Tuesday, May 31, 2011

A Tale of Six Skulls

Six skulls were sitting around the graveyard one night, playing poker, and bemoaning the things they had neglected to do and be during their skull careers.

"I was never in a production of Hamlet," lamented one.  "I could have been a contender, instead of a dusty old poker playing skull, which is what I am."

"And I should have been a Grateful Dead skull," complained another.  "Talk about the good life...  Get yourself an old VW van, paint it with flowers, and follow the band around the country.  That's what I should have done."

"Not me," said the third.  "I should have gone in for the pirate's life.  Sure, I know all the lyrics to A Pirate's Life for Me, but, at the time,  it never occurred to me that I would eventually become a symbol for all things pirate.  I wasted the best years of my death!"

"You think you wasted your death?!" retorted the fourth.  "I should have been a biker tattoo for some guy on a big ol' Harley.  I could have hung out on his meaty forearm, defying death...even though I'm like, well... dead."

"Aw, you're all full of dust," remarked the fifth.  "If I had it to do all over again, I'd get on the Día de los Muertos bandwagon.  Be one of those skulls everyone wants  Hang out with all the other skulls.  Everyone brings your flowers and food and presents.

The sixth skull looked at the others through hollow eyes, and then weighed in. "The ultimate," the sixth skull stated, "would be to be the symbol on a poison bottle.  Think about it.  Universally understood, striking fear into the hearts of men everywhere.  A cameo part in It's a Wonderful Life.  Death doesn't get any better than that, my friends."

The skulls sighed, as one, each sure of wasting early years of skullishness.  The first skull absent-minded set down the poker cards and rubbed a nearby tombstone.  Suddenly, in a  flash of light, the Fair Godmother of Skulls appeared.  "I am your Fairy Godmother," she said, "And I am here to grant you one wish."

The skulls started to clamor:

"Keep on truckin'"

"Feliz Dia de los Muertos!"

" Feels like I'm knockin' on heaven's door!"

"Live to ride; ride to live!"

"We kidnap and ravage and don't give a hoot.  Drink up me 'earties, yo ho!"

"Alas, poor Yorick!"

"Do not induce vomiting!"

"Hold it right there," said the Fairy Godmother.  I didn't mean you each get a wish.  You get one wish for all of you."

The skulls started to confer, then argue, then argue heatedly.  It was only a matter of time before they began to bang heads.  The Fairy Godmother, having seen this behavior before, stepped between them, stopping them instantly.

"Surely there's something all of you wanted to do once upon a time."

They stopped, silenced by her words.  They thought and thought and thought.  But they'd been sitting around the graveyard so long, playing poker and acting tough, that they could no longer remember what they'd missed.  And so their Fairy Godmother decided for them.

"Sure, you could have been tattoos, or symbols... or even pieces of a shrine.  But, really, all that is highly overrated.  When's the last time you had a night out?"

The skulls looked puzzled.

"You know," she said. "Dressing up?  A nice dinner, a show, cocktails, dancing?  What do you say?"

It sounded like the most fun any of the skulls had ever had.  "Then that shall be your wish!" said the Fairy Godmother.  "Go polish your parietal plates and get out your BrightandShinyThings.  You're going out for a night on the town."

And so they found their pearls and their crystals and they sparkled and their glitter.  The skulls got all dolled up and, for one perfect night, they partied like skulls they'd only watched in old films.

And every night after that, when they played Texas Hold 'Em, they remembered that lovely night.  And then they went back to arguing about poison and Harleys and head banging.

And they all died happily ever after.

These very special skull earrings, with all six of the graveyard skulls, is my offering in this month's EHAG Emporium.  The Eclectic Halloween Artists Group (EHAG) hosts an Emporium on the last day of each month, and various had crafted items are offered by its artist members.  Stop by by for a real treat.

The earrings can be purchased here.

Monday, May 30, 2011

The Aquatic POV

A fish swimming the ocean

Found a shell within the sand.

He held it to his fishy ear

And through it, he heard land.

Try it.  Aquatic treasures here.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Those With Webby Wings That Fold Up

The Bat
by Frank Jacobs

Bats are creepy; bats are scary;
Bats do not seem sanitary;

Bats in dismal caves keep cozy;
Bats remind us of Lugosi;

Bats have webby wings that fold up;
Bats from ceilings hang down rolled up;

Bats when flying undismayed are;
Bats are careful; bats use radar;

Bats at nighttime at their best are;
Bats by Batman unimpressed are!

More bats here and here.
More Frank Jacobs here.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Hippo's Hope

Hippo's Hope
by Shel Silverstein

There once was a hippo who wanted to fly --
Fly-hi-dee, try-hi-dee, my-hi-dee-ho.
So he sewed him some wings that could flap through the sky --
Sky-hi-dee, fly-hi-dee, why-hi-dee-go.
He climbed to the top of a mountain of snow --
Snow-hi-dee, slow-hi-dee, oh-hi-dee-hoo.
With the clouds high above and the sea down below --
Where-hi-dee, there-hi-dee, scare-hi-dee-boo.

