Friday, January 27, 2012

Another (Completely Insane) Fairy Tale (That Made My Jaw Drop)

I promise you, I'm not turning this blog into a repository for bizarre and obscure fairy tales. But I found another one I had to share.

This dear child will require years of powerful Adlerian therapy.
I love fairy tales, if you hadn't guessed. In the course of getting a liberal arts degree about 200 years ago, I spent two solid years doing little but watching movies, looking at art, and reading myths and fairy tales. For credit! After which they gave me a degree just as if I had studied something useful!

Q: Which one is the liberal arts graduate?
A: The one taking the picture, working as a photographer for minimum wage.
Anyway, I've had a soft spot for fairy tales since I was a kid. Being a strange little person, the "happily ever after" part never interested me as much as the hardships and whacked-out plot twists that led up to it. When I got older, I was thrilled to discover that the Disney versions of those stories weren't exactly canon. The real tales - the ones collected by the Brothers Grimm and other folklorists, who got them straight from the miserable peasants who created them - are full of violence and political satire and are dark, dark, dark. They're infused with history and black magic and abstruse symbolism that kept their makers from having their heads lopped off when the local liege discovered he was being ruthlessly mocked by his subjects.

Thanks to the Internet, there are literally hundreds of fairy tales in thousands of incarnations at my fingertips. I really could turn this blog into nothing but a Creepy Old Story A Day site. But I'd miss writing about how much I hate onions, so I won't.

And they'd miss me, the evil bastards.
 But I read this obscure little story online today, and it tickled me so much that I wanted to share it. I wanted you all to see just what kind of sick, twisted fairy tales make me smile. Just barely coincidentally, like yesterday's story of the monkey and the crab, this one has a rather timely message for this election year. It's the same message we hear couched in every candidate's rhetoric, although usually not nearly this blatantly (or entertainingly): Stay in Your Place, Don't Listen to Outsiders, and You Will Die a Horrible Death. Maybe the last one is less political and more just the result of having been created by medieval peasants who expected to die in their own filth before the age of 40. Or maybe not.

Let's not forget Rick Santorum's "You're All Going to Hell in 2012" platform.
So please enjoy today's fairy tale. I've got to go appreciate some art. Don't worry, I'm a professional. I've got a degree.

The Mouse, The Bird, and the Sausage

Once upon a time a mouse, a bird, and a sausage became companions, kept house together, lived well and happily in peace, and wonderfully increased their possessions. The bird's work was to fly every day into the forest and bring back wood. The mouse had to carry water, light the fire, and lay the table, but the sausage had to cook.

He who is too well off is always longing for something new. One day the bird met with another bird, to whom it related its excellent circumstances and boasted of them. The other bird, however, called it a poor simpleton for his hard work, but said that the two at home had good times. For when the mouse had made her fire and carried her water, she went into her little room to rest until they called her to lay the table. The sausage stayed by the pot, saw that the food was cooking well, and, when it was nearly time for dinner, it rolled itself once or twice through the broth or vegetables and then they were buttered, salted, and ready. When the bird came home and laid his burden down, they sat down to dinner, and after they had had their meal, they slept their fill till next morning, and that was a splendid life.

Next day the bird, prompted by the other bird, would go no more into the wood, saying that he had been servant long enough, and had been made a fool of by them, and that they must change about for once, and try to arrange it in another way. And, though the mouse and the sausage also begged most earnestly, the bird would have his way, and said it must be tried. They cast lots about it, and the lot fell on the sausage who was to carry wood, the mouse became cook, and the bird was to fetch water.

What happened? The little sausage went out towards the wood, the little bird lighted the fire, the mouse stayed by the pot and waited alone until little sausage came home and brought wood for next day. But the little sausage stayed so long on the road that they both feared something was amiss, and the bird flew out a little way in the air to meet it. Not far off, however, it met a dog on the road who had fallen on the poor sausage as lawful booty, and had seized and swallowed it. The bird charged the dog with an act of bare-faced robbery, but words were useless, for the dog said he had found forged letters on the sausage, on which account its life was forfeited to him.

The bird sadly took up the wood, flew home, and related what he had seen and heard. They were much troubled, but agreed to do their best and remain together. The bird therefore laid the table, and the mouse made ready the food, and wanted to dress it, and to get into the pot as the sausage used to do, and roll and creep amongst the vegetables to mix them. But before she got into the midst of them she was stopped, and lost her skin and hair and life in the attempt.

When the bird came to carry in the dinner, no cook was there. In its distress the bird threw the wood here and there, called and searched, but no cook was to be found. Owing to his carelessness the wood caught fire, so that a conflagration broke out. The bird hastened to fetch water, but the bucket dropped into the well, and he fell in with it, and could not recover himself, but had to drown there.


Uh...And that's what happens when we let people make up their own minds about what they want to do. The End. Yep.

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