The Bubble and the Bear

(A modern fable for modern children)

by Edgar J. Steele

July 12, 2002

Once upon a time,
in fabulous Bubbleland, where the streets were paved with gold, there lived a lovely little bubble named Dowe. She was a delightful creature, reflecting the light of the times and driven by the energy of her youth.

Her father, Mr. Greenjeans, doted upon his little bubble, giving her everything she desired.

Nothing, it seemed, was too much for the little bubble. She grew, and grew, and grew.

Never had there been such a bubble, through all of history.

And there were other little bubbles, too, growing throughout the land. Some grew even faster than Dowe, like Nasdaque and Nikkee, but they quickly tired and fell back. Not little Dowe, however, because she was the apple of Mr. Greenjeans' eye.

Mr. Greenjeans, respected throughout all of Bubbleland, was Chosen to be entrusted with the savings of all the people of Bubbleland, who knew he would look after them and help them to prosper like little Dowe.

And so they did.  But the Bubbleonians did not know that every night Mr. Greenjeans was secretly feeding the savings of the people to the ever-growing Dowe, whose ravenous appetite consumed all that Mr. Greenjeans gathered each day.

To celebrate their wealth and advanced state of evolution, the Bubbleonians raised up a Tower of Bubble to the sky, as proof that they had become as Gods, themselves. But evildoers flung mighty airplanes, not to mention strategically-placed static charges, against the Tower and brought it low. Fortunately, many were Chosen to be absent that day, so that the loss of Bubbleonians was far less than could have been expected.

In response, the ruler of Bubbleland, King George, proclaimed that there was to be a grand parade of the finest of Bubbleland's constabulary through the middle of the eastern part of a neighboring kingdom, led by no other than himself.  "The evildoers must learn that I have the freedom to do as I wish," explained the king.

"I must have a new uniform for the parade," said King George.  "Send in the royal tailors!"  In rushed Anders' son and Endrun, who measured the king for his grand new suit of clothes.

The day for the grand parade arrived and King George sent for his tailors to bring his new uniform. In they marched, with empty arms outstretched.  

"Where are my fine new clothes?" demanded King George.  

"They are here, your highness," replied Anders' son.  "We have employed our greatest talents and produced cloth so fine that one must squint just right to see the thread employed in its manufacture. Don't worry, though, because they are made according to  the rules of our guild."  

The king squinted and squinted but, being exceptionally nearsighted, not to mention dumb as a box of rocks, was unable to make out the patterns of the clothing held forth by his tailors.  Not wishing to appear less perceptive than his subjects, the King said, "Oh, yes - well, help me on with them, as I must take my position at the head of the grand parade at once." And he removed his robe. So pleased was he that he rewarded Anders' son and Endrun magnificently and sent them on their way.

As the king took his position at the head of the parade, there arose a great muttering among the Bubbleonians, some of who openly claimed that King George was without the apparent support necessary to undertake so visible a journey.  

Other Bubbleonians who recently had learned that their accounts with Mr. Greenjeans had inexplicably shrunk in recent days also were quick to notice the king's apparent lack of clothing.  

These traitors were all immediately taken out and shot by the king's General Attorney.

All the rest of the citizens nervously cheered as the King marched off with his parade in tow, vowing to make the world safe for his way of thinking.

Along the route, Mr. Greenjeans and his beloved Dowe awaited the arrival of King George and the parade.  Before long Dowe, who had grown truly enormous of late, spied them in the distance.  "Here he comes," shouted Dowe excitedly.

As the king drew abreast of Dowe and Mr. Greenjeans, she cried out, "He has no clothes...the king has no clothes!"  In that moment, all within earshot realized what they had suspected, including King George.  

In the ensuing furor, Dowe was thrust against the bare King George, who became aroused in the close proximity of so much of the citizens' money which Dowe, of course, had consumed. Dowe fell and, though she staggered to her feet a time or two, soon was trampelled beneath the feet of the frantic Bubbleonians.  And all the peoples' savings were gone, just like that.

Which is what always happens to the Dowe when it meets a bare, of course.

Desperate to keep the Bubbleonians distracted from the fact that Mr. Greenjeans had stolen all their savings, King George nuked the shit out of the rest of the world.

And he lived happily ever after.


p.s. - 

It may mean nothing, but everybody seems to have forgotten that the stock market was in free fall just before Sep 11.  A free fall just like this past week's.  Once again, we stand at a critical juncture.  

Chartists, who have discerned a classic "head and shoulders" formation in index movement, say that the next move to the downside should be precipitous.  Fundamentalists talk of "capitulation" in explaining the mood of investors who finally flick it in at this stage of things.

The bulk of the decline in a major bear market almost always occurs in just a handful of days, usually at about this point in the proceedings.  A mere retracement to the historical mean would result in a 50% decline, about the same level that a price-earnings ratio of 12-15 would call for, as well.  The current PE of 30 is about twice the historical average; twice the level that makes stocks marginally more attractive an investment than bonds.  Of course, Enron and its progeny have shown that reported earnings are grossly overstated, so the decline could be even worse.  And, none of this allows for a "dead cat bounce," either.

In other words, things on Wall Street could be about to get a whole lot worse than anybody is letting on is possible.  Of course, 911 served to distract everybody, close the stock market for several days and create a boom in several industries connected to the military.  Greenspan's pushing the money supply out of sight didn't hurt, either.  Some say that merely delayed the inevitable...

Could there be another "event" about to occur?

Nobody listens to the government terrorist alerts any more, and for good reason.  However, I am now issuing a ConspiracyPenPal Stage 1 Alert of Possible False Flag Citizen Terror, to be in effect for the next seven days....


"I didn't say it would be easy.  I just said it would be the truth."
            - Morpheus

Copyright © Edgar J. Steele, 2002

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