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.
Beauty and The Beast
Once upon a time there was a magnificent golden castle on a silver cloud high up in the sky, which has nothing to do with anything because our story is about an old woodchopper who lived in a shack, but that's a good way to start a fairy tale. The old man was very happy, but he had a daughter, who was very unhappy because....well, she was rather plain. Actually, she was really plain. In fact, she had a face like five miles of bad road.
Anyway, it was time for her to marry, but because she was so fat and ugly, none of the young men of the kingdom ever came to ask for her hand, or any other part of her body, for that matter. Then one day, the old man decided to cheer her up.
"Child, it is your birthday and I've brought you something to keep you from being so lonely."
"A man?" she asked, wide-eyed.
"Nope. A mule."
He pointed to a brown, furry, four-legged, grunting beast. Well, a mule wasn't exactly the kind of companion she had in mind, but at least it was somebody to talk to.
"Hi there, silly beast," said the girl to the mule. "I wonder if you were once a handsome prince changed into a mule by a wicked witch. If so, I could break the spell with a kiss." She smacked the mule right on it's lips. It was no use. The mule was a mule and had always been a mule.
The next day the old man instructed his daughter to take a bundle of sticks to the village.
"A bundle of sticks?" she asked him. "What for?"
"How should I know," said the old man. "But somebody is always carrying a bundle of sticks around in fairy tales. You know that."
So the young girl took the bundle of sticks and decided to ride her trusty mule into the village. But something very strange happened. Unknown to her, the moment she climbed onto the mule's back------she turned into a beautiful maiden. You know the type: blond hair, blue eyes, a figure like she spends days doing Jazzercise.
Anyway, when she reached the village, she could hardly believe her eyes, for all the young men, instead of laughing and throwing mud at her, bowed, tipped their hats and made catcalls. She was still trying to figure it out when a handsome young prince rode up to her on a snow-white horse.
"Ah, fair lady!" he exclaimed. "You are truly the most lovely beauty in the land."
"Why, my young prince," she replied, batting her eyes. "Are you nuts or sumpthin?"
"With your permission," said the prince, "I should like to call upon you tonight. How about when the clock strikes the hour of eightish?"
Flushed with excitement, the girl raced home, but when she arrived and stepped off her mule------she immediately returned to her fat, little ugly self. That night, promptly at eightish o'clock, the prince, sitting astride his white charger, knocked on the door.
The girl opened the door and smiled her crooked-toothed smile---one that made chopped yak liver seem appealing---and chirped, "Helloooo."
"Um," said the prince, who at that moment was desiring a bit of Pepto-Bismol, or the medieval equivalent, "Is your sister at home?"
"I don't have a sister," the girl said.
"Your aunt then," the prince said.
"I don't have an aunt."
"Your cousin? Your best friend? Your babysitter?"
"What are you talking about?" asked the girl. "I live her alone with my father."
The prince, figuring he had found the wrong house, galloped quickly off on his white stead. The poor girl was left standing at the door, broken-hearted and trying to understand what had gone wrong. The following day, her father again asked her to go into the village. This time to pick up a bundle of sticks.
"It'll take your mind off your ugliness," the old man said patting her kindly on her head.
No sooner had the girl climbed on the mule's back than ------ once again she change into a beautiful maiden. On the way to the village she chanced to pass a clear, still pool of water. Looking into it, she saw her reflection and was shocked to see she was now very beautiful. She hopped off her mule for a close look and------instantly she changed back into her former ugly self. And then, she suddenly realized what had happened.
"I get it now," she said out loud to no one in particular, as people in fairy tales sometimes do. "This is a magic mule. As long as I sit on this beast, I'm a beauty!"
The girl climbed back onto the mule, and------beautiful again. And the beauty and the beast dashed to find the prince. When he saw her coming, he rode up to her on his gallant steed.
"Ah, lovely beauty," he said. "I have found you again. Please say you will be mine so that we may be married."
"Yes, but on one condition," she said. "That I remain on my mule at all times."
Of course, this seemed like a strange request, but the prince agreed.
"So be it, my love," he said. "And so that we start off on the right foot--or on the right hoof---I shall stay on my horse as long as you stay on your mule."
And thus they were married by a priest, who delivered the sermon on a donkey. As the years went by, the young girl was very happy, although the poor mule did get a bit of a backache. And true to his word, the prince also stayed on his horse. And as any good husband would, he took her dancing every Saturday night at the palace, where they were the most striking couple on the dance floor. Or actually, the most striking quadruple on the dance floor.
One day, as the girl rode in the garden---!---the wind blew off her bonnet. Not stopping to think, she hopped off her mule to get the hat and ------she immediately turned into an ugly, disgusting hag again. Realizing her mistake, she scrambled to get back in the saddle again. But it was too late, for just then the prince rode up.
"Pardon me, old hag," said the prince. "Have you seen my wife? Wait a minute, this is her mule?"
"Yes," blushed the hag, gulping. "And I am your wife."
She began to sadly confess the whole story to her husband, but instead of being angry, he did an amazing thing. He clapped his hands and laughed for joy.
This is what he said: "Ha, ha, ha, ha. Yahoo! Yipee!"
"I don't get it," said the girl. "Are you happy to find out that I'm really ugly?"
"No!" said the prince. "I'm happy to know that I can finally get off this blasted horse. You see, I'm only a handsome prince when I stay on him."
And with that, the prince hopped off his horse and ------he changed into one of the ugliest men ever to walk the earth. He was fat and short and bald and full of warts. His face looked like ten miles of bad road.
"Ugh! You're uglier than me!" said the girl, with glee.
"We were meant for each other!" said the man, as they embraced.
"Just think---no more saddle sores!"
And so, the ugly man and the ugly girl were able to live happily ever after. Which only goes to prove that "A mule and his honey are soon parted."
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.