After sticky reproduction, hungry and so spent,
He attempted to leave the web sheepishly

But was asked to stay for dinner
To which he agreed, but feels remorse
Since he’s digesting in her innards
As her web-of-lies main course

—–

The lamentation of a girl guppy

by Bruce Goodman

Because you’re the male you’re smaller than me
And that’s because I’m a female guppy.
I don’t lay eggs, I’m a live-bearer,
And I don’t believe I could possibly say that any clearer.

Well you might laugh at my girth,
But that’s because I haven’t as yet given birth
I’m a good couple of months old
And when you were seven weeks old I wish you hadn’t been so bold.

Even when expecting, females prefer new males prettier than hubby
And frequently change who the father is going to be of their bubby.
Basically we guppies are the epitome of immortality
And that’s what happens when one practises polyandry.

So to sum up, if I see a boy guppy who’s dashing
I get quite overcome with passion.
But I ask you, do you think it is fair
That I’m already into my fifth pregnancy this year?

—–

From Here Two Maternity

by LWBUT

If you are lying in bed postprandially wondering

what you can Google here’s an example i’ve been pondering –

The female kangaroo of Australia

has quite the most remarkable genitalia.

Although it is a mammal, whose species mostly possess a single uterus,

the kangaroo has developed a reproductive system that is really quite new to us,

in that she has evolved double our number of internal cavities

in which to incubate the future prospective progeny of her species.

In two uteri her eggs can be fertilised in parallel, growing two joeys at a time

And what is an even greater puzzle, going from the ridiculous to the sublime,

is that though she exceeds the number of egg-hatching chambers by one over us

her vaginas exceed even that by a half again of the surprising number of uterus

making a final tally, some might find a tad hard to believe,

of kangaroo uteri: two, while kangaroo vaginas are in total, three!

While to some this may cause a concern at the possibility of colliding despatches

Our kangaroo has yet another surprise in the way that her offspring hatches;

the kangaroo has the unique ability to suspend one of her two embryo ‘in situ’

While the other makes good his escape before deciding what he is to do,

to go outside and crawl up to the pouch, if i’m not mistaken?

or crawl back up inside and hope his room has not yet been taken.

While from egg to escaping the womb will take a little joey about a month or more

the young ‘roo will remain in mum’s pouch for another eight, by which time she’s sure to be sore.

Once her young joey has been thus evicted

mum’s familial duties are no less restricted

She will continue to raise him, teaching him how to fend

for himself until his sibling brings her patience to an end.

So with two uteri, a female kangaroo in her maternity

can seemingly be pregnant from here to eternity.

—–

Self Satisfaction–Oh to be like thee, Komodo the Lizard

by Ruth Scribbles

Parthenogenesis
Genesis, the beginning
Beginning of self-impregnating
Impregnating self
Self reliance
Reliance on moi
Moi and tu
Tu, no not you
Me and only me
Self satisfaction
Or
Self destruction
Destruction of needing
Needing anyone
Anyone will do?
No only you
Oops.. just kidding
I want to procreate
Like the dragon of komodo
Now, that’s self satisfying!

—–

You Need a New Mom

by Angela Duggins

All through the night, in my dreams,
I hear you. I feel you.
deciding that you want to be born.
You will grow up someday.
I’ll push you out some way.
Now is time to break through my pores.

You’re here. My death I now fear.
I believe that you need a new mom.
Please stay. Your birth is my decay,
and I know that you need a new mom.

Keep moving on.

—–

Untitled piece

by Gary

When the Giraffe gives birth the baby falls to the ground
But luckily the calves are not hurt they seem to rebound
Lucky female seahorses as the males are the ones who give birth
I wonder how that effects the dads and their much prized girth
A chipmunk can give birth every forty five days
That’s enough to make Alvin stop singing and go into a daze
Opossums are quick they only gestate for fourteen days
Pressure on the males as it’s an even quicker menstrual phase
Humans are so much slower yet no less Herculean
That all makes the our pregnancy rather antediluvian

—–

Thank you so much for putting me through this misery! Tune in tomorrow around 10 a.m. MST for the announcement of next week’s contest.

joshua-j-cotten-w-DHG2su6gU-unsplash

P’Arc: D. Wallace Peach created this graphic that you can use (if you want) for a badge of honor as the winner:

My Mantis, a slightly terrible poem

Have you eaten, my love?
Are you certain?
Don’t mean to be impert’en
But while I’m …erm, squirtin’
I’d rather
Neither
Of us
Lost

Our heads.

bruno-kelzer-rSDbIPI5PGI-unsplash

Scientists long believed that female mantises engaged in sexual cannibalism. After the males mounted their partner, deposited their essence, and dismounted; most females then literally bit the male’s head off.

