Tag Archives: storyteller

Thanksgiving 2023

Thanksgiving is a day of giving thanks for our many blessings.

Be thankful you are alive, for life is the most precious of gifts.

Sometimes it may seem unfortunate to be alive, but put those misgivings aside this holiday and thank someone who deserves your gratitude.

The thing about thankfulness is it can release the self doubt within you and make the soul cleaner somehow.

I am not going to lecture you about giving thanks, which you can do face-to-face or by simply acknowledging it in your heart.

This blog is to reintroduce you to a Thanksgiving story: Gilbert the Dancing Hummingbird.

It is a different kind of Thanksgiving story.

Read it here: Gilbert the Dancing Hummingbird

© 2023 FabulousFables.com

Email: David Madrid

The Spider and the Fly

Mary Howitt, (1799–1888) published The Spider and the Fly in 1829. It is a cautionary tale about the use of flattery and charm to mask evil and unsavory intentions. Although written so long ago, the poem is as relevant today as the day it was written. That is why I have included the poem here in FabulousFables.com. The poem’s lesson is timeless.

Moral: Beware the honey-tongued charlatan.

Read “The Spider and the Fly.”

© 2023 FabulousFables.com

Email: David Madrid

The Dreamcatcher: A Horror Story

The dreamcatcher was a gift a grandfather gave to his grandsons to protect them from bloody nightmares.

Though not technically a Halloween story, “The Dreamcatcher” is a horror story, which makes it a good story for Halloween.

The relic, though, held power beyond the capture of the dreams of little boys.

Fed by the nightmares of brothers Charles and Victor, it had the power to protect.

And protect it did.

Read “The Dreamcatcher.”

You will be happy you did, as you find that there are forces out there unseen, unknown and supernatural, forces the modern eye cannot see.

© 2023 FabulousFables.com

Email: David Madrid

Halloween Cometh

Werewolves are scary.

You’ve seen the movies.

A person growing into a wolf with bones stretching and cracking, with face lengthening outward into a werewolf mug.

Hands and feet turn into long sharp claws.

Growing twice the size of human dimensions.

Hair everywhere, top to bottom, coarse.

Humanity disappears as the wolf asserts itself.

The werewolf lives to kill and eat; he has the heart of a wolf after all.

And Halloween is prime werewolf night, in case you didn’t know.

So many humans just walking around disguised.

Werewolf delight.

What if werewolves are real?

Would you walk a bit more carefully in the full moonlight?

Your body tingling with the feeling that a vicious beast may tear into you at any moment?

Where the snap of a twig, you are sure, will bring instant death?

Scary stuff for sure.

Which brings me to this: I have a story for you.

It’s about a werewolf family on a Halloween night.

It is called “The Lonesome Werewolf,” and names have been changed to protect the innocent.

Is the story true?

Read it and decide for yourself.



Willie Werewolf, the main character in this story, was drawn by artist Vincent Rogers — better known as Owsley — in Owsley’s younger days.

© 2023 FabulousFables.com

Email: David Madrid

Mocking TV and Movies

TV and movies, love them or hate them, but definitely mock them.

I love television and movies as much as the next person, but mostly, I love to make fun of those goofy scenes that defy reality and the laws of physics.

My mockery is a wicked pleasure that hurts no one, unless you are watching the picture with me and have to listen to my critiques.

I’m not going to reveal the titles of the works I criticize, because these flaws are in so many television episodes and movies.

Viewers deserve better than sloppy entertainment, so I came up with a “Bugs Me Quotient” to judge weak scenes. I wish I could tell you how I arrived at my quotient, but the formula is so complex that only aliens and amoebas can understand it now.

I can tell you the higher to quotient, the more ridicule these scenes deserve.

Here are some mockable moments from action movies and TV and their Bugs Me Quotient.

Heroes are the good guys in this blog. They are fleeing bad guys down a corridor with closed doors. The good guys find an unlocked door and run through it, but as they flee, they don’t close the door behind them. Thus the bad guys know which door the hero used. This occurs in many movies even when there is no chase; hardly anyone closes the doors behind them anymore.

