The Eco-Fable

by Adam Acidophilus

A woman woke up one morning resolved to save the world.

“Through the power of activism – ” she announced – “I shall re-imagine our collective narrative.”

Waking her children she prepared their breakfast – which was organic and fairly traded – then stuck them in the car and set off on the school run.

First she took the tiny ones to the tiny school, then she took the middle ones to the middle school, and finally she took the big ones to the big school.

“Look at all this traffic!” she complained. “All these wasteful people contaminating the Earth with their unnecessary journeys! Look at the smoke coming out of that school bus which I have forbidden you to use … ”

“Surely it would be more efficient if we did use the school bus?” one of the children suggested.

“Are you arguing with me?” said the mother. “Right, you can walk home for that – you little bastard.”

One she’d delivered all eight of her brood to their various places of study, she drove around the town on the lookout for eco-crimes.

“Murderer!” she shouted at a man lopping a tree.

“Whale killer!” she bayed at a woman with a plastic carrier bag.

“Starver of the plains!” she cryptically warned the owner of the local car wash.

“That’ll be £10,” he told her. “But please don’t come again.”

“War criminals!” she cried at a couple of teenagers who were – inadvisably – smoking.

“Go on! Destroy the planet at your peril!” she concluded – shouting at the world in general, revving the engine and disappearing in a cloud of (necessary) exhaust fumes.

“Asphyxiator!” she howled – bafflingly – at the car in front, overtaking it and heading for the shops. 

“Why are people so wasteful?” she asked the butcher. “Make sure that’s prime steak, my doggies won’t eat anything else.”

“It’s all this greed – ” she told the fishmonger. “And that better be cod, none of my kitties like pollock.”

“I hope these papaya fruits are not overripe,” she cautioned the greengrocer. “My collection of endangered tropical primates are very particular in that respect. That last crate of pineapples was green, and we had to burn them.”

“Seal strangler!” she added – as a man walked past the shop bearing another plastic carrier bag.

Then she jumped back into her car and drove another five miles to a travel agency.

“I am doing my bit to raise my family’s awareness of environmental issues,” she told the travel agent – as she paid for her weekend trip to Antarctica.

“It’s a direct flight to South Georgia,” he explained. “Then I got you a group discount on the helicopters. You’ll travel by diesel tractor on the ice itself and return by refurbished nuclear submarine.”

Fortunately the woman could afford it – though nobody was ever sure quite how.

“The-arms-industry-is-a-necessary-cogwheel-in-our-economy,” she would mumble in her sleep every night.

No sooner had she driven the 30 miles home, fed the pets, cut the logs and written her campaign blog – than it was time collect her offspring again.

“My, what a busy day I’ve had,” she told them. “I have rebuked 113 people and done more than my bit to save the planet. What did you do at school today?”

“Nothing, they said. “We were all on strike.”

Moral: Together, we can fuck this up as well.

© Adam Acidophilus 2021