Always Read The Label – A 100-word story

This week’s Friday Fictioneers photo prompt is courtesy of Adam Ickes.

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Photo prompt for Friday Fictioneers 18 July, 2014 ©Adam Ickes

Always Read the Label

Gruff was proud of his horns. Then men came, measured them, tapped them, ran their fingers over every last, curving inch. They gave the farmer a bottle of whiskey and a wad of cash before shoving Gruff into a van.
He remembered their smell and the sound of the engine. When the Aberdeen Angus in the next field were massacred he knew exactly who was responsible.
So when Gruff heard the van, he fled. Several hedges later he found a building with an open door. He hid inside … only to find an all-too-familiar smell as the owners of Nature’s Medicine Unlimited (Guaranteed Rhino-horn Free) returned to their office.

 ©Siobhán McNamara

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37 Responses to Always Read The Label – A 100-word story

  1. Dear Siobhán,

    Poor Gruff. It seems his attempted escape ended in the wrong place. Well done.




  2. Sandra says:

    Oh dear! Different take on the prompt there Siobhan. 😦


  3. Oh no – poor a Gruff.


  4. Talk about unlucky, but at least thier medicine is rhino free. Makes you wonder. Nice story.


  5. Poor Gruff!!! This story made me smile – is that okay?


  6. dianathrelfo says:

    Oh, that sounds like a bad case of Murphy’s Law – find a great hiding place and forever think “Of all the places I could have hidden.” Great story!


  7. Jan Brown says:

    Uh oh!! Those beautiful horns 😦


  8. Archon's Den says:

    Great social commentary – commerce conquers all. 😦


  9. dmmacilroy says:

    Dear Siobhan,

    He’s going to animal heaven. it’s crowded there, but they don’t have to put up with people. Nice story.




  10. draliman says:

    Poor Gruff 😦 Guess he should’ve run the other way.


  11. storydivamg says:

    Dear Siobhan,
    I especially like “Guaranteed Rhino-horn Free.” You packed a lot into this well-written short story. It’s one of my favorites this week.

    All my best,
    Marie Gail


    • Thank you so much, I wasn’t sure if I had got the story across as I wanted 🙂


      • storydivamg says:

        Oh, yes! And I find it interesting the way you chose to address so many different elements of the picture through the course of your story. Nice and tight. Keep up the good work! Sometimes a literal interpretation of the prompt works well. This time, you nailed it.



  12. Poor Gruff. Rhino-horn free medicine isn’t a comforting thought to a goat.


  13. Siobhan, Poor Gruff indeed. I also wonder what’s in some of those “natural cures” people take so trustingly. Well written with dark humor. 🙂 —Susan


    • Thanks Susan 🙂 a friend of mine who is a qualified herbalist once inadvertently ordered me a remedy that contained gecko – I am slow to trust either conventional or complimentary medicine at the best of times due to a severe allergy, so I only discovered the gecko because of reading through the ingredients!


  14. Indira says:

    How sad! Nice take on the prompt.


  15. Keep running Gruff! Keep running!


  16. AnnIsikArts says:

    Well, Gruff escaped once on account of his perceptions and intelligence, so let’s hope in the second episode, he does it again.


  17. Oops, he made a wrong choice there. It’s good the poor rhinos get a break, but then someone has to provide the horn, it seems. Gruff didn’t have much of a chance, I guess.


  18. Nan Falkner says:

    Good story! You did a wonderful job! Nan 🙂


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