Bugs me quotient: As one who closes doors behind me, and when needed, I lock the door, I give a bugs me quotient of 100 percent because it bugs me every time I see it. Close the door.

There is a shootout between two sides, each armed with machine guns and automatic weapons, and they shoot and shoot and shoot and spray cars, stores and buildings with multiple bullets as innocent bystanders run in all directions. Both sides miss their targets and the bystanders. The shooters eventually run away.

Bugs me quotient: A machine gun or automatic weapon increases the odds that a blind person could hit a target. But what’s the excuse if you aren’t blind, and you do a whole lot of shooting and nobody gets hit? My bugs me quotient is 90 percent, because the incompetence shown in these battles makes them unbelievable, and therefore, uninteresting. It’s just a bunch of noise.

There is a shootout in a house, and the shooters have high powered weapons. Yet the targets hide behind the interior kitchen wall next to the doorway, and the drywall protects them from numerous bullets. Unless the wall is concrete or steel, which is unlikely in most homes, it won’t stop bullets. Drywall does not stop bullets, and the interior walls of most homes are made of drywall.

Bugs me quotient: Another win for disrespecting the audience for the sake of more shooting. If heroes are hiding from bullets, give them something bulletproof to hide behind. Put a little effort into the scenario or change it. My bugs me quotient is 80 percent. Shooting for the sake of shooting is poor entertainment.

Hero gets shot, usually in the shoulder or just a graze, and it doesn’t slow the hero down. If the hero gets shot all over, hero is down until patched up, usually by a veterinarian, and then hero is back in the game. The wounded hero kills the bad guy and walks away. But when hero’s back is turned, bad guy comes back to life and attacks hero in one last desperate attempt at murder. The hero, of course, finishes off the bad guy, finally.

Bugs me quotient: Getting shot hurts a lot and will put you down for a long time. Bullets will kill you. My bugs me quotient is 35 percent. Blatant over exaggeration bugs me, but I understand the story must move along, and so we must suspend belief for the hero to complete his objective.

Hero is tortured. He is hung by his hands several feet off the floor for hours or days. He is shocked with battery cables as his feet hang in a tub of water. After he is brought down from his height, he lies stomach down across a table. Hero is in horrid pain from hanging so long. Then the torturer pours a pail of boiling water on hero’s naked back, before throwing a bag of salt onto hero’s burns. Hero is rescued and needs help out of his dungeon. Hero cannot walk on his own because of the brutal torture. But minutes later, burns are gone and hero goes after the bad guys as if nothing happened. Maybe there is blood.

Bugs me quotient: Forget all the other torture, the boiling water and salt alone would have rendered hero incapable of continuing that day. My bugs me quotient is 90 percent. Why does this bug me so much? If you can’t justify a torture’s effects, leave it out or change it.

Hero must escape or save someone by swimming underwater. We find that our heroes can hold their breaths for up to 5 minutes or longer and swim great lengths while navigating treacherous courses of underwater obstacles, and sometimes, enemies. Five minutes is a long time underwater, and some distances would be impossible to swim in those five minutes.

Bugs me quotient: Few can hold their breath underwater while moving for five minutes, and fewer still can swim such long distances without breathing. My bugs me quotient is 10 percent. Some people — think Navy Seals — can do these things, so I gladly suspend belief for a good underwater action scene.

Hero is chased to a cliff where hundreds of feet below the ocean or river awaits. Hero jumps off cliff to escape bad guys and lands perfectly in the water so that no legs are broken, and fortunately, the water is deep enough the hero survives.

Bugs me quotient: First off an urgent public service alert: Never! And I mean Never! jump or dive into water without first knowing how deep the water is and if there are any rocks near the surface. You can break your neck and drown. My bugs me quotient is 10 percent. The hero has no choice but to jump or be captured and tortured and killed by the enemy.

