A guest post by Mark W. Bradley
(Chapter One - "A New Dope")
Once upon a time in the Kantseatha Forest, there lived three hungry little wolves who set out to seek their fortunes. Their names were Dickie, Rover and Scooter.
Upon departing their respective dens of origin, the first challenge facing each of these ambitious little wolves was, of course, the task of building for himself a sunlight-proof shelter, each according to his eccentric appetite and innate ability to hide his true nature and underlying motives, even from himself.
Scooter Wolf, for instance, arranged for his house to be fabricated out of toxic mold-infested straw (although he seems not to have been entirely aware of this fact until it was revealed to him months later by his sometimes friend, Little Russ the Raccoon). Truth be told, Scooter could not exactly recall when
(or even if
) he'd been formally notified that his house was being built out of bales of moldy straw. On the contrary, he was pretty sure he'd been given categorical assurances by his friend, developer Dickie Wolf, that Dickie's construction company, Hellaporkin, was using a "state of the art" building material described as "steel-reinforced modules of highly compacted cellulose fiber aggregate", which, according to the color brochure, boasted an insulation factor in excess of R-19, and was guaranteed to be every bit as safe as an electric diaper.
Unbeknownst to Scooter Wolf, his friend Rover had also recruited Dickie Wolf and Hellaporkin to build his
dream house. For this project, Dickie the Developer recruited a lodge of unlicensed, non-union beavers to built Rover a house made entirely out of twigs, or as they were described in the promotional video, "a rare and exotic collection of all-natural, chemical-free, rustic lumber stock, harvested under rigid guidelines consistent with the principles of environmental sustainability."
Surprisingly, when at last it came time for Dickie Wolf to construct a domestic dwelling of his own
, he opted not
to use the Hellaporkin Construction Company. Instead, he made an offer on an already existing, virtually impregnable 9,000 square-foot brick fortress originally constructed by a porcine acquaintance of Dickie’s he’d met in an earlier fairy tale. Unfortunately, while the transaction was pending in escrow, this very same fortress sustained extensive water damage in the catastrophic failure of an upstream beaver dam built years before by (guess who) Hellaporkin. The odd thing about the collapse was that the dam had just gotten a “thumbs up” from Dickie’s good friends at the Aardvark Corps of Engineers.
An even odder thing was that although the deceased owner - referred to in newspaper accounts simply as “Mr. L. Pigg III” - was presumed to have drowned in his living room during the ensuing flood, the complete lack of water in Mr. Pigg’s lungs initially cast some doubt on this section of the coroner’s report. This apparent
discrepancy was later resolved, however, as the revised
coroner’s report determined that the water that had originally saturated Mr. Pigg’s respiratory system had most likely drained out of his lungs through the hundred or so birdshot-sized holes in his back.
In due course, the badly damaged brick building was condemned, and declared forfeit under an arcane provision of the Law of Eminent Domain. Fortunately, Dickie Wolf was able to acquire the property for the affordable price of $1, as he turned out to be the sole bidder at a hastily arranged government auction conducted at an undisclosed location. Miraculously, this undisclosed location happened to be the very same undisclosed location where Dickie was holed-up at the time.
Dickie Wolf loved his new home. Built entirely out of high-density fire-proof bricks and reinforced with an estimated 32 miles of steel rebar, it contained an underground bunker roomy enough to accommodate up to fourteen guests/detainees. More importantly, the entire structure was sheathed in a 2" thick lining of sheet lead, a precaution against radiation leaks eminating from the plutonium-powered dual-purpose air pump and water purifier. Settling in comfortably, it wasn’t long before Dickie Wolf had stocked the place with items from his lupine survival kit: 150 packages of "flamin' hot” pork rinds, twelve cases of "Grey Goose" Vodka, two durable sets of industrial-strength defibrillator paddles, a salt lick, four tanks of Nitrous Oxide, and a 100% virgin wool sheep costume (XXL).
