In 2001, the local Coast Weekly newspaper had it's annual 101-word short-story contest. I came up with "Preservation", which was among those selected for publication (under it's original title "Dead End")







Slowly, the leaf fluttered toward the ground. Bonk! Right in the head it hit an ant, knocking it senseless onto it's back. Ahead and behind, the column marched on.  But one ant paused and stopped. 


"What are you doing?" shouted the others. "Come on, we've got work to do!"


It was a mutant, that pausing ant. It harbored a spark of concern for a single member of it's species. It had lost proper focus.  Dangerous, that ant.


Quickly, the others attacked and dispatched the offender, ending a threat to ant civilization. Ending a possibility of ant evolution.








The Jester

The King was not happy. He summoned his Jester.


"Jester, my army refuses to fight, my farmers refuse to farm, and my miners refuse to dig for gold. Everyone is laughing at me. Do you have a solution for this sad state of affairs?" 


The Jester replied "My Lord, if you will appoint me to be King, and yourself to be Jester, your cares will disappear, for you will be among those who laugh at the King."


And this the King did, and sure enough, he laughed happily ever after.




We humans are unique among earthly species, in that we are not, any longer,  content to live a simple life. Like a tree, for example, which does not need to travel, listens to the news that that wind and the birds carry to them, and has the joy of having playful squirrels scamper over its limbs. I often think, when I look at a tree, how absolutely "evolved" is it's intelligence!  And some of them live for thousands of years....interesting, isn't it?






Apple Country


It was August in Abner's apple orchard. Abner, high on his ladder, reached for another fine Gravenstein, gently twisted it free, and equally gently deposited it in his now-full bucket.  


Descending, he touched terra firma, set down the bucket, heard a slight sound, turned around, and saw a round sphere, several feet in diameter, slowly settle onto the ground. 


A round opening appeared, and from it floated several apple-shaped beings.


Abner, of course,  fainted.


"How's it going?" said the lead apple-being to the apple tree.


A robust Gravenstein near the top sighed heavily. "Well, these local creatures have helped us get established all over the planet, and that's as we hoped. But one of our kind was very careless, fell on the head of a creature named Newton, and now..."


"You mean that these silly creatures..."


"Yes, they figured out gravity, and then came spacecraft..."


The lead apple-being bobbed in understanding. "So now these creatures will be colonizing the galaxy, as we have been doing for aeons. This is not good news; when they come to our planets they will simply do what we see them doing here now --- clearing the land of our trees, to build more structures for more of their kind, and more "roads" because they have not learned yet how to be happy and self-sustaining in one place."


Somberly, the apple-beings floated back into the sphere. Slowly, it rose, and began the long journey to the far-away center of their Council, where this emerging menace would be gravely discussed.