The Pygmy Spam Owl

The Lynx was prowling through the forest looking for her dinner. Her every footfall was silent. Her every movement subtle and quick. Her nose twitched when she caught the telltale scent of her quarry. It didn’t take long for her to pick up the trail and soon she was within striking distance of a nice juicy looking rabbit. Her whole body tensed like a spring. She was just about to pounce when The Pygmy Owl hopped up onto a rock right next to her head and began to squawk.

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The Lynx was so surprised she leapt into the air and latched onto a nearby tree. The rabbit she’d been stalking dashed into the bushes. After some time, The Lynx climbed down and confronted the strange little bird.

“Now see here! I don’t know who you are or what you are doing, but you just cost me my dinner. What do you have to say for yourself?”

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“I can’t understand you. Nothing you say makes any sense. Please leave me alone.”

She turned tail and walked away leaving the little creature sitting on its rock.

Later that evening, The Lynx dropped by her favorite spring for a drink. The moon was high and cast a lovely reflection in the pool. She was still hungry, but happy to enjoy a peaceful moment. No sooner had she begun to lap up water, than The Pygmy Owl landed on a nearby log.

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The Lynx spat out her mouthful of water. The fur on her back stood straight up and her eyes went wide with shock. When she’d recovered, The Lynx glared at The Pygmy Owl.

“You again! Are you following me?”

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She splashed water at The Pygmy Owl with her paw, but the small bird just shook it off and continued to look at her with its vacant little eyes.

“Shoo, shoo! Stop pestering me.”

The Pygmy Owl was about to open his beak to say something else insensible, but The Lynx dashed off before it could utter another word.

Back in her cave, The Lynx was feeling very annoyed with how the night had gone. She hadn’t eaten a good dinner or even been allowed to get a drink. At least, she thought, she’d be able to enjoy a peaceful rest in her cozy lair without being interrupted. Just before she closed her eyes, The Lynx took one last look around to make sure she was alone. Satisfied that she had her privacy, she let her eyelids droop and began to relax.

Just then, a voice came from the mouth of her cave.

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Rather than wait for The Pygmy Owl to finish, The Lynx struck him a fatal blow with a tennis racket.

Unwanted Solicitors do not understand subtlety. For your own good, be ruthless.

The Cheese Caper

In the wake of a grand cheese caper, a great number of rats were rounded up as part of a drag net operation by the Animal Kingdom Investigation Agency. Agent Cheetah, who was in charge of the case, processed them one at a time. She made each one get their paw prints on file. She carefully documented everything they said. And she never, never let them talk to each other alone.

Many of the rats called in their lawyers. It wasn’t long before the entire AKIA office was lousy with vermin and their clients. Chief Rhino, who didn’t care much for subtlety, demanded that Agent Cheetah get fast results. He was very annoyed with all the little creatures running around the place. But, Agent Cheetah urged patience.

Agent Cheetah methodically interviewed every rat in the building, then interviewed them again, then again. She turned up the heat and made the rats wait where they could see who was being interrogated, but not hear what was being said… This made the other rats and their lawyers very, very nervous. Their whiskers twitched and their tails curled up and every hour the tension in the building became a little heavier.

Finally, Chief Rhino became fed up. He ordered Agent Cheetah to show him the results of her investigation. Agent Cheetah smiled, because she was ready.

Agent Cheetah had all the rats line up in a row. She paced around them in silence for a while, then took out a big stick she found in the forest. One by one, she gave the rats a good poke. It wasn’t long before the pressure became too much. Despite the protests of the other rats and all the lawyers, one of the rodents yelled out.

“It’s true! It’s true! We stole the cheese!”

If you poke enough rats, one of them will squeak.

The Pig and The Cock

The Cock was up early and went about his ritual of drinking coffee and reading his newspaper. He was very annoyed by the headlines which were all about the most recent scandals of The Lion Administration. Huffing and cawing he imagined just what he would say to The Lion’s face if he ever had the chance. He desperately wanted to tell someone his opinion about matters, but no one else was awake but The Pig.

