The Three Billy Goats Gruff

May 28, 2010 at 1:12 pm (Fairy Tales, Humor, Uncategorized) (, , , , , )

Once upon a time there were three billy goats of varying sizes. They wanted to go up to the hillside, where the grass was much greener, to make themselves fat. The names of these three billy goats were Tiny Tim Gruff, Buttercup Gruff, and  Bubba Gruff.

To get to the luscious grass on the hillside, however, the three billy goats Gruff had to cross the stream. It was a wide and swift stream, easy enough for a bear to cross, but much too large for a goat. A bridge spanned the distance between the banks, but it was a well-known fact that a terrible troll lived under the bridge. He was a particularly nasty troll, for he had eyes as big as saucers, and a nose as long as a poker, and his name was Gertrude. His mother had wanted a girl troll so badly that she gave him a girls’ name, and pretended poor Gertrude was female for the first 2 years of his life. That was enough to make any person nasty, so when you add in the irritable nature common to trolls, a ferocious under-bridge troll was to be expected.

So first of all came the youngest Billy Goat Gruff, Tiny Tim, to cross the bridge. He limped up slowly, somehow beating his siblings to the bridge.

“Trip, trap, trip, scrape! Trip, trap, trip, scrape! ” went the bridge.

“Who’s that tripping and scraping, and limping over my bridge?” roared Gertrude the perpetually angst-ridden troll .

“Oh, it is only I, the tiniest Billy Goat Gruff, Tiny Tim , and I’m going up to the hillside to make myself fat, for I am a very small and bony goat,” weezed Tiny Tim, with such a small and quavering voice.

“No you’re not! I’m coming up to gobble you, and you obviously can’t run away because of your lame leg!” grumbled the troll triumphantly.

“Oh, no! Pray don’t eat me. I’m too little, that I am, all skin, and bones, and no juicy meat to speak of!” squealed Tiny Tim. “Wait a bit until my sister Buttercup Gruff comes. She’s much bigger, with lean muscle.”

“Well, I like a good high-grade meat, and you are obviously too little to be really filling, so be off with you,” griped the troll.

A little while later Buttercup Gruff came skipping and bounding up to the bridge, her horns adorned with bows and flowers. (The flowers were the reason she lagged so far behind her gimpy brother.)

“Trip, trap, skip, bounce, trippy, trapity,” went the bridge.

“Who’s that tripping and skipping over my bridge?” roared Gertrude.

“Oh, it’s the second Billy Goat Gruff, Buttercup, and I’m going up to the hillside to make daisy chains, and to eat lovely grass to make myself fat,” said Buttercup, who hadn’t such a small voice as Tiny Tim, but rather had a medium voice.

“Wrong! Now I’m coming to gobble you up,” shrieked Gertrude.

“Oh, no! Don’t take me. I am so covered in perfume and flowers I am sure to upset your stomach! And my bows would get stuck in your teeth.Wait a little till my older brother comes. He’s much bigger, and tastier.”

“Phew! You are right, that perfume is sure to upset my stomach, I can hardly stand it even at this distance. Now get off my bridge,” harrumphed the troll.

But just then the big Billy Goat Gruff, Bubba, lumbered up to the bridge .

“Thump, thump, thump, thump!” went the bridge, for the billy goat was so heavy that the bridge creaked and groaned under him.

“Who’s that tramping over my bridge?” roared Gertrude, full of anger and hunger.

“Bubba Gruff,” said the billy goat, who had a voice quite like that of a cow.

“Now I ‘m coming to gobble you up,” roared the troll.

Bubba Gruff stomped and wiggled his head, trying to remember the poem he was supposed to recite at times like these. He was every bit as large as a bull, and wasn’t too smart, but he had his little poem memorized.

“Well, come along! I’ve got two spears,
And I’ll poke your eyeballs out at your ears;
I’ve got besides two curling-stones,
And I’ll crush you to bits, body and bones.”

That was what the big billy goat said. And then he flew at the troll, much faster than one would expect of a goat of this size, and poked his eyes out with his horns, and crushed him to bits, body and bones, and tossed him out into the stream, and after that he went up to the hillside, just as he had told the unfortunate troll. There the billy goats got so fat they were scarcely able to walk home again. And if the fat hasn’t fallen off them, why, they’re still fat; and so,

Snip, snap, snout.
This tale’s told out.

