The Boy Who Cried Wolf

July 9, 2010 at 4:49 pm (Fairy Tales, Humor, Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , )

Once upon a time there was a Newspaper man who married a Newspaper woman and they had 7 children. The oldest was named Jack, and he too became a newspaper man, writing the hard-hitting investigative  stories for his father’s paper. The second oldest was named Lucy and she too became a newspaper woman, writing the advice columns. The third child was named Rick, and he became a lumberjack, cutting down trees to be made into newspaper. The fourth child was named Tom; he was not a newspaper man. The fifth child was named Justin, and he was not a newspaper man, but he was written about in the newspaper. The sixth child was named Pam, and she wrote the entertainment section for her father’s paper. The youngest child, the seventh, was named Ed, and he did the weather.

Poor Tom, the middlest of the middle children, did not fit in. He had nothing to do with running his Father’s paper. He had tried delivering the paper, but he had gotten lost, he had tried writing for the paper, but he couldn’t engage the reader, he tried copy editing for his mother (the chief editor), but he couldn’t spell, he even tried doing the weather, but he was always wrong. And so Tom was not a newspaper man, and his family didn’t know how to relate to him.

Because Tom was so unlike his family, they tended to forget about him. He would come home a little late from school, and they would have already eaten dinner, and cleaned it up, having forgotten to save anything for Tom. He would bring home a report card, and proudly show his mother, and she would say “Oh, that’s nice, Tim. But your brothers all got straight A’s, don’t you think you could work harder?” Tom would walk away dejectedly, not even bothering to remind his mother that his name was Tom, not Tim.

This sort of thing went on for years, then finally, Tom saw a sign that said “Help Wanted” hanging on the gate to the sheep pasture. Tom loved sheep more than anything in the world. So he went through the gate, found the farmer, and applied for the job. He got it (probably because no one else in the town would take the job), and he ran home to tell his father.

“Father! Father! I got a job!” cried Tom excitedly.

“That’s nice. Where?”

“At old McDonald’s farm. As a shepherd.”

“What do you want to work with sheep for? We Beibers are Newspaper men, not Farmers! You should work for the newspaper! There must be something you can do! Anne, isn’t there something your son can do in the family business?” His father shouted over to his wife.

“There is nothing left for him to try. He failed at everything. Did you know that he got lost in our town? There are only three streets! And what is this business about ‘your son?’ If anything he gets his sense of direction from you!”

Tom walked away, head down, as his parents argued over who was to blame for Tom’s continued failure. The fight would soon morph into an argument about who was responsible for the success of their other children. He had been so proud of getting a job, and he had hoped his father would be proud too. But he was wrong. Again. The only attention he ever got was brief, and negative. If only there was a way to keep the attention on him, rather than his failures.

One day, while sitting out on a hillside watching his new charges frolic in the grass, Tom pondered what he could do to make his family realize that sheep are important. But he knew his father only thought something was important if it involved the newspaper. Suddenly, Tom let out a whoop of joy!

“I know! If I can find something newsworthy about sheep, then Father will have to care about them too!”

But what was newsworthy about sheep? They were soft, and cuddly, and very sweet. They made such cute noises, and made nice friends, but none of that was really headline worthy.

That night, Tom tried telling his father about the single exciting thing that had happened to him that day: “Father.”

“Yes, Tom?” His father replied, never taking his eyes off the proof for the next day’s paper.

“A bird chased the sheep today. It was a big bird, like a hawk.”

“Hmm, that’s nice.” Tom saw that his father was not paying any attention, and he had to add some excitement.

“But father, the bird attacked –”

“A lamb?!” His father cut in. “Now that is a story: ‘Giant Bird menaces McDonald’s sheep.’ Good work son, we’ll made a paper man out of you yet!” With that he rushed off to write the not quite true story.

Tom felt a rush of inspiration. All he had to do was lie! That was easy. He could have a story for his father every day!

And so the next day when Tom came home, he told his father a lie about the snake that had strangled one of the ewes.

And the following day he told his father about the fox that had battled a ram.

Each day the lies grew larger, until Tom told his father about the Wolf that had stalked the sheep. This drew the biggest reaction of all, his whole family gathered around to hear the tale, and the next day the villagers fortified their homes against wolves.

Tom was basking in the glory of popularity, and did not want to lose that feeling, so the next day he told his father that he had single-handedly fought a bear to protect his sheep. Tom had obviously not fought anything that day, let alone a bear, and so his father went to check the story with Farmer McDonald.

