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The Stuffed Fabulist on Air


Once the good citizens of Delphi decided they’d had enough of Aesop.
Once an amoeba went to a psychotherapist.
Once an ant and a grasshopper crossed paths after being out of touch for years.
Once Attila the Hun applied for a position in the administration.


Once a badger had a drug problem.
Once a bald eagle found itself turned into a gas-filled parade blimp.
Once a barnacle weighed the moral pros and cons of moving on.
Once a bear attracted quite a following in faith-based wrestling.
Once a beast-within spent a lot of time licking its wounds.
Once some beavers got together to build a dam.
Once a Big Lie considered demanding equal time.
Once a bloodhound lost its sense of smell.
Once a boa constrictor made no excuses for being enamored of itself.
Once a booby and a loon were hired to host a talk-radio show.
Once a bubble took itself very seriously.
Once two troops of lowland buffoons squared off on a patch of ground where the Halls of Congress now stand.
Once a bug threw itself at a windshield with gusto.
Once a bull opened a china shop.
Once a bullfrog was urged by many to become their guru.
Once a butterfly fell in love with a moth.
Once a butterfly fell in love with a moth. (NPR Archives audio)
Once a flock of buzzards became the star attraction at a felony trial.


Once a cantipede was hired as the press secretary for a leading political figure.
Once a cat read the obituary on its eighth life.
Once a caterpillar reached the edge of a leaf and paused to consider what might lie ahead.
Once a chameleon found it could change the color of anything it touched.
Once Charon the boatman decided to turn the money down.
Once a chicken and an egg nearly came to blows over which should go first.
Once the Chimera had a difficult time filling out the compatibility profile of an online matchmaking service.
Once a chipmunk looked down when it should have looked up.
Once Church and State hooked up at a singles bar.
Once a cicada emerged from seventeen years underground to find little had changed.
Once a civet cat worried about body odor.
Once a clam aspired to being an oyster.
Once a corpse in a wildly popular "Bodies Exhibition" had some things to say about the crowd before it.
Once cows went mad, certifiably mad.
Once all the crabs signed a contract of amorous intent.
Once a crane passed the examinations to become a diplomat.
Once a crony grew so fat its perch threatened to give way.
Once an octogenarian hesitated over the last entry in a crossword puzzle.
Once a crow sat on a branch and contemplated the condition of man.
Once a pair of cuckoos worried about their parenting skills.


Once it was thought the dodo had died out.
Once a Doppelgänger wondered what it would be like if . . .
Once dots chafed at all the efforts made to connect them.
Once an ophthalmologist had some good news and some bad news for a dragonfly.
Once drones lawyered up by the thousands.
Once a dung beetle had intimations of immortality.


Once an elephant longed to stop remembering.
Once an ephemera, the creature of a day, thought it had all the time in the world.
Once an ersatz found itself in everybody's thoughts.
Once the rich really did manage to squeeze through the eye of a needle.


Once fear went on holiday.
Once a fox came up with a fail-proof entrepreneurial strategy.
Once a foxhound began to have second thoughts about chasing the fox.
Once a free spirit stubbed its toe.
Once a fruit fly developed a short-lived interest in genealogy.


Once, determined to improve lackluster ratings, a cable news and opinion show signed up two gargoyles.
Once the Department of Homeland Security was finally compelled to raise the gasbag threat level to "IMMINENT."
Once a gazelle found itself in a state of suspended animation.
Once a Gene fell victim to identity theft.
Once a gingerbread man became enamored of its own shape.
Once a glutton for life dreamed of swallowing the whole world.
Once a gnat was invited to join a political focus group.
Once an 800-pound gorilla wondered if it should go on a diet.
Once "the great god Pan" rolled over and declared, "I'm not dead yet, folks. Not quite."
Once an immense green fungus, Campaignaria greenbackae, spread across the land.


Once a hallucination sensed the good times were coming to an end.
Once a hamster took an animal rights group to court.
Once a hare felt the need to win at all costs.
Once there was considerable uncertainty about the exact location of "Harm's Way."
Once a hawk had trouble maintaining eye contact.
Once Hercules awoke in a sweat.
Once a homing pigeon lost its sense of direction.
Once great flocks of hornswoggles swept out from their swamp, and the rest is history.
Once a horse leapt the fence and ran up and down the land.
Once a hummingbird worried about its personal space.
Once the Hydra noticed its heads were growing smaller and disappearing one after another.


Once Icarus went for a swim.
Once an immortal seriously considered calling it quits.
Once a radioactive isotope couldn't wait to reach the end of its first half-life.


Once the jackals developed attitude.
Once it was proposed that jack-in-the-boxes be held accountable for their actions.
Once a jellyfish got caught in the riptides of the mind.
Once Jonathan Swift tried out for a stand-up comedy show.


Once a killer smarm invaded an average home in an average neighborhood.


Once a lab rat had a pre-existing condition.
Once the larks agreed to give up their free and happy ways.
Once the last Neanderthal looked out from the mouth of a cave, lost in thought.
Once laughter was the only thing that kept a body going.
Once a set of lawn dwarfs seized control of a grand estate.
Once a leaf had a premonition of fall.
Once a leech almost bled to death.
Once a lemming went online to get a life.
Once a leopard declared it had changed its spots.
Once a brood of little chickies fell in love with the sound of their own voices.
Once a lone wolf found itself longing for the company of strangers.


