Nat and the Gnattle
Some time ago, there was a young gnat named Nat. Nat was not an ordinary gnat. His parents struggled for weeks and months (in gnat time) in order to choose a name worthy of such a fine specimen as their son. You see, Nat was born into a royal gnat family. They lived behind the coal shuttle by the fireplace in the bedchamber of the queen of England herself and so Nat's full name became Nat Coal. Later on, when he would be king, his name would ring out musically across the land. But that is another story.
When it was time for the bedbugs to bite, it was Nat's family's job to do all the biting in the royal palace. They even had English accents. They were very upper class gnats.
One day, the queen of England (from here on in known as Liz, because that's what everyone in the royal family called her) demanded that the royal bed makers clean the sheets thoroughly and solve the bedbug-biting problem that had been plaguing her for years.
The bed makers went down to the laundry department straight away and ordered the royal bed washers to wash and disinfect the bed linen until not a single gnat remained. The royal bed washers ordered the royal floor moppers to mop every corner with strong medieval bleach. And so, the royal palace was disinfected from tower to dungeon in the hopes of ridding Liz of the bedbug-biting problem that had plagued her for all of these past years.
In the world of the gnats, it was pandemonium! A massacre swept across the gnat world. With each sweep of the mop thousands upon thousands of Nat's family members were annihilated. Gnat bodies littered the floor and entire gnat communities were destroyed, swept away with out a trace.
When the day was over and night had fallen, the castle lay in quiet darkness. Liz crept into her newly bleached bed which still smelled faintly of ... well... various cleaning products. And for the first night in years she slept without being bitten... not even once.
Nat spent that evening combing the large expanses of the castle searching for surviving members of his family. He searched high and low. He went everywhere a gnat could go (which is everywhere because gnats are so small) looking for anyone who was related. Of his own family he found no one, but he did find straggling members of distant relatives. He found carpenter gnats (not to be confused with carpenter ants) and smithy gnats and peon gnats. He found little crippled beggar gnats.
With Nat's natural leadership skills he began to organize the survivors and care for the wounded. He set up a meeting place behind the dumpster next to the kitchen and began to send out groups of gnats to find and organize other survivors. Soon a community began to form.
Dear reader, you need to understand that a gnat's life is much shorter than ours. Nighttime for a gnat would be about a half of a year for a human and about three weeks if he were a dog (not that it matters). As you might have guessed, by the time the morning sun had begun to light the sparkling clean floors and the queen had slept though her only bite free night, the gnats had begun to rebuild. Nat's royal bloodline gave him the right to take up his rightful position as the king of all of the remaining gnats.
The remainders of the remaining gnat members of the gnat kingdom were both furious and scared. Some of the gnats were horribly afraid that Queen Liz would strike out again and completely demolish the then known gnat world. But Nat was furious and wanted desperately to form his own counter attack (he also intended to attack from the floors and ceilings).
When facing complete annihilation there was only one thing to do; they must squish the castle's human population and drive them out. The question was, of course, how. How could the gnats go about striking back at a foe that was so big and with so much power to wield?
All during the day, Nat thought and thought. Slowly a plan began to form in his little mind. This took some doing because... well... he was only a gnat for goodness sake. Nonetheless, a plan so big and so bold and based on the simplest of logic began to form. It was bound to succeed. Except for their sheer size, people were not much different than other living things. They have their own leaders. They have a queen just like bees do! If he could just get rid of Queen Liz, the rest would surely follow.
With Liz gone the bed makers would no longer have a reason to make the beds. The bed washers would no longer need to wash the bed linen. The floor washers would no longer comb the castle with mop and bucket. The castle would empty and Nat could rule his people in peace - actually not people, GNATTLE!
Nat organized the gnattle.
Dear reader, it is a little known fact that girl gnats are actually much stronger than boy gnats. So the girl gnats were not allowed to stay home with the children. They needed every able-bodied gnat that could be spared and left only the old, injured, sick and the young in the refuge behind the dumpster next to the kitchen.
And oh yes, dearest reader, as you know it's only been twenty-four hours for Nat, but since gnats don't sleep and twelve hours is like six months, he had been preparing a whole year in gnat time for his counter attack.
That night, Nat and the rest of the gnats traveled through the wee hours of the night all the way from the kitchen near the basement to the tower where the bedchamber of Queen Liz was located. By five o'clock in the morning Nat's army had assembled at the foot of Liz's bed.
