Long, long ago, when blogging was something people didn't mention in polite company, there lived a curmudgeon with two pet snakes. Cobras, actually; spitting cobras with deadly aim. The curmudgeon would perch them on his cottage porch, where they kept visitors at a distance by practicing their target-acquiring skills on local rodents....
One blustery autumn afternoon a peddler approached the cottage, pushing a cart piled with shoes, hats, purses, belts, shirts, wallets, purses, all leather--all snakeskin. The peddler had wasted most of his cart-pushing energy keeping his wares from wafting away on the wind, so he pulled his cart inside the gate to catch his breath.
The curmudgeon, quietly blogging in his living room, glanced up from his laptop to espy the peddler. "This ought to be good," he said to no one in particular, and commenced liveblogging the incident.
Fear ussss said the cobras' devilish tongues as they mustered up their most toxic toxins. Their hisses went unheeded by the peddler, who could hear only his gasping.
One shot a stream of poison toward the peddler's feet as a warning. The peddler looked up, startled, and saw the flared hoods and bared fangs. "What are you on about, you fine slitherers, you?" The wind seemed to calm as his breaths quieted.
His steady voice surprised the cobras, who somewhat abashedly responded.
We're protectionisssst ssssnakessss, said the first. We keep our masssster ssssafe, added the second.
"Does he pay you well?"
We've never conssssidered that, said the first, and the second nodded in agreement. His porch is comfortable, and he keepssss ussss in rodentssss.
The peddler, emboldened, took a purse from the cart. Filled with coins, it clinked as he brought it to the cobras. "I'll pay you five gold pieces per week, each, if you'll keep my cart safe from thieves." The snakes glanced at each other, and nodded again.
The curmudgeon could no longer contain his curiosity. He leapt up from his laptop and burst out onto the porch. "I say," he shouted, "Are you trying to steal my very fine snakes?"
Quick as a blogger to an opinion the cobras spattered his eyes with their deadly neurotoxins. The curmudgeon collapsed, writhing and screaming in agony. Quicker still, the peddler whipped out a scalpel and beheaded the cobras. He then deftly sliced their shiny skins into fine strips and sewed them together into a very fine belt, which he sold for six gold pieces at the next stop.
[fifth in a series]