Archive for Rated G

PodCastle Episode 287: Tiktok and the Nome King

by L. Frank Baum

Read by Bob Eccles (Check out his eBook Tiny Terrors, available at Amazon!)

Originally published in Little Wizard Stories of Oz, but you can read it at Tiger Tales!

The Nome King was unpleasantly angry. He had carelessly bitten his tongue at breakfast and it still hurt; so he roared and raved and stamped around in his underground palace in a way that rendered him very disagreeable.

It so happened that on this unfortunate day Tiktok, the Clockwork Man, visited the Nome King to ask a favor. Tiktok lived in the Land of Oz, and although he was an active and important person, he was made entirely of metal. Machinery within him, something like the works of a clock, made him move; other machinery made him talk; still other machinery made him think.

Although so cleverly constructed, the Clockwork Man was far from perfect. Three separate keys wound up his motion machinery, his speech works, and his thoughts. One or more of these contrivances was likely to run down at a critical moment, leaving poor Tiktok helpless. Also some of his parts were wearing out, through much use, and just now his thought machinery needed repair. The skillful little Wizard of Oz had tinkered with Tiktok’s thoughts without being able to get them properly regulated, so he had advised the Clockwork Man to go to the Nome King and secure a new set of springs, which would render his thoughts more elastic and responsive.

Rated G.

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PodCastle 260: Fine Flying Things

by Adele Gardner.
Originally appeared in the anthology Twisted Cat Tales, edited by Esther Schrader.
Read by Elie Hirschman.


Frankie watched, open-mouthed, as the cats soared up into the sky.

All he could think of was Dali’s photograph, that crazy one where the
cat flew across a stream of water while Dali perched on a chair. He
ran outside.

In that little space of time, yet more cats had lifted off from earth.
They floated like furry balloons, orange and gray and tiger-striped.
Some looked scared, their claws extended to full panic, like a kitten
caught in a tree; but there was nothing to grasp in the sky. The
clouds didn’t seem to slow them down.

Others looked mildly interested, their whiskers drooping in curious
contentment. Still others seemed entranced with possibilities,
stretching their claws to snag unwary birds as they soared by.

Frankie gaped at the spectacle of cats dotting the sky like a flock of
migrating birds. As the felines swarmed through the air, he glimpsed a
familiar gray leg. By instinct, he reached up to grab the striped
appendage, just as he might have done to spare the china. The skinny
leg jerked taut, and he found himself looking up into the startled
blue eyes of his Maurice.

Rated G.

Discuss on the forums.

PodCastle 243: Tiger in the BSE

by E. Lily Yu

Read by TCA Lakshmi Narasimhan

Originally published in Cicada.

There was once a tiger in Mumbai, a Kshatriya and a ruthless trader of
stocks, who lived in a glossy high-rise the color of the sea. His
suits of slick poplin and seersucker were confected by two tailors in
Milan; his bath was cut from marble as rich as soap, and always drawn
warm and fragrant for him at the end of each day; and his suppers,
which threw the meat markets into an uproar, were prepared under the
hands of some of the finest cooks from Mangalore and Chengdu. He had,
in short, the kind of life that any well-bred tiger could hope to
have. But he lacked one thing, and it made him pace between the red
walls of his living room and bite the pads of his paws.

He went to the house of an old friend, where he and his trading tips
were always welcome, and said, “Brother, I have no mother or father to
help me in this matter, and no family except my friends. For the sake
of the tricks we played in school, for the beatings I took for you,
will you help me find a bride?”

Rated G.

Discuss on the forums.

PodCastle 212: Squonk and the Lake Monster

by P.M. Butler.
Read by Wilson Fowlie (of the Maple Leaf Singers).
A PodCastle original!

Sometimes, you don’t realize how bad a bad idea _really_ is until your best friend is suddenly plummeting head over ringtail to his certain death.

Squonk and Slowfingers had been playing catch–well, _trying_ to play catch. You see, Squonk was a dragon, and his best friend Slowfingers was a raccoon. They were both apprentices to a wizard named Wendel. They liked hanging around each other, but there wasn’t a lot they could _do_ together. Unlike most of Squonk’s other friends, Slowfingers didn’t have wings; and unlike Slowfingers’ other friends, Squonk had to be very careful to not step on him.

But according to Wendel, being a wizard didn’t mean you ran away and hid from problems; it meant grabbing your problems and showing those problems who’s boss. So Squonk had come up with the idea of playing a nice game of catch.

It worked like this: Slowfingers would pick an acorn, and throw it as hard as he could–from the top of a tall tree, since his throws needed the head start. Squonk would try to watch the teeny tiny acorn as it bounced off leaves and branches and stick out his paw where he thought it would land. After inspecting his paw carefully to confirm he’d missed, Squonk would set another acorn in his paw and use a talon on his other paw to flick it at Slowfingers. If he was lucky, he’d get it somewhere near the tree Slowfingers was in, and Slowfingers could watch it go by.

This was every bit as frustrating and not-fun as it sounds.

Rated G.

Discuss on the forums.

 

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