One day, Dickie Wolf and his friend Scooter were playing Dickie's favorite game, Extreme Risk
, which involved a game board of the world, 2 trillion dollars in monopoly money, and a plastic box full of tokens, some of which showed a picture of a smiling wolf - dressed in bonnet and bifocals borrowed from someone's kindly grandmother - above the words Protectorate of Dickie Wolf.
The rest of the tokens showed the words Property of Everybody Else
under pictures of variously decorated baskets of goodies.
Dickie had no sooner arranged the game pieces on the board and filled his pockets with as much monopoly money as they would hold, than he began to feel despondent.
"What's wrong?" asked Scooter.
"It's not fair," grumbled Dickie. "This game reminds me that there are still a lot of animals in the forest who don't have the good sense to let me handle their affairs. It's almost as if they don't trust me..." He seemed genuinely hurt by this realization.
"Cheer up," said Scooter, unintentionally drooling wolf-slobber all over the game board. "There's nothing wrong with your furry face that a little prosthetic dentistry couldn't fix. In the mean time, what you need is a fig leaf."
"What's that?" asked Dickie, his wolf ears perking up.
"You know, a cover,” replied Scooter. “Someone amiable and non-threatening to act as a front for your enterprise.”
“Maybe you’re right,” uttered Dickie Wolf. “In fact, I’m going to find one right now
Dickie hadn’t traveled very far when he came across a fig tree growing in a swamp off to the right of the path. Actually, it was more of a stunted bush. The fruit on the bush looked scrumptious, so Dickie picked one and eagerly plopped it into his richly salivating mouth. It tasted like dog shit. Dickie began to barf all over himself.
He had convulsed himself well into the dry heaves when suddenly he heard a tiny little inarticulate voice that seemed to rise up from the ground. Dickie looked all around, but all he could see was an insignificant little fig leaf lying at the base of the bush.
“Howdy,” squeaked the leaf, “my name is Potus. Potus the Fig Leaf. What’s yours?”
“They call me Dickie Wolf,” sneered Dickie. “Say, how did you manage to get detached from that revolting fig tree, anyway?”
“The other leaves voted me off,” said Potus, sadly. “Said I was a drain on the root system. Wait a minute, did you just say your name was Wolf? I have a new friend with the same last name!
Rover Wolf, he calls himself. He’s promised to make me a very powerful leaf and get me the respect I so richly deserve. Maybe you know him...”
Just then, Rover himself emerged from behind the obnoxious fig tree.
“Hello, Dickie. Long time, no see,” chuckled Rover with a drooling drawl.
“Hello, you mangy pile of overstuffed dog flesh,” said Dickie, good naturedly. “Your friend Potus here was just telling me how you’re going to make him a star. Perhaps you’d care to elaborate...”
“My pleasure, Mutton-Breath,” sneered Rover. “Actually, I’m the one who gave him the name Potus
. His family always referred to him as Mr. Chlorophyll-deficient
. Frankly, as far as fig leaves go, he has the mental capacity of, well, a fig leaf.”
“Makes sense,” offered Dickie, thoughtfully. “Thing is, I happen to be in the market for a fig leaf, and the less inquisitive it is, the better. Any chance we could collaborate on this kid’s political career?”
“Anything’s possible, for the right price,” hinted Rover Wolf.
“Is this enough?” asked Dickie, as he reached into one of his pockets and dumped a crumpled wad of monopoly money on the ground.
“Looks like we got ourselves a deal,” said Rover, with a toothy smile.
“Hurray,” shouted the fig leaf. "Does this mean I'm finally gonna get to be the King of the Forest?”
“That's what it means, kid,” chortled Dickie, as he chewed lustily on a gnarly strip of squirrel jerky. “We're gonna make you the biggest friggin' fig leaf of all.”
And so, with the help of Scooter, Rover and Dickie - the Three Little Wolves - Potus, the Nearly Inanimate Object, became the undisputed king of all he surveyed...(Say, kids, don't forget to watch for Chapter Two - "The Three Little Wolves meet Wolf Blitzer”!)Mark W. Bradley is a history teacher and political satirist in Sacramento, California. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org