Recent studies of less-invasive means prove that female mantises rarely attack and eat their Baby Daddies in their normal homes nor in their natural surroundings. There is still some debate as to whether the female’s nutritional deficiencies at the time affect things.

 

©2019 Chelsea Owens

From Baby Giraffe, a terrible poem

Mummy dear and tall:

I know you love me,

But why did I fall?

Why did I walk once dumped from six feet off the ground

Within the sixty minutes of my entry to this Earth that’s brown and round but not very sound?

(Because I hadn’t walked for 453 to 464 days.)

Yes, that’s why the ground was not very sound;

Though I made a sound when I landed on the dirt

‘ Cause it hurt.

Next time I thank

I’d rather have a doctor’s spank.

lisa-h-gOWuRBY7gDM-unsplash

Giraffes have a gestation period of about 15 months, then the baby giraffe falls from his standing mother’s birth canal. It’s a drop of five or six feet. This helps break the umbilical cord and amniotic sac, plus avoid being sat upon by a long-limbed mother.

The babies recover quickly and are ready to walk by the time an hour’s passed.

 

©2019 Chelsea Owens

The Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest

Welcome to The Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest! This is our 34th time of offending the internet and I hope we continue to disappoint.

As those who’ve entered before know, writing terrible poetry is an art form. To truly offend one’s sensibilities; a bad poet needs to nearly fit a meter, almost follow a rhythmic pattern, or get so close to a beautiful description his audience starts picturing EXIT signs instead of snow falling gently in a springtime field. I explain the process a bit here.

Besides that, here are this week’s specifics:

  1. Topic: Animals and their pregnancy.
    Did you know the African Bush Elephant carries …well, an elephant for 22 months? That a male seahorse carries the babies (up to 1,500!)? Or that female Komodo Dragons can impregnate themselves without a male through a process called parthenogenesis?
    Did you know you’re going to write a poem about it?
  2. Just to make it more fun, I’d like the Length to be about Hallmark Valentine’s Day card-sized. Bonus points if you actually write it like a Hallmark Valentine’s Day card.
  3. Rhyme? It’s up to you.
  4. Mostly, just make it terrible. Whilst composing your note of affection, a pregnant elephant all the way across the ocean needs to raise its head from the water hole toilet and vow to spend its next 21 months making its way to your house…
  5. do know where babies come from; but if National Geographic can keep things clinical, I think our usual PG rating will suffice.

You have till 8:00 a.m. MST next Friday (July 19) to submit a poem.

Use the form below if you want to be anonymous for a week.

Or, for a more social experience, include your poem or a link to it in the comments.

Have fun!

joshua-j-cotten-w-DHG2su6gU-unsplash

Photo credit:
Joshua J. Cotten

The Cell of Snares

You received a letter from the state explaining you were chosen in a lottery to come and rescue an animal. The shelter is being closed due to the owner’s untimely death and his will instructed for his estate to be divided up randomly. Being the animal lover you are, you decide to follow up on this mystery and pop on down to look at a potential pet or two. The address typed on the back of the letter is unfamiliar to you, but your Saturday is wide open. You fill up your gas tank and head out. Why not?

Once you reach the destination, a prison complex at the literal end of the road, all outside communication is cut off and the ‘animals’ are not quite what they seem

—–

Despite my rising alarm at the lack of guards, cell phone service, working car, existence of a cassette player, gouge marks, shackled creature that shapeshifts –Okay, okay, that’s enough thinking that way. I focus, instead, on the gently swinging ivy above me. I breathe in and out. “All right, Beth,” I whisper to myself. “Think positively. What can you control?” –Not that my therapist ever suggested I’d literally be trapped like this, with potential death a mere inchesBreathe, Beth, breathe! Maybe Dr. Querk should have had me run through a few practical situations, but it’s too late to consider that now.