Want to read some of the original versions? Follow this link:


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Cattenborg part II

May 21, 2010 at 10:26 am (Fairy Tales, Humor, Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , , )

One day, when the Prince and she were sitting in the garden, Brigit turned her head towards the forest and saw her mother appear, running along with a saucepan, and her father following with the ladle. She couldn’t help laughing loudly when she saw their continued folly. When the Prince asked her what was so funny, she didn’t know how to answer, so she said as she was taught: “I just thought how different it was at home in my beautiful castle Cattenborg.” 

“You are always talking of your beautiful castle Cattenborg,” pouted the Prince, “I think it is about time we went there and got married!” 

Brigit was worried, because, as far as she knew, there was no castle Cattenborg, and if there was, it certainly wasn’t hers. She told Alphonse her worries, because really, they were sort of his fault. 

“Don’t worry,” responded the cat, “just put your trust in me, and you will see it bring you happiness. Go to the Prince and tell him to get everything ready for a long journey. We can leave tomorrow if he likes.” 

Brigit was skeptical of this unknown plan, for she could see no way out of it, but Alphonse had never led her wrong, so she told the Prince to make ready for a journey to her castle. Early the next morning they set off in a long procession. The King and Queen sat in the state BMW convertible with the Prince and his betrothed; and after them followed the fancy cars of all the rest of the royal court. It was a splendid sight to see. 

When night fell, they procession found a five-star hotel near the road, for they were prepared for a long journey of several days. Now it happens that this hotel was in the territory of a terrible troll. Every night he went out robbing and stealing and he hid his huge heaps of loot in his castle. The castle was beautiful, made of silver with a roof of gold and windows made of diamonds. The troll that lived in the castle was an ordinary sort of troll, with a long tail, big nose, and ears that stuck right out of his head. He wasn’t very old, for a troll that is, only five hundred years — a mere youth when compared to his relatives — and he hoped to live to a thousand. He had no fear that he wouldn’t reach his goal, for the only thing he had to fear was the sun. Like most inherently evil things, trolls can’t stand broad daylight, and turn to dust in the sunshine. This was a simple thing to avoid, he believed, for all he had to do was return home before sunrise. 

Clever Alphonse knew all this about the troll, and when everyone else was asleep in the camp, he ran as fast as he could to the troll’s castle. It was a long distance to the castle, and it was nearing morning when he arrived. He jumped into the extra-large key-hole of the heavy oak door and changed shape into a bun (because all cats can shape change), filling up every bit of the wide hole. 

By now it was early morning, and the sky had begun to turn red in anticipation of dawn. Heavy troll steps were heard approaching the castle, and the ground shook and trembled. The troll was a bit later than usual this morning, so he had the key to the front door already in his hand. He tried to stick the key in the hole, but it was blocked by Alphonse, the cat-turned-bun. The troll flew into a rage. 

“Open, Open!” he cried and knocked at the door. 

“Oh, please, just wait a little while, till I’ve told you my story,” said Alphonse the bun in a quiet voice. 

“At first they kneaded me, 

So that they could knead me to death.” 

“Open! Open!” cried the troll again. 

“You must just wait a little, little while, till I’ve told you my story. 

At first they kneaded me, 

So that they could knead me to death. 

And then they floured me, 

So that they could flour me to death — ” 

“Open! Open!” cried the troll, knocking furiously at the door and yanking on the handle. 

“Don’t interrupt me; it’s terribly rude.  Haven’t I said that I must first tell you my story? 

At first they kneaded me, 

So that they could knead me to death. 

And then they floured me, 

So that they could flour me to death. 

And then they rolled me out, 

So that they could roll me to death.” 

Now the troll flew into such a rage that he knocked with his fists and kicked with his heavy combat boots, and for a moment it seemed as if the whole castle was about to fall down. But the bun went on calmly as before: 

“Can’t you hear? I must first tell you my story. 

At first they kneaded me, 

So that they could knead me to death. 

And then they floured me, 

So that they could flour me to death. 

And then they rolled me out, 

So that they could roll me to death. 

