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Brownielocks and The 3 Bears
A Fractured Fairy Tale by A.J. Jacobs,
as featured on "The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle Show" 1959-1961
These are best when seen as an animated cartoon. My page really doesn't do justice to the creativity.
Princess & The Pea
It seems that once upon a time there was a kingdom without a princess, and this concerned the king and his ministers greatly.
"We are facing a severe heiress deficit," the prime minister told the king, tapping a chart. "We must immediately increase the number of young female royal individuals in the palace vicinity."
"You mean," sighed the king, "we've got to find a princess."
"That's that I said."
This wasn't an impossible task. The king once did have a princess, but she had been lost since childhood. The kind and his ministers simply had to figure out how to track her down. But just as they got started thinking, they were interrupted by the court jester, Million Laughs Charlie.
"Thank you, thank you. Good to be here, folks!" said Charlie, shaking his rattle. "You know, the other day, I walked into this bar, and there was this Irishman and this rabbi---"
"Please," said the king, "we're doing some business here." Then, to his ministers, he said, "How about if we offer a million gold crickles to the princess when she shows up?"
"A million gold crickles!" interrupted Charlie again. "I'd love to help on this project. Do you remember what she looked like?"
"No," said the king.
"Good! I mean, that's too bad," said Charlie, rubbing his hands.
"She was just a baby when she left," said the king. "But I'll know her by the way she passes this test I have in mind."
But Million Laughs Charlie wasn't listening anymore. He wasn't even there. Charlie had run home, called up his date for the night--- a lovely maiden who lived next door---cancelled on her, and got straight to work on his scheme.
He recruited his friend Clyde, a rather big man with a rather small brain, to help. And before Clyde knew what had happened, he had on a blond wig, a lot of lipstick and was on the way to the palace to meet the king.
"I don't want to be no princess," whined Clyde. "These high heels are killin' me."
"Shush," shushed Charlie, as they arrived at the palace front door. "Hey, King. I'd liek to introduce you to your princess."
"Hmmm," said the king. "she got more of a five o'clock shadow than I remember my princess having. But if she passes the test, then I'll know she's the one."
With that, the king led the make-believe princess to a tall pile of mattresses. Under the bottom mattress, he explained, there was a small pea. If she was a real princess, she would be so refined, so sensitive, that even a tiny lump like that wouldn't let her sleep.
The make-believe princess climbed to the top of the pile and lay down as Charlie, the king and his minisers waited at the bottom. In the morning, the king and his court climbed to the top and, sure enough, the make-believe princess was snoring away blissfully.
"Ah-ha!" said the prime minister. "This individual lack the qualities necessary to be a member of the royal family."
"He means," sighed the king, "this ain't no princess."
Charlie and Clyde found themselves escorted out of the palace, helped along by a swift kick or two on the bottom from the palace guards.
"Now you've done it, you hussy!" shouted Million Laughs Charlie.
By Clyde didn't get off that easily. Over the next few days, Charlie dressed his friend up in a red wig, a brown wig, and a browner wig and sent him off to the palace to pretend to be another girl. Hoping to keep him up, he would feed Clyde coffee and tell him scary tales about monsters and politicians. But each time, Clyde would sleep soundly through the night. And in the morning, he would be forced to leave the palace, rubbing his rear.
After several days of this, the two dejected men went back to Charlie's house to regroup. There, Charlie's neighbor was out in the yard, washing her carriage.
"Hey honey, " Charlie said to her. "My business deal fell through. Got some time on my hands. What say we go out and have a bite to eat."
"Sorry, Charlie," said the maiden. "I'm exhausted. I didn't get a wink last night. I think there was a pea under my mattress."
"Did you try maybe reading anything by John Updike?" asked Charlie. "Wait a sec. Didn't sleep a wink?"
Yes, Charlie had figured it out. This really was a princess. The real thing. The girl that would get the million gold crickles and all the titles of her realm. Before you could say "greedy no-goodnick," Charlie had taken the girl to meet the king.
"Oh darling," said the king giving his daughter a hug. "Here's a million gold crickles---minus thirty percent for taxes---plus your choice of any man in the kingdom."
"Wow!" said the princess. "Any man in the kingdom?" She smiled, looking over at her escort---and his friend. "Oh Clyde. Will you be mine?"
"For keeps!" said Clyde.
That's the story. The king had his daughter, the princess had her gold, and Clyde had the princess and they all lived happily ever after. Ooops. Almost all lived happily ever after. Poor Million Laughs Charlie spent the rest of his days unsuccessfully trying to sell unauthorized fairy tales of the king and his court.
Want to read another fairy tale?
Note: There were 91 Fractured Fairy Tales. I loved all of
See a complete listing Here.
Unfortunately there is an entire generation or more that hasn't had the fun of experiencing
A.J. Jacob's tremendous writing talent. This is why I am offering a few of his tales on my site
so you can get an idea. To read them all, buy the book listed below!
"Fractured Fairy Tales" told by A.J. Jacobs
Bantam Books © 1997 by Ward Productions
All rights licensed by Universal Studios Publishing Rights,
A Division of Universal Studios.
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