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Deal 1170: Emptying the Swamp

Crank the handle, wind up the music. And the band played on. And the frogs came in from the swamp.

Wind up the music. Listen to the croaking madness. Dodge the occasional explosion.

There is a war on, but then when hasn’t there been a war on?

The frogs come in from the swamp in wave, croaking thanks as they cross our threshold.

Rain may fall without harm, but shrapnel is a flying pig of another color entirely. Frogs don’t appreciate the charms of shrapnel. They do appreciate shelter.

Music plays and frogs sing.

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Deal 1169: Squeak!

Life on the bat-stretching line is not for everyone. Especially not for those with extended hearing ranges.

They squeak when stretched, you know. Terribly loudly, but mostly also terribly high-pitched.

Most people find it rather off-putting. But without stretching, bats would never be as fit for flight.

Are your bats freshly stretched?

Does your belfry need attention?

A visit from a skilled bat-stretcher will cure-all that ails.

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Deal 1168: Chicken little’s mirror

The magic mirror promised her beauty beyond compare. In exchange, she merely had to offer cautious advice to her friends.

This went on for some years without issue or concern, until the panic set in.

Little did she know what was in store for her. The sky had been her constant companion, and now it was at risk. She had to warn her friends.

But that put her at odds with her promise to her mirror.

How could she possibly decide?

Which came first?

Her image or her friends?

As she panicked unable to decide, the sky opened up and the storm arrived. The worst storm seen in the barnyard in generations.

As she floated off across the road, she knew she should have warned her friends, but her vanity had stood in the way.

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Deal 1166: Writers

‘Ware the humble writer, toiling over his ever-moving pen. He is once again trapped by his need to tell a tale.

The fire alarm is ringing, and still the writer sits at his work table, surrounded by drafts of his magnum opus. When it finally sinks in that the house might be on fire, he sweeps up the latest draft as his only valuable possession.

He can say that he’s tried other things, but they alway felt like a disguise to his essential nature. Once a writer, nothing can hide it, nothing can prevent it, and there is no cure.

The only way forward is to push on through, and learn to manage the condition. Write when able, and come to peace with yourself and your idiosyncratic quirks.

And above all, remember to be nice to editors and fans, for they too might suffer from the same affliction.