Copyright © 2000 Robert G. Ferrell

Modular Fairy Tales

Pick one from each section (A-I), string them together in order, and poof! You've written your own fairy tale. I think this might be the way Aesop got started.


There once was a maiden with strangely colored tresses
In a magic kingdom of goodness and sliding interest rates there ruled a portly King
Far, far beyond the edge of expectation dwelt in olden times a dwarf
Wrapped in the perpetual carnelian mist of a wondrous oak lived a nymph of good family
Many have spoken of but scant few have seen the Dragon of Foggy Fountain


who had but three teeth and a questionable awareness of personal hygiene.
who was the living incarnation of an ancient god of liver spots.
who could enjoy the pleasures of the flesh but once every 112 years.
who kept a thousand poisonous toads in a golden bathtub.
who suffered under a family curse of irregularity and nasal polyps.


In this same place there lived an amiable fairy goblin named Jittles, whom no one had ever seen bathe.
Often would those who ventured too near the old manor on the hill hear the chilling wails of a creature tortured beyond all reason.
The morning sun rose, as always, over a land devoid of sober rodents.
Once every autumn a peculiar feeling came over the local tribes, and they ran belching through the fields of winter wheat.


Suddenly one afternoon the mountains began to tremble lustily.
On a breeze from enchanted climes came there one day a scent of disturbed fish.
Over the forest one morning appeared a great flock of carrion-birds, beaks aflame.
Deep beneath the hills lay a vast cave, completely filled in with stale oatmeal.
From within the tangled and torturous timbers of Trelanto emerged without good cause one midnight a gigantic mollusc named Dave.


The denizens of the forest were, to a creature, gripped by indigestion and
With no warning, slabs of light green gelatin began to fall from the sky and
Tax collectors in natty velvet frocks heaved themselves noisily through fissures spreading suddenly across a surprised landscape, and
Pest control as a concept sprang into being simultaneously in the minds of all within sight or sound, and
A gritty powder resembling whole wheat pancake mix flowed past startled onlookers on its way to the Royal Palace, and


the King had no choice but to call out the Royal Barge Guards.
a hundred thousand ant thrushes shimmered into existence along a vast feathered front, only to be flattened by a long, narrow meteorite.
the stars themselves swirled hypnotically in patterns taken from failed wallpaper, as the oceans turned to bean-curd porridge.
the gods looking down from their Divine Sauna felt moved to send out for pizza.
all of Creation held its breath as patches of recently sentient fungi grew restless.


Finally an heroic hedgehog leapt out from behind a hibiscus and convinced everyone to go home and take a nap.
But the innate power and majesty of salmon could no longer be suppressed, and so in one grand moment the day was won.
The people were forced by this to come to terms with their deep inner cravings, which led them to emigrate en masse to the Island of Queasy Bath Sponges.
One particularly articulate artichoke rolled out of a leaden casket and set everything straight with an enthusiastic wave of its apical meristem.
Just as the storm reached its destructive peak, however, a seven hundred foot tongue lapped up the clouds and disappeared into the icy firmament with a sloppy wet thiiiiip!


The next morning everyone had spinach salad on the lawn in their undergarments, and the world returned to a relative state of grace.
This so peeved the gods that they destroyed the entire universe in one unimaginably violent fireball, and then went off to cheer themselves up with banana sherbet.
Everyone agreed that things turned out pretty well, considering society's utter lack of a comprehensive policy regarding carpet beetles.
And so the world plodded along in its eternally incomprehensible way; meanwhile a gathering of innkeepers was brought to an abrupt and unpleasant conclusion by dry rot in the ceiling joists.
Despite the unfortunate turn of recent events, however, the vast majority of people involved went right on playing the accordion in violation of local statute.


Moral: Everything that goes around, gets dizzy.
Moral: It is better to bear with the ills we have than to eat ground glass.
Moral: He who laughs last has to have the joke explained to him.
Moral: No matter how fast you go, someone will always be ahead of you (with a radar gun)

Here, friends, I leave you to comfort yourselves with the balm of your choice.