So that is my list.

Movie makers should use common sense to stay as true to reality as possible. It’s the simple things you ignore, and the outright flaws put into a scene to make it bloodier or more violent, that leads us to mock your work.

Ha, ha, ha. We laugh at your gaffes.

David Madrid

Contact: David Madrid

© 2023 FabulousFables.com

The Runaway

Despite rumors to the contrary, I have never been a runaway.

Yet these ugly rumors persist that when I was a wee lad of 3 to 5, I had a penchant for running away.

If I was running away, where would I go? Had I formulated a plan of escape? Did I have a destination?

Nah. I wasn’t running; I was exploring, and sometimes that took hours.

One morning I disappeared from home without permission. I crossed three mesquite-filled lots to visit my Aunt Tina on 11th Street.

I walked the street but I could not find the house; I was on the wrong street.

As I looked about I saw a blonde-haired boy, about 7 years old, standing on his porch watching me. The boy wore slippers and plaid pajamas under a bright red robe.

“Hi,” he yelled.

“Hi,” I returned.

“What’s your name?” the kid asked. “Do you live around here? Where are you going? What’s your name?”

“My name is David. I’m looking for my aunt’s house. I can’t find it.”

“You want to come inside and play?”

Just like that, I forgot about my aunt and her house.

“OK,” I said.

His name was Joey. He was home sick from school, and his mother had to work, so he was alone and bored. He did not look sick to me, but what did I know?

I was too young for school. We went into his bedroom and there I saw the biggest collection of toys outside a department store.

There were cars, a fire truck, Teddy bears, balls, bats and games.

Best of all, Joey had the biggest collection of miniature green soldiers and painted cowboys and Indians.

We took his bedspread and blanket and fluffed then into a mountain where we fought wars using the soldiers and cowboys and Indians.

Occasionally, we brought in the fire truck to clear the dead.

It bothered us not a bit that we used combatants from different time periods.

Needless to say, hours passed, and then Joey told me his mother would be home soon, so I had to leave.

I walked back across the fields, and when I reached the end of 14th Street, where I lived, I could see my mother walking up and down the street. It appeared she was looking for something.

I wondered what she had lost.

That is until she saw me, and it was then I realized I was in trouble again for running away.

I could not escape my reputation as a runaway.

Neither could I stop my explorations, leading to more accusations of running away.

Finally, there was an egregious incident when I disobeyed my father and got a good whipping.

Yes, I admit he told me I could go to the store on my bicycle as long as I came straight home, and I did not come straight home. I think it was the word straight that messed me up.

My father convinced me that I had to change, and I adjusted accordingly. I either asked permission or shortened my adventures so nobody noticed I was gone.

Eventually, I was old enough to disappear for a day with no one giving it a second thought as long I was home for family dinner.

Thus ended my my runaway years that never were.

David Madrid

Contact: David Madrid

© 2023 FabulousFables.com

The Tree

There was a tree

It was a special tree

A sacred tree

It sat outside our chicken coop in the adjacent lot

Behind it was a desert of lush mesquites and prickly cactus

The tree was not alone

It stood with two trees to the left

And two trees to the right

The tree’s branches whispered

“Climb me. Climb me.”

