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ONCE A YEAR, THE EEL CAME UNANNOUNCED TO THE FOREST, TO RECONNECT WITH OLD CONTACTS. He came disguised, like every year, and this time he was dressed up as the cockatoo. The eel did not know that the cockatoo had been here on a holiday a while ago and had frequently come back after that.
“Hi cockatoo”, said the sheep.
“Hi sheep”, cockatooed the eel and immediately moved on. To delay for as long as possible that he would be unmasked, he made sure his chats were as short as possible.
“How are you doing?” said the frog, who was always interested in everybody and everything.
“So, so”, said the eel and then kept his mouth shut.
The frog jumped away again, why stick around where there’s no fun.
“Hello there, cockatoo!” called the butterfly from afar, “I wasn’t expecting you till next week!”
“Yeah, right”, mumbled the eel, on guard, because the butterfly seemed to have friendly ties with the cockatoo. He quickly slithered away. The butterfly, from afar, dazedly watched him go, but did not dare to flutter after him. The dragonfly, who saw it, smiled pityingly.
“Hey, cockatoo”, belted the river hog, “shall we sing a little duet?”
“Ahem”, coughed the eel and hoped that the river hog would understand that he wasn’t in very good voice.
“Hi eel”, said the giraffe.
“Drat”, said the eel, “I am the cockatoo”.
“No”, said the giraffe, “I’m not fooled by how you conceal, you’re the eel”. Those were the words that sounded each year when one of the animals in the end figured out the eel.
“How come”, said the eel, “that you figured it out so quickly?”
“Well”, said the giraffe, “everybody asked you something and you did act in return, but without the ‘re-‘ ”.
“O”, said the eel.
“Yes”, continued the giraffe, “content does not let itself be concealed by outward appearances for those who listen with the ears of the heart”.
The eel was speechless because that went way over his head, which he then revealed again and became visibly the eel for all of them.
“Party time!” called the butterfly, who eventually had followed at some distance, “let the giraffe speak in riddles; it’s time for the eel’s homecoming party”. She fluttered away to invite the other animals, relieved that she was still to expect the cockatoo only next week.
The giraffe wasn’t fond of homecoming parties, but he went there after all to have a drink with the owl; he could use some good conversation.

Thank you Marita Sporrong for your help with this translation and for making the picture to go with this fable.

Click the video to hear this blog entry read aloud.
You will remain on this page, so, you can listen to the video and read the words while listening.

I’m caught by the animal stories by the Dutch author Toon Tellegen and when I gave one of his books away, I let that present be accompanied by some own writings in this style. That’s how my own fables came to be, with animals and characters of my own, but inspired by the books of Toon who set the tone. Perhaps a new parallel universe of his animal forest will develop here 🙂

A part of those fables has been published in ‘Mensaberichten’, in those days the club magazine of the society Mensa Nederland.

One thought on “MAKE UP

  1. Anne & Marita! Enjoyable fable! You both do a good job. Of course, the giraffe is always my favorite. I like his comment about listening to the “ears of the heart”! Thanks!

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