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Some years ago in a village on the outskirts of a forest lived a poor family. He and his wife were childless. But their anxiety before it could turn into despair was soon over. One morning the folks saw the cut out of a stork on the garden patch festooned with pink ribbons. “It’s a girl!’ they said and folks soon dropped in to wish the proud parents for their good fortune.

The baby was as fine as any child born of sturdy parents with all the good features that sit well in an angel.

The girl had flaming red hair and she made all heads turn. When she became ten, her grandmother who lived in a mansion sent her a cape among so many other gifts that were costly. But the cape was special because she had stitched it herself and spoilt her eyes in the bargain. But it was worth it, she said when she next came visiting in her red cape.

The cape fit her so well she was called Red Riding Hood.

Some three years later she went visiting. Her grandmother lived far enough but Red Riding Hood adored the old woman who made so much fuss about her. Everytime. Besides the grandma lived in circumstances so different that it was a special treat. She could swim in specially heated pool and enjoy the comforts of a well stocked larder and above all love of her grandmother made it all forget the world outside.

Once she went with a custard she made for her and knocked at the door of her mansion. There was none but the grandma. Strangely enough she was invisible but for her overcoat. “ Red Riding Hood how well you look!”came the voice.

“ Thank you,” The girl was surprised to see her covered up. “What happened Grandma! You look a mess!”

“There was a break in.”

“Oh I am here. Let nothing worry you.” she said concerned.

“What have you got in your hand?”

“ Custard.” said Red Riding Hood handing her.

“Oh Grandma!” Your hand is hairy as of a man!”

“There was a break in.”

“But I don’t understand,” exclaimed the girl, “What has it got to do with your hand?”

“Where is the key to family safe?”

“Grandma you know it too well to ask.”

“ Oh Grandma you have a gun in your hands.”

“ Oh it is to shoot you with” said the voice, “and put the blame for the murder on you.”

( from French fairy tales by Charles Perrault)

benny

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The Golden Goose ©

 

(Sorry this story continues in the Wow-Wow Tales published through CreateSpace.com – b)

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Who are you Really? ©

A miller had three sons and a cat. The miller after a lifetime of industry died from overwork. Since his death was so sudden he had not made a will and as soon as the sire was laid to rest Pierre, the eldest son called his brothers to divide the earthly belongings of the father. Naturally he took the mill and the grounds surrounding it. His younger brother Gervais got all the furniture he could not use. Since he had learnt a trade as carpenter he accepted the broken chairs, bedstead and other furniture the eldest had dumped into his lap. They turned to Carlos the youngest and said, ‘You are a queer one! Always day dreaming and roaming outdoors.We leave you castles in Spain.’ How they laughed at him! Carlos was not one of them as far as they looked at the runt of the family.
They would have turned him out without anything but the cat meeowed meaningfully.
The eldest son stamped his foot angrily. ‘Look at this preposterous cat! Who but the never-do- well Carlos would have thought it up!’
The two brothers pointed to the ginger cat and the ball of wool was indeed tangled around his paws.
The cat meeowed this time Carlos caught its eye. Carlos diffidently asked if he could take the cat with him.
‘Oh sure!’ Carlos picked up the cat and walked out. The two brothers were relieved that they had washed their hands off a boy whom they could not fathom.
Carlos asked the cat if he would teach him how to catch rats. ‘The Grand Turk of Golden Horn will pay handsomely if his palace were rid of rats’.
In answer to that the cat meeowed thrice. There stood before the awe-struck Carlos a ginger cat with a black velvety wide-brimmed hat with ostrich plumes. His dress was as unusual as his hat. ‘A cavalier non-pareil I am’. He twirled his ebony stick to match the color of his hat. The way he let the sun pick out silver filigree work on a knob embossed with beaten silver, and it was dashing! Carlos stood there goggle eyed and pointed to his paws and spluttered,’ Puss, you have even boots!’

Puss laughed uproriously and said, ‘I washed them in champagne and my paws can dig into it and feel wonderful.’ Indeed! whoever heard of boots made supple with champagne! Or a puss swagger as he was born to make a splash wherever he went!
Carlos ventured to ask,’You have nine lives whereas..’
Puss-in-boots tut-tutted him and said grandly,’mon ami,how do you know you haven’t?’
‘Either you dare or to the dumps feet first.’
The manner Puss-in- boots said it was a masterstroke.
The Puss-in-boots was a tough act to follow. Standing on the road leading from the mill Carlos suddenly stood erect and said,’I am marquis de Carabas!
He had only one doubt. ‘Why didn’t you leave the Mill any sooner Puss-in-boots?’
The puss-in- boots meeowed expensively,’ I was waiting for you.’
‘For me?’ Carlos was mystified.
Puss-in- boots explained,’ I wanted you to realize who you really was. ‘He turned to face him and asked,’Who are you, Carlos?’
‘Oh no, not Carlos!’ said the boy,’I am marquis de Carabas’.
‘Ok then we are on the road to riches, fame and eternal brotherhood!
Thus they went off.( Based on a Charles Perrault tale)
benny

