One day, under the great green stalks of the grasslands, two bugs bumped into each other quite accidentally. Under the shade of the grass, they argued amongst themselves who was the better bug, and which most deserved to walk in that patch of land. Eventually, to decide who the Bug King was, they locked mandibles and tried to push each other through the undergrowth. They struggled against each other for what seemed like an age, until finally, one of the bug’s carapaces split, and that bug had to declare the other the Bug King. The Bug King stood tall over his beaten rival and asked them to follow him. The Bug King and the bug with the broken carapace walked on, through the grass. Whenever they met another bug, they insisted that the bug bowed and curtseyed to the Bug King. If they met more than one bug at the same time, however, they pretended they were going to a fancy dress party as Elvis. You see they were confident in overpowering a single bug, but two bugs? No Way. Not with the broken carapace of the bug with the broken carapace and the heavy stone crown (for there were few other materials available to them with which to fashion crowns) of the Bug King. Eventually, they met other bugs that were willing to follow them (especially that beautiful stone crown on the Bug King’s head), and they became quite the army. They fought off the crawling worm battalions, the leaping bomber regiment of grasshoppers and the mighty tank divisions of beetles (without an ‘a’, flaming pie or not.). The Bug King’s army held the whole territory of the grasslands between great wood walls to the south, the soft damp bogs to the west, the burning hardlands to the east and the looming mushroom ranges to the North. The Bug King jumped up and down and he swelled with pride. He addressed his subjects (who objected to the term ‘subjects’ that they were subjected to, but one of the main things about objecting to subjection is that the objection of subjection will often be rejected by those subjecting you to the term ‘subjects’ Whether you object or not) in a noisy triumphant shout of a speech.

“I have beaten all my enemies, and they shall all live in peace under me. As long as everyone says what I tell them to and does what I tell them to, we shall have peace in the grasslands forever.”

And all the creeping, crawling creatures of the grasslands looked unhappy and clapped without heart..

“Furthermore, I have chosen a…!”

The Bug King was squished into paste by a giant boot that did not know that the Bug King was there, probably did not know of the borders of the grassland territories, and certainly did not know of the rules or reign of the Bug King. It was almost certainly also true that the giant boot did not know of, understand or obey the Bug King’s sovereign rule in the area.

The creeping, crawling creatures had been freed from their imposed peace, and carried on with their day-to-day business of crawling and creeping and eating the leftover bits and pieces of the daisies and clover. What remained of the Bug King was unceremoniously scraped of the bottom of the giant boot on a fibrous welcome mat, which bore the apparently humorous legend ‘Oh No! Not You Again!’


2 thoughts on “The Short Reign of the Bug King

    • When asked about how the band was named, John Lennon would sometimes reply that in a dream, a man came to him on a flaming pie, and said ‘you will be the Beatles with an ‘a”. Having been a Beatles nerd in my callow youth, I often use their spelling instead of the correct one, and did so here. Whilst correcting myself, I was reminded of this story (I think he was mocking the use of pretentious and pompous imagery that bands often used in their quest to be taken more seriously) and threw in a reference to it. As the story has a tenuous nature and is prone to go off in tangents (subject/object/reject ), I figured it would be a nice sideways step and throwaway line. Nothing more than tangential and willfully obscure referencing, I’m afraid.

      Liked by 1 person

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