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Friday Fragments: The Lion, the Tweet, and the War-drub

Friday Fragments—what are they? Could they be delicious toaster pastries? Perhaps those little bits of foil that fall of a chocolate orange when you’re eating it? The alternative name for dead skin cells from Rosalind Russell?

Let’s find out together, shall we?

Because it’s 2017, and this year, we KICK THE BOOTY OF EVIL.

So let’s blog more, kids! Whoo!

As I type this post, the blustering windbag who is currently the pretender to America’s throne is having a ball on Twitter, comparing himself (favorably, natch) to the current host of his celebration of crass capitalism, The Apprentice:

Which is pretty much par for the course, except of course, as Marlow Stern points out:

So, yeah. Watch the birdie, everyone! TWEET TWEET!

Friday Fragments: Another Crazy Claire Idea That Will Probably Differ in Execution from its Concept

As I was thinking about this last night, it occurred to me that a bit of short fiction on this blog of mine every week wouldn’t be the worst thing. It could be, say, topical. Allegorical. Involve talking animals, because I read a lot of Kipling as a kid and tried to keep the good bits without absorbing all the well-intentioned, imperialist racism.


So, here’s a very short story for you. A bit of allegory for your Friday. Enjoy your weekend, and hey—maybe think about what you and yours might bring to the table during a good old fashioned stampede.


“What we really need right now,” said the lion, “is to come together. To really get past the recent…unpleasantness. Wouldn’t you agree?”

The rest of the pride nodded sagely. One of them threw a bone to a nearby jackal, who snatched it gratefully and retreated to a nearby corner to gnaw on it furtively, growling defensively at its peers if one drew too close.

“The way I see it, things have been too good for too long for certain undesirables,” the largest lion continued, carefully grooming its synthetic mane and licking blood from its round, tawny face. “What we need to do is make the Savannah great again. We’ll take as much as we want, whenever we want. And that means more meat for us…and, of course, those who support our great, huge, incredible plan.”

He stared hard at the jackals, who cringed and nodded eagerly, hoping for another bone.

“But what about the prey? We dare not overfeed. We dare not seize their grazing lands. They outnumber us by the millions,” said a lioness whose eyes weren’t quite as dull as the rest of the cubs feeding off their father’s scraps. The hyena who sat at her father’s side growled, but the lions ignored it.

The lion snorted, its golden claws raking the corpse under its slavering jowls. “What about them? The hippos hate the zebras. The gazelles blame the buffalo for stealing their food, their homes, their happiness. And the elephants?” The massive lion rolled over languidly, chuckling deep in his throat. “I’d say we’ve got nothing to worry about there.”

The rest of the pride joined in, not wanting to appear anything but supportive. The jackals, as always, watched for a fat scrap they could snatch without being cuffed.

“No, I don’t think we have anything to worry about from the prey,” the lion said after a lazy moment. “It would take a stampede to destroy what we’ve built here. A wall of furious horns and hooves and trumpeting trunks. And as long as they’re fighting over watering holes, or whether we will let them love one another—as if that is up to us!—or even whether something as basic, as necessary, as going to the bathroom is up for discussion, we have nothing to fear.”

“Father, are you sure?” Asked the lioness, not completely convinced.

The mighty lion yawned, its teeth gleaming in the neon lights of Pride Tower Rock and Casino.

“Of course. I’m the king of the jungle, aren’t I?”

“But father,” said the lioness, confused. “Lions don’t live in the jungle.”

The tawny male turned his squinty, if cunning, gaze on his daughter.

“Look who’s catching on.”

Published inAmericaI am not such a nice personIll-conceived schemesPoliticsShort Fiction

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