Monday Morning Mark • 57

Bees As Pets • The Cost Of Abundance • French Toast Toppings • The Tree With No Top

One Minute Wit

Bees As Pets

Advice For Kids by Kids

If you make a bee your pet, don’t name it “Stinger.”

Then there won’t be any painful misunderstandings when girls ask you his name.

50-Word Microfiction

The Cost Of Abundance

Reginald Magnum Bigwadd was the richest man in the country. Mainly because he bought his own island and declared it a sovereign nation. He had no taxes, no government intrusion, no annoyances.

No conscience, either.

Reginald had an abundance of everything. Except love. When he died, his fourth wife smiled.

Silly, But Culturally Educational, Poetry

French Toast Toppings

I took a trip to France
But I didn’t eat their toast
I feared my favored topping
Would horrify my host

In France, they call it Lost Bread
From the use of bread that’s stale
“Oui, a little eggs and milk
is a trick that never fails.”

The ancient Roman cookbooks
Say the topping should be honey
“When in Rome,” the saying goes
But to me, it sure sounds funny

I shall not hide my shame from you
For it’s truth that you deserve
Maple syrup is not my choice
But raspberry preserves

Pour common syrup if you will
On this fine, flavorful creation
But then you’ll never know the thrill
Of my gastronomical sensation

One more tip that I will share
Take your time, don’t eat them fast
Cut the bread into nine squares
And save the center one for last

Just one bite and you will see
Though there’s little need for thanks
I’m moving on to Switzerland
So just wire me some francs

[It’s a crime that Euros didn’t rhyme.]

. . .

I have put raspberry preserves on my French toast since I was a kid. My wife’s family looked at me like I was some kind of space alien the first time they saw me do it. 🤣

Island Of Phiddle Story

The Tree With No Top

By Phineas Phiddlephaddle

On the island of Phiddle, deep in the woods, there is a tree that has no top. At least that is what most of the island’s residents think. Its trunk climbs higher than the clouds. Even on a sunny day, its top is not visible. The trunk simply fades out of sight.

The trunk itself is an oddity. Unlike most trees, it remains the same circumference as far as the eye can see. The trunk is not large as you might expect from an old tree. A 12-year-old boy can easily put his arms around it, but it rises higher than a young tree should. Higher than any tree should.

Winston Ferguson tried to climb the tree once. But as there are no visible branches, it was tiring work. After four hours Winston slid back down to the ground.

I asked Winston if he had reached the top.

“No. I climbed high enough to see the entire island. What a view! The farmer’s fields looked like painted tiles. I saw my lost sheep! I looked down on flying birds. Yet the trunk continued upward with no end in sight. My arms and legs could take no more, and I was getting light-headed, so I slid back down.”

The tree has been around as long as anyone can remember. Once, I asked Archibald Handel, the island’s oldest resident, about it.

“That tree was there before I was born and it looks exactly the same today as when I was a boy. Over the years, many have tried to climb it to see its top. All of them failed. Charles Bakerson got so obsessed with the mystery that he tried to chop it down. He broke two axes and earned several blisters for his trouble.

“Sometimes a mystery is best left unsolved. It gives you something to wonder about. If you knew what was at the top of that tree, it wouldn’t be nearly as interesting, now would it?”

I couldn’t argue with that.

I suppose someday people will invent a way to climb it. Or perhaps someone will climb down from the top. Maybe from another island. But for now, it remains one of the many mysteries on the island of Phiddle.

. . .

About Phineas Phiddlephaddle

I am a child of the early 20th century. I came to reside in the 21st century due to unrestrained curiosity on my part.

One day as I was about, I noticed Professor Tinkerhoffer's door was open, so I ventured in. Professor Tinkerhoffer (a delightfully curious soul with a penchant for inventing) was nowhere to be found, but a strange contraption was sitting in the middle of the workshop. The unusual device had many dials and pipes and gauges and a large padded chair. I couldn't resist, I took a seat. 

Attached to the right arm of the chair was a lever. The lever had a note attached to it, with the words "Do not pull!" Naturally, I pulled. I suddenly found myself in 1971. As you can well imagine, I was shocked. I tried returning to my proper time but was unable to make the chair work again. 

Eventually, I abandoned the effort. 

Recently, I began writing tales of my old home, The Island of Phiddle. I have gathered them into a collection. I hope you enjoy them. 

Good day. 

. . .

I helped Phineas create a book and put it on Amazon. It contains ten stories from his youth on Phiddle. It is enjoyable reading for the young and the young at heart. - Mark

The Problem With Phiddleberries is available on Amazon.

Happy Monday.


As Chairman of the Society To Promote Commenting on Mark Starlin’s Newsletters, I urge you to comment on this newsletter. - Randolph Winston Goodremark III.

I concur. I also urge you to employ the practice of clicking the heart icon to demonstrate your appreciation of the writing and to raise the spirits of the author. A fine thing, in my opinion. - Winfred Jefferson Hart, President of the Society of Heart Icon Promotion.