Posts Tagged ‘illustrations’
Billy Beg and His Bull ©
Long, long ago there was a kingdom that spread about the valley of Cork in Ireland. It was so fertile that the beeves grazing there were fat, – it must have been the grass that fed on milk and honey, and they certainly made the king very wealthy. The palace as a result must have seemed more like a stall for cattle. They moved about in and out of the palace grounds, men and beasts alike, and were contented lot. The Queen looked after the buttery, and the larder well stocked with cheese, meat spoke well of her industry.
They had one son whose name was Billy Beg.
Billy Beg had a bull and they were inseparable.
When the Queen was laid with an incurable illness she begged her husband to see that he never separated them. The King wondered if placing a bull by the throne of the future king was a good idea. ‘The king should have his first counselor by his side and not a bull.’
The Queen pointed out his minister who, she said was a pig.
‘Lord Mountjoy, a pig!’ the king exclaimed, ‘no he is as much a man as I am.’ The king defended his first counselor.
The dying Queen hissed, ’only in form but in everything else a pig of the worst sort.’ The king got the idea. So after his wife died he saw to that Billy Beg remained as close to his bull as before and it did the boy a lot of good. But when the King remarried the new Queen who came from across the seas condemned everything she laid her eyes on. She thought the palace was a regular sty and the food unpalatable.
She got rid of Lord Mountjoy and instead she installed Lady Agatha, the hen woman, a witch brought from London. The latter had a rooster and it crowed daily and the king and the subjects were expected to keep regular hours.
The men were asked to grow potatoes than cattle and eat it daily. Thus she had changed everything that Billy Beg was used to. Whenever he ate bread and dipped it in mutton stew she grumbled that only oafs in her country ate thus.
From the king down to the varlet were required to eat potatoes and the king quietly fell to the new fare.
Scarcely had she got her hands on the controls she knew a bull roaming in and around the palace halls was a disgrace. She insisted that the King had the bull, the inseparable companion of Billy Beg, slaughtered.
Rather than face the displeasure of the Queen the King one evening sent for his son.
The king took him privately aside and with many a tear in his eye confided that he was inconsolable. ‘But son, this throne shall be yours by birthright. So come back when you have made a name for yourself.’
Billy Beg loved his father and comforted him, ‘Cheer up father, At least you spared me from seeing my friend butchered.’ He promised to come back. Without any delay he took his bull and went out into the darkness.
After couple of years one day he heard the hateful stepmother was dead and he returned home. His bull also accompanied him.
Much had happened to the King. He was older and worn out. However he warmly welcomed his son.
Billy Beg was surprised to see the cock and the King smiled sheepishly,’ My late wife left me this in her remembrance.’ Billy Beg pointed to his bull and pulled out a napkin out of his ear.
‘Spread it out and we shall sup grandly!’ crowed the rooster,
The king looked at the cock in awe. Billy Beg in excitement said, ’Father the cock said it truly!’ The royal jaw dropped and Billy Beg said he would retrieve a piece of stick from his right ear.
Next moment Billy Beg produced the stick and the bull said, ‘Wind it over your head three times, Billy!’
Before he could do it he saw his father falling down heavily.
The King was lathering his mouth in foam and rolling his eyes as though he could not believe his eyes any more.
Billy told the Bull that his father could not take it any more.’
Billy Beg went to his aid and made him sit up and told him soothingly,’ Forget what the cock said. Also of the bull’
By and by the king came around. ‘ I will be all right, Son. It just happens that I had too much of this cock and bull story.’(Old Irish Tale)
Jack and the Beanstalk ©
Jack was a boy of 12 and he lived with his mother in a cottage. She being a widow thought Jack would make life easier for her. But Jack spent his day tied to her apron. ‘Jack, you got to do the chores around the house and help me.’ She would often remind him.
Jack would answer ‘I hear you loud and clear,’ but whatever he did was not good enough. Jack was what you call a simpleton.
After a severe winter Jack noticed that the cow acted strangely and knew she would die soon of foot and mouth disease. Jack told his mother that sooner they got rid of her they would be better off.
‘Yes, with some money in our hands.’ His mother reminded him. He laughed and said, ‘We are on the same wavelength then.’
There was something about him that seemed to tell his moment to prove himself was nigh. ‘But who shall buy a sick cow on her last legs?’ His mother was skeptical.
‘If I am Jack and the town is named UFOria I shall make some one less euphoric.’
‘We shall soon see about that’ his mother said still not convinced at his abilities.
Jack led the cow to the market and sure enough found a butcher who fancied the cow that acted rather strangely.
The butcher held out some beans. ‘Wonder beans’ exclaimed he. Jack knew something about beans since he had a patch of beans that he tended himself. His eyes widened to see them glow with strange fires and he said, ‘It is a deal!’ The butcher gave the beans and took hold of the sick cow.
