Category: STORIES

July 29, 2016 / / STORIES

“Hello,” said the blue poison-arrow frog.

“Hello,” said the wolf.

The wolf sniffed at the humid, warm air.

“You look lost. Your undercoat is too thick for this forest,” said the blue poison-arrow frog.

“I am lost,” said the wolf. “It was winter, and snowing, and the blizzards were worse than Mother could ever remember, and there were no deer, no elk, no rabbit.  And we found meat, but it smelled wrong, but Mother said to eat, and my pack did, but I couldn’t. They started whining soon, and their stomachs became bloated, and then they all died. Mother too. And I ran. When I reached the desert, I still ran. When I reached the ocean, I swam. And when I reached solid ground again, I ran.”

“But you’re not running now,” said the blue poison-arrow frog.


The wolf stared at the tiny creature, enchanted by the smell of power and death he extruded.

“Yeah… I have to go,” said the frog, and he hopped off into the direction of the croaking that had just started up.

The wolf threw his head back and howled.

But the damp, thick forest blanketed the sound and only a whimper was heard.


The Wolf and the Blue Poison-Arrow Frog

April 26, 2016 / / STORIES

She survived the dwindling pool of tadpoles competing for food.
She emerged from the muddy water, a fully formed frog with a tiny tail.
She survived the intense heat that dried up the earth and scorched all the plants.

She succumbed to a sudden cold snap.
Her growing limbs
frozen on the parched dust.


(this is a follow up story of THE TINY FROG)

April 5, 2016 / / STORIES

  AKA “FINN’S FIRST DAYS HOME” – an hourly comic made in 2015 Enjoy!    

February 14, 2016 / / STORIES

Athena looks at her watch. She taps her manicured fingers against the table. Her legs are crossed over each other tightly. Demeter scutters in. 

“Sorry to have kept you waiting, dear, have you helped yourself to the cookies?” She opens the tin of crooked home bakes.

“No thank you.” Athena takes a deep breath. “It astonishes me that you can manage to be late for a meeting at your own home.”

Demeter shrugs. “What about some tea? Cofee?”

“No. Please sit. We really need to talk.”

Demeter takes a cookie. Her hair is in such disarray. She’s wearing slippers and pajama pants.

Athena takes out a notebook and opens it to a bulleted list.

“Your preoccupation with the children is distracting me from my work. On Monday-”

“Your preoccupation with your work is distracting me from taking care of the babies!” A faint half-cry is heard from down the hallway. Demeter stands up. “How can work possibly be more important than making sure they are fed, happy and healthy? If the baby needs to sleep in, he needs to sleep in. Work can wait.”

She storms off. Athena adds another item to her list. Soft singing can be heard as Demeter soothes the baby.

“I need a different strategy,” Athena tells herself. She looks at her watch and gets up to leave for her next meeting.

February 5, 2016 / / STORIES

There was a single rain shower at the very beginning of the season. The frogs emerged from their winter hibernation in a vociferous choir that lasted well into the night.

Spring saw clouds forming every afternoon. Clouds evaporated in the evening heat – extreme, complaint-inducing, tree-shrivelling heat. The frog ponds dried up, executing the brood of tadpoles. The frogs disappeared, silencing the night.

But yesterday there was a tiny frog in one of my remaining pot plants.

This tiny frog, recently metamorphosed, perfect in form, has survived the dust bowl that used to be her watery home.

And so, we adapt.

December 3, 2015 / / STORIES

The tar road gives way to dirt.
A kestrel sits on a broken telephone wire, puffed up, nursing a rat bite.
The telephone wire is broken. No one will be phoning today.
I stare out the window of the hired car.

A jackal trots down the road. We pull up to the security office, sign our names on the register. Reason for entry? Work, we say. Work.

Switch on the computers, measuring equipment. Dress up in protective suits, masks. We walk into the veld.

We find a pond. We take samples. We know what the results are going to be.

November 21, 2015 / / STORIES

“Girls, I need to tell you something.” Heather interrupted her daughters’ play. Upon hearing the serious tone of their mother’s voice, they dropped their blocks and sat on either side of her on the sofa.

“Where does water come from?” Heather asked.

“From the tap!”

“That’s what I need to talk to you about. The water from the tap comes from a big dam. The dam gets filled in from water from different rivers. The rivers get their water from underneath the earth. The water underneath the earth is from rain that seeps down.”

They stared at her with their big child-doe eyes.

“Can you remember the last time it rained?”

The girls looked at each other. Then they shook their heads.

“It’s not raining right now. There is still water in the dam, but not a lot. And the farmers, who grow all our food, their dams have dried up already.”

“Are we going to run out of water, Mommy?”

“Maybe. But we’re going to try our best to not waste water so that we can prevent that from happening. You’re going to help me, aren’t you?”

And so the girls stopped leaving the tap open while they brushed their teeth, and they collected their old bathwater for the plants outside.

A few weeks later, it rained.

It not only rained, it stormed.

It not only stormed, it hailed. Big chunks of ice, thrown down unto the parched ground.

After the storm, the girls grabbed two buckets and started collecting the ice.

“What are you doing?” Heather asked them.

“We’re collecting the ice. The ice will melt into water. And then we can send the water to the farmers!”

January 4, 2015 / / STORIES
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September 21, 2014 / / STORIES

With slow, deliberate strokes he follows the lines in my face with his fingers.

“You are so beautiful,” he says. I look down.

“Listen to me.” He pulls my face up to look at him. “You are beautiful.”

“Even with the wrinkles?”

“I love your wrinkles.” He leans forwards and kisses my forehead, the corners of my eyes and mouth. “Wisdom lines.”

I push him away. “I’m too young to be wise and too ugly to be pretty.”

His shoulders slump. “I wish, just once, you would just say ‘thanks’ when I tell you how I feel about you. I can’t get enough of looking at you.”

“But with girls like Olivia Wilde and Scarlet Johansson in the world, how can I believe you when you say I’m pretty? I have pimply, wrinkled skin. Cellulite. Drooping boobs-“

“Yes. But you are real.”

“Real?” I push my hair behind my ears.

“Real.” He steps closer and frames my face with his hands. “Like the Velveteen Rabbit whose fur has been loved off, and who is loose in the joints, but the Rabbit doesn’t care because it has been worth it. You are no plastic facsimile of a stereotype person. You live and breathe and bleed and feel. You laugh with your whole body. You smile with your whole face. And if time and tide has taken its toll and the smiles freeze into your skin, I love each little wrinkle all the more for it.”

He traces his thumb from my nose down to the corner of my mouth. “I should write a sonnet about this line. And publish it anonymously or as a lost John Keats poem. Maybe then you will believe me.”

August 9, 2014 / / STORIES
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