Once a film crew set out to document the march of the pundits.
Once a metronome hypnotized itself.
Once a migratory bird stopped by the local travel agency.
Once the milk of human kindness curdled and turned sour.
Once a mink tried on a sable coat.
Once the Minotaur decided to take its labyrinth with it wherever it went.
Once reports came in that a misanthrope had been spotted on the outskirts of town.
Once a missing link chose to ignore the scientific evidence.
Once a mole and an owl shared a soul.
Once a molehill came to fear it might not reach its full potential.
Once a monitor lizard came to wield considerable influence at a leading health maintenance organization.
Once a monkey took up the painting of horses.
Once a mosquito landed a job waiting tables.
Once a glob of mud reflected on its state.
Once a mudskipper got bogged down.


Once Narcissus decided to step back from his pond.
Once Nero thought about making a comeback.
Once a newborn struggled with post-partum depression.


Once old Dobbin the workhorse considered the vicissitudes of life.
Once an old dog decided there wasn't much point in learning new tricks.
Once an old goat nearly overdosed on Viagra.
Once Orpheus tried to reconstruct exactly what happened.
Once an ostrich and an emu chanced to lay eyes on one another.


Once a pack rat resolved to make a little list.
Once a panther was well aware of the spell it cast over all who came to the zoo.
Once a parrot became a bird of renown by mimicking others.
Once Pavlov's Dogs nearly died from acute dehydration.
Once a pawn tried to size up the board.
Once a pelican was arrested for shoplifting.
Once a robot took its pet human for a walk in the park as usual.
Once a great nation adopted petrified wood as its symbol.
Once a phoenix considered having itself embalmed.
Once a pig had mixed feelings about the heart valve it was about to donate to an ailing human.
Once a pit bull refused to go for the throat of every other dog in the world.
Once a poodle took up ballroom dancing.
Once a porcupine went in for body piercing in a big way.
Once a possum came to understand how difficult it is to appear dim.
Once a potato thought it heard a voice.
Once a praying mantis excelled at conducting grief-and-victim interviews on TV.
Once Prometheus investigated the merits of canned heat.
Once it was widely believed prunes grew on trees.
Once a pushmi-pullyu was invited to appear on public television.


Once it was proposed the question mark be declared obsolete.


Once a radioactive isotope couldn't wait to reach the end of its first half-life.
Once a rattler stayed out in the sun too long.
Once a rhinoceros noticed it had a bruise.
Once a roadrunner feared it was running out of road.
Once a robot created an artificial human being.
Once a rooster missed the dawn.
Once a rubber chicken began to fret that it lacked gravitas.
Once the nation's rumor mills came very close to violating EPA guidelines.


Once a sacred cow worried about its fan base.
Once a salmon broke the surface of the water and kept right on going.
Once a sanctamander cut off its own tail.
Once a sardine was feeling kind of lonesome.
Once a satyr set himself up as a lifestyle coach.
Once the scapegoat was hunted nearly to extinction.
Once schadenfreude didn't play the important social function it does now.
Once a scorpion experienced a moment of compassion.
Once the Seven Deadly Sins formed a support group to buck up their spirits.
Once a shaggy dog spent every afternoon retracing the path it had taken that morning and collecting any tufts of its fur to be found.
Once a shark suffered from bleeding gums.
Once a sheep rented a wolf suit.
Once Sisyphus was arrested as a public nuisance.
Once the Environmental Protection Agency sent out skunks to investigate a big stink in the land.
Once a thick smug spread from sea to shining sea.
Once a snake tried to pull on each of its discarded skins again, all the way back to the year of its birth.
Once a snowflake was told there had never been a snowflake like it. Ever.
Once the wisest judges in the land decided to cut Solomon in half.
Once the Sphinx just got tired of it all.
Once a spider set to work on its last web of the year.
Once the Spirit and the Flesh were forced to undergo relationship counseling.
Once a squid was assigned the task of inking out passages in top secret documents scheduled for declassification.
Once a stem cell was asked to make a choice.
Once a stone wondered whether it should say something.
Once a sunflower lost its bearings during a total eclipse.
Once a swan turned into an ugly duckling.
Once a flock of swifts struck a wall at high speed.
Once a slice of Swiss cheese had a thought.
Once rogue sycophants roamed the land.


Once a tapeworm readied itself for the latest stop on its motivational speaking tour.
Once a very large think tank sprang a leak.
Once "time immemorial" ran out.
Once a pride of lions gathered at a much-touted restaurant called "Top of the Food Chain."
Once topiary animals took the shears to themselves.
Once a tortoise realized its time was drawing nigh.
Once a tree fell in the forest when nobody was around to hear.
Once anthropologists discovered a primitive tribe whose members wore nothing but pieces of their children’s skin.
Once a trilobite had the distinct feeling it was being watched.
Once a bevy of little twittering birds sat on a wire.


Once a unicorn lost its horn trying to make a career change.


Once vampire bats came out of their caves by the millions to discharge their civic duty.
Once a vegetable slipped into a persistent human state.
Once a vulture learned to feel good about itself.


Once a wacko fell right off the ceiling.
Once a warbler couldn't get a song out of its head.
Once a weak ego signed up for the trial offer of a home gym.
Once a whale beached itself in a furniture showroom recliner.
Once a pack of wolves won a defense contract to howl at the moon.
Once a pair of wood ducks grew old together.


Once a xenophobe showed up in the nation's blood supply.
Once the Zeitgeist felt a bit confused.

Copyright © 2004-2023 by Geoffrey Grosshans           Artwork by J. Savage