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“Every good story shall necessarily have a center, an emotional center to hold the beginning and its end together. Whether it is a fairy tale or a parable this center, which I call inner truth makes it a circle. Take the instance of stories like Cinderella and the Prodigal Son,- circumstances though varied, fantastical or austere in treatment, are pulled together to make a story that is perfect. As perfect as a circle”.(reprinted from Elves Bells-ben4ben.wordpress.com/ Dec-1)

benny

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I have started a new blog url of which is http://ben4ben.wordpress.com. I shall be exclusively posting updated classics there. Name of the blog is Elves Bells.
Those who are interested in updating the fairy tales of old are welcome to sample them .These stories shall be illustrated wherever possible.
benny

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Four Musicians of Bremen©

Shmuck always thought he was the most likely to succeed in his class. When he graduated with distinction he went to work for a gnome in Zurich. He slaved like a donkey to make the House of Black Friars the biggest bank. But one day he was shown the door. When he went out the portier feeling sad asked if he had thought of singing for his supper. Shmuck was an expert at it he said.’Show me the color of money I will make my guitar weep.’ he added with a laugh. Finally he said,’I shall go to Bremen that lies at the end of the rainbow.’

That was how Mr.Shmuck hit the road. With a song in his heart and without a care except his severance pay and it weighed heavily in his pocket. Before long he met a fellow who sang only one tune and his imitation of Elvis Presley was fantastic. When he sang the number ‘Hound Dog’ even late king turned in his grave to say in sepulchral tone,’I am stoned,man!’.

Mr. Shmuck heard Mr.’bulldog’ Drummond and said, ‘We shall conquer Bremen!” Mr. Drummond didn’t know what was special about Bremen but the way Shmuck, the donkey described it,’ It was Graceland prim and proper’.

A little further the two came across a drag queen. ‘I am Meeow,’ and asked them to follow the rules if they expected to conquer Bremen.’I am It to you but Alley Cat to others.’

The two were surprised that there were such rules for one who played coy and played like a jerk in next. ‘Meeow likes to purr!’ said It cheerily.

‘Can you sing?’

‘O I sing flat like no other!’ replied It coyly.

Any instrument?’

‘Just me and my Jewish harp!’

‘You will do’ said the other two.

In the town they came next was a popinjay and he strutted while they were supping in a motel. They saw his outlandish dress and exaggerated manners and asked him to join them.’ I came to this town hoping to buy a suit most sober for an undertaker.’ He said and his sad story continued, ‘I wanted this gray suit that I saw hanging in a shop window. Since buying it I got a funeral parlor as if I had pressed some magic button.’  He added how it got into his head to strut about like a rooster since every wish began coming true.He ended ssaying,’ I lost it all since townsfolk thought a high kicking undertaker who had a joke for every wake was giving death a bad name.’

‘Call Me Dude, the rooster.’ Dude wasn’t in the least bothered by his losses. As he said he intended to make his loss add to his personality. ‘But can you sing? they anxiously asked him.

‘Some times I am adenoidal, but mostly I prefer off-key’ replied he. He said he took to rap music and as if to prove he gave an impromptu song and dance,’Adenoidal, it’ s me/All I need is a nod/I can make paranoia/ seem elemental.’

The three immediately took him. They didn’t know what he meant but it sounded very musical to them.

Thus the four went to a town and they said they should sleep early since they would be wowing the folks of Bremen next morning.

All the more reason we should paint the town red.’ insisted Dude the rooster.

So they let Dude to arrange a card party. Ten thalers a point they played for high stakes. The four musicians were losing like a roller coaster that had missed rail some hours earlier. The donkey whispered in between to ask Meeow if It knew what was going on. The drag queen threw Its hand and said,’ Even the folks from Bremen have come pouring to take us on.’ It was true. The news went around about Four musicians who were hell bent to lose. ‘Ah this is is the lowest form of self-advertisement,’ worthy wight observed,’ they are bent on making the city of Bremen to sit and take note.’

The game was in full swing. He directly put a duffel bag full of money to play against the four.

The fellows of Bremen took turns to play against these four and in the end the four owed the city of Bremen 6 million thalers not counting the sundry losses the four had incurred in playing against the other guests in the hotel.

The Mayor at one point stood up and demanded the four musicians to make good of their losses.’We won good and proper.’

Mr. Dude the rooster let out a cry ‘cock a doodle doo.’

When asked what he meant he said, ‘Nothing‘ that will stand up in a court of law.’

The other three pointed to each other and said, ‘We shall sing for your suppers,considering you shall be kicked out of the City Hall for gambling away the reputation and assets’.

The folks of Bremen looked at each other and they knew they gambled for nothing. They were disappointed and angry.’ They surrounded the Mayor and their councillors saying,’You all are a bunch of crooks!’

In the end the four musicians of Bremen began singing for suppers of those who were thrown out of their office.

They survived in spite of this. Many thought it was very decent for them to care for the unfortunates. Centuries later they have become the stuff legends are made of, but somewhat altered in the real facts. There is a famous statue commemorating the four in the city of Bremen.

benny

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