The Jaguar King

The jaguar

King of the jungle

A cat fierce and strong

Rules the trees and land

At the apex of the food chain

With crushing bite he feeds

All is his domain

 

The anaconda

A giant more fish than reptile

Some say

Rules the Amazon shallows

The swamps, the rivers, underbrush

His creed is ambush

Squeeze, drown and swallow

 

The tapir

Grazes unworried

Thoughts are miles away

Yet danger is all around

The rotund herbivore

(So think the jaguar and the snake)

Is prey and nothing more

 

The jungle

The all-knowing great equalizer

Rules both flora and fauna

It is the domain

When the rain forest decrees

Prey becomes hunter

Hunter becomes meat

 

The anaconda

Declares himself king

The jungle sighs

And all is lost for the beast

The serpent meets its fate

Snake becomes chum

Piranhas feast

By David Madrid

Contact: David Madrid

© 2020 FabulousFables.com

The “Jaguar King” is a poem about a fable titledKing of the Junglewritten in 2016. The fable’s teaches a moral that should be heeded today. Read King of the Jungle.

Monkey: Basketball Wizard

They called him Monkey.

He was short, brown, had big ears and a smile wide as the Pecos River.

He was a most interesting-looking fellow.

When I first saw him, he stepped onto the basketball court as if he owned it.

Then he owned us. All of us on the court.

He moved around the court. Smoothly.

He mesmerized us with his grace.

He flowed. Then suddenly he moved the other way.

And “Whoosh!” Basket!

Wait. What just happened?

That’s how it was when I met Monkey. I liked him immediately.

I had recently moved into the neighborhood. I now discovered I was playing on Monkey’s court.

I admired Monkey’s moves.

I emulated those moves. He helped me master them.

In the finger-freezing cold of winter.

In the blazing heat of summer.

I met Monkey there on the Eddy School court.

Dribble, dribble, feint and spin.

I learned Monkey’s secrets.

I never matched him, but I learned to be competitive.

I held my own against Monkey until he unveiled a new move, a new trick, a new shot.

Monkey’s most  dangerous weapon was his imagination, which guided his wizardry.

And defense? Forget about it.

Monkey was quick, and he stole that ball.

Although he was short, Monkey could swat your shot.

He intimidated players just by waving his arms. Pass and he steals the ball. Shoot and get blocked.

My favorite times on that court were when Monkey and I were on the same team.

We had our moves.

No-look passes. Pick-and-Roll. Feint and shoot.

A bounce pass between a defender’s legs.

Basket!

Wait. What just happened?

It was our court.

We ruled.

Kids came from far and wide to play.

Everybody played.

It didn’t matter your talent or how you shot the ball.

All that mattered was the game.

It was Monkey’s game. He decreed that everyone play.

He was the best. Those who competed against him learned.

And that, I think, is the highest compliment Monkey would accept, that he taught you something.

I wonder now.

I first assumed Monkey got his nickname because of his height, big ears and perpetual smile.

Though the name may have be given derogatorily — playground kids can be cruel — I didn’t consider it so.

The first sightings of Monkey coming down the street toward the court always elicited loud cries from the kids of “Monkey! Monkey!”

He basked in the attention.

Did the nickname bother him? I truly don’t know. He never complained.

I think of the nickname differently though. I believe it was his moves that earned him the nickname Monkey.

Imagine a monkey swinging through the trees. Effortlessly.

Vine to vine. Tree to tree.

Now picture my friend Monkey. No vines to swing on. No trees. No jungle.

Only a big concrete slab of court and a basketball that came alive in his hands.

Imagine a small boy, pure muscle and grin, flying effortlessly toward the goal and gently letting the basketball fly off his fingertips.

Basket! Nothing but net!

Wait. What just happened?

By David Madrid

This story is dedicated to Monkey, a childhood friend and basketball mentor.

Contact: David Madrid

© 2020 FabulousFables.com

A Little Split of Rainbow

It was a little split of rainbow

That peeked from behind the clouds

Where was the rest of the rainbow?

Where was that giant arc?

Legs bowed across the sky

Feet straddling shiny pots of gold

 

That rainbow, I am taught,

Is nothing but

Reflection, refraction and dispersion

of light in water drops

 

It was just a little split of rainbow

That gave promise nonetheless

That God would not

Destroy the earth with flood

Again

The rainbow is his covenant with man

Or

Is the rainbow merely

Reflection, refraction and dispersion

of light in water drops?

 

Maybe I glimpsed a mighty angel’s

radiant rainbow crown

Did an angel watch from beyond the clouds?