Not only did McDonald tell Mr. Beiber that there was never a bear on his farm, but none of his sheep had been harmed in any way for the past few months.

The next day the headlines were not quite what Tom had expected:

“Tom the Shepherd a Liar: no sheep attacked in months.”

Tom watched the sheep as usual that day, but this time, one of the sheep got very sick. It was his favorite sheep, Fuzzybottom, who had taken ill. Tom rushed to the village, but no one would listen when he told them that he needed help to save the sheep. “You lie little Tom, why should we belive you?” said person after person. Finally, a very dejected Tom returned to the hills to wait for dear Fuzzybottom’s death.

That night things returned to normal in the Beiber home: Justin sang and was mobbed by gangs of pre-teen girls, Pam wrote about Justin’s singing, Lucy wrote advice, Rick made the paper, Ed did the weather, Jack investigated, and Tom was thoroughly ignored.

The End

Want to read the real thing? Check out: http://www.storyarts.org/library/aesops/stories/boy.html

Advertisements

Permalink 2 Comments

Little Red Riding Hood

June 4, 2010 at 10:06 am (Fairy Tales, Humor, Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , )

Once upon a time, a young girl, whose real name was Scarlet Ruby Rouge, went to go on a picnic with her grandmother. She was the great-granddaughter of The Little Red Riding Hood, but unlike her mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother, Red did not want to continue the vendetta against wolves and marry a wood-cutter, she wanted to be a model.

Luckily, Village’s Next Top Model was going to be in her village that spring. Scarlet had to prepare. She was 2 lbs heavier than she wanted to be, and she began a strict diet: celery with mustard for breakfast, pita bread with fruit for lunch, cucumber with vinegar for dinner. Her mother, Ruby Rose Rouge, thought that her daughter had gone crazy. Who wants to eat celery with mustard for breakfast?

Three days into the diet, Scarlet’s mother decided that maybe her mother, Ginger Rossa Redford, could convince Scarlet to eat, and follow the family path of hunting wolves and marrying woodcutters. Scarlet was getting to be an old maid by her family’s standards; Little Red Riding Hood had been married at the age of 11, her daughter, Ginger Rossa Redford, had been married by age 13, and her daughter, Ruby Rose Rouge had been married by the age of 12. Scarlet was about to turn 18, and she had not yet even met a woodcutter!

So Ruby sent Scarlet to her grandmother’s house with a loaf of bread, a bowl of butter and a bottle of wine. Scarlet had been sent to her grandmother’s house in this fashion many times, and each time she was forced to wear a little red riding hood, as was family tradition. But Scarlet had never met a wolf, and hadn’t been saved by a woodcutter, despite her mother’s best efforts.

Scarlet walked through the forest, expecting nothing to happen. The first few times she walked through the forest alone, she had been afraid of wolves, but now she was just bored.

“Wait a second!” Scarlet cried joyously, “Walking is exercise! Perhaps I should use the basket of food as a set of weights so I will be tone by the time Villages Next Top Model comes to our village!”

So she walked, and used the basket as a weight, but what she didn’t realize is that her loud shouting had woken up a nasty wolf. One who had survived the Red family vendetta. He followed the girl for some way, and then popped out onto the trail just ahead of Scarlet.

“Hello little girl,” he gruffly growled.

“Hello Mr. Wolf. I didn’t know that there were any wolves still in the area.” Scarlet replied.

“Yes, I am one of the few remaining. Where are you going?”

“To my grandmother’s house, of course. My grandmother will be so pleased to hear that I met a wolf this time.”

“What? Why? Are you a member of the Red Family?” The wolf gave Scarlet the stink eye.

“Well, yes. But I don’t want to kill the wolves. I don’t want to marry a wood-cutter. I am going to be a model!” Scarlet stuck a pose.

The wolf continued to give the posing Scarlet the stink eye, then bounded off into the forest. Perhaps this weird little member of the Red Family was the key to the revenge of the wolves! He hurried to the cottage style castle of Ginger Rossa Redford (those wood cutters were very successful men), and quickly broke in.

He searched the bedroom (because she was supposed to be ill, as all the other Red Family Grandmothers were when the granddaughters visited), but she wasn’t there. He searched the kitchen, and found nothing. He searched the living room, the sewing room, the sun room, the drawing room, the library, the spare bedroom, and the attic, but she was nowhere to be found. He finally looked in the carriage house, and found the carriage missing. Walking slowly, trying to figure out why the littlest Red Family member had been sent to the grandmother’s house, he decided that perhaps the grandmother had been ill, and had died before the little Red could make it.