“I say, Pig. Have you heard the latest news about Lion? That guy is the worst. He is constantly hunting and eating other animals and his tax plan is terribly unrealistic.”

The Pig was eating at the time, but looked up from his trough.

“I done got half a ‘tater this morning. Push it out this afternoon, I reckon.”

The Cock didn’t really hear The Pig, he was too busy getting ready to speak again to listen.

“We’ll never be able to balance the budget until we can accept the cold realities of the situation,” he rattled on. “The kingdom needs to economize on services and simultaneously raise taxes on higher income animals. Anyone who tells you otherwise is selling a bunch of nonsense.”

The Pig stared at him with vacant eyes. His tongue stuck out at a funny angle and a little bead of snot dripped out of one of his nostrils.

“Dry corn sure do scour the works, better than nothing though.”

The Cock wasn’t sure whether The Pig was agreeing with him or not. It’s not that The Pig was being argumentative, just hard to read.

“This is serious, Pig,” he continued. “The predators talk big about fiscal responsibility, but all they really care about is eating animals like you and me. If the top of the food chain can’t contribute to society at reasonable rates, we’re just going to wind up passing our debts to the next generation.”

Pig nodded.

“Gots into a barrel of apples last week. Hit that yonder wall like ten gauge squirrel shot.”

“Do you understand what I’m saying? Lion is a terrible administrator.”

Pig seemed to ponder this and opened his mouth as if to respond. But instead he just let out a loud belch.

“You have no idea what I’m talking about, do you?” said The Cock.

“Lion is the king,” said The Pig.

“I know he’s the king. What I’m saying is that-”

Pig squinted his eyes and let go of a noxious fart. The smell was so overpowering that The Cock was forced to fly away.

Don’t waste time talking about politics with idiots.

The Squirrel and The Walnut Tree

The Squirrel and The Walnut Tree

 

A walnut tree had a very productive season. It’s branches were heavy with nuts and farmers all over the land complimented the owner on his good fortune. The Walnut Tree beamed with pride. Still, all was not well. A particularly obnoxious squirrel had taken up residence nearby. The Squirrel chattered away and collected nuts day and night. The Walnut Tree did his best to ignore the little creature. He felt that interacting with such an insignificant beast was below his dignity. Eventually though, he became so annoyed with The Squirrel’s comings and goings that he felt he had to say something.

“Squirrel,” said The Walnut Tree. “You should go about your business elsewhere. No one invited you to come around here and fill your larder.”

The Squirrel was carrying two nuts at the time. He turned around and looked up at The Walnut Tree, surprised to be so suddenly addressed.

“What ‘cho say?” he said in his squirrely little voice.

“I don’t want you just coming around here and just taking whatever you please.”

“’Cho don’t want me to what?” said The Squirrel, sitting down and splaying out his little legs.

“I don’t want you taking those.”

“Those what?”

“Those nuts. I don’t want you taking those nuts,” yelled the frustrated tree.

The Squirrel placed his burden before himself and gave both nuts a suggestive rub in a circular fashion.

“You mean deeeeeez nuts?” said The Squirrel.

The Squirrel laughed all the harder and went about his business.           

Certain people are born to throw shade. Try not to walk into it.

The Wolf and The TV Repairman

A Wolf happened upon a TV Repairman who was selling his wares.

“Is your television broken? I can fix it for a reasonable price,” said The TV Repairman.

The Wolf said “No, it’s not broken and even if it was, I’m concerned that bringing it to a second hand repair shop would void its warranty.”

The TV Repairman sneered.

“Everyone says that these days. The damned manufacturers and their lawyers have ruined the industry.”

The Wolf took a moment to look in the shop and noticed that many of the TVs there were quite old. Some even had dials on the side. The Wolf doubted if they would be compatible with his cable box or even safe to plug in, given their age.

“I’m sure that’s very frustrating,” he said, trying to be sympathetic. “I’ve got a 4K plasma screen anyway, do you have the tools to-”

The TV Repairman cut him off

“Those things are junk, a passing fad. People don’t know the value of an honest-to-god cathode ray tube anymore.”