It was a sight that had never before been seen, and has never been seen since. The bed was covered in the whitest of white sheets. At the foot of the bed, the white sheets were covered with the black bodies of a gazillion gnats. They were stacked nine deep and ten thousand wide. They formed a column that disappeared over the foot of the bed and if Liz had been awake, she would have seen the column disappear through the door and into the hallway beyond.
On Nat's signal the entire brigade began to advance on the queen. They disappeared under the sheets and presented arms (they didn't have guns, so they just presented arms) up and down the bed only millimeters from the queen's body.
On Nat's signal, the gnats began to bite and chomp.
The attack was hard and fast and the queen was so shocked that all she could do was scream and wave her arms in the air.
By the time the royal guards responded to the screams, Nat and his gnattle were lining the walls and making their way back to the sanctuary of the dumpster by the kitchen.
When the sun peeked over the turrets the next morning, castle employees were scrambling everywhere. The bed making and the bed washing crew had on a completely new face. In fact they were completely new people. Both of these departments had been fired in entirety and they left without their benefits. Their severance was severed. Their retirement retired.
They were actually quite lucky. Liz's first order of business that morning had been to put them all to death immediately. But because the guillotine was rusty, and no one had heard of WD40, they couldn't get the thing to work. In frustration Liz fired them all instead.
And so, the new bed making crew and the new bed washing crew made up of the best bed washers and bed makers in the kingdom (all first time mothers of newborn children) began at once to work on the queen's bedroom.
Well needless to say... they went over that room with a fine-toothed comb and replaced every bit of furniture and clothing in it.
Don't you wish you could get a new wardrobe as easily as all of that?
So the queen got a new wardrobe and freshly woven sheets and settled down for another bite and worry free night.
But, when the sun went down, Nat's army again began to march. They marched from the kitchen near the basement, up the many flights of stairs, all the way to the queen's bedchamber.
By now serious gnat reproduction had begun. Another 6 months had passed by since the last attack and Nat's army was even bigger and more organized. It took them nearly the whole night to march the distance with an army twice the size, but once again, just before dawn they stood poised for attack at the foot of the queen's bed. And once again, the attack took the queen completely by surprise and Nat's army was again able to retreat without incident.
This guerrilla warfare went on for the better part of month much to the chagrin of Liz's subjects. The queen was running out of first time mothers of newborn children to make her bed and wash the sheets and Nat had begun to grow old and weary. What was worse was that he had no heir - or hair for that matter (because gnats don't have hair). Anyway... the fact that Nat was unmarried was becoming a big political problem in the gnat world. There was no heir gnat of Nat to lead the gnattle after Nat had passed into the nether gnat world and Nat was expecting to die any day now. Of course in gnat time, he had years left.
Even so, Nat had long since stopped going on the raids and was only informed of the queen's continuing plight by the messengers sent to report on the army's progress. This was before they were called war correspondents.
In the world of men, the queen had begun to recognize the strain that this was having on her people and the economy. Asking the people to replace her wardrobe was one thing, but no one wanted to replace a perfectly good castle. And this was exactly what the queen had been suggesting and finally requesting.
The queen, making no progress on her requests for a new castle and looking particularly haggard due to her lack of beauty sleep, decided to retire and join the convent (apparently she had read the story of King Arthur and the round table and decided that that was her best course of action).
Her subjects were glad to hear of her resignation and decided they could probably run the kingdom on their own. They formed the first democracy and asked the queen to stay on as figurehead and to maintain the royal family. After all, it represented an important part of their heritage.
Liz rescinded her decision to join the convent, had many children and continued to be a liability to the entire English population throughout the following centuries. The saga of her family and its shenanigans is still to this day popular entertainment for all English people.
The people of England built the queen her new gnat free castle and she named it the Buckingham Palace . The old castle was moved to California .
It was quite a ride across the ocean and many of Nat's subjects became seasick and disoriented. When reconstruction was complete, Nat held a grand reopening and renamed his new kingdom Dizzyland... on account of the voyage.
Nat became both wealthy and famous due to his investments in the film industry and his successful musical career. To this day his descendants feast daily on the leavings of the hoards that leave large quantities of leftovers whenever they leave.
Since Nat died wealthy and without an heir, his entire estate passed over to the rest of the gnat community. The gnattle lived happily ever after in total anarchy and without taxes – and they still do.
©2006 All rights reserved. Materials may not be reproduced without expressed permission from the author.