(Happy ending)
And he flipped and he flapped and he bellowed so loud --
Now-hi-dee, loud-hi-dee, proud-hi-dee-poop.
And he sailed like an eagle, off into the clouds --
High-hi-dee, fly-hi-dee, bye-hi-dee-boop.

(Unhappy ending)
And he leaped like a frog and he fell like a stone --
Stone-hi-dee, lone-hi-dee, own-hi-dee-flop.
And he crashed and he drowned and broke all his bones --
Bones-hi-dee, moans-hi-dee, groans-hi-dee-glop.

(Chicken ending)
He looked up at the sky and looked down at the sea --
Sea-hi-dee, free-hi-dee, whee-hi-dee-way.
And he turned and went home and had cookies and tea --
That's hi-dee, all hi-dee, I have to say. 

Hippo charms can be found here and here.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

A Nest Full of Soon-to-Be Early Birds

Early Bird


by Shel Silverstein

Oh, if you’re a bird, be an early bird
And catch the worm for your breakfast plate.
If you’re a bird, be an early bird—
But if you’re a worm, sleep late.

A nest of early birds can be found here.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Koi Ahoy!

How strange to think the lovely koi

Is merely carp-ish hoi-polloi,

Created by a breeding ploy

And called, by some, Nishikigoi.

Nishikigoi charm can be found here.

Monday, May 23, 2011

The Little Little Mermaid

by Hans Christian Andersen
and adapted by Cornerstoregoddess
with illustrations by Edmund Dulac
(and earrings by Cornerstoregoddess... of course)

Once upon a time the Little Mermaid dwelt in an underwater kingdom with her father, the Sea King, her grandmother, and her six older sisters.  In the mermaid world, when a mermaid turned 15, she was allowed to swim to the above-water world and finally watch the humans and their places and spaces.  As her sisters grew up, each visited the world above the waves.  And when each sister returned, the Little Mermaid listened to their stories and descriptions, entranced. 

At last the Little Mermaid reached her fifteenth birthday.  When she swam to the surface,  she saw, in the distance, a great ship with a handsome prince standing at its bow.  She fell in love with him instantly, and when a storm hit and the prince fell overboard, she swam to his rescue, saving him from drowning. 

She carried the unconscious prince to the shore, and laid him on the ground near a temple.  Then she waited by his side, until a young girl emerged from the temple.  By the time the prince regained consciousness, the Little Mermaid was gone.  He never saw her face.

When the Little Mermaid returned, she asked her grandmother if humans could live forever... providing, of course, that they did not drown.  Her grandmother explained that, sadly, humans had a far shorter life span than the merfolk, who could live up to 300 years.  Merfolk, her grandmother explained further, turned to sea foam when they died.  Humans, on the other hand, had more options, one of those being heaven. 

The Little Mermaid longed for the Prince, and thought that heaven was preferable to sea foam, so she paid a visit to the Sea Witch.  The Sea Witch was willing to make a deal: a potion to give the Little Mermaid legs, in exchange for her beautiful voice, which was reputed to be the most intoxicating in the world. 

The Sea Witch warned the Little Mermaid: once you become human, you may never again return to the ocean.  The Little Mermaid drank the potion, which felt like a knife cutting through her.  But when she awoke, she had two beautiful legs, and was able to dance better than any human had ever danced.  There were drawbacks, of course.  Her new method of locomotion felt as if she were walking on sharp swords, and her feet bled terribly. 

There was another catch, as it turned out.  The Little Mermaid could only receive a soul if she found true love's kiss AND if the prince fell in love with her AND married her, allowing part of her soul to flow into his.  Failing this, on the dawn of the first day of his marriage to any other woman, the Little Mermaid would die broken-hearted and would dissolve into sea foam.

But luck was on her side.  The Little Mermaid met the prince, who was attracted to her grace and beauty, despite the fact that she could not speak or sing.  He loved to watch her dance, and so dance for him she did, despite her pain. 

When the prince's father ordered his son to marry a neighboring king's daughter, the prince told the Little Mermaid he would not, for he did not love the princess.  He explained that he could only love the young woman from the temple, who he believed saved his life.

But, he added, the Little Mermaid was starting to take a place in his heart... right next to the temple girl.  Unfortunately, it turned out that the princess was, in fact, the temple girl, who had been sent to the temple to be educated. 

The prince proclaimed his love and a wedding was announced.  The prince and princess were married and the Little Mermaid's heart was broken.  She thought of all she had given up, of all the pain she had suffered.  She despaired, knowing her death was nigh.

But before dawn, her sisters crept to the shore and brought the Little Mermaid a knife the Sea Witch had given them in exchange for their long hair. If the Little Mermaid slayed the prince and let his blood drip on her feet, she could once again become a mermaid.  All her suffering would be over, and she could live a long life until she dissolved to sea foam.   Her sisters seemed to think this was a good plan and, with a wave, disappeared beneath the next breaker.

The Little mermaid was less enchanted with the plan.  She could not  kill the prince, who lay sleeping with his bride.  Instead, at dawn, she threw herself into the sea, where her body promptly dissolved into into foam.  But then, instead of the water around her, she felt the warmth of the sun.  She had turned into a spirit, a daughter of the air, and one who might someday go to heaven... or back to the beautiful home with the merfolk who loved her.