The Tortoise and the Vole - A cautionary Brexit tale by Mo Fanning
Short story

The Tortoise and the Vole

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So, I was supposed to be rewriting and editing and doing all the stuff that might one day make my fortune as a celebrated scribe, but a combination of steroids and chemo-hiccups had my mind a-musing. Here’s a short poem/story for your delectation. The (Brexit) pretext is paper-thin, and I’d appreciate you reading it in the voice of Pam Ayres for full effect.

Once upon a time, In a wet and sodden hole
Lived a tired little tortoise and a nervous little vole
They settled there becoming tired of sitting on a fence
And after months of putting up, things had grown quite tense.

Tortoise wanted out and Vole felt so misplaced.
They hardly shared a civil word in that unhappy space
Such unlikely roommates, and oh so very frail
They’d asked for sheltered housing, but this was more like jail.

Vole would often reminisce of fancy leather pants
Of boy jobs, girl jobs, walking tours in Switzerland and France
Tortoise would hanker after shiny folding bikes
Allotments, jam, Jerusalem – nice but full of kikes.

‘In many ways, we had it made,’ Vole said. ‘We thought the same.’
Tortoise nodded slowly. ‘We were playing the long game.’
Until some bugger noticed and tried to rock the boat
Vole looked cross, and muttered of that fucking people’s vote.

The two agreed to disagree, but didn’t hide the truth
And tortoise looked uneasy. He mislead Labour youth
They neither saw it coming. They thought they’d fool the plebs
With talk of softer Brexit. By messing with their heads.

The British love for voting is a tough thing to predict
‘I blame Simon Cowell,’ said Vole. ‘He had the nation gripped.’
They took advice and teamed up with prime time ITV
The People’s Vote was hosted live by Dec and Honey Gee

‘We never saw it coming.’ Vole’s tears began to well
Tortoise looked uneasy and ducked into his shell
‘At least we have blue passports. It’s all been worth the drama.’
Tortoise closed his eyes. He hated life in old Botswana.

Brexit Botswana Passport

Botswana has a blue passport. Just like any EU country can (and some do).

By Mo Fanning

Mo Fanning is a British author of dark romantic comedies including the Book of the Year nominated bestseller 'The Armchair Bride', 'Rebuilding Alexandra Small' and 2022's hit holiday romcom 'Ghosted'.

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