*Greetings, traveler and welcome to The Prison for Dangerous…* begins playing for the sixth time since I entered the creepy room. Nothing irritates me more than repetition, even a supernatural being that might be able to tear my head off. I turn to the apparition within the first cell and glare daggers at it.

“KNOCK IT OFF!” I bellow.

The being within blinks a thousand rainbow eyes at me, squawks, and disappears. I stand on my toes to see where it’s gone: into a bottom corner, rodent-like, somehow still shackled. The tape has stopped. I give the mouse thing a stern nod, in case it gets any ideas.

I let my breath out and look around again. Now fully within the room, I can see that Freaky’s box isn’t the only one with damage to the interior. Of the ten cells, only one or two seem undamaged. Box Four, near the end on the left side, has scorch marks. Number Six -or One, depending on how one wished to count- to the right is dark and molding. The last cell in the row to the right is not only scraped and dented, but the cause of the damage is clearly visible in the form of a large, glowering minotaur.

“Well, Beth, are any minotaurs not glowering?” I tease. A chittering laugh just beyond the shapeshifter draws me forward. “It’s fine. They can’t get out,” I say as I walk, though I certainly won’t go tap on #10’s glass to test my theory.

As I near the source of the laughing, I note signs attached to the outside of each cell. The first reads:

SHIFTER

Charles is the perfect companion. He not only fits most occasions, he fits any occasion or any species. Ever wanted a rabbit one day, then a pony the next? Charles is right for you!

I laugh a bit; again, echoed by Cell Two. “Are they serious?” I ask the open room. It reads just like the plaques at the animal shelter in town but, surely, I can’t literally walk out with something as incredible as a shapeshifter?

I glance at the affixed plaque of #2:

SPRITE

Honeyblossom is the light of the party or room. Besides a natural effervescent personality, she has a natural effervescence. A bit flighty, Honeyblossom would do well in an open environment without the temptation of mischief.

A tiny pair of eyes peers over the sign through the glass front. They blink and a tiny nose and grinning mouth appear as well. I smile a bit in return but immediately look away. Sprites and mischief are practically synonymous; sorry, Honeyblossom.

Mostly due to the very large, heavily-breathing presence on the end, I examine the other labels from a safe distance. They outline a Mouther, Phoenix, Satori, Boggart, Imp, Baby Dragon, Unicorn, Tokoloshe, Taniwha, and that Minotaur. I catch names like Chatterbox, Imka, and Bob.

I also see that the door of the unicorn’s cell is slightly ajar; her sign askew. Either I am not the first visitor to this strange place, or Rainbow Sparkles, III figured things out on her own… I look around, twitching this way and that. My eyes meet those of a few remaining creatures and no one else, whether that’s a comforting audience or not.

“Oh-kay,” I exhale. Before Charles stopped the recorded message, it’d said all I had to do was activate a cell with my letter. After that, the creature inside was mine. But, do I want to bring one of these home? A Satori was pretty awesome in theory; in practice, not so much. He’d likely run away or hide, knowing precisely when I meant to throw him in the tub or tell him it was time for bed. And no way would I consider bringing home something larger than my car.

Which left at least three animals I’d dreamed about since childhood. Three mythical creatures I’d pored over in storybooks and often said aloud, “Oh, I wish it was real!” Three that would be really awesome to own.

One of those, if J.K. Rowling were correct, that would make the use of an exit vehicle unnecessary.

“What the heck, Beth? The letter and the recording said to choose one.” I pull the crumpled bunch of papers from my back pocket and smooth them out. Before I can change my mind, I walk toward the smoking glass of Cell #4.

phoenix-500469_1920

—–

This was in response to Peregrine Arc’s story prompt. You can join in, too! Just click here to read her amazing introduction.

 

Photo Credit:
Image by Mystic Art Design from Pixabay

 

© 2019 Chelsea Owens

That Liebster Award Thingie

Many thanks to Peregrine Arc for this here Liebster Award.

