I’m sure there must be a moral to this story, but I can’t for the life of me think what it is…
Norbert’s passion for inventing had made him an object of ridicule among the bucks in his neighbourhood.
‘Hey, Norbert! Whatcha gonna set on fire today? Want to know where to stick those berries?’.
Norbert ignored their childish remarks. Besides, he didn’t need their suggestions. He knew exactly what he was going to do with the berries.
Hauling them up to a branch across from his drey, he set about washing and squeezing the juice from them. His wife Nancy, while supportive of her husband’s dreams, didn’t approve of his experimental equipment within the confines of the home. And who could blame her? Norbert’s success rate to date was pitiful. Who in the forest could forget his sorry attempt at squirrel-sized nut crackers? Poor Nana was still nursing her wounds from the after effects of that experiment. Yet Norbert, ever enterprising, refused to give up on his dream. He thought of fame and fortune as he extracted the last of the juice from the berries and began to tinker. A little ground bark here and essence of mushroom there. Three days later, Norbert shouted ‘Eureka!’ in his best squirreleze and summoned Nancy to his side.
Nancy, who had no love for guinea pigs, offered to be one for Norbert’s sake. She had three or four distant guinea pig relations whom she just couldn’t warm to. They talked way too much and their wacky hair-do’s disturbed her.
Norbert lathered Nancy’s body in the lotion he had created and waited. Moments later all signs of grey disappeared, and Nancy found herself modelling a stunning coat of red. Overcome with emotion over Norbert’s first successful invention and finally becoming the redhead she had dreamed of, she kissed him and declared him a genius. It was a moment that Norbert wished could last forever.
Not surprisingly, Norbert became an overnight celebrity in his neck of the woods. And a hard working one too. It appeared every doe in the neighbourhood wished to eliminate all traces of grey from her coat. It was a struggle keeping up with demand for the fiery-red fur colourant, yet Norbert accepted the challenge as a pleasant side-effect of fame. One evening, weary but happy, he held Nancy close and said, ‘I told you to have faith in me, didn’t I?’
‘Yes, dear. Things can only go upwards from here.’
Sadly, unbeknown to Norbert, his sworn enemy Nigel had stolen a pot of fur colourant from his sister Nora, stashed it about his person and travelled up to Scotland with intent to cause trouble. Understandably, the red squirrel cousins were highly offended by Norbert’s invention.
‘They’re stealing our identities!’ they cried. ‘We won’t take this lying down!’
Norbert’s celebrity status lasted all of two months. A lawsuit is now pending and Norbert is currently residing with Nancy’s guinea pig relatives in Worthing.
Written for this week’s Picture it & Write challenge.