So I did

I climbed the tree limb by limb until I was high up in the leaves

From up there I saw the entire world

Beginning with the chicken coop below

I saw the rooster strutting about

His hens much impressed

Lover Boy I called him

He was the meanest rooster that ever lived

I saw the graveled road that led to our house

I saw my dad drive up the road when he got home from work

I ran inside and scooped the dimes in his lunch box

My dimes, purposely left there for me

I saw my backyard where my dad killed a tarantula

Where my mother hung our just-laundered clothes to dry

I saw my neighbor’s backyard where I had suffered a run-away horse incident

The tree embraced me

I was safe

It enveloped me and breathed

Absorbing carbon dioxide and releasing sweet oxygen

I was cloaked

Nobody could see me

Nor did anyone know where I was

I moved about within the tree sometimes for hours

The tree revealed the universe to me through colorful stories

Full of adventure, heroics, danger, happiness and joy

Each limb offered a tale

I was on a ship at sea, a barrelman in a crow’s nest

I spotted land and saved the crew from dehydration

Beautiful island people swam to our ship to greet us

I was also a cowboy tracking bandits from above

Woe to the outlaw that rode below me

I was Tarzan the Ape Man living in my tree house

I was in a vessel making for the edge of space

Avoiding black holes

In that tree I could be whatever I wanted

Wherever I wanted

The tree was magic

It held the mystery of the cosmos within its leaves

Does the tree still stand?

I do not know

What kind of a tree was it?

Again, I don’t know

Nevertheless; in my mind it will always be my tree

The moral: Value the tree, for it is a giver of life

And a keeper of imagination

David Madrid

Contact: David Madrid

© 2023 FabulousFables.com

Dedicated to my dad Joe Madrid on this Father’s Day, June 18, 2023. May his spirit dwell within the trees.

Where’s the punctuation? you ask. I wasn’t feeling it when I wrote this piece. Sometimes we can break the rules of writing to have a bit of fun. Learn your punctuation though. It is important for most your writing and your grades in school.

A BB to the Buttocks

“Pull down your pants and bend over,” my big brother Joe instructed me one cold winter morning.

Joe was my hero; I worshiped him as a nun worships Jesus, so when he commanded; I complied.

Five neighbor kids gathered to witness Joe’s proof that a shot in the butt with a BB didn’t hurt.

My brother and I got BB guns for Christmas, and we showed off our rifles, which led to the butt shot.

I was about 4 years old, my brother 2 1/2 years older.

I pulled my pants down to a respectable level, (upper cheek) bent over and waited to prove my sibling correct.

And then … bap! went the BB gun. Splat! went my left cheek, and the projectile stung like an angry wasp.


My screams were those of a crazed dying baboon, and the commotion brought our mother out of the house.

She assessed my wound, a little uplifted red splotch.

She assured me I would be OK.

I’m sure my brother got punished for his low-down dirty deed, but I don’t remember.

He insists I deserved to be plinked for being stupid enough to listen to him.

I still trusted Joe, though the Jesus glow rubbed off him, and a bit of a devil glow showed, which taught me to beware.

Now I am happy my brother shot my buttocks, because it left us with a story to tell as I have just done.

The neighborhood kids saw Joe’s claim as bogus, and no one else volunteered to be shot.

A week later, a BB I shot at a water meter — at my brother’s direction, I must add — ricocheted and plinked Joe in the eye.

He wasn’t blinded, but he was angry, and he accused me of revenge for the butt BB, which was silly, because I had no control over the ricochet.

That bouncing BB did teach us something: actions can have consequences beyond getting in trouble by your mother.

Moral: Karma: Sometimes a BB to the eye equals a BB to the butt.

David Madrid

Contact: David Madrid

© 2023 FabulousFables.com

Zombies Suck

Zombies suck.

I hate them.

If zombie were a race, I would be a racist.

Call me a Zombist.

My introduction to zombies was the movie “Night of the Living Dead.”

That is George Romero’s 1968 masterpiece, considered the first modern zombie movie.

As I watched, I realized the undead suck.

Unless you are talking about vampires. I like vampires; they are cool, which is ironic, because they are also undead and they literally suck.

I guess I am a hypocrite, when it comes to zombies.

“Night of the Living Dead” is a black-and-white movie. I watched it at a drive-in.

A drive-in is an outdoor movie theater. You watch the movie from you car, big screen jutting up to the sky,

There aren’t many drive-ins left.

”Night of the Living Dead” — a young zombie (Kyra Schon) and her victim (Karl Hardman).

Don’t think black-and-white movies aren’t cool; that grainy texture lends itself to the story of the undead.

Arguably, George Romero’s movie is better without color.

