[Fiction] Friday Challenge for October, 5 2007:

Use the first line of a nursery rhyme (your choice) to start your own story.

How Fiction Friday works.

Fiction Friday is easy to do.

* Every Thursday, just check this page for this week’s theme or challenge.
* Spend at least 5 minutes composing something original based on the theme or challenge.
* But, remember, no editing. This is to inspire creativity not stifle it.
* On Friday, simply post what you wrote to your own blog.
* Then come back to Write Stuff and leave the link in the comment section of that week’s Fiction Friday post.

A list of nursery rhymes, most I’d never heard of. There were so many choices, here are a few of my favorites.

“Oranges and Lemons”

“I Love Little Pussy”

“Come To The Window”

“Three Young Rats With Black Felt Hats”

So what am I going to write? I really like the last one.

“Tails and Taxis”

Three young rats with black felt hats was not a common sight, even for those jaded New Yorkers bustling through Times Square. They were ordinary city rats, wily and plump, but on this afternoon, they had set up in front of the TKTS booth and were actively engaging the queue of weary tourists. The expressions were comical to behold as the bemused crowd tried, without much success, to adopt the sang-froid of the locals. Various children, enchanted with the performing rats, detached themselves with alacrity and plopped down on the pavement in a ragged circle. Their open and delighted smiles alarmed the parents who cajoled their offspring to move away from the dirty rodents.

“Dirty sir? I pray, doth thou speaketh of me? I am a classically trained artist of the boards and through no fault of my own, have been cast into this most dreadful condition.”

Squeals and soft clapping greeted this pronouncement and many of the children edged every closer to the trio of resplendent rats. Howls, grown rapidly distant, could also be heard as harried parents forcibly yanked protesting youngsters out of the crowd. As one child was removed, two more moved into place.

“You there! I say young lady, would you be perchance intrigued by my tale? I have many an exciting adventure to relate.”

The girl in question nervously shrugged and her eyes darted side-to-side before coming to rest on the apparent leader of the rats. He sat upright, propped on his tail, and calmly gazed with clear eyes at the child. When she nodded quickly in agreement, he gracefully doffed his black felt hat and gave a sweeping bow.

“Thanks me lady, you are indeed a pearl beyond price. Boys and girls, lads and lasses, gentlemen and gentlewomen of all ages, gather round and lend me your complete and undivided attention! My name is Joshia Ramshackle and once I was the toast of the continent– not this one mind you– but a land far away and filled with every delectable treat you could possibly imagine.”

Here Joshia the rat paused and put a trembling paw to his face. The painful memories showed in the strain evident on his narrow, pointed snout. A single tear slowly creased his fur and plummeted to the hard concrete. A sigh passed through the throng of children as they commiserated with his plight. The adults by now had abandoned any pretense of aloofness and exchanged astonished glances with total strangers at the sight of their normally misbehaving youngsters sitting completely still and silent.

“I was, if I may be so modest, incredible, amazing, stupendous even. Kings and Queens, Dukes and Earls, every type of nobility swooned at my feet. My playing was beyond reproach and so even reached the wretched poor as I brought light and hope into their miserable existences. I was a pure soul. Until temptation crossed my path. As it is wont to do in all your lives as well. A cookie here, a chocolate there, a mean word, a blow; you see children, I fell from grace not because of my acting, but because I strayed into greener pastures and now I am reduced to a most meager living.”

So saying, the three young rats with black felt hats turned exuberant cartwheels and spinning faster and faster round and round, suddenly leaped prodigiously over the pigtails and towheads. Blond and brunette, black and red, they swiveled as one and watched as Josiah and his two companions scampered off to the curb. A taxi was waiting, roof light on, and on the side it said; ‘Josiah’s Livery’.

By Rose Dewy Knickers, October 4th, 2007


20 thoughts on “Nonsense

  1. Rose, Rose, my dearest Rose

    In addition to all your other planned works,
    I think a vignette of your short novellas would
    definitely not go amiss… you sure know how
    to spin a yarn ma’am.

    lotsa luv ann xxxxx

  2. wonderful!!! and I third it..about the book..along with all your other ones up must put this one in line…love you much girl..xoxoxo madd

  3. Hi Diane. Oh no!!! Another book? When exactly will I have the time to do that? 😉

    Madd, not you too? I’ll have to write for the next two years to do that and where would the bunny sleep?



  4. Write a book! You know you can depend on me to write reviews. I am only volunteering to do that as I am gonna receive ARCs!

    On a serious note, you should consider that book on short stories.

  5. Gautami, I have to ask. What is ARC? All things in due time. I think a book for me and a book for Brian once a year is doable. Once he retires.

    Hi Jo,

    Thank you. When I thought of rats in hats, it flowed from there. I’ll be sending you an email tomorrow about our trip. Also Jo, I keep forgetting to tell you. On your comments, your URL has a ‘comma’ instead of a ‘period’ between blogspot and com. I fix it though.



  6. Hi Rose! Maybe it’s me wanting a dark side, but I was expecting the mice to somehow capture/run off with that girl he addressed directly. That however, did not detract from a well-spun tail, oops I mean tale 🙂

  7. Hi Willow, that thought did cross my mind, but I kept the dark out of this story. Besides, the Pied Piper’s already been done.

    Thanks Gautami, I don’t think we will have ARC. It should be available for purchase from the first day.



  8. Saw your note on Gautami’s blog, about using silly words for sex scenes – I hate that too.

    Came to find out who you were.

    Glad I did.

    My main blog is Escribition, at

    Linked blog is my book blog, Bibliotica.

    I’m in the middle of work (I write web copy for a living) so don’t have time to read more of your blog, but will definitely be back.

  9. Welcome Melissa, and thank you for venturing my way. I am very different, yet someone like everyone else. I hope you do have a chance to come back and visit more. Poke around and explore and I’ll answer any question you may have.



  10. Good evening Rose, finally getting the time to do the rounds and read everyone’s Fiction Friday posts!

    I was half-expecting a Hamlin reference, but again you defy expectations! I thin Joshia is a character with a lot of potential for further adventures!

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