So he went back to the bedroom, put on a fashionable nightgown, and hid under the covers of the bed.

Scarlet arrived soon after the wolf had concealed himself. She let herself into the house, knowing that it was her Grandmother’s day to volunteer at the Little Red Riding Hood Memorial Museum. She walked into the kitchen and left the basket of food on a counter, then decided (because she wasn’t allowed to go home until the next day, Mother’s orders) that she would practice her walk in her grandmother’s high heeled shoes.

She walked into her grandmother’s bedroom, and turned directly to the closet without once glancing toward the bed. Just trying on the shoes would be no fun if she didn’t also have a suitably fashionable outfit, so Scarlet stripped off her clothes and started digging through the closet.

All the while, the wolf had been waiting to make an appropriately grandmother-y noise of welcome, but when Scarlet began taking off her clothes, he waited to see what she would do next.

Scarlet grabbed a hideous peacock print scarf and folded it into a mini-skirt. She looked so silly that the wolf couldn’t help but snort. Scarlet turned around, and gaped at the wolf.

“Grandmother… is that… you?” She asked, fear, guilt, and disbelief coloring her tone.

“Why yes,” said the wolf in a very high-pitched voice. “I was just sleeping.”

“But aren’t you supposed to be at the Museum?”

“I was feeling ill, my child, so I stayed home today.”

“Oh. Sorry about your clothes Grandmother, I knowyoudon’tlikeitwhenIwearthem buuuut Ijustreallyrealyreallywanttobeamodel sooooo Iwaspracticing.” Scarlet said all that so fast the wolf had a hard time understanding her.

Just then a cat wandered by the door pausing only long enough to whisper “Skank” at Scarlet, who was standing there in her underwear.

The wolf had a very natural reaction to seeing a cat; he barked. Loudly.

“Ha!”Shrieked Scarlet, “I knew you weren’t Grandmother! You’re the wolf I met in the forest!”

“No, no,” the wolf said, again using the high-pitched voice, “I am too your grandmother.”

“Then explain your big arms!”

“All the better to hug you with. Come give your grandmother a hug.”

“Okay.” Scarlet went over and hugged the wolf. The cat walked by again whispering “slut.”

“That was weird.” Scarlet said, and then ripped the covers off the wolf. “Ha! Your legs are much too large to be my grandmother!”

“No, no, they are all the better to run with my dear.” The wolf replied, quickly losing ground.

“And your ears! They are huge! And furry!”

“All the better to hear what that little judgmental cat says. And it isn’t fur; that is my hair.”

“You liar. Look at your big teeth!”

“All the better to eat you with! Now the wolves will have their revenge on the Red Family!” With that he lunged at Scarlet, who jumped out of the way.

Just then, right on cue, a handsome wood-cutter came bursting through the door. “Aha you fiend! Leave the poor girl alone, or I shall chop you in half with my ax!”

“Noooooooo!” moaned Scarlet. “This is sooo not what I wanted out of life.”

“What?” asked the wood-cutter.

“What?” asked the wolf.

“I told you, I don’t want to kill any wolves. I don’t want to marry a wood-cutter. I want to be a model!”

“Huh?” The two males scratched their heads.

“I’ve got it!” shouted Scarlet with a little dance of joy. “Come with me!”

Scarlet scooped up her clothes, put them on, and then grabbed the hand of the wood-cutter and the scruff of the wolf. She rushed them out the door and up the lane to the Little Red Riding Hood Memorial Museum. She dragged the two to the little cottage that was the original cottage of the Little Red Riding Hood’s Grandmother.

“Wait here!” Yelled Scarlet as she dashed off.

The wolf and the wood cutter looked at each other, and shrugged. A few minutes later, Scarlet reappeared, holding an ax, a basket, and dragging another man behind her.

“Now, Wolf, Wood cutter, this is Jean-Philippe, a painter. We are going to model the story of Little Red Riding Hood, and the painting will hang in the museum, and I will be a model!”

The wolf and the wood-cutter looked at the painter. They all shrugged.

Scarlet went on to win Village’s Next Top Model. The wood-cutter married Scarlet’s little sister. And the wolf found a safer place to live. Their painting can still be seen in the lobby of the Little Red Riding Hood Memorial Museum.

Want to read any of the original versions? Check out: http://www.pitt.edu/~dash/type0333.html

Permalink 1 Comment