Wielding fiery sword?

Fighting for my soul?

 

Or

Was the rainbow only

Reflection, refraction and dispersion

of light in water drops?

And nothing more

 

Maybe it was just a split of rainbow

Sent to blink a spectrum of light

Red, orange, yellow, green

Blue, Indigo, and violet

 

Or

Did the little split of rainbow

Sneak through to wink at me?

A miracle?

A gift from God?

I believe

Indeed!

 

David Madrid

Contact: David Madrid

© 2020 FabulousFables.com

Happy New Year and Peaceful New Decade

I wish you a fabulous New Year and a peaceful New Decade.

Let me be so bold as to issue a plea.

Let us keep our hearts peaceful and full of love. The only way to defeat the forces of evil, is by love, and with love, comes peace.

It will take love in each of our hearts to turn this new year and decade into the positive future we deserve.

We must recognize the humanity of those with whom we interact. It does not matter what color they are, what religion they are, what ethnicity they are, what they believe, or even how they behave.

We are all children of that force that created the universe, the all-powerful, unconditional loving force that turned us from stardust into humans. Call him God. Call him Allah. Call him the Great Spirit.

He is the same. Always.

We change.

So let us change for the better.

Let us be kind to one another. Let us love one another. With love in each of our hearts, we defeat the evil that besets this Earth, and a new day will dawn, an era of peace and goodwill.

Love and Peace

David Madrid

Contact: David Madrid

© 2020 FabulousFables.com

Rastas Boodrow: Mathematical Mastermind

 

Rastas Boodrow was just like many other little boys in that he loved games. All kinds, but especially sports. He was good at sports. He loved computer games as well, but Rastas didn’t own any.

Rastas preferred to play outside anyway.

Rastas was poor. His parents earned minimum wage. His dad worked two jobs, but the family never got ahead. Financially, they were losing pace, not even running in place, one illness away from homelessness.

Rastas was different from most the neighborhood kids because he was Jamaican. He was darker than his peers; he had dreads, and he dressed in second-hand clothes and wore old beat-up sneakers.

Whereas, most children his age — Rastas was 7 — would be ostracized for their poverty by their classmates, Rastas was not.

Rastas was popular. He was an exceptional athlete. He was fast. He was strong. He had a winner’s heart. Everybody wanted to be on Rastas’ team.

Rastas was also smart. He liked to read books, and he loved the intricacies of math. Not just adding and subtracting, but now multiplying and dividing, fractions and decimals, meters and milliliters.

Oh yes, he was advanced for his age when it came to math. He was born with numbers running through his mind. He was a genius who already pondered the possibility of endless mathematical probabilities. Maybe that is why he was a bit weird.

Rastas had a compassionate heart. He loved deeply.

He loved his parents even though there were no gifts for him or his sister Amancia under the tree. Christmas was two days away, and nothing.

Rastas knew something would appear on Christmas night from his parents.

It would be clothes or shoes. The real gift would come from Santa Claus. Rastas and his sister would rely on Santa Claus for a perfect gift just like they did every year.

This year, Rastas wasn’t confident he made Santa’s nice list. He dreaded landing on the naughty list. Especially when he wanted a special gift.

He wanted a red bicycle. That wasn’t too much to ask was it?

Rastas imagined the many possibilities a bike would give. He would be mobile, go where he pleased.

No more rides to the library. Rastas didn’t own a phone, so he read books. The library was a magical place, and Rastas didn’t understand why he didn’t see more young people there. Rastas also read above his age level. That’s how he knew so much about math.

He also loved the fantasy books. He imagined he was in the worlds he read about. Leaving this world for a while was comforting.

Rastas was at the age that little boys begin to develop a strange sense of humor that can sometimes lead to cruel pranks.

Though he loved his sister Amancia with all his being, he sometimes pranked her. She didn’t hold it against him. Amancia was just as her name reflected: one who loves unconditionally. There was no doubt  Santa would be good to her.

Rastas also didn’t obey his parents as he should.

They came home tired and still made dinner and helped with homework. And how did Rastas repay them? By doing dumb stuff like hiding his clothes under his bed rather than hanging them in the closet.

Now I know that sounds stupid. Rastas didn’t know why he did it; he just did it.

So it left him no choice but to appeal to the big man himself: Santa Claus. How would he get Santa’s attention long enough to explain? He didn’t have a ride to take him to the mall, where he knew Santa hung out.

That’s when one of those mathematical possibilities presented itself to young Rastas. He would study the fireplace and its flue. Measure it, and turn his problem into an equation. Therein was the answer.

