Wednesday, July 6, 2011

The Tale of the Halfling Gardener


Once upon a time, there was a pudgy halfling who spent all day long tending his garden. Then one day his mule ran away. When his neighbor, the cartwright, came by for tea, he told the gardener, "I'm so sorry, That's horrible news."

"Maybe," the halfling gardener replied, puffing on his pipeweed.

The next day, the mule returned to the gardener's home, bringing three other mules in tow.

"Four mules?" the cartwright exclaimed, "You could sell some and buy a cart. How wonderful!"

"Maybe," the halfling gardener replied, puffing on his pipeweed.

The next day, the mules ate all of the gardener's radishes and carrots, then their eyes began to glow red and they turned into giant, ravenous were-mules. Crazed for blood, they squeezed into the chicken coop and ate all of the birds and eggs, then went to sleep.

"Holy crap!" the cartwright hissed from across the road, not daring to set foot near the gardener's home. "You must be cursed!"

"Maybe," the halfling gardener replied, puffing on his pipeweed.

The next day, an army of orcs tromped through town. The one-eyed leader decided to raid the gardener's property for food. When the orcs got to the chicken coop, the were-mules leap out.  Orc body parts flew in all directions.  The were-mules killed all the orcs, ate them, and ran off to parts unknown.

The cartwright stood staring at the gardener, jaw almost scraping the road. "Truly, you are the most lucky halfing alive!"

"Maybe," the halfling gardener replied, puffing on his pipeweed.

--

(lovingly ripped off from The Parable of Taoist Farmer.)

- Ark

7 comments:

  1. There's a North African tale along the same lines, but this is the first time I've heard one from the Shire. Well done.

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  2. I want me a hobbit pipe now. lol.

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  3. I use this story every semester! (Well, you know, the original.) I like your version. :-)

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  4. Great story and great picture. Where did it come from...the picture?

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  5. @Taketoshi - Thanks. :)

    @Harald - Really, do you happen to know the name of the tale? I've got a book on African myths, but haven't run across one that was like the Taoist Farmer.

    @Zombie - I'm sure they have them on ebay. For the pipeweed, I'm sure you'll have to go to the Shire for that. ;)

    @Theodric the Obscure - Really? What are you teaching? And thanks.

    @Wymarc - I found the picture on a blog somewhere, with no indication of where it had come from. I'd love to find out who did. it.

    @The Jovial Priest - Nope - not mine. If I could draw that good, I would change careers likity-split.

    - Ark

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