And then they baked me, 

So that they could bake me to death –” 

By now the troll had become really afraid, and he begged for his life in quite a humble way. “Oh dear, dear! Open! Please let me in!” 

But the bun remained where it was, and said suddenly: “Turn around and see that hot chick on a motorcycle coming this way.” 

The troll stupidly turned around, and looked directly into the rising sun. He fell over, turned into stone, and then exploded into a pile of dust. Nothing was left of the troll but the dust, and that was soon vacuumed up by a servant. 

Alphonse turned back into a cat, and jumped down from the key-hole. He went into the castle and told the poor enslaved servants that they were free of the ugly troll, and that soon their new mistress, who was kind and fair and gave huge Christmas bonuses, the beautiful Princess of Cattenborg, was about to arrive with her fiancé. He told them to prepare for a magnificent wedding. All the former slaves were so excited about their freedom and the upcoming party, that they threw their hats in the air and celebrated. 

The Queen, who sat in the first car, told the chauffeur to stop. “What is all the fuss about?” she asked one of the celebrants. 

“We are only greeting our returning employer, the beautiful Princess of Cattenborg!” The dancing man responded. 

Everyone was very surprised at the extravagance for such a simple occasion (the return of their boss), but none was as surprised as Brigit, who had never seen this castle or those people in her life. The wedding was that night, and the prince and princess lived happily ever after with their faithful cat, Alphonse. 

Want to read the real thing? Head over to your local library, and check out Fairy Tales from Sweden. It is a fabulous out of print book with all sorts of cute fairytales.

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Cattenborg part I

May 12, 2010 at 11:26 am (Fairy Tales, Humor, Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , , )

Once upon a time, there was a woodcutter and his wife who lived with their two children at the edge of the forest. All the couple owned was a chainsaw, a cow, and a cat (they rented their cottage). The woodcutter and his wife bickered all day long. If he liked a thing, she disliked it. If he wanted something, she wanted something else. One day, the wife tried to make peace by making a pudding for her husband. As she made the pudding, she thought “He won’t be satisfied with this fabulous pudding I am working so hard on. I’ll bet he will grumble all while eating it.” At that very same moment that the wife was making the pudding, the woodcutter was thinking to himself “I will eat whatever vile thing my wife makes me to eat. But she will grumble all the while. I will have no peace.” Both thought the other started the quarrels.

At dinner that night the pudding was so good that the woodcutter ran to the kitchen to lick up all the little bits of leftover pudding in the pan. The wife ran in after him, and snatched the pan away, shouting that since she had worked so hard to make the pudding, she should get the scraps. He shouted that it was his house, and his hard work that provided their food, so he should get to eat the pudding. With a final shout of “It’s not even your house! We rent it!” she ran away with the pan, and he followed after with the ladle. Their two children stood at the doorway, watching as their parents ran off into the distance.

A few days passed, and the boy and girl watched and waited for their parents to return, but they never did. Finally, they acknowledged that waiting was futile (they had been given notice by their landlord for not paying rent on the cottage), and so they planned to divide the assets and try to make their ways in the world.

“I will take the cow,” proclaimed Markku. He thought he was being quite generous, considering under normal circumstances he would get everything. “And you may have the cat.”

Just as Brigit was about to protest at the unfairness of this division, the cat, named Alphonse,  rubbed against her leg and said, “I promise you will never regret your choice if you take me.”

Brigit picked the cat up, and said to her brother, “Yes, you may keep the cow Markku. I’ll take Alphonse.”

Markku couldn’t believe his luck, and quickly ran out the door with the cow, snatching up the chainsaw and shouting good-bye to his sister so that she wouldn’t have a chance to change her mind. When the door slammed behind Markku, Alphonse turned to Brigit and said, “If you do exactly what I tell you to do, I will bring you great happiness.” Brigit promised to follow the cat’s instructions, because she hadn’t the slightest idea what else to do.

“Let’s go,” said Alphonse, “We don’t want to still be here when the landlord comes to kick us out. We will take the path through the forest, rather than taking the high road like Markku did.”

The forest was very eerie, and Brigit was a little bit frightened as they walked between the fir trees, for she knew that trolls lived in the forest. But she and Alphonse walked on and on, until Brigit was so tired she could hardly take another step. Alphonse told her that she could rest, but only if she took off all her clothes and gave them to him. She did, and then Alphonse ripped her clothing into shreds and scattered the pieces on the forest floor.

