Of Mice and Men – Friday Fictioneers

Friday Fictioneers is hosted by the wonderful Rochelle, the undisputed master of what I call Sound Bite Fiction.
She sets the weekly challenge, and the standard.
Today’s photo by my old friend Al Forbes, a multi-talented blogger and a great guy, provides the opportunity to celebrate this momentous day in the Scottish calendar.
The idea, as always, is to write a story of around 100 words based on the picture, below.

© Al Forbes

© Al Forbes

Click here to hear me read the story, and more!

Of Mice and Men

‘Tis pity, thinks Rab, that the petrol engine is not yet invented.
Turning the rich Ayrshire soil with a horse-drawn plough is heavy work, even for a strong young man.
And Rab’s mind has a tendency to wander, as a braw lad’s does.
He does have an eye for the lassies!
The sound of tiny consternation before him brings him back to reality.
He is dismayed to see a family of mice fleeing from the destruction that his plough has wrought.
Seeing one of them hiding behind a daud of earth, he stoops and speaks.
Wee, sleekit, cow’rin, tim’rous beastie…

Robert Burns was born on 25th January 1759

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59 Responses to Of Mice and Men – Friday Fictioneers

  1. Thank you for introducing me to this charming poet. I suppose, for you, it takes one to know one.


  2. Happy Belated Birthday to Robbie Burns. This story was a fitting tribute to him, C.E. Good writing. 🙂 — Suzanne


  3. Despite having quite a bit of Scottish blood in my veins, I hate haggis D: But I loved your story as it formed a wonderful set of images in my mind. It also reminds me that I once saved a wee, sleekit, cow’rin, tim’rous beastie — a hare — from a pack of hounds who had devoured its mum and siblings. It was a right rascal of a wee beastie to hand-rear, as well.


  4. mandibelle16 says:

    Hope you had a Happy Robbie Burns day. Unique piece, I liked how you based it around him. Hugs, no long comment for this I’m afraid 🙂


  5. Lovely story CE, and (belated) happy Burns Night to you.
    Even though I’m 100% English, and southern at that, haggis is one of very few things I miss since turning vegetarian


  6. A few thumbs up … OK … 5 👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻 for your photo prompt write. I read it and listened to it.
    I immediately realized how American I am. I also was smart enough to read the other comments so I a learnt a few things before I added my comment. You audio’s with your unique enunciations and inflections are fascinating. I’m afraid I always want to hear more. I would be staring at everyone in Scotland each time they opened their mouths to speak if I ever visited. Did I mention I like accents?
    Would yours be considered an accent? OK … I’ve gone off subject.
    Have a fabulous weekend …
    Isadora 😎


  7. The haggis was particularly good this year!


  8. I assume the last line is Chinese or something like it? 🙂


  9. Life Lessons of a Dog Lover says:

    Nice tribute. I do have to admit that I didn’t clue into Rab being Robert or Robbie being from Canada, still enjoyed the trip to Scotland.


  10. rgayer55 says:

    I’ve always enjoyed Mr.Burns’ work. And I enjoy yours too.


  11. HonieBriggs says:

    You sure know how to tell a story! Excellent.


  12. Cheers, here’s to the poets and the writers who love them.
    I loved the sound of this piece.


  13. James says:

    I lack the cultural context here, but how does your 18th century character know about the internal combustion engine (or am I being too literal here)?


  14. paulmclem says:

    This has put me right in the mood for my haggis and neeps at the weekend 🙂 Full marks for being topical!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Love the touch of Scotland, since my ancestors hail from Gallowayshire. Yes, Rab did have an eye for the lassies, I’ve been told.


  16. Lynn Love says:

    Of course – happy Burns Night. C. Will you be celebrating with a drop of the hard stuff and a haggis? Can you get haggis in France?
    Burns was a farming man, wasn’t he? Hence his affinity with ‘tim’rous beasties’ and the like. He wouldn’t have been the only farmer to welcome the coming of steam ploughs and the like.
    Nicely done sir. Slainte!


  17. Sandra says:

    A fitting tribute, and deftly executed. I take it you’ll be raising a glass or two yourself the night? Thanks for the reminder. 😉


  18. Michael Wynn says:

    Happy Birthday Rabbie Burns, nice tribute.


  19. Dale says:

    I should think on this particular day, a wee bit o’ cheatin’ be allowed… 😉


  20. Iain Kelly says:

    Here’s tae us. Wha’s like us? Damn few, and they’re a’deid.


  21. Al says:

    I love that link to the image haha. I have Rabbie’s Address to a Haggis hanging up on my wall in my hallway. I think Burns Night should be a national holiday. Or even an international one.


  22. I wad be laith to rin an’ chase thee,
    Wi’ murd’ring pattle!
    Does sound like one of your characters, actually 😉


  23. Dear CE,

    Now I want a translation of the poem. Delightful story. Happy birthday to Rabbie. Cheating? Well your reading did seem to extend beyond what was written. On the other hand, we Yanks didn’t understand it anyway. 😉 ❤ So I'll not fash mysel.




  24. michael1148humphris says:

    There’s no hiding in a cave with a spider, ’tis a fitting tribute to Robert Burns


  25. wmqcolby says:

    Wow, C.E. I SO love the Scottish stuff, aye. Bobby Burns was truly one of the greats. We study him here in America., too.

    Five out of five red, red roses. Or pink elephants. 😉


    • ceayr says:

      Laughing again.
      In all my years in Scotland, more than half of my life, I have never ever heard anyone refer to him as ‘Bobby’!
      Glad you enjoyed it, Kent, but five out of five thistles up your kilt for that!

      Liked by 2 people

  26. neilmacdon says:

    That link to the prompt was serious cheating. But I loved Rabbie


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