Short Story: Lilo Is A Fat Cow

ShortbreadLucy DouglasShort Stories › Lilo Is A Fat Cow

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About this Short Story

Written by
Lucy Douglas

Narrated by
Flora Montgomery


A wry comment on the sin of sloth. As Leila Warburton grows up her parents despair of her never moving from her bed. She becomes a successful proofreader (from her bed), and, determined to prove her independence, moves into her own flat.


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  • 31 Comments
  • 80% Community Rating
  • 15030 Views

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Leila loved bed. She loved bed more than anything else in the world. She also loved sofa, and was quite attached to the plush seats at the back of her local cinema. Leila had once caused her parents great anguish by getting lost in a department store, at the tender age of four. They had gone shopping for a sledge, so that they could have happy family days out in the crisp snows of winter. The outdoor department had been positioned – strangely, one might think – next to the bedding department, and Leila had been transfixed by the sight of all those beautiful beds. There were little cosy ones with bright cartoony covers, and teeny princess beds with magical floating silvery nets. There were sleek modern low-slung beds with oriental looking headboards, or cool Scandinavian lines, and elegant wrought-iron bedsteads with luscious plump quilts piled high. But best – oh, very best of all – there was a four…

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Adrian Searle Guest Editor said "I’m a great fan of satire, a fabulous weapon in the writer’s armoury. Some of my favourite writers, like Mikhail Bulgakov, author of the fabulous The Master and Margarita and biting The Heart of a Dog, wield it viciously in their condemnation of our collective failings. Lilo is a Fat Cow made me laugh, a cautionary tale worthy of the Stewwelpeter, the German storybook that inspired Tim Burton’s Edward Scissorhands. Leila, the Fat Cow of the tale, succumbs to the temptations of inert flesh. Admirably she rebels against her family’s and society’s demand that she be ‘busy’, choosing her duvet over conformity. But such hubris can only lead towards an inevitable comeuppence..."
7 years ago

Keith Snell said "A great story, well put together, each step building perfectly on the previous one like a carefully constructed biography."
2 years ago
Valerie Ball said "A modern, disturbing story with a powerful message. Well written with not a word wasted and a satisfactory, albeit sad, ending."
6 years ago
Neville Douglas said "this tale would be enhanced by embracing the principle of "show not tell""
6 years ago
Joseph Chamberlain said "Very amusing and well-written. Not a comfortable story though."
6 years ago
Steve Douglas said "I loved the way this moved inexorably to its dark conclusion. Part of me approved Leila's rebellion against conformity; the rest knew it was going to end in tears..."
6 years ago
Ezna Lane said "Hi Loved this made me laugh & shudder at the same time. Sadly I have a friend & neighbour who is a 'couch potato' of the most extreme. She now has breathing problems & is on oxygen & at last is finally losing weight so maybe things will improve. I'd love to send her this cautionary tale but don't want to ruffle her extensive feathers. Hope to read more of your satirical pieces. Regards ezlane@btinternet.com"
6 years ago
Elizabeth Ducie said "A wonderful moral tale, not at all diminished by the predictablity of the ending. I loved the way Leila's gradual downfall was mirrored by a evolving writing style from light to very dark. A lesson for couch potatoes everywhere. Now, where're my running shoes?"
6 years ago
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Ian Jay said "Enjoyed this story a lot. Thank you."
6 years ago
Alexandra Gray said "Loved this morality tale, she kind of deserved it in the end, didn't she?"
6 years ago
Lynne Allison said "What an enthralling story - I loved it! Thank you"
6 years ago
Tony Peake said "I have spent a lifetime avoiding exercise, and dispite enjoying the story am really worried now ...."
6 years ago
Liz Strachan said "I loved the story. It was very funny and written with a such light touch, it didn't revolt me at all. (Not an appropriate adjective, I admit!) I am looking forward to reading more of Lucy's stories. Liz Strachan"
6 years ago
Jane Ashton said "A lovely, if revolting, visual image. I'm thinking twice about tonight's take-away however - we have a brown leather sofa and I really must lose some weight. Well written and enjoyable."
6 years ago
Stephanie Gustafson said "Very enjoyable, amusing, horrifying, all at once. Well done."
6 years ago
Andrea Dexter said "A very human tale of our time, written with a clever indulgent light touch. I loved it"
6 years ago
Brenda Daggers said "Brenda Daggers said: I agree with Norman Smith that the story is a little too long. Felt it could benefit from tightening up. However I was riveted, experiencing a mixture of laughter, uneasiness and towards the end, horror. Literally growing into her sofa at the end was an unexpected and clever twist. A lovely phrase - books and beds make good partners. I loved it."
6 years ago
Bill Haddow-allen said "compelling reading to predictable end. A real skill. Funny and sad. Something of a parable, I think. An enjoyable, worthwhile, read. Thank you."
6 years ago
Norman Smith said "Well-written but overlong as if the author was transfixed with idea piling on the examples of progressive sloth. The end was in sight halfway through and, personally, I did not find this story merited its rating by others. Sorry, not for me."
6 years ago
Rose Garnett said "Playful and dark: my favourite combination. Excellent word play and best of all very entertaining."
6 years ago
Diane Dickson Guest Editor said "Oh my goodness. I began the reading of this smiling benevolently at Lila's little foibles. That is now how I ended. Very well constructed and what a cautionary tale. I'm taking a brisk walk every day from now on. - Great stuff - Diane"
7 years ago
David Sharp said "This was wonderful - the transition for fairy tale of a girl who just likes sleeping to somewhat... well something else was perfect. Leila almost felt like anti-hero; even though you hate what she's doing to herself you still can't help but like her. And some true rapier wit in there as well. Great stuff."
7 years ago
This comment has been removed; this user is no longer a member of Shortbread.
This comment has been removed; this user is no longer a member of Shortbread.
Jenn Du P said "My favourite audio story so far! - I laughed so hard! To think she even had a different colour nightie for the different genres:) Poor Leila, and lucky us who are still thinking about her and the price of comfort. Very cleverly narrated as well!"
8 years ago
Karen Cantwell said "Poor Leila! - Really lovely and delicately woven story that had me smiling. Until the end of course. Oh, how I wished a better end for Leila!"
8 years ago
Jane Townsley said "brilliant - I like this story, brilliantly written, and so easy to read. Had me gripped from the start. Marvellously imaginative too. A story I shall remember. Thankyou for a great read. "
8 years ago
Susan Donim said "Up and Down - I found this to be very entertaining and surprisingly dark, with a rather serious message. Wonderfully written and constructed. "
8 years ago
Julie Myatt said "5 stars - Lucy, I tried to give Lilo 5 stars and started to click on star one intending to then click on star two but it thought I only wanted to give it one star - help!! I will email the site. "
8 years ago
Julie Myatt said "STAR RATING - This is a brilliant story. You are very talented. "
8 years ago

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