So my friends, read about Rastas’ solution to his problem in “Rastas Boodrow: A Christmas Story“.

David Madrid

Contact: David Madrid

© 2019 FabulousFables.com

Rudy Poo Tootee Does His Duty

 

Rudy Poo Tootee was not a name anybody called the red-nosed hero  to his face, but that was his nickname among the Reindeer Corps, his elite team of Santa’s sleigh pullers.

Oh the reindeer respected Rudy alright, but Rudy was — how shall I say this in a delicate manner? — somewhat anal. You know, head so far up the butt his rigidity prevented him from bending over.

Rudy’s training regimen was strictly formulaic. March, march, march. Run, run, run. Crawl, crawl, crawl. Jump, jump, jump. Roll, roll, roll. Fly, fly, fly. Now do it again until you get it right. Every day, day in and day out. Oh it was tiring training to be an elite reindeer.

But back to the nickname.

Forgive me for transitioning from the anal to flatulent. Don’t shoot the messenger, I’m just telling you the story as it happened.

Anyway.

One day Santa walked onto the training grounds looking for his reindeer leader, and he yelled “Rudy!” which was what everyone called the red-nosed one.

Right after that, Rufus — Rudy’s cousin — the snot-nosed reindeer, let loose with a gassy “Pa Too Tee.” Not silent, but deadly nonetheless, judging by the reindeers’ wrinkled up faces.

Now, you have to realize that despite Rufus’ love of bodily-function humor, he hadn’t intended to let loose at that particular moment. Oh, he intended to fart with great vigor and release a really smelly onion bomb.

That was the only reason he was on the parade grounds that day. He wasn’t much into Rudy’s training obsession. Rufus was all about the jokes.

Rufus ate three onions from Mrs. Claus’ kitchen in hopes of building up the most effective flatulence.

But he was trying to hold the fart in in deference to Santa, whom he hadn’t expected that day. Unable to stifle the fart, it escaped him with a three-part, almost musical, sound.

“Poo Too Tee.”

The Reindeer Corps heard Santa’s “Rudy” and then Rufus’ “Poo Too Tee” and seized on the rhyme to dub their leader Rudy Poo Tootee.

But I digress from my original intention. I really meant to come here to remind you how we left the reindeer cousins at the end of the story “Rufus the Snot-Nosed Reindeer.”

In that story, Rufus unintentionally seized Rudy’s authority and upended the status quo. When given the opportunity to regain his head reindeer role, Rudy Poo Tootee does his duty.

Read “Rufus the Snot-Nosed Reindeer: The Reckoning“, to learn how the story turned out, not only for the reindeer cousins, but ultimately, for children all over the world.

David Madrid

Contact: David Madrid

© 2019 FabulousFables.com

Rufus is no Doofus: A reindeer’s story

 

Rufus was a snot-nosed reindeer, but don’t let that gross you out.

Because within his veins ran the blood of reindeer royalty.

Yep. Somewhere along the reindeer evolution timeline, a strain of reindeer blood exerted itself and produced some remarkable offspring, reindeer who would do incredible things in their lives.

Two of these reindeer princes were cousins, but as different from one another as a frog and a flea.

Both came to their greatness through humble beginnings.

One was bullied and taunted and not allowed to join in reindeer games.

The other had no need for reindeer games. He was a warrior with one goal in life: to wrestle.

You will be surprised to learn that both cousins saved Christmas.

One is famous for lighting Santa’s way.

The other is not famous except in the North Pole, where he is as legendary as his famous cousin.

So I’ll tell you the story of the not-so-famous reindeer.

He was called Rufus the snot-nosed reindeer, but he didn’t care.

Rufus was not a reindeer to worry about drama, idiocy or nicknames.

He was a reindeer who cared for only one thing: the thrill of of a competitive grapple.

Read his story: Rufus the Snot-Nosed Reindeer.

David Madrid

Contact: David Madrid

© 2020 FabulousFables.com

Thanksgiving: A Bird’s Perspective

 

Thanksgiving.

A time of gratitude and counting our blessings.

A time when November breezes anticipate December freezes.

A time when families and loved ones come together and share a meal.

A time of green bean casserole and pumpkin pie.

A time of turkey slaughter on a massive scale.

Don’t get me wrong; I’m not complaining. I am as guilty of enjoying Thanksgiving turkey as the next guy.

But for one tiny hummingbird, Thanksgiving was a time of terror.

Gilbert, the hummingbird,  heard that humans eat birds on this holiday.

