I lived in Wales where Arthur dwelled before England took him for their king. His favorite hunting dog, I was. All that’s left is a print of my paw cast in stone atop a cairn. Maybe you have the strength and courage to climb the craggy peaks of Cam Gafallt. Look but don’t take. The rock finds its way back from those who steal it.
So many things the English took from Wales- stories, language- as if defeat could erase our spirit. My paw print will never disappear from Cam Gafallt, nor will our people’s differences hide behind a common culture.
The witness took her seat and told the court the terrible truth about the defendant, Mr. Rumplestiltskin. “So, he wouldn’t give me his name. I was desperate. He would save my life for a necklace. The next time, it was a ring. The third time, my first born child. I agreed each time, but when the baby came… I couldn’t give her up.”
“I found Rumplestiltskin online with an image search. There’s hundreds of victims. A baby selling business, he trafficked alchemists. Your honor, Rumplestiltskin is an evil man who preys on others’ misfortune. Make him pay for his crimes.”
I, the Talking Bird, saw the story unfold. Innocent children abandoned to die, then saved. Lying sisters who ordered them set afloat like baby Moses. The foolish Sultan who believed the Queen Consort’s scheming sisters and cast her out.
I left the palace for a high mountain where I resided with the Singing Tree and the Golden Water. A dervish warned off visitors. Only the sweet Queen’s daughter was clever enough to bring us home.
Once there, I told the shame-faced Sultan of his injustice to his Queen.
When Scheherazade told the tale to her sultan, did he have regrets?
“The demon lurks around the corner, under the house, under the bed. If you sleep, little one, she will drive you mad.”
“What’s mad.” The tiny child jingled coins rhythmically in a red envelope. The metallic noise soothed. He wake-dreamed of sweets from the shop where a nice old man scooped cones of syrupy ice. Eyes dropped. But something, maybe wisdom, maybe obedience kept deep dreams away.
Fearsome looking, Sui demon opened the door. Leaves swirled underfoot. She reached; she intended an evil touch.The child and his father stirred. Coins clanked together. Moonlight gave chase and Sui melted away.
Three kings emerged from a swirling storm of sand into 2023. Sand transformed to rain and wind stilled. They parked their camels in front of a cottage to munch sweet grass.
When a woman opened the door, the smell of Gallete du Rois met them. “You came in costume.” It was like they were old friends.
They crossed the threshold and mingled. A babble of languages greeted them: a glass of wine, a piece of cake, a celebration of their gift to a child king, a toast to peace on earth. The magic of it was that all were welcome.
The Goblin King’s minion had failed. Hershel tricked him and kept the Hanukkah candles burning.
“The Jew will not win again. No more miraculous nights. Darkness for Donbas.” The goblin exploded into a vortex that sucked up the atmosphere. The synagogue door shattered to splinters. “Behold my power.”
Hershel shook with fear. “I see no one. Light a candle if you’re there.”
The goblin’s pride kept him lighting the candles. He wanted respect.
Hershel led the Goblin King on until the last candle had been lit. Furious, the goblin destroyed the synagogue, but Hershel and the menorah’s light stayed strong.
Inspired by Eric Kimmel’s Hershel and the Hanukkah Goblins, with hope for a miracle in Ukraine.Kimmel credits a Ukrainian folktale for his inspiration. It’s turtles all the way down.
While suitors climbed the glass mountain where the golden apples grew, the princess searched Google for profiles. Golden Boy, who climbed in heavy gold armor, was revealed as a serial philanderer and bigamist on the site, “Knights to Avoid”. She sent her eagle out. His talons were like a can opener.
Next came the warlord. That’s how she thought of him because he was interested in annexing her kingdom. The eagle tore him into pieces and left each limb in a different conquered territory. The torso it ate.
The farmer’s son was a different story. A happily ever after story.
I’ve always wanted to find a hidden passage behind a bookcase or though a trap door in the floor. Wonderland or Narnia. A priest hole would work. Maybe that’s why British mysteries hold such appeal for me. So when Rosie the Roomba mapped a passage from my study to the street, I was ecstatic, if confused. Was the opening hidden under the rug? Had we covered the exit to the street with a raised bed like we did the clean-out for the sewer?
My husband says the new room is a mapping error from Rosie getting stuck. I hope not.