The Snake and the Rat

Here’s a short piece that came out of a free-write we did in class yesterday. Our instructor handed out slips of paper no bigger than you’d find in a fortune cookie, each with a moral written on it. She read aloud a few fables from Aesop, then had us each write our own in ten minutes, based on the moral we were given. I took some liberties…

Two rice weevils

A hungry snake went rummaging through the Robinson’s pantry looking for food. Everywhere he looked there were boxes of cereal, cookies, pastas, and chips. Alas, there were no juicy little critters for him to enjoy—until he came upon two tiny bugs poking their antennaed heads out of a canister of rice.

True, they were tasty looking, the snake thought. But they were so small, he’d be hungry again in no time. They were hardly worth the effort.

Then the snake had an idea. “Tell me, little weevils, who rents you that nice rice canister? It’s a beautiful home, and I’m looking to lease.”

“Oh, that would be Mr. Rat,” said one of the bugs. The other one spoke up, “I’ll go get him for you!”

When Mr. Rat came out of his hole he looked around. “What’s all the fuss, little bug?”

The snake, coiled in a corner of the pantry, sprang forth and devoured the poor, unsuspecting rat.

MORAL: Always choose the lessor of two weevils.