He feared he could become a meal, a morsel for sure, but a meal nonetheless, for a boy who showed too much interest in Gilbert’s movements.

You’ve probably figured out that Gilbert the Dancing Hummingbird is not your typical Thanksgiving story.

As with many stories on FabulousFables.com, this story sprouted from a kernel of truth: a little boy’s love for a green-headed hummingbird.

David Madrid

Contact: David Madrid

© 2019 FabulousFables.com

The Age of the Night Stalker

 

Growing up in bygone days, especially in the summertime, we were free and the outdoors held daily promise.

We greeted the world with our eyes wide open. We took nature in. We rolled in it, hid in it, fell in it, climbed it. We played, swam, biked, hiked.

We embraced life by going outside.

A mystery I’ve observed is that the more time you spend outdoors, the higher the probability that outdoor things will happen to you.

Things like acquiring a great horned owl in the dead of winter.

How many families can say they have owned one of these majestic creatures? A killer that stands almost 2 feet tall with a wing span of almost 4 1/2 feet. Not many families have had the privilege, I’m certain.

My family was blessed to have owned a great horned owl.

Keep in mind that when I say my family “owned” the owl, I am taking liberties with language, because can anyone really own a fierce predator? A killer of the night?

No. You cannot.

So I wrote the poem “The Great Horned Owl” to tell you my story of the full-grown night stalker and its relationship with my family.

When I was young, maybe 12 years old, the great horned owl lived in our shed. A shed my hound dog, a fearless canine, claimed as his own, until the arrival of the raptor.

So I share this story with you. It took place in another time, in an age of simplicity, innocence and minimal technology. In an age when we went outside. In an age when poems rhymed.

I hope you enjoy the “The Great Horned Owl”, a true story.

David Madrid

Contact: David Madrid

© 2019 FabulousFables.com

The Dreamcatcher: The Backstory

Is magic real?

For the purposes of this story, “The Dreamcatcher, let us say that magic is real.

Let’s not talk about the magic performed by illusionists. Let’s talk about magic practiced by brujos.

A brujo, for those who don’t know, is a yerbero; many are of Mayan, Aztec or Native American descent. A yerbero is a sorcerer who learns the secrets of herbs and plants to create magic.

Generations of knowledge have been acquired and catalogued by these magicians. Knowledge gleaned before the days of technology deadened the spirit of the people. Knowledge carefully hidden from everyone but yerberos.

Brujo magic can protect you, cure disease, or cause disease.

There are brujos who immerse themselves in the dark arts. They are dangerous beings who harm and kill. They can take the shapes of predators and monsters.

For that reason, Brujos scare villagers. There is always that little house on the outskirts of towns that stretch from Mexico to the tip of Argentina where Brujos live. For the most part, residents avoid the magicians for fear of incurring their wrath and ending up under their spell or dead.

Villagers will approach a brujo if he is known to be a curandero, a healer. The curandero is a benevolent being.

An especially powerful brujo can brew a potion and spin an incantation whose effects overlap worlds. They force humans, who have no connection to the supernatural, to suddenly notice there are more things in heaven and earth than are dreamt of in their philosophies.

In the story “The Dreamcatcher“, two brothers have a grandfather named Balam, an ancient name of a Mayan supernatural being who guards cornfields and villages.

Grandfather Balam is a great brujo. Perhaps the best. He is a good man and uses his powers for the greater good. He travels the world and devotes his life to learning the secrets of the plants known to shamans and healers.

Most brujos live their lives never exhausting the knowledge held within the plants and cacti of the deserts of the Southwestern United States and Mexico and the flora of the jungles of Mexico and Central and South America.

Grandfather is different. He was a rambling man who devotes his life to learning. He has a place somewhere in Mexico, but nobody knows where. Mostly, he is on the road or crossing the oceans.

Balam loves his grandsons, who don’t know their grandfather is a brujo. But grandfather is mysterious and has told them fantastical stories from around the world that, when put into perspective, are stories only a brujo would tell.

Balam traverses dimensions and can move from our world to the dream world and back. Like I said, he is a powerful brujo, but he is also a benevolent warrior, a curandero.

Out of necessity, Balam visits the Ojibwe people, Native Americans who created the dreamcatcher. Grandfather learns the secrets of the spiderwebs, and then he uses his skills, learned from worldwide study combined with careful Ojibwe guidence, to build the ultimate dreamcatcher for his grandsons.

Find out why grandfather had to build “The Dreamcatcher“.

David Madrid

Contact: David Madrid