friday fairy tale

In blogalectic with Jenna St. Hilaire and Masha.

Once upon a time there was a fairy tale. It was a very sad story. One day a tall and incredibly thin man happened upon the fairy tale as it was sitting on a stone lamenting its lot.

“What,” said the thin man, “is the matter?”

“I am a sad story,” said the fairy tale. “So I am lamenting my lot.”

“Oh,” said the thin man. “I know the answer to that. I’ll tell you a story to cheer you up.”

“You’ll what?” said the fairy tale.

The thin man began:

Once upon a time there was a fairy tale. It was a very happy story. One day a short and remarkably fat man happened upon the fairy tale as it was frolicking through the fields.

“What,” said the fat man, “are you doing?”

“I’m a happy story,” said the fairy tale. “So I am frolicking through the fields.”

“Oh, I know the cure for that,” said the fat man. “I’ll tell you a story to show you what the world is really like.”

“You’ll what?” said the fairy tale.

The fat man began:

Once upon a time there was a fairy tale. It was a very beautiful story. One day a dull and quite ordinary man happened upon the fairy tale as it was admiring itself in a mirror.

“What,” said the dull man, “are you looking at?”

“I am a beautiful story,” said the fairy tale. “So I’m admiring myself.”

“Oh, I want to see!” said the dull man. He shoved the fairy tale aside and stared at the mirror. There was his quite ordinary face staring back at him dully.

“Ah yes,” said the dull man rapturously. “A wonderful beauty indeed!”

But the beautiful fairy tale, who actually knew something about mirrors, tried to take the mirror back. The dull man tried to keep it away, and in the tussle they both knocked the mirror to the floor where it shattered into a thousand shimmering pieces. And if you want to know who broke it, find them both and see who’s had all the bad luck.

“That’s a horrible story,” said the fairy tale. “Now I’m not a bit happy!”

“That’s good, then,” said the fat man happily. “You know what life is like, now.”

The fairy tale kicked him heavily in the shins, and ran off into the forest, sobbing bitter tears.

“That’s a hilarious story,” said the fairy tale. “Now I’m not a bit sad!”

“But you were a sad story,” said the thin man. “So if you’re not sad, you’re not a story, and therefore you don’t exist. QED.”

“Oh,” said the fairy tale, and vanished with a little sound like sighing.

“That was easy,” said the thin man and rather unexpectedly a herd of elephants rampaged out of the forest and trampled him to death. The sad story had been his, and that was the end of it.

Moral: Write what you know, but not what you think.

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