The Owl, the Mouse, and the Goat #amwriting @StoryADayMay #TeamOxfordComma

A li’l short fable today. Thanks for the prompt, Pete!

The Owl, the Mouse, and the Goat

by Marian Allen

An owl, a mouse, and a goat shared a shed. The mouse was the last of her family, the rest having succumbed to drain cleaner mixed with bird seed which the gods had placed just inside one of the entrances to their tunnels. Miss Mouse, having observed the demise of her more pious relatives, who ate the poison just because the gods had given it, had turned atheist.

She and the goat debated the question one moonlit night, and they nibbled at the pile of hay the gods provided every evening.

“The gods are good,” the goat insisted. “They give me food every day. They bring me beautiful nannies to love, and take them away when I grow tired of them.”

The mouse said, “They take them away, whether you’re tired of them or not.”

The goat shed a tear, for there had been one nanny who had charmed him utterly, but she, too, had been taken from him. “The will of the gods is hard, sometimes,” he said.

The mouse spit out a bit of chaff she had taken in with a grain of alfalfa.

The owl, heavy from an evening of successful hunting, opened his eyes.

“You’re both fools,” he said. “The gods don’t matter to me, one way or the other. I find my own food. So could both of you, if you chose to do it. Bowing your head or shaking your fist in defiance give them an importance they don’t deserve.”

“And yet,” said the goat, “I seem to see an owl in the rafters, even though the world is full of perfectly good trees.”

The owl turned his back and went to sleep, and the goat and the mouse finished their common repast in peace.


I’m posting today at Fatal Foodies on the topic of how I ate three eggplants in one sitting.

MY PROMPTS TODAY: A goat, an owl, a moonlit night, a pile of hay (thank you, Pete Laberge), drain cleaner

If you liked this story, you might like my other stories and my novels. Support an author: buy a book and leave an Amazon review. I thank you, and my cat thanks you.



I was born in Louisville, Kentucky, but now live in the woods in southern Indiana. Though I only write fiction, I love to read non-fiction. The more I learn about this world, the more fantastic I see it is.

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One thought on “The Owl, the Mouse, and the Goat #amwriting @StoryADayMay #TeamOxfordComma

  1. Dan Antion

    May 30, 2017 at 9:32am

    I’m pretty sure the critters in our yard aren’t worshiping my wife. They come up on the porch more with a look of “hey lady, are you going to feed us today?” than holy praise 🙂

    Permalink  ⋅ Reply
    • Author

      Marian Allen

      May 30, 2017 at 10:29am

      That’s the attitude a great many people have toward the Deity, isn’t it?

      Permalink  ⋅ Reply
    • Author

      Marian Allen

      May 30, 2017 at 4:24pm

      That’s all of it. And the moral is: If the price of your intellectual honesty is a roof over your head, don’t try to lord it over others because they command a higher price. Other morals welcome.

      Permalink  ⋅ Reply
  2. joey

    May 30, 2017 at 8:06pm

    Love this tale 🙂 The owl is wise, but he’d do well to recognize his blessings.

    Permalink  ⋅ Reply

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