Moss, is humor writer from Tennessee. She writes a
weekly human interest column about daily life and the funny
things that happen to everyone.
She has written for the Daily News of Kingsport, Griffin Journal,
Oakridge Now, Atlanta Woman Magazine, Aberdeen Examiner, Angleton
Advocate, and Smyrna AM, a supplement of the Murfreesboro Daily News
Journal. She has been
published by Voyageur Press, McGraw Hill, and the good folks
at Guidepost Books. Her articles have appeared in
numerous anthologies and other publications, both in print and online.
She is a
former board member and past Editor of the Columnists.com, website of the National Society of Newspaper
oldest and largest professional organization
for columnists. She is the Web Editor of
Humorists.com and a founder of the Southern Humorists writers'
organization. She is writer, editor, and webmaster of HumorColumnist.com.
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Online Since 1999
||Storytelling Animal Festival....
Storytelling Animal Festival
upon a time in East Tennessee there was a Storytelling Festival. It
drew huge herds of animals, so many that there was no barn large
enough on the farm to accommodate the influx of spectators.
Therefore, Farmer Jones had five large tents set up and scattered
around his farm in different places so there would be room for all the
visitors. The close proximity of the animals to each other seemed to
bring out their different
EARLY BIRDS: The birds were up early and came two hours before
the program started. They got seats in the front and perched on them
for dear life, never leaving them unguarded for even a moment. They
brought bird food to eat and had someone watch their perch if they had
to go to the birdbath.
SQUIRRELS: The squirrels got up with the birds. They piled
blankets, cushions, or other nesting materials on chairs to reserve
them and then left to scamper around, most likely in another tent.
This way they had a good seat squirreled away for later.
Unfortunately, it prevented any other animals from using an unoccupied
GRASSHOPPERS: The grasshoppers hopped from tent to tent at
every break. They tried to see the best storytellers in each tent and
were never satisfied, always afraid they were missing something
elsewhere that was better. Sometimes one of them even left 10 minutes
early to get to the next tent and stake a new claim even if it meant
missing the end of the story.
HOGS: The swine came early and try to hold seats for all their
friends who showed up at the last minute. They put their possessions
on a large number of seats and told the other animals that the seats
were taken. The festival had rules against hogging seats, but it was
very hard to keep the hogs from being greedy..
RABBITS: Rabbits were busy playing and got less than desirable
seats, so they constantly watched for someone a row or two up to
leave. They then hopped up and grabbed the empty chair before any
other animal could get it. They hopped seats over and over until they
finally got to the front of the tent.
HAWKS: These birds are loners. They fly around and around
surveying the crowd and looking for an empty seat. They can spot a
deserted nest from a mile away and will swoop in and land in it, even
if they disturb two-dozen other animals who are listening to a story.
BULLS: The bulls come charging in at the last minute when
little seating is left. They take one of the front seats reserved for
families of storytellers, sitting on the "reserved" sign and
acting as if they don't see it. They are too bull-headed to even
observe the customs of common courtesy.
CHICKENS: The chickens flock around outside the tent listening.
They either don't like crowds of another feather, or for whatever
reason do not want to roost in a tent, even though they have paid a
lot of chicken feed to be there.
ROACHES: Roaches do not have tickets. They just creep around
outside the fenced areas usually hanging out around the food tents.
Although no one actually sees them do it, we are sure some roaches
probably slip through the cracks into the tents without paying
SHEEP: The sheep keep coming back to the same watering hole
year after year. Some sheep have not missed a single festival for 30
years or more. They are regulars in the storytelling circuit, which
seems to have a flock of followers.
Although Farmer Jones wanted to treat all the animals equally, some
thought they were more equal than others, proving once again that
animals will act like animals because they are.
However, these "animals" at the Storytelling Festival were
actually people, and we cannot explain why people will sometimes act
like animals too.
Copyright 2007 Sheila Moss
Nashville, TN 37219
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