The butcher picked out a butter bean from his pocket and said ‘ET’? The cow ate it. Instantly she jumped as though given a high voltage of electricity. She was completely cured. The butcher took her to his stall and the folks exclaimed, ‘Poor Jack!’ They knew for sure Jack was a dunce beyond saving.
But Jack was in euphoria and he took the beans to his mother. When told there was no money from the sale she slumped on the floor and threw her smock over her head and sobbed. Jack could not understand. He threw the beans out of the window and said,
‘These beans are wonder beans!’
His poor mother cried louder this time.
That night mother slept in despair. Next morning an excited Jack woke her up. He tugged her hand and said ‘Look Ma, what the magic beans have done!’
His mother rubbed her eyes and saw a strange sight. It looked as though the beans had grown tall and the creepers had knotted all together into some sort of ladder.
‘I told you Ma, beans would make your eyes pop.’
His mother could not believe. She tweaked his nose and pulling by his ear she took him outside and pointed to the ground. ‘Look, you good for nothing Dunce!’
Yes the beans were all there on the ground. They were as ordinary as beans.
Jack patiently told his mother to look up. As sure he said there was a strange ship above and it looked as alien as those who manned it.
‘UFO’ spluttered the mother.
‘Brought on by magic beans.’ Jack explained that magic was in the signals that the beans could emit. It gave the correct coordinates to guide the flying saucer to pick him up.
Jack was in his element. No more shuffled he like a simpleton, as he was wont before. In high spirits he ascended to the flying saucer. No sooner had he reached inside than the hatch closed. The many lights flickered and silently the space ship lifted.
Jack from within could see the butcher coming in a huff. He was pointing to something and Jack could see it was his cow. The butcher had cured and sent it flying! But a cow jumping over the moon was nothing new to him.
Jack signaled to the wonder-struck mother, ‘Don’t feel bad, you are an earthling.’
His mother seemed to catch his words. She stood there muttering, ‘So I am not his mother in the biological sense.’ Of course in a town called Euphoria a mother not knowing her own child is no strange than a cow jumping over the moon.
Jack had in a sense stepped into another dimension using some beans.
Posted in illustrations, stories, tagged art, Benny Thomas, charcoal pencil, Charles the Mad, Charles the Well Beloved, Charles VI, chimeras, gargoyles, humor, illustrations, low life, Notre Dame, Paris, Parisian, pen, River Seine, tripe, waterspouts on March 17, 2012 | Leave a Comment »
The river Seine is the jewel in the crown of the City of Paris. It starts somewhere in Burgundy and flows towards English Channel. With all the might of its flow there was a time the river before it reached the sea lost all its force and dribbled into a mist. The tributaries like l’Aube, l’Yonne, l’Essonne, le Loing, la Marne, l’Oise and l’Eure like many strands of jewels lost their luster. Parisians in the time of Charles VI (who was called Bien-Aime) thought there was something serious afoot. River Seine that was their national pride began to smell. There were riots and the king and his queen were perplexed that they could not do a thing.
It was in such a time one night one gargoyle from the Notre Dame took to its head to investigate. What is a gargoyle but a waterspout made to look like a demon with such fanciful air about it? It may be chimerical but had a panoramic view of the city of lights. It also saw the denizens of the city go about wenching, cutting capers and thieving at all hours. These gargoyles had such a jolly time to see them parading their liveliness at all hours. They made bricks and plastered walls with them and left them to scrawl their irreverence for all to see. Even when they were strung up from scaffold they made jokes about their necks or of the weight of their arses, and how gargoyles had laughed!
The gargoyle had no plans but simply took advantage of a moonlit night to see for itself what was the hubbub all about. It took the appearance of a clochard and walked along the river and sampling the wares. It tasted tripe and thought it was delicious and stuffed itself so much that it could not breathe. It started rolling in discomfort. One beggar seeing the stranger took a stick and probed in the mouth. Oh yes there was a piece stuck! With much struggle he managed to get it out. He seemed to have opened something more! The gargoyle regurgitated its innards and it was waterfall.And the waterfall became a flashflood! All that water made it to the river. As a result the river Seine began overflowing.
The gargoyle stood up much relieved and said, ‘Waiit till I get the joker who stuck a spigot in my throat!’ and before the terrified beggar could get a hold of himself he said with a grin,’Never fear, dying with a dry throat! I will be there to help you out!’ And he disappeared.
The term originates from the French gargouille, originally “throat” or “gullet”; Latin gurgulio, gula, and similar words derived from the root gar, “to swallow”, which represented the gurgling sound of water (e.g., Spanish garganta, “throat”; Spanish gárgola, “gargoyle”).(ack: http://www.ultrafeel.tv/gargoyle-notre-dame-cathedral-photo