Never Try to Outsmart a Comedian

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Priest asks Jester to amuse him. In an elaborate ruse, Jester collects 300 roubles from Priest’s wife to buy 1200 pounds of fish. No fish. Priest doesn’t much like that trick. He can’t catch Jester, so he’s out the money.

Jester tricks Merchant by substituting a goat for himself. He tricks seven greedy jesters three times. The change ups are funny, as is staying one step ahead of a powerful adversary who’s not up to speed.

Abused by the jesters, Jester lures them into sacks to drown in the lake. An early grave to those who can’t outsmart a comedian.

From The Jester in Russian Fairy Tales by Aleksandr Afanas’ev

The Truth at Slant

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A bomb exploded. The bean stalk shook. A clear violation of fairy tale neutrality. Reaching a hand through the palace window and grabbing a Russian MIG, the giant nearly ate the pilot, but there was no salt.

The poor man shivered.

The giantess finished an aleph in her sampler. “Young idiot, you could have hit the Golden Goose.”

“That’s a fairy tale,” said the pilot.

“Poor deluded man. Hermie, call that nice rabbi in Moscow. We need a golem.”

A light broke in the pilot’s face. “Because first we came for the Ukrainians?”

Zelda smiled, though it was more complicated.

WW&Co Spells and Meals

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Dear Ms. WW:

A formerly satisfied customer, your instant meals have saved my bacon when work emergencies and toddler meltdowns prevented me from putting a nutritious dinner on the toadstool. Unfortunately, last night’s Cricket Stroganoff seems more potion than stew. This morning I woke up with a warlock.

Lest you think my husband left me, I would submit that the warlock has warts. The pattern fits my husband’s down to the T on his back. Our favorite. In addition to a refund, please send an antidote to restore the love of my life to himself and me.

Yours,

Tabitha Toad

Try a Different Diet

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The last knight he’d eaten gave Dragos indigestion. He spent treasure for cures that didn’t work and when he ate the charlatans who’d bamboozled him, the pain was pronounced. Poor moral fiber was the cause of his woes. He’d been eating junk food.

He pondered long and hard, reluctant to give up his old ways. Getting advice was difficult. Out of necessity, he’d eaten all the nice people he knew. Desperate, he sought advice from a wicked witch who turned him into a brontosaurus. She said the vegetarian diet was better for him. Unfortunately, sudden extinction was a side effect.

Finding Rapunzel

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Coco forged through the Enchanted Wood using a sixth sense that led her to Rapunzel’s tower, shimmering in the sun like a mirage. She slipped through fragmented outer planes until  toeholds revealed themselves and she climbed to an open window. Peering inside, she saw her friend. 

“Who are you,” Rapunzel asked.

Coco cleared her throat. “I’m doing your hair.”

Rapunzel conjured a basin of water and Coco set to work. With a hairdresser’s gift for gab, Coco established that Rapunzel, a lookalike for her friend whose twin had been lost at birth, was that twin.

“Lost,” Rapunzel asked.

“Found,” said Coco.

My Assistant Can Help You

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The hairdresser threw a brown cloak on. She told her assistant, “I’ll be out all day.”

In bustled the Queen’s maid. “Glad to find you’re free. Her majesty would like to see you.”

“But…”

“For tonight’s ball. Something simple, elegant.”

“I can’t. You see, my niece is imprisoned in a tower. I do her hair on Saturdays.”

”I’ve heard a lot of excuses. This takes the prize, though.”

The hairdresser felt terrible.
Coco cleared her throat. “I’ll do your niece’s hair.”

The hairdresser said, “You’re not afraid of the Enchanted Woods?”

”Give me a chance. There’s nothing I’d rather do.”

(To be continued)

Straw to Gold; Flax to Linen

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The serf, intimidated by the palace representative’s rich velvet livery, sipped a cup of courage and rechecked his supplies. “You want straw? For spinning? It’ll never work.”

“The queen said straw. Strong stalks, not brittle.” The page shifted from one stockinged leg to the other, resisting the urge to hold his nose against the smell of manure from the fields. “What you drinking?”

“Try some. My own grog.” The farmer proferred his cup. “Flax. That’s it. Makes a nice linen. I got some presoaked, ready to spin.”

The page wiped his mouth. “I’ll take a sample, see what she says.”

Grandpa, How Did You Meet Grandma?

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“My favorite story.” Surrounded by many grandchildren, King Charming smiled. “I needed a wife. ‘A commoner,’ my father said. ‘Why else invite every young lady to the ball?’ ”

“It seemed fair, reasonable, and what better way to find love at first sight than a full dance card? Your grandmother appeared and before I knew it, midnight had arrived.

She hurried out of my arms and lost her crystal slipper. Touching the glamoured glass turned it to an ashy wooden sabot.

“I took it to every house in the kingdom. But it only fit your uncommon grandmother, to my great delight.”

Peace on Stage

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The ballerinas found runs in their tights, tiny smelly turds in their slippers, and nibble marks on the blocks at the bottom of their satin toes. They took it as a declaration of war. But Clara insisted that evidence of merriment is a sign of the season; like peppermint sticks in a stocking, brandy in eggnog, and fireplace ashes.

She said, “Think of it, other dancers mirroring your steps at night.” They stood backstage, where telltale claw marks had opened holes in the velvet backdrop. Peeking after dark confirmed their hopes. They joined the mice to dance the night away.

Frog to Princess

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“I want a frog, not a dog.” Merrilee stamped her foot, shaking her pretty mane like a recalcitrant horse until a crowd gathered around. Her mother turned ten shades of crimson. Some mothers would have marched her out. If her mother had that in her, Merrilee would never have perfected such a performance.

“Sorry, darling, I misheard. A frog, then.”

Merrilee pointed to a princely amphibian. The store clerk readied a cardboard carton with holes on top. As he lowered the frog into the container, Merrilee said, “Stop, I need to kiss him first to confirm that he’s the one.”