The Big Black Dog: A Fable

Cane Corso Dog 3A little old lady built a chicken coop in her backyard. She painted it red, and in the evening, when the paint was dry, she went to see a farmer and bought twelve hens and a rooster.

After loading the chickens into the back seat of her car, she drove down the highway, and they all flew into the front seat! It was like a tornado!

When the little old lady got home, she put the chickens in the coop, closed the door, and locked it with a hook.

“What a long day!” she said.

She felt so tired, she went straight to bed.

The next morning, the little old lady collected the eggs that the hens laid in the nesting boxes.

She fried two eggs for breakfast, and the rest, she put in a carton. “When I have a dozen,” she said, “I’ll sell them to my neighbour.”

The following day, when the little old lady delivered the eggs, her neighbor wanted to give her a dog: a poodle with white, curly hair. “I don’t have time to take care of him,” he said.

But the little old lady didn’t know if she wanted a dog.

The poodle promised, “I’ll stand guard each night and protect your chickens.”

The little old lady smiled. “You’re a good poodle—and brave.”

Then she took the poodle home with her.

A week went by without incident, but early one morning, the chickens were frantic. The hens were clucking outside the coop, and the rooster was crowing on the roof.

The little old lady counted them, and one hen was missing!

“What happened to my hen?” she asked the poodle.

“I slept with one eye open,” the poodle replied, “but I saw nothing, and I heard nothing.”

A hen named Martha was hysterical. “A large paw opened the door and grabbed Bertha. It was a big black dog!”

Then Martha fainted.

The poodle shook his head. “Dogs are kind and caring animals, and would never hurt a chicken.”

The little old lady agreed: “Yes. It must have been a fox.”

In the afternoon, she put a chicken-wire fence around the coop. And before she went to bed, she closed the coop door, and locked it with a hook.

The next morning, when the sun came up, the chickens were in a frenzy, running and flying around the yard.

The little old lady went to the coop and counted them, and another hen was missing!

“Did you watch the hens last night?” she asked the poodle.

“I saw a fox jump over the fence,” the poodle confessed, “but I was so afraid I couldn’t even bark.”

The rooster, named Roger, said sadly, “I was awake when its paw reached inside. It was a big black dog, and he stole Henrietta—the chicken I loved.”

The poodle shook his head. “Dogs are friendly and loving animals. They would never hurt a chicken.”

The little old lady knew what to do. That night, she closed the coop door and locked it with two hooks. Then she went to her bedroom, turned out the light, and sat by the window.

At midnight, when the moon hid behind a cloud, she saw a black figure climbing over the chicken-wire fence.

It made its way to the coop and slowly lifted one of the hooks with its paw.

With her heart pounding and hands trembling, the little old lady grabbed her broom, ran outside and threw open the gate.

The creature had a hen in its mouth. BAM! She hit it on the head until it let go of the hen.

It was the poodle!

The little old lady grabbed him by the collar and yelled, “You killed two of my chickens! Why?!”

The poodle answered weakly, “Because I’m a dog.”

The next morning, the little old lady was in a much better mood.

She fed the poodle as many eggs as he wanted for breakfast. Then she put on his leash and took him for a walk.

And gave him back to her neighbour.

This story was published in The Donkey King and Other Stories


The Number-One Reason for Weight Gain


Subject: Question about Your Products

Dear General Manager,

I’ve been shopping at your Kelowna Superstore since my 30th birthday. That was the day my mother kicked me out of her house because I never paid her any rent. A week later, I got a job at a gas station, and learned how to live independently. In the past year, I’ve learned how to cook, do laundry, and buy my own groceries!

My favourite thing to do when I shop at your store is introduce myself to women. Although no one has said yes (yet) to going out with me, I am not discouraged by this. I believe that if I ask 1,000 women out for coffee, the odds are very good that one will say yes!

In addition to meeting women, I also like looking at other people’s shopping carts when I buy my groceries. In the past six weeks, I’ve noticed a strong correlation between the amount of processed foods in people’s carts and the body mass of the person pushing the cart. I have a theory that this correlation is in fact causation.