Liebster Flowers

 

In answer to her questions:

  1. Why is blogging called blogging? Why isn’t it called ejournaling or something similar, you know?
    *Ahem* It’s a portmanteau of “web” and “log.” In the old days, before you young’uns even had a microwave death trap for yer food or a cellular cancer ray fer yer textin’, a person who wrote online kept a web log.
    I blame the rising generation, George Orwell, and the Germans for the term.
    owl-2670138_1920
  2. If you ever actually came across a ghost (yours to invent) what would your honest reaction be, as far as you can tell? 👻
    That’s easy! I’d scream like a banshee (also a ghostly apparition) and run away.
  3. If an animal talked to you, would you respond back? Or would you run to the nearest neurologist? What’s the animal and what did it say to you?
    Assuming an animal spoke English to me, I believe it would be like Gary Larson’s Far Side of the dog translator: a bunch of mutts saying, “Hey! Hey! Hey! Hey!” I wouldn’t tell the neurologist anything; they charge way too much. And, dog is the first animal I thought of.
  4. You’re on stage, accepting your dream award. What’s the award and what did you do to deserve it? Who do you remember to thank in your speech? And, here’s the kicker: is there anyone you blow the whistle on? This is your chance now to start some change…
    I am so boring. I don’t even know of any awards besides the movie ones and that Nobel thing. I’d really just want to be extremely rich and famous, but for the best reasons. So; no, I wouldn’t be blowing any whistles -except on those idiots who don’t know how to use a roundabout.
  5. What do you think should be done about me-monsters? You know, those people who just rattle on about themselves at dinner parties until you bend your fork into a boomerang so the investigators can’t find the murder weapon?
    A boomerang fork is highly inventive! I’d go with that, or a laryngitis-shooting secret ring.
    cap-4075994_1920
  6. If you could have one book unpublished (as in never published and removed from time) what would it be and why?
    I would unpublish every single serial book that is crap (and all the movies, too). Yes, that counts as one.

And again, here are a list of sites you ought to read and follow. I try not to repeat people I’ve suggested from past nominations (here, here, here, and here):

PK Adams. Writes about running, religion, and life.

Bruce. The best at writing bad endings for his characters; recently taken to composing songs and sharing them.

Roberta Writes. She lives in South Africa and writes some creepy (and good) stuff.

John L. Malone. John’s about quick punches, short stories, and the nonsense that makes them.

Michael B. Fishman. Michael is funny, and a fantastic terrible poet.

Nominees, here are your questions if you wish to answer them:

  • Would you rather sleep in on Sunday, and would a cat sitting on your face change that answer?
  • Given an infinite number of monkeys and typewriters, how soon before they realize typewriters are outdated and they’ll need to learn sign language?
  • What is the best paper airplane design?
  • Who would win in a duel: chocolate volcano cake or bananas foster?
  • If you could choose one magical power, what powers would everyone else have?

 

According to P’Arc:
What is the Liebster Prize?

“The Liebster Prize is an award that exists only on the Internet and is awarded to bloggers by other bloggers. The first case of the award goes back to 2011. Liebester in German means sweet, kind, kind, dear, charming, kind, pleasant, valued, cute, endearing and welcome. It really is an excellent way to meet other bloggers and gain more visibility in the community.”

Use the links below to follow the rules and find the submission page:

https://theglobalaussie.com

Submission Page

Official Rules

 

Photo Credits:
Image by suju from Pixabay
Image by Виктория Бородинова from Pixabay

The Cure for Depression: Connect with a Human

Looking at tips for curing Depression? If not, stick around anyway and you might make a friend.

Which leads us into the first tip: Connect with a human.

I don’t know about the rest of the crowd, but the last thing I want to do when I’m down in my cozy depression pit is seek out other people. They are often the reason I crawled into my closet in the first place. They should seek me out, preferably with a bribe.

Unfortunately, people are rather self-centered. Usually, a person is most concerned with his own thoughts and feelings because that is who he is literally inside of. So, your (and my) dummy friends and family need at least a little tiny clue that we could use a helping hand. And a bribe.

Another failing of mine is a tendency to look at the great big huge picture of a problem and find (somehow) that I cannot even take one step toward progress. This is even worse when I am inside my depressive mind, trapped in a swirling vortex of apathy and negative self-talk.

What do we do? I will beat this tip over your head about 14 times: Start with small.

I happen to know that you can still get cell phone reception inside your mind/mud pit/closet/bathroom. So, the way to start small is by:

  1. Texting a friend
  2. Reading and commenting on safe and open blog posts. Most of us are nice, and know what you go through.
  3. Talking to your friend, partner, spouse, or roommate from behind the door.