“Hey! Those were my only clothes. What have you done?” Shouted Brigit.

“Don’t ask questions,” replied Alphonse, “just do as you’re told. It is all part of the plan. Now hide in that tree.”

Brigit did as she was told, and climbed the tree. Alphonse then ran off to the royal castle that was not too far away. Brigit was frightened of being all alone in the forest, with nothing to cover her nakedness but her hair, but she trusted the cat, and waited for him to return.

Once Alphonse arrived at the castle, he told everyone he met about the horrible disaster that had befallen his mistress while they traveled through the forest. He told them that he was the only one other than the princess who survived.  He told them that a vicious gang of thugs had attacked them, killing and dragging everyone away, and stealing all the princess’s fine clothes and jewelry. “Now she is hiding in a tree and won’t come down because she is naked.”

The king heard about this and was very upset that such a thing could happen in his kingdom. The prince heard this and wanted to rescue the beautiful and naked girl. “Oh, Father! Do let me go rescue the naked, I mean unfortunate, girl. I would love to see, I mean help, her!”

The king decided to let his son lead the rescue mission for the princess, but before he left, the queen sent a maid along with a fine dress, so that the princess would be properly clothed when she got out of her tree.

When the rescue party’s stretch hummer arrived, the Princess’s entourage was nowhere to be found, but there were signs of a violent fight and bits of cloth littering the ground.

“Princess?” called Prince Diederick Joop Nard Canute Ragmar Edsel Helmfreid IV. “”Where are you Princess? It is I, Prince Diederick Joop Nard Canute Ragmar Edsel Helmfreid IV come to rescue you!”

“OH! Why, hello,” responded Brigit. “You see, I can’t come down out of this tree. I am naked.”

The Prince opened his mouth to say something, but the maid cut him off, “Princess, we have clothing for you. Which tree are you in? I will climb up and help you get dressed.”

Brigit indicated her hiding spot, and the maid climbed up into the branches. A few minutes passed, and then the maid and Brigit climbed down out of the tree. Prince Diederick was stunned by the beauty of Brigit, and immediately invited her to stay at his father’s castle.

Brigit had never dreamed of such wondrous things like the gown she now wore, and the castle she would be staying in. Luckily clever Alphonse had, and had planned for just this possibility. He warned Brigit that whenever she did not know what to do, she should say “It was quite different at home in my beautiful castle Cattenborg.”

When the rescue party, Brigit and Alphonse arrived at the castle, she was received very cordially by the King and Queen. The King was very impressed with the beauty and manners of his guest, as was the Queen. The Queen, however, had some doubts about Brigit’s royal birth (she was related to Queen Henrietta, of the pea incident, and is therefore naturally suspicious). Because her son had told her that he planned on marrying this beautiful princess, she devised a plan to test the legitimacy of Brigit’s royal heritage.

Before diner, the Queen sent Brigit a marvelous gown with a long train, thinking “If she is a real princess she will certainly know how to walk in it.” For no one wears gowns like that anymore, unless it is for a royal function.

Alphonse saw the Queen’s scheme, and set off at once to warn Brigit and teach her how to walk in a dress with a train. He soon left, however, to see what other tests the Queen had in mind. He found the Queen in the large banqueting hall where she was talking with the master of Ceremonies.

“If she is truly a royal princess, she must know that we use the silver cups for the first course and the gold ones for the second,” said the Master of Ceremonies.

Alphonse was too late to warn his mistress, for the guests were already arriving for dinner, and Brigit had already walked into the banqueting hall. She was wearing the magnificent gown with the long train, and she had a golden crown on her head — a gift from Prince Diederick Joop Nard Canute Ragmar Edsel Helmfreid IV. Everyone looked in wonder at the beautiful foreign princess. Only the Queen doubted her royal birth.

Once all the Guests were seated, the Queen made the signal that they should taste the wine. She waited to see what her guest would do. Just as Brigit was about to take the golden cup, because it was closer to the plate, she felt Alphonse scratching at her leg. She felt he must be warning her, so she reached for the silver cup instead; the scratching stopped, and she drank from that cup. The Prince nudged his mother in the ribs several times to make sure she noticed that the girl had taken the correct cup, and must therefore be a princess.