As a case in point, I was at your store last Sunday, and saw a 300-pound man exploring the dairy section. I looked at his cart and counted three boxes of Fruity Loops, a box of crackers, three meat-lovers pizzas, a box of Hungry Man classic fried chicken, a bag of white rice, a package of pepperoni, and a can of Diet Coke. I politely asked the man: “Do you think you are obese because of your food choices?” What happened next, I did not see coming! The man swore at me, ran over my foot with his cart, and then he snatched my lactose-free yogurt out of my hand, which was the last tub on the shelf!

I don’t want to file a complaint against the fat man because I’m confident karma (or heart disease) will get him eventually, but I’m hoping you can answer a question for me. As the manager of a grocery store, I’m sure you have expert knowledge on all the products that you carry. Can you confirm if eating processed foods is linked to weight gain? If eating these products is why I’ve gained 50 pounds in the past year, I will have to start making different food choices, or perhaps eat less.

I look forward to hearing from you soon.


Roger Tuckerman

Before you go, I would like to send you a free eBook

The Dragon Egg: A Fable

Red Dragon

Long ago, two dragons lived in a cave high on a mountain. Drat was a small red dragon; Graisse was a large silver dragon, and they were mates. Unfortunately, despite having more gold than any king or queen, they were not happy dragons.

One day, Graisse said to Drat: “This cave is too small for our gold. I want you to dig me a bigger one!”

“I’m half your size!” Drat replied. “You do it, you fat dragon!”

Graisse was so angry, she breathed fire on Drat and blackened his face.

Drat couldn’t take the physical abuse anymore. His face was badly scarred from weekly firefights with Graisse, and his chest had turned black. “That’s it!” he said. “I’m going to find me a younger dragon, one that isn’t mean!”

“No dragon will want you!” Graisse scoffed. “You’re small and ugly.”

“We’ll see about that!” Drat said, and he walked out of the cave and flew away.

The next day, Graisse woke up in her nest, and she had laid an egg!

“Oh, my goodness!” she said. “I don’t want to have a son or daughter of Drat.”

Then she looked at the egg and sighed. “But if I have a baby, at least I won’t be lonely.”

So Graisse decided to keep her egg. Three months went by, and she sat on the egg from morning until night. With no time to go hunting, all she ate was the rats and mice in her cave. She lost a lot of weight, and the hungrier she got, the more she had doubts about becoming a mother.

“I can’t raise a dragon on my own,” she cried. “I’ll starve to death!”

Graisse decided to get rid of her egg. She picked it up in her clawed foot, flew to the edge of the mountain, and was about to drop it when Drat appeared in the sky.

He flew to her and yelled, “Don’t drop it!”

“Don’t tell me what to do! I laid this egg, not you!”

And Graisse dropped the egg.

Drat flew like a lightning bolt, and caught the egg before it hit the ground.

He flew back to the top of the mountain, took the egg back to their cave, and set it gently down in Graisse’s nest.

Graisse followed him into the cave and asked, “Why did you do that?”

“I searched all throughout the land,” Drat explained. “And we’re the only dragons left!”

Graisse opened her mouth wide. “The only dragons?”

“Yes,” Drat said sadly. “Men have slayed every dragon but us.”

“Then this egg is precious,” Graisse said.

“Yes, it is. But it was always precious. It will be our baby!”

“Do you want to make more baby dragons with me?” Graisse asked.

Drat looked at Graisse up and down. “Definitely!” he said with a big grin. In the three months Drat was away, she had lost 500 pounds.

“I’m not too fat for you?” Graisse asked.

“Nope. I’ve always been attracted to big dragons!”

This made Graisse smile. “Can you get me a moose for me to eat? I’m starving!”

“Whatever you want, I will get it for you.”

Drat kissed Graisse on the cheek, and flew out of the cave.

Graisse and Drat became the parents of twelve dragons. They stayed together until the end of their days, and even though they still had a nasty fire fight once in a while, they were happy.

Before you go, I would like to send you a free eBook

The Donkey King: A Political Fable

donkeyThere was once a farmer who had 50 donkeys. He used them to till his fields, and he sold the fattest and healthiest as pets.