The Wolf sat on his haunches and tilted his head to one side, trying to come to grips with the situation.

“You know,” he said “I’m not trying to be rude, but I don’t think you really have a viable business model here.”

The TV Repairman cursed and threw garbage at The Wolf until he was forced to run away.

Structural unemployment is rarely accepted with grace.

The Banker and The Tortoise

The Banker, looking very proper in his tailored suit and shiny black shoes, made his way into the swamp to pay a call on The Tortoise. He found The Tortoise sleeping by a mossy log and didn’t wait a moment before knocking on the old fellow’s shell with the silver handle of his parasol.

“You are late with your payments, sir,” The Banker began. “You are to immediately and forthwith vacate these premises. The First Fairytale Trans-National Community Conglomerate Private Municipal Bank and Trustworthy Trust is hereby foreclosing on your shell. I’m sure I don’t need to tell you that when The FFTNCCPMB & TT makes up its mind about an eviction, then the matter is as good as done. There’s no sense in procuring a lawyer over this issue. I assure you that attempts to appeal our ruling will be unsuccessful.”

The Tortoise was slow to respond. He took his time to stretch out his long neck and feel the mud squish between his scaly toes before even looking up. He blinked a few times, took three deep breaths, then made his reply.

“You want to take my shell. Is that not so?”

The Banker nodded furiously, unsettling his silk top hat.

“Indeed. The mortgage on your shell and dozens of other woodland creatures’ homes were bundled together to form the collateral of an investment product called a Bespoke Ballyhoo Obligation. A number of these BBOs were then organized into a Synthetic Debt Figment which was then sold to the monkeys on Palm Street at fixed banana prices as set by the Woodland Economic Council.”

The Tortoise wasn’t really listening. He was watching a butterfly dance around a nearby flower bush. He decided that later that day he would go over there and roll around in the bush to really enjoy the smell. He might even try catching the butterfly for a snack while he was at it. The thought of it put a smile on his face, even though The Banker was still talking.

“When it became clear last week that many, if not all, the BBOs within the SDFs were leveraged against empty bird nests, the entire market collapsed.”

The Tortoise nodded his head and took a slow step closer to The Banker’s foot.

“You don’t say?”

“Oh yes, and that’s not all. The Woodland Economic Council is somewhat infamous for their love of dice. That body’s inclination toward gamboling got it into some trouble with some bad badgers. King Lion bailed them out, of course, but the underlying banana inflation problem is an ongoing concern for recovery.”

“Banana inflation?” The Tortoise inquired.

The Tortoise wasn’t really curious about banana inflation, he just wanted to keep The Banker talking while he took yet another slow step closer to his foot.

“Yes, yes. You know I really don’t have time to explain all this to you. I have quite a few calls to make today regarding this eviction business. Oh, very well. You see, at first we had banana deflation because there were so many bananas coming ripe this season. Savvy fruit speculators drove up the price, causing a forced split between aggregate banana reserves and the fiat banana market.”

“Please, go on.”

“By peeling back regulations, a few bad actors on Palm Steet had reduced the aggregate banana reserves an egregious amount. When FFTNCCPMB & TT attempted to offload its BBOs and parent SDFs there were no real bananas to speak of.”

“Because monkeys eat bananas.”

The Banker nodded and The Tortoise took one last slow step towards him then paused to adjust his jaw.

“Reactionaries from The Lion Administration have now bogged down the entire economy with regulations. A team of oversight guerrillas chosen by The Woodland Economic Council is now keeping a close eye on the monkeys to make sure no one eats anymore bananas. It’s all terribly stifling for the financial services industry. Now you understand why we require your shell. FFTNCCPMB & TT will sell it to be made into guitar picks and sun glass rims, thereby allowing me my yearly bonus. Without it, I’d hardly expect much of a bonus at all.”

The Tortoise wasted no more time with The Banker. He bit the man’s big toe most savagely right through his shiny black shoes.

Don’t take guff from people peddling complex financial instruments.

