PodCastle Miniature 011: The Fable of the Moth

By Peter S. Beagle
Read by Stephen Eley (of Escape Pod)

Once there was a young moth who did not believe that the proper end for all mothkind was a zish and a frizzle. Whenever he saw a friend or a cousin or a total stranger rushing to a rendezvous with a menorah or a Coleman stove, he could feel a bit of his heart blacken and crumble. One evening, he called all the moths of the world together and preached to them. “Consider the sweetness of the world,” he cried passionately. “Consider the moon, consider wet grass, consider company. Consider glove linings, camel’s hair coats, fur stoles, feather boas, consider the heartbreaking, lost-innocence flavor of cashmere. Life is good, and love is all that matters. Why will we seek death, why do we truly hunger for nothing but the hateful hug of the candle, the bitter kiss of the filament? Accidents of the universe we may be, but we are beautiful accidents and we must not live as though we were ugly. The flame is a cheat, and love is the only.”

Rated G. Contains philosophical meanderings.

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10 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Amaster said,

    September 15, 2008 @ 12:10 pm

    Interesting, I think the moral truly does apply to the real world.

  2. 2

    David said,

    September 16, 2008 @ 10:18 pm

    Great flash piece. I wish your sister podcasts would follow your example of trying new things. Can’t wait to see what you have in store for Thanksgiving.

  3. 3

    scatterbrain said,

    September 17, 2008 @ 5:47 pm

    Wow…moths have a union…

  4. 4

    Draux said,

    September 19, 2008 @ 4:21 pm

    I have to say, I’m getting to like the Miniatures better than the full size ones most of the time. I guess it has to do with the fact that they have to streamline the story and give you just what matters, nothing’s worse than a case of the “Tolkiens” (don’t get me wrong, I love Tolkien, but he can take 4 pages to describe a 10×10 room). Keep up the great stuff!

  5. 5

    WriterDan said,

    September 22, 2008 @ 5:47 pm

    Quick. Funny. Interesting. Good.

  6. 6

    Old Man Parker said,

    September 24, 2008 @ 1:25 am

    Hmmm… a bit silly.

  7. 7

    Frank said,

    September 30, 2008 @ 3:52 am

    I guess it has to do with the fact that they have to streamline the story and give you just what matters, nothing’s worse than a case of the “Tolkiens” (don’t get me wrong, I love Tolkien, but he can take 4 pages to describe a 10×10 room). Keep up the great stuff!

  8. 8

    Elle said,

    October 1, 2008 @ 5:46 pm

    Please, no more Peter S. Beagle. Listening to “Barrens Dance” was bad enough, but then having three miniatures after that–I can’t take it anymore. His writing bores me: the pacing is poor; I can’t get interested in the characters; and I don’t find the “Fables” interesting or witty. I accept that he is a “classic” fantasy writer, but that doesn’t make him a *good* writer.

  9. 9

    The Fix | From the Podosphere: September 2008 said,

    October 16, 2008 @ 8:50 am

    […] “The Fable of the Moth” is the first of a series of PodCastle Minatures by Peter S. Beagle, each read by Stephen Eley. A maverick moth rails against his fellows, trying to persuade them to stop flying into flames. But telling someone what they already know isn’t likely to change their behaviour. […]

  10. 10

    Magpie Eyes Designs » Blog Archive » Something for the weekend… said,

    April 3, 2009 @ 7:10 am

    […] catching up with past episodes, I found that PodCastle have a short little tale called “The fable of the Moth” (I’d rate this R, as there is mention of cashmere […]

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