ANIMAL FARM

(C) Julie Boyd

The newest party candidate has just been annointed. Last week she was busted for drivers’ licence fraud, something that would have gone totally under the radar had it not been for a local journo walking past the court just as she was walking in. Of course he couldn’t help but follow her to see what was up. But that doesn’t seem to matter. Local party mover and shaker, Tweed Devil, was quick to announce that she had shown all the attributes and traits desirable in a party member. Presumably he meant cheating, lying, twisting the truth, and circumventing the law. He said she was a most welcome addition.

Her annointment occurred last night under the watchful eye of our ‘accidental’ mayor and deputy, the Hon. Canetoad and Shrek, so-named for their appearances and demeanour; and our ‘Silver Fox’ local member of parliament, also named for both appearance and demeanour. Canetoad and Shrek had reached the dizzy heights of local government on a previous occasion courtesy of their mates the Rubbish King and the Tweed Devil- a species closely resembling the Tasmanian devil with short sightedness and massive jaws which can crush any opponent into insignificant dust. The devil and the king had conspired once before to provide pots of gold into which cane toad, shrek and their mates had dived with gay abandon until stopped by a wise old owl trying to point out the error of their ways. Shrek and canetoad were affronted by the owl’s audacity at questioning their selling off of the shire – even though the hobbits had been revolting over their behaviour for many years.

The owl had systematically documented the complaints of the hobbits, and came to the conclusion that the only thing to be done was for canetoad and shrek to be removed from office and relegated to their old jobs of digging dirt and trolling through the rubbish collected by their mate the king.

But when the owl became ill, canetoad saw his chance to strike again. He did – with deadly accuracy and, to the astonishment and anger of the hobbits, managed to knock over a badger in the rush, and dragging Shrek behind him raced back to the seat of power, once again, only to find his way blocked by the blue queen.

The blue queen stood before canetoad and shrek and declared ‘You will not sell off the shire for your mates, and their mates to dig their holes, we need to keep the land for growing food. ‘Well, she has to go’ muttered canetoad. Shrek agreed ‘Yes, the hobbits are all morons and they can’t stop us anyway’he sneered.

The blue queen stood her ground until one day Cane Toad managed to convince the Busy Lizard to put her name and his (canetoad’s) into a wooden box, draw one out, and declare that Canetoad, as the winner, would henceforth rule the shire once again. The hobbits rebelled and renamed Canetoad the accidental mayor, but it went down a treat with the Rubbish King, the Tweed Devil and their mates- after all they hadn’t even had to provide more pots of gold to have this happen, or did they? In fact it worked so well that the Busy Lizard put Shrek’s name in the box with the Blind Bunny’s. Lizard then pulled Shrek’s name out and immediately declared him as Canetoad’s deputy. The hobbits howled like werewolves to the man in the moon – who did nothing to help. The Busy Lizard said ‘of course there were two different names on the papers in the box. How dare you suggest I would cheat.’

Canetoad immediately picked up where he left off before the Owl had so rudely intervened, and gave away huge pieces of the shire to his mates. The rubbish king was rewarded with pots of gold when he was commissioned to provide not just one, but two new rubbish bins made of ruby and platinum to clutter up the home of every hobbit in the shire, and shiny new trucks to carry the bins around in. Presumably these pots of gold will be used to ensure that Canetoad and Shrek never again have to be confronted by the wise owl having the audacity to tell them to act ethically.

Some of the pots of gold will also be used to fund the about-to-be-formed court of twelve which the hobbits are told will serve the new mistress as she attempts, presumably on the same fulltime paid basis as the Silver Fox, to plot her way into the federal supershire where she can rule the land.

In the smallest act of defiance the hobbits have taken to catching the biggest canetoad impersonators imaginable, the ones that have hopped across the border from the banana shire, secreting them after despatch in one of the shiny new rubbish bins, and watching them be carted away in the shiny truck to the home of the rubbish bin king, the castle of all cane toads on the Tweed. One can only hope that the cane toads rather than being fully despatched were only sleeping and will awaken in situ to wreak havoc in the castle – perhaps courtesy of a kiss from the new canetoad mistress.

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