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.
Cutie and The Beast
There once lived an ld man who had nothing to do. It wasn't that he was a loafer. He was a clockmaker. The only trouble was that clocks hadn't been invented yet, so none of the clever little clocks that he made worked. And making clocks that don't work is really nothing to do.
He was very lonely. To pass the time, he would play hide-and-seek with himself.
"Three, two, one!" he would shout. "Ready or not, here I come!" And he would search behind the bed, behind the dresser, behind the desk, but he could never find himself. "Where could I be?" he would shout, tearing at his hair. Not a very happy existence.
But one day something changed all that. He was in the woods gathering nuts for winter when he chanced to see a box that was partially hidden behind a large tree.
"A box!" he shouted. "Hooray! I will take it home and turn it into a clock that doesn't work!"
But as he came around the tree, his eyes widened with surprise. The box had something in it. Something with legs and arms and a head.
"Who are you?" asked the old man.
"I'm a baby who has been left here in the woods by my wicked stepmother," said the something.
"Baby?" asked the old man, "How old are you?"
So she wasn't the youngest babe in the woods. But the old man took pity on her anyway, and carried her home to raise as his own daughter. Then one day, exactly a year to the day after he found her in the box, the old man turned to the girl.
"Cutie Lou," he said. (He called her Cutie Lou because she was indeed cute---you know, the medieval version of a supermodel.) "Cutie Lou --- this is your birthday, and I'm going to go out and find you a gift."
He set off into the wilderness and soon came to a soft wooded glade. There he found some beautiful flowers made of solid gold--- or at least gold plating. Perfect, he figured, for his daughter's hair. But no sooner had he picked one of the flowers when, with a mighty roar, a great beast suddenly jumped from a nearby thicket.
"You are picking my flowers!" growled the beast, who was big and hairy and ugly, not unlike certain senators. "For that I will eat you."
"But," protested the old man, "I only picked one!"
"So, I'll eat you once."
The old man pleaded for his life. "Listen," said the man. "I'll give you a present. How about a clock that doesn't work?"
"What else you got?" asked the beast.
"Nothing. Only my cute little daughter."
This caused the beast to stop and think, for he was lonely and unhappy as beasts go. He put his arm around the old man and gave him his best beastly smile.
"Listen, terrified old man," said the beast. "Tell you what I'm gonna do. I'm gonna do this 'cause I like you and I think you like me. I think we really have a bond here, you know?" And then the beast said some things only the old man could hear. We'll have to find out later.
Soon the old man arrived back at the house.
"Do I have a surprise for you!" he told his daughter, Cutie.
"What is it?" she asked, breathless.
"I have you to a beast!" he said.
With that, the girl started to head for the door, ready to climb back in the box and abandon herself in the woods again. But the old man quickly explained it wasn't as bad as it seemed. The beast, you see, didn't really think he was a beast at all. He thought he was a handsome prince who was bewitched and all needed was to be kissed by a beauty---or at the very least by a cutie. The beast had read something like that somewhere. (For those of you who are curious, that's what the beast and the man were talking about in the wooded glade.)
"Hmmm," said the cutie. "If he really is a handsome prince, we could get married and live happily forever after. In a castle, yet. And we oculd send our kids to the best school and I could drive the carriage-pool once a week and..."
In any case, the girl agreed and soon found herself in the forest glade, where the beat had been anxiously awaiting.
"Well, let's get it over with," she said. And she kissed him on the left, furry cheek to break the spell.
"Strange," said the beast. "I didn't hear bells or whistles or see fireworks or anything. How do I look?"
""Horrible," said the girl. "Nothing happened. Maybe I kissed the wrong cheek."
So she kissed him on the right, even furrier cheek. Still nothing.
"Maybe," reasoned the girl, "You've got a different kind of spell. Like amnesia or something. Perhaps a swift blow on the head."
Willing to try anything, the beast agreed and Cutie, with a large, knotty oak branch in hand, got a good windup and --WHAM!-- tried to break that spell. This time there was a change. The beast was still a beast --- only he now had a beastly headache.
Cutie decided if he was ever going to change back into a prince, he needed some professional help. So she took the beast to the kingdom's wise man. He had an office downtown.
The wise man led the beast through a waiting room onto a couch. The wise man took up a pen and pad. "Now, how long have you had this feeling that you're a bewitched beast?" he asked.
"It started when I was a little monster only five years old," said the beast. Seven hours --- and $800--- later, the wise man came into the waiting room, where Cutie was flipping through the latest issue of Castle and Garden.
"I wish to announce that he is cured!" said the wise man.
"You mean, he's a handsome prince now?" asked Cutie.
"No...but he thinks he is."
And with that, the beast dashed out, wearing a robe, a crown and a toothy smile. He grabbed Cutie around the waist and gave her his best Fred Astaire-Ginger Rogers dip.
"Alas, fair maiden. It is I...Prince Charming!" said the beast.
Cutie rolled her eyes. She had to make one last desperate effort. Knowing that it is witches that cast these spells, she rushed the beast to the local witch.
"I've never turned any princes into beasts, honey," said the witch. "I'm more the poisoned apple type. Did you see the job I did on Snow White?"
"Never mind," said Cutie. "Is there anything you can do?"
"Well, I can give him a shot of my witch's brew. Although it could keep him up at night---it's caffeinated."
The beast didn't mind. He dipped a cup into the giant, boiling pot and gulped it down in one gulp. The earth began to tremble. There was a flashing of blue lights. and then a huge, roaring explosion.
But there was no change. He was still a beast and always would be. Cutie was very sad---and, so, said the beast, was he.
"I'm very sad," said the beast. "but thanks for all your trouble. See ya!" With that, he bent down on one knee and kissed Cutie's hand. And that's when something completely unexpected happened. In a blinding flash, Cutie turned into a beast. For it was Cutie who was the bewitched one. She was a girl beast all along. And so, as is usually the case, it was a happy ending. They were married, and as far as anybody knows, are still living a beastly happy existence to this very day.
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.