The Walking Dead

The zombie genre has improved substantially with the television series “The Walking Dead,” which began in 2010.

No. I haven’t watched the series, but it is widely watched, and people, whose opinion I respect, praise the drama.

I must admit to watching another zombie movie.

It was “World War Z,” an action horror flick released in 2013 about a world overrun with zombies.

I admit I found the movie entertaining, but it doesn’t change my opinion of zombies.

Zombies are dirty, rotting, brainless corpses who are cannibals.

They have rotting skin hanging off their bones, blood splattered inside and out and around their mouths where they ate people.

They are ugly.

I assume they stink of death, the worst smell ever.

Good thing we can’t smell them through the big or little screen.

Where do zombies come from?

Legend says a zombie can create more zombies by biting humans.

Modern stories blame the undead on military experiments gone horror show. Or humans can be transformed by an alien attack.

As with many a horror story, zombies are based on fact, in Hattian voodoo, birthed by West African magic.

A sorcerer or witch called a bokor concocts a potion that includes tetrodotoxin, a deadly neurotoxin found in the pufferfish.

Administered in the correct dose, the pufferfish poison causes a coma so deep it mimics death.

There are credible reports of dead Hattians, said to be victims of voodoo, found alive.

My disgust  for zombies began with that first movie “Night of the Living Dead.”

A zombie chowed down on some human intestines, and I was revolted.

Really? Intestines? Nasty.

Zombie popularity

Who could unnasty the zombie?

Music superstar Michael Jackson; that’s who.

Jackson deserves credit for an explosion of zombie popularity; never underestimate a great work of art.

His 1982 groundbreaking 13-minute music video “Thriller” featured the undead coming out of their graves to join the superstar in a funky graveyard dance.

To this day, large crowds dress as zombies and dance to “Thriller.”

The Guiness World Record for People Dancing “Thriller” was set in Mexico City in 2009, by more than 11,000 temporary zombies shown below.

I must admit, I don’t have a problem with Michael Jackson’s zombies; such is the power of music and art.

You can see “Thriller” below. It is worth a watch.

Did I just talk myself out of the premise of my blog, that zombies suck?

Not really.

Most zombies suck.

‘The Guiness World Record for People Dancing “Thriller” was set in Mexico City in 2009, by more than 11,000 temporary zombies.

Contact: David Madrid

© 2022 FabulousFables.com

Thank you to Wikipedia for the photo of the little zombie girl and for providing clarifying information for this blog. Read all about zombies at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zombie.

Street Fighter

For my first story of 2021, I present Nano: The Pure Warrior.

It is a story about a street fighter.

This story is part of my local history in the 1960s and ’70s.

I did not write this story to glorify violence; I often post stories and blog about the days of my youth.

I write to entertain, but also to document how things were when I was growing up.

It is important to know history, and I want young people to understand how we, the Baby Boomers, were shaped.

My generation spent a lot of time outside, and while outside, you met a lot of people, and you were in the grapevine; you heard the gossip.

So you knew some kids purely by reputation.

By far the most compelling reputations were those of the street fighters.

Kids were interested in who fought who, and who beat who.

The toughest fighters reached local-legend status.

These guys liked to fight, and they were good at it, and when the toughest guys met in combat, the grapevine buzzed.

This story is about one of those legends: Nano: The Pure Warrior.

Some fighters were mean and liked to inflict pain; those were the bullies you avoided.

Some were cocky and walked around with chips on their shoulders.

They wanted to fight, unless someone tougher came along, then the chips were tucked away.

The dangerous fighters were the regular guys.

Nice guys who got along just fine not fighting, until the fight came to them, and then suddenly they were honey badgers on the attack.

Nano was one of those legends who welcomed a competitive rumble.

There were plenty opponents; a fighter’s reputation was enough to elicit challenges from testosterone-soaked toughs.

Nano was my friend.

Read Nano: The Pure Warrior, a poem dedicated to my friend.

The End

By David Madrid

Contact: David Madrid

© 2021 FabulousFables.com