I am also a big fan of pets as comforters. Go ahead and hide from the world for some recharge time, but bring your cat or dog or chinchilla with you. You can pet them all Dr. Evil style, tell them everything that sucks about humans, then connect with a person.

As amazing as animal companions are, however, you will gain the most benefit from other humans.

Yes, I know that is a scary idea. I spent nearly an entire counseling session arguing with my paid friend about NOT TRUSTING ANYONE because people hurt you. However, I also know that I need a few good people.

Connections with peers was found to be the #1 determinant of happiness by some dude at Pennsylvania University, even more so than sugary dessert consumption. Knowing that, give it a chance. Start small, and you’ll eventually have some peeps you can send anything from concerns to dirty jokes to.

It’s worth it. You’re worth it. I know.

 

Photo Credit:
Sandrachile .
Namcha ph

 

*Chelsea Owens is not a licensed anything, except a Class D driver in her home state, and shares all information and advice from personal experience and research.

Hallowe’en Serial, 5th Night

Continued from #4.

Like any sane woman with a few self-defense classes under her belt, Carol panicked. “Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!” she screamed and flailed around helplessly. Fortunately for her, her left elbow bumped the Door Lock button mid-flail.

She heard the lock engage in the driver’s door just as the owner of the glowing eyes suddenly threw itself at her window. “Eeeeeeeeeeaaaaaahg!” she screamed again, and fell over the middle console to get away. Teeth, tongue, dark fur, manic red eyes, and long, long claws scrabbled at the window. The claws were the worst; each *Screeeee!* leaving a line behind and surely weakening the surface.

Carol looked around her small car, wishing for anything that might help her. The most lethal object she saw was a pen. She didn’t keep so much as a snow scraper handy in the front seat, believing all tools belonged in the trunk.

*Critch* went the window-glass, just as she spotted the garage door opener. A hasty getaway was her only chance, storm or no. She stretched up and pressed it, a brief relief touching her panic as the door to outside lifted.

Her attacker paused, distracted. She was surprised to notice he appeared to have remains of clothing on his …person. Carol squinted and could make out a few torn, striped strips, buttons, a cuff; maybe what once was a pair of khakis. The feral animal turned back to look at her; its brow lowered into a scowl. Carol could hear it growling as she saw its lip curl up in a malicious grin.

The creature squatted, then leapt. She heard a *thump* above her and watched its back legs and bushy tail thrashing through the driver’s side window a half-second before she realized what it was doing. “Eeek!” she squeaked out as the horrific face appeared in the passenger side, upside-down. She watched the whole of its body fall across the window, then was treated to the same desperate scrabbling on the starboard side. The attacks were more forced, more rapid this time. The car rocked on its suspensions; the glass creaked and cracked.

Before she had time to talk herself out of it, Carol slid back into the driver’s seat and started the engine. ♪ *…they don’t know -When / its coming,  / oh when / but its coming* ♫… crooned the radio. She put the car into Reverse and gunned it as she never had in her entire life.

♫ *Keep the car running* ♫

The poor sedan lurched and whined, hopping down the driveway in short, lame bursts. She smelt burning. The car was old, but hadn’t shown any signs of failure recently. She looked up and saw the hairy creature rising from where it had fallen in her hasty escape. Why couldn’t she go?! And then she saw the parking brake.

Without hesitation, she released it with a *Clunk*. The car shot backwards and collided into and up the opposite curb before she eased off the accelerator. Switching to Drive, she tore away down the street. She dared not look back, even to see if the garage door was still open.

♪ *And they don’t know / When it’s coming, oh when is it coming? / Keep the car running / Keep the car running / Keep the car running* ♫

The storm was closer; lightning illuminated the houses just a block away from her street and rain and wind buffeted her battered car. Just as she thought to slow down for the approaching stop sign, she heard a long, loud, Owooooooooooo!

Her eyes found the rearview mirror against her will. A flash of lightning showed a dark shape running down the street after her; hunger glinting in its red eyes and white fangs.

Traffic laws would have to wait. Quickly checking for oncoming cars as she drove, she ignored the stop and squealed a turn out onto the main road. Her sole thought was to get as far away from the man-creature as possible. She hoped no police were out, and not because she worried for her spotless driving record.

Continued at #6.