The farmer, who was called “the Master”, worked the donkeys too hard and fed them too little, so they decided to do something about it: They chose one donkey to be their king.

It was the duty of the Donkey King to visit the Master every week and demand better living conditions: more hay and less work. The Master, however, had no patience for a demanding donkey, and often punished the king by kicking him.

The Donkey King was granted special benefits for making demands of the Master. He taxed the other donkeys by taking a small portion of their hay; he slept in the largest stall in the barn; and because he was royalty, he attracted a pretty jenny to be his mate.

One spring day, the Master sold the Donkey King to be someone’s pet, and it was time for a new king to be chosen. Two jacks wanted the crown, and on Saturday night, after a week of hard work, they gave their speeches in the barn.

The first jack, whose name was Grey, said, “If you choose me as your king, I will ask the Master to increase our portion of hay. I will also ask that he reduce our workload in tilling his fields. But I will be honest. The Master is a stubborn man and is unlikely to change his mind. Nonetheless, I will go to him every week no matter how hard he kicks me.”

The donkeys stared at each other. No one was excited by Grey’s speech.

The second jack, whose name was Sunshine, delivered his speech: “If you choose me as your king, I will persuade the Master to double our portion of hay. I will also ensure that only the 10 strongest donkeys work in the fields. The rest of you will no longer have to do hard labour.”

Hearing this, the donkeys got excited, and the sound of “Hee-haw!” filled the barn.

Sunshine continued, “I know that the Master is a stubborn man, but by engaging him in a positive and open dialogue, I will change his mind.”

A vote was then taken, and all the donkeys—except the 10 strongest who would have to labour in the fields—elected Sunshine to be their king.

The next morning, Sunshine went to the Master’s house, and sat on his lawn until the old man came out.

“Good morning,” Sunshine said with a smile. “It’s a lovely day, isn’t it?”

The Master, who did not speak donkey, wondered, why is that jackass sitting on my lawn?

Sunshine said confidently, “I am the new king, and I believe it is in your self-interest to give us twice as much hay to eat. If the donkeys eat more, they will work harder, and it will increase our value as pets because no one wants to buy a skinny, sickly-looking donkey.”

The Master stared at Sunshine, and then he frowned.

Sunshine continued, “I also want to renegotiate our labour agreement. The 10 strongest donkeys have volunteered to till the fields. Starting tomorrow, the other 39 will be given rest from hard labour. This will allow them to grow fatter, and then you can sell more of them as pets.”

The Master had heard enough. He walked up to the braying donkey and gave him a swift kick in the rear end.

Sunshine, realizing that his demands were rejected, returned to the barn and told everyone: “The Master is considering my request for a double portion of hay, and I am hopeful that we will see a workload reduction in the near future.”

The following Sunday, Sunshine went to the Master’s house and made a similar speech. But that day, and every Sunday after, the result was the same: Sunshine got a swift kick in his hindquarters, and sometimes two or three.

By mid-summer, all the donkeys were angry because nothing had changed on the farm.

In late fall, after their last day of labour in the fields, they gathered together in the barn and demanded that Sunshine abdicate his throne.

One donkey yelled, “You lied to us!”

Sunshine, however, refused to give up his crown. “I have been truthful to you from the start,” he said. “I am in negotiations with the Master, and I am hopeful that there will be an increase in our portion of hay and a workload reduction by next spring.”

Grey shouted, “You broke the promises you made!”

Sunshine thought carefully for a moment, and then he said, “No, when I campaigned to be king, I set two major goals, but I didn’t set a deadline for achieving them.”

After this, the donkeys became very quiet. They stared at each other; they stared at Sunshine, and then the sound of “Eeyore!” echoed throughout the barn. They evicted Sunshine from his stall, ate his extra stock of hay, and made so much noise that the Master could hear them in his house.

Moments later, he entered the barn with a whip, started cracking it, and the donkeys opened their eyes wide in fear.

The next day, they were still in pain from their wounds, but they were happy when the Master sold Sunshine to be someone’s pet.

All the donkeys (except for Grey) were filled with hope. They would soon elect a new Donkey King, and a new king brought the possibility of positive change.

This story was published in The Donkey King and Other Stories