Even though her son was convinced, the Queen still wasn’t quite sure of Brigit’s royal heritage; she had to have absolute proof! So before Brigit went to bed that night, the Queen snuck into the guest room and placed a straw under the sheet. “Henrietta’s pea-under-the-mattress theory is insane, but she did have the basis of a good idea! If the girl really is a princess, she cannot help but notice the straw in her bed,” she thought.

Once again Alphonse, the sneaky cat, witnessed the Queen’s devious plot. When Brigit retired that night, Alphonse told her of the Queen’s newest plan, and told her what to say the next morning.

At breakfast the next day the Queen asked Brigit how she had slept during the night.

“Thank you, your Majesty, I slept quite well, because I was very tired; but I felt as if I slept in 100-thread count sheets. I am sure I’m covered in scratches. How different it was in my beautiful castle Cattenborg!”

This little speech convinced the Queen that Brigit must be a very high-born princess, and had no further objections to her son marrying the girl. So they were betrothed, and Prince Diederick Joop Nard Canute Ragmar Edsel Helmfreid IV asked Brigit when they could travel to her beautiful castle Cattenborg to get married. But she had no answer to give him.

Want to read the rest of the story? Tune in next week!

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Puss in Boots

February 17, 2010 at 1:05 am (Fairy Tales, Humor, Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , , , )

Once upon a time an old miller died and left very little to his three sons: the mill, the donkey, and the cat. Instead of dividing up the inheritance and giving each son an equal worth, the miller took the easy road, and gave each of his sons one item (because, really, what did he care if they fought and were angry with their portion, he would be dead). So the oldest son got the mill, the middle son got the donkey, and the youngest son got the cat. 

Now the youngest son, Ricky, was no dummy. He knew that he was getting the short end of the stick with the cat as his only inheritance. The oldest brother had a mill, and could do all those miller things that earn money. The middle son got the donkey and could get hired by the oldest brother to use his donkey at the mill. But Ricky only had a cat. They weren’t going to hire him to use his cat as a mouser when it would be so much cheaper to buy (or capture) a cat of their own. 

So Ricky sat down and wailed in despair, for after he had eaten the cat and used its fur as a muff, he would have nothing but a cat-fur muff and no food. The cat, named Ferdinand, did not want to be eaten and made into a muff, and so he devised an ingenious plan. He went up to Ricky and said: “Master Ricky, if you trust me, I will make you rich.”

“OK, Boots,” said Ricky, “what do you need me to do?” 

Wait a minute. A cat is talking. Why doesn’t anyone notice that animals don’t normally speak human languages? Why is no one surprised? Well, I don’t have an answer for that. Just remember this story takes place in Fairytale Land where anything is possible (even a cat turning into a loaf of bread). 

Ferdinand responded to Ricky’s question, “I need you to get me a bag, and have a pair of boots made for me, and then I can help you. And my name is Ferdinand, not Boots.” 

Ricky went to get the bag and have the boots made; all the time wondering why a cat would need a pair of boots. But he got the items anyway and gave them to Ferdinand the cat. Ferdinand was very pleased with his leather boots, and set off at once to carry out his plan. 

Ferdinand took his bag and his newly booted feet out to a field put some barley and carrots in the bag. Then he lay down, pretending to be dead. A rabbit jumped in his bag to get at the food, and Ferdinand closed the bag with the rabbit inside of it. Ferdinand took his prize to the king, and presented it to him as a gift. “Sir,” Ferdinand said, “I have brought you a rabbit from my noble lord, the Master of Carabas.” Ferdinand had chosen this name for Ricky because he liked the sound of it, and he wanted to get back at Ricky for always calling him ‘Boots’ instead of Ferdinand. 

The King was baffled that a cat had brought a single dead rabbit as a gift from this ‘Master of Carabas.’ But he thanked the cat, and sent him on his way. Ferdinand then went back to the field and caught several partridges in the same manner as before. He gave one to Ricky (“Oh, thank you Boots!” “My name isn’t Boots!”), and took the rest to the King. 

