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Mad Cow Disease
Copyright Mark Snoswell, April 2007.

“Roger,” said George, nodding between mouthfuls of fresh grass, “Bit of a brisk one this morning.”

“G’day George. Cold enough to freeze the balls off a brass monkey,” replied Roger, steam rising from his coat in the morning light.  He stamped his feet to get the circulation going.

“So how’s the eastern side of the paddock?” asked George.

“All quiet… damn the grass is tasty this morning.” Roger preferred be alone in the mornings. This was his favorite time of day.  Sun warming his back, the tang of fresh dewy grass in his mouth and the scent of a new day.

“Bad thing this Mad Cow Disease,” said George.

“Yeah,” replied Roger as he tore up another mouthful of grass. “Got the whole herd on edge. Everyone’s being extra normal trying not to attract attention… except Betsy”
“Oh ho… Betsy. There’s a beauty alright. A right little frisky heifer,” said George with a mischievous look in his eye. “There’s one heifer worth risking a little madness for eh…”
A commotion at the other side of the paddock caught Roger’s eye. “What the heck!” interrupted Roger. “What the hell’s going on down there?… it’s Betsy again. Prancing around with her tail in the air. She’ll get us all in trouble.”

“Aw, steady on Roger,” said George. “Betsy’s just got a lot of energy. Ain’t no harm in showing a little enthusiasm – if you know what I mean.” All this talk of frisky heifers was getting George excited. “I’ll go down and talk to her quietly”

“Oh no you don’t,” said Roger “Last time you ‘talked’ to Betsy alone you ended up attracting more attention than two cows in a mini. I’m going with you.”

As George and Roger strolled down the paddock they could see Betsy prancing about, waving her tail in a very un-ladylike manner.

“Disgusting,” snorted Roger.

“Wonderful,” sighed George.

“Betsy! Stop that and come here before someone sees you!” demanded Roger.
Betsy stopped and regarded the two bulls for a moment before prancing over to them, twirling her tail all the time. “Hello boys,” said Betsy as she made eyes at George and twirled her tail ever more vigorously – much to George’s obvious delight.

“Stop that,” demanded Roger. “This is no time to be calling attention to yourself. You’ll get us all in trouble what with this Mad Cow Disease alert.”

“Oh that doesn’t bother me,” said Betsy, as she leapt about swishing her tail this way and that.

“What?” spluttered Rodger. “You stupid cow. It bothers us all. Aren’t you the least bit worried someone will see you and think you’re a mad cow?”

“No,” said Betsy with an extra vigorous spin of her tail.

“Why not?” demanded Roger, stamping the ground for extra effect.

Betsy stopped, looked at him with big brown eyes and with a twirl of her tail proclaimed, “Because I’m not a cow – I’m a helicopter.”

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Battle Bunny
Copyright Mark Snoswell, April 2007.

“What the…!” Sebronski couldn’t believe his eyes. NO, not on my watch he thought, as he rubbed his eyes hoping it would go away... No it was still there. Larger than life, right smack in the middle of the battle field. “Commander –“ Damn, who was on now? He scanned the roster. There it was -- Geraldo. Well that’d be right. If there was something weird going down then Geraldo wouldn’t be far away.

“Commander Geraldo,” bellowed Sebronski at the top of his voice.

No one blinked, no one noticed, no one cared. He grabbed a passing mech-aid, nearly ripping out its antennae as he lifted it off the ground.

“Look at me you little heap of tin shit. Do you know who I am?”
“Yesser,” spat its rusty voice box.
“Well, you’ll go fetch me Commander Geraldo right away then.”

The pathetic mech burped and fizzed where he’d dropped it. It looked like it was going to expire but managed a mangled “yesser” as it sped away.

Sebronski turned to the battlefield again, hoping that it was all a bad dream. He rubbed his eyes willing it to go away. Don’t be there, don’t be there, don’t be there. If he rubbed his eyes enough it wouldn’t be there when he looked…  It was. Right in the middle of it all... Right in the thick of the battle field, surrounded by dismembered bots and axe wielding warriors –



Sebronski nearly jumped out of his skin – now his ears hurt as much as his eyes. We should put Geraldo on the battlefield and get him to shout the enemy to death, thought Sebronski.


“I KNOW who you are – you bloody fool. What I want to know is what the hell that is,” said Sebronski, arm extended rifle rigid, pointing to the battle field.


Sebronski held his position, as unflinching as a granite statue. “In the MIDDLE of the battle field you fool.”


Sebronski knew he was being goaded. “NO. THAT. THE GIANT, FUZZY, PINK EASTER BUNNY – you little shit”


Sebronski bit his tongue and just stood there, silently willing it all to go away.

Sebronski looked at the battlefield again. He scanned it thoroughly – he couldn’t see their champion, Marvin, anywhere. Why me, he thought. Why me? He turned back to Geraldo.