Cowfall

There were once some cows who drove out to the top of a tall mesa to watch the moon rise and drink a few beers. Cow music played out of cow boom boxes and more of the herd showed up every hour. Bulls kicked up some dust and the ladies winked their heavy lashes towards the best in show. It was a blue-ribbon barn burner and everyone was having a great time.

One cow, a particularly silly Cow named Daisy, became catastrophically drunk. She let the boys do shots off milk right off her udders and boasted that she was in such fine shape she could jump over the moon. A few of her friends laughed and told her not to try, but she was determined to show them what was what. With the crowd mooing approval she got a running start to the edge of the mesa and flung herself into the night air with predictable results.

No matter how drunk you are, the laws of physics are immutable.

The Cat and The Rats

 

A peasant family became terribly upset when their farm was invaded with legions of rats. They tried traps and snares and all manner of poison, but nothing seemed to work. Every day there were more and more of the little pests. They ate the grain, scared the horses, and made a nuisance of themselves at every pass.

The family was so distraught that they were about abandon the property altogether. Just as they were about to leave, a cat came down the road. He was not a friendly, cuddlesome type of creature you might find in nice neighborhoods. He was dusty, flea bitten, drifter cat with a thousand yard stare in his one good eye. He chain smoked cigarettes while the farmer told him of his family's plight.

After The Cat heard the woeful tale, he brought the family together and told them to wait. Then he went inside.

At first, no one could see what was happening, but everyone could hear it. A chorus of terrible squeaks issued from within. Dishes broke and windows shattered and fearsome meowing echoed through the streets. Soon, neighbors began to arrive to find out what was going on. The blacksmith had enough nerve to peek through a window, but whatever he saw inside turned him white as a sheet. He turned away and went on about his business, never to speak of it again.

Before long, a single rat stumbled into the yard. The Cat jumped out of the building and pounced on him. There, in front of all the villagers, he scoured it most cruelly with his claws. The Cat left The Rat with just enough life in it to crawl away. Before he let it go, he whispered something into its one remaining ear.

The peasant family was disgusted, but so shocked that they raised nary a finger to stop The Cat as he soaked their home in gasoline and set it ablaze. The flames glowed long into the night. The Cat sat there and watched the fire as he had watched a hundred fires before it.

Full of tears, the farmer begged The Cat for some explanation. The Cat offered none. It just collected its pay and moved on.

War never changes

The Game Is On!

Thanks to our incredible team of artists, designers, printers, publishers, and game makers, The Colorado Standard Poker deck is now a reality! First edition decks now available on Amazon.

To celebrate our launch, we are offering a free guide to basic Colorado Tarot and some great family-friendly games you and your friends are sure to enjoy. Join us as we continue to work at expanding the potential of what a deck of cards can be. Keep an eye on our blog for new games and announcements. 

Click Here for a basic guide on using a Colorado Standard Poker Deck to read Tarot.

Click Here for some great family-friendly games to get started.

Beer vs Books

Short of selling cold beer, starting a publishing company has got to be the easiest type of business to set up. All you need is a few bucks of seed money, an internet connection, and the wherewithal to see the thing through.  Come to think of it, you can make do without the seed money and internet connection.

Form an LLC in your state, purchase a few ISBN numbers, format your content correctly, set your price, and boom, you’re making book sales as a publishing company. It takes a little time, a bunch of paperwork, and a few fees, but that’s it.  Here’s the bad news, selling books is a hell of a lot harder than selling cold beer.  Why?

  • Cold beer delivers satisfaction quickly, everyone loves it, and there never seems to be enough of it.
  • Literature delivers satisfaction slowly, it’s a niche market, and you’ll always be competing against a limitless supply of free inventory.

I won’t lie to you. It’s a hard row to hoe. A lot of so-called professionals in the publication and marketing industries will sell you big promises about runaway success, but don’t you believe it. If you’ve got a book to sell, success requires hard work and some straightforward business sense.

I plan on using this blog to share what I’ve learned about the self-publishing process, writing, and doing business in Colorado. I’ll also share the odd dining, film, and book review.  If you have something you’d like me to review, please contact us any time.

-CT Hutt

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