Once more Ferdinand sauntered into the castle and presented the gift of a brace of partridges to the King. He continued bringing gifts to the king, claiming they were from his master, the Marquis of Carabas, over the course of a few months (Ricky just sat back and relaxed as Ferdinand brought him food and comic books). The King was baffled by his behavior and the increasing size of the gifts (the last of which was an elk). 

One day, Ferdinand knew the king and his daughter (the most beautiful princess in the world) would be traveling by a nearby stream in his carriage. Ferdinand told Ricky to take a bath in that stream and to start shouting “thieves” when Ferdinand signaled to him.”Ok, Boots, I trust that you have a plan.” “My name is NOT Boots. The other 13 cats in the village are named Boots. I am Ferdinand!” 

While Ricky bathed, Ferdinand stole his clothes and hid them under a rock. Then, when the king was riding by in the carriage, Ferdinand signaled Ricky to start yelling. As Ricky yelled, Ferdinand ran in front of the carriage. It stopped, and the king and his daughter looked out to see what the commotion was. 

“Sir! Help! My Lord Marquis of Carabas is going to be drowned.” 

The king, who had become fond of the peculiar cat, ordered his men to immediately pull the cat’s master out of the stream. They saw that he was naked (the King shielded his daughter’s eyes), and the King ordered for his men to retrieve a suit of clothes for Ricky. While they waited for the clothes, Ferdinand explained to the king and princess that his master had been bathing in the stream when a pack of thieves set upon him. When they could not drown his master, they had stolen his clothes. 

When the clothes arrived, and Ricky had dressed, the King invited him to ride in the royal carriage with him and his daughter (named Sophia).  Sophia saw that Ricky looked very nice in the clothes (and from the glimpse she had seen before her father had covered her eyes, very nice out of them too) and took a secret liking to the handsome ‘lord.’ Ricky accepted, and got in the carriage. 

Ferdinand ran ahead to all the fields along the path and told the workers “My good fellows, if you do not tell the king that all this grain belongs to the Marquis of Carabas, you shall be chopped up like mincemeat.” They all agreed, fearing the wrath of the small talking cat (for these men had never before encountered a talking animal, and thus feared its power). So when the king passed by, the workers told him that the prosperous fields they worked belonged to the Marquis of Carabas. The king was very impressed by the Prosperity of the man he thought was a lord. 

Ferdinand reached a castle at the end of the road, and knew it to be owned by an ogre.  When Ferdinand knocked on the door, the ogre invited the cat in as civilly as an ogre could — which turns out to be very civil, despite what many people believe. 

“My lord Ogre,” began the cat. 

“Call me Bob,” interrupted the ogre. 

“Bob, I have heard that you are the owner of this grand castle, and that you have mighty power — the power even to turn yourself into any creature you have a mind to, such as a lion or an elephant.” 

“That is true. Would you like a demonstration?” Bob asked eagerly, for he did so love to show off his talents. 

“Why yes, I would greatly enjoy that,” Ferdinand replied. So the Ogre turned himself into a big lion. Ferdinand was frightened by the beast, and jumped up onto the roof (Ferdinand was an excellent jumper you see, but his boots were not made for climbing on roofs, so he quickly came down again). 

“That was impressive!” exclaimed the cat. “But can you also turn yourself into a small creature, say a mouse, or rat?” 

“Of course!” shouted the ogre eagerly, and he promptly turned himself into a mouse. Ferdinand wasted no time, and pounced on the ogre turned mouse, and ate him. “Sorry Bob,” said the cat when he had finished eating the mouse. 

Just then the Ricky, the princess and the king arrived at the castle. “Welcome to the castle of the lord Marquis of Carabas!” Ferdinand announced. 

“My, what a grand castle,” said the king. “I hope that you will consider marrying my daughter, Marquis.” 

“Call me Ricky, and yes, I would love to marry Sophia.” This was not an odd occurrence, for many marriages during this time in Fairytale Land happened in just this manner. 

The two were married on the spot, and lived happily ever after, for they had both fallen madly in love with each other during that short carriage ride. 

Ferdinand also lived happily ever after in the castle, with servants of his own. He never had to chase another mouse or bird again, that is, unless he wanted to. But he did still have to put up with being called ‘Boots’ by Ricky. 

Check out an original version of this story at

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