“And why is our death match champion dressed as a giant pink Easter bunny?”


… Some things just don’t compute. Sebronski looked at the battlefield again; looked at the stats: they were winning by 354 kills; 768 dismemberments; 2,983 penetrating wounds and 3,476 flesh wounds… and no injured bunnies.

Sebronski turned to Geraldo. “And why are the enemy scared of a bunny?” He regretted the words as soon as they left his mouth.


“No. Stop. I don’t want to know.”  This was one report that Sebronski wasn’t looking forward to writing up. “Just go”


“And Geraldo – I hope this is the last surprise?”

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Copyright Mark Snoswell, April 2007.

 “This is so embarrassing, I feel like a fool”

“Shut up and follow me… you look great, it fits you perfectly… very cute.” Fang was fed up. Try to help a friend experience something new and what did he get – nothing but whining.

“You don’t think she’ll notice anything strange… I feel weird”

“OH, just shut up! First you beg me to introduce you and then all you do is whine. I don’t know why I bother. I really don’t.”

“It’s just –“


“It just. I dunno. I’m not so sure anymore. I was kind of excited about dating someone new but now I’m here amongst all these fresh young girls… I’m kind of hungry”
“OH for craps sake. Make up your mind. Do you want to meet her or eat her?”
“I don’t suppose I could do both? I’m kind of hungry and horny.”

“Not in that order you can’t! Bloody hell -- you help out one mate and all of sudden every pervert in the pack is licking you up for a favor. Never again!... OK, so which little lamb takes your fancy? We can party now and eat later. But that’s it – You’re not coming flocking with me again.”

*This is an update on the old classic “A wolf in sheep’s clothing”.

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Lateral thinker

Copyright Mark Snoswell, April 2007.

Jimmy was pleased with himself… really pleased. He savored the feeling and liked it. He wanted to show someone. They were always giving him things – things he didn’t know what to do with. Tiny things his big hands had difficulty with. Pegs and boards with holes. Jimmy didn’t like the way people felt as they watched him, they always seemed disappointed. Now Jimmy knew why – he had solved the peg and board puzzle and desperately wanted to show them. Jimmy went off in search of someone to show…
“OK, OK Jimmy, I’m coming” Susan had never seen Jimmy so excited. She had trouble keeping up as he dragged her along.

“Ow, Jimmy, let go. Your hurting my hand”

Jimmy noticed the hurt tone and paused to turn back and look down at Susan. “Jimmy smart. Show Susan”

“Yes Jimmy, but let go of my hand, you’re hurting. I’ll follow”

Jimmy paused and smiled back at Susan, then turned and forged on with Susan cursing and running to keep from being dragged to the ground. She nearly fell over as they reached the play pen and Jimmy dropped her hand to race over to the toy bin. He retrieved one of the peg boards that always frustrated him so much. Susan had never seen him so excited or focused. Massaging her hand she went over to where Jimmy was laying out pegs on the ground in front of the board. As usual he had a large selection of pegs that would not go through any hole and just a few that would – the concept of matching shapes to holes was totally alien to him.

Jimmy finished laying out the pegs and looked down at Susan “Jimmy smart.”
Susan’s heart leapt. She could barely control her excitement. She looked into Jimmy’s huge placid eyes. She was afraid to let herself hope – could he?

Jimmy beamed at Susan and proclaimed “Jimmy smart. Look”. He proceeded to ram a square peg through a small round hole by sheer brute force. Susan could feel the radiation from metal that was friction heated to red hot as it was forced, screeching, through the super-hard metal board. Jimmy picked up the still red hot peg and beamed at Susan “Warm now, cold before.”

Susan was speechless. Torn between pity and excitement. For an empathic mega-droid in a cold environment it was a solution of sorts – but not the one they were after. Susan forced a smile and tried to project pride to cover up her underlying fear. “Good Jimmy. Smart Jimmy.”

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Strange Attraction
Copyright Mark Snoswell, April 2007.

Gillian drew a deep breath savoring the exotic smells. She had been looking forward to this traineeship for so long that it was like a dream to actually be here. She pinched herself. Yep, it’s real. She liked that attention of the crowds as she walked with the head keeper and Jumbo through the zoo. She smiled back a child in the crowd – what was he pointing at? …

“Oh – my – God. What’s that?” Oh shit, thought Gillian I actually said that out loud. She could feel herself turning red, that really, really deep embarrassment where you can feel your face radiating.

“HA. You started in the wrong job if you don’t know what that is.” Said the senior keeper. “Biggest dick in the zoo that one!” he added loudly.

Gillian tried to shrink. She didn’t know where to look. The crowd were tittering and pointing.

“Gets a woody every time we walk past the Penguin cage.” Exclaimed the keeper. “Yep. That’s one twisted Elephant!”

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