Harken close would be readers to this most unusual of tales, started as can be expected in the most unusual of places: because the placement of this tale is as important as its characters. The setting was of course The Swamp of The Shifting Sands where firm footing can disappear in an instant and the unexpected must always be expected; a favourite resting spot of the Badger who always managed to find a stable place to rest in such a turbulent area. The Peacock on the other hand positively loathed the swamp, no matter how hard it tried to keep its wings clean it always ended up with mud everywhere. As for the Turkey well no one was entirely sure what the turkey liked or disliked including the turkey itself, but as long as it tasted delicious no one was overly concerned. As for the Pigeon she wasn’t convinced that the swamp was real because if she closed her eyes it ceased to exist.
One day as the Badger was resting in the swamp the peacock landed next to him. The Peacock all a flutter asked the Badger “how on earth do you manage to find stable ground in this disgusting place?” To which the Badger replied: “Well the problem lies in how you are flying, it is just terrible to watch. Your wings don’t stretch out enough, your flap rate is completely irregular and worst of all your foot work is clumsy.”
The Peacock was most offended by the words of the Badger after all what did it know about flying? It decided the best course of action was a snarky reply. “I imagine such advice comes from your frequent successful attempts at flight.”
The Badger blushed at this comment and replied defensively: “Have you stopped and considered whether my advice is worth listening to?”
The Peacock at this point was becoming quite aggravated expecting the Badger to apologise for the rude remarks and decides that open honest communication is the way forward. The Peacock tells the Badger. “I think it is important to note that I have been flying for some seasons without so much as a ruffled feather, and perhaps it is not me with the problem, but you and some sort of issue with peacocks.”
The Badger at those words dug its claws into the swampy ground and drew itself up replying: “It most certainly is not my problem, you are simply being unreasonable and not looking at the facts and what’s more you are trying to push me around trying to make this about me!”
At this point in the story a passing Pigeon saw the argument taking place and out of curiosity decided to see what the problem was. Of course this move was met with some scepticism, the pigeon having a most unfortunate reputation in the bird world for being a rather odd bunch. I personally think it has to do with the fact that their brain is essentially a magnet, and who would trust someone with a magnet for a brain? You might as well call it a robot and have done with it.
The Pigeon landed in between the Badger and the Peacock mostly due to its horrible sense of personal space, and quickly said to the other two: “I have come to help you, you may of course thank me later; what is the problem?” The Peacock and the Badger both gave their side of the story to the Pigeon. The Pigeon having heard both sides of the story replies: “As a bird that is also able to easily find stable ground in this swamp, I believe that I have a deep understanding of the situation. Peacock your flying technique could most certainly do with some improvement and Badger as someone who cannot fly your advice is of limited benefit.”
The Pigeon unfortunately had created a very awkward silence; he had managed to offend both the Peacock and the Badger with his complete lack of tact and somewhat presumptuous entrance. Luckily, well considering latter events perhaps unluckily is the better word a Turkey jumped onto the scene. Turkeys are in the bird world something of an enigma, partially because if you ask them that is what they will tell you, and also their habit of pecking out eyes on whim.
The Turkey believing that its instincts have told it all it needs to know about the situation says “I feel that because I am a bird that can barely fly I am qualified to mitigate this argument about whether flying is better than life on the ground.”
The shock of the Turkey’s statement was palpable throughout the group; the Badger and Peacock because the Turkey had managed to get the wrong end of the stick. The Pigeon on the other hand had become obsessed with the Turkey at first sight some would call it love struck, I personally believe that the turkey had at some point swallowed a piece of iron and was probably playing havoc with the magnet brain.
The Turkey proceeded mistaking the astonished silence for silent applause. “Walking on the ground requires feet, while flying requires wings.” the Turkey said importantly.
The Badger and the Peacock had recovered enough to start regarding the Turkey with the kind of stares that would freeze magma. The Pigeon had started to peck at the Turkey’s feet because well to be completely honest I have absolutely no idea.
The Turkey completely oblivious to the current atmosphere continued in a pompous tone “I believe the solution is for Badger to learn how to fly and for Peacock to learn how to run, I believe the solution is to create a combination of them both I shall call it frunlying.”
This apparently broke the trance that the Pigeon was under it cried out “That has to be the single most idiotic idea I have ever heard!”
The Turkey glanced down in surprise apparently having only just noticed the pigeon, shrugged and proceeded to try out frunyling running around the swamp in a sort of bizarre run with the occasional jump.
The Pigeon having watched the Turkey for a few minutes decided that the problem wasn’t the Turkey but the perspective he had of the Turkey, he found a soft place to dig and proceeded to put his head in the hole to better hear the awful racked the Turkey was making.
The Peacock having spent the last half an hour bemused decided that being dignified and offended was the way to go, and took one last look at the Badger slammed its wings down with enough force to shatter windows and break doors and flick and awful lot of mud onto the Badger disappearing into the sky.
The Badger took one look at the Peacock flying into the distance shrugged and proceeded to find its favourite place to sleep a cosy little swamp log.