shutterstock_20673955

Recently it came to our attention that the U.S. Department of Agriculture has been dabbling in literature. In a clear sign that its 100,000 employees have far too little to do, the sprawling federal agency has issued a nauseating children’s book called “The Two Bite Club,” in which a mother cat and her adorable kittens Will and Anna learn to make federally-approved healthy food choices. According to the USDA website: “Parents or caregivers read the book to children and encourage them to try foods from each food group by eating just two bites, just like the characters in the story.”

The PDF is available here: try not to gag on your broccoli.

Naturally we viewed this as a sinister intrusion of federal power into the sphere of family life and a gross infringement on our freedom to eat Pop Tarts for breakfast and snack on salt and vinegar-flavored potato chips while catching up on Game of Thrones. American patriots bled and died to ensure these sacred freedoms. So we resisted in the only way available to us: we asked our community of writers to sharpen their pens and write their own brief satirical stories. Take that, USDA!

Here is an excerpt from “The Bachelor Bears” by Dennis Maley, a clever satire inspired by Goldilocks and the Three Bears (also check out ten more stories in the contest here):

Three bachelor bears lived communally in a cabin deep in a national park. One bear was undersized, another was a middle-sized bear, and the last had been overserved. The large bear was almost too big for the front door of the cabin.

The bears had friendly relations with their neighbors, who regarded them as good-natured, harmless and reliable. They admired the resolve of the wee bear for refusing to seek compensation for his height deficiency. Their garden was tidy and won frequent awards for “yard of the month” from the homeowners association.

Each of the bachelor bears had his own bowl, carefully selected from Crate & Barrel, his own overstuffed chair, and a bed from Ikea. The wee bear’s precious belongings were small, just his size, while everything the middle-sized bear owned was middling. Imagine the size of the belongings of their oversized friend!

One day, the bears took a stroll in the park while their porridge cooled. In their absence, a woman discovered the bears’ dwelling. She was an agent of the park, selected for her uncommon ability to use verbs as nouns and nouns as verbs. She had been tasked with insuring that the strongest of the park’s denizens didn’t benefit at the cost of the weakest. “A big ask is how this cabin has avoided inquiry,” she said.

Badge in hand, she climbed the picket fence that surrounded the cabin. She approached and peeked through a window. Inside, she saw an enormous chair. “My take-away is that the size of this enormous chair is unfair!” She stamped her foot hard, which might have been painful, but she wore comfortable shoes.

Approaching the door, she tried the latch. The wide door swung open. Certain that no one was home, she walked inside.

Continue Reading at Liberty Island…

****
image via shutterstock / Mike Tan