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.

The Golden Goose

 There was once a man who had three sons. The first son was very handsome and very talented for he could play the fiddle with his feet. The old man was very proud of him, for he figured the boy would make a fortune someday. The second son was very strong and very wise and could recite clever poetry while holding huge weights above his head. Here is a sample of some of his verse:

Out of the blue
A cockatoo flew
Boo Boo Bee Doo.

As you can imagine, the old man was very proud of him, for he knew the boy would be famous someday. 

But the third son was not a bit like his brothers. He was a dullard and very lazy. When it was sunny, he would stand inside all day humming the national anthem. When it was raining he would stand outside in the yard getting his lederhosen all wet.

"Come in out of the rain, son," his father would say.

"What for?" his son would aks.

"For a while." Then the old man would sigh, "That boy will never amount to a hill of beans."

"Well, who wants to be a hill of beans," said the son, "Unless, of course, it's magic beans like Jack has. I read about that in a fairy tale one time."

Anyway, the old man decided it was time for his sons to go out into the world and make their fortunes, so he gave them each some sour cheese, stale bread, and a cookie and bid them farewell. The first son traveled along the dusty road until he decided to pause by a shady tree for a midday meal. He was about to eat his sour cheese, stale bread and a cookie when a funny little man with a long beard and a crooked nose came up to him.

"I am very hungry, young man," the old man said. "Would you share your meal with me?"

"No," the first son replied. "I need this food to keep up my strength so I can play the fiddle with my feet."

A short time later, the second son paused by the tree to eat his midday meal when the funny little man came up to him.

"Pardon me, young man, but---"

"No!" shouted the second son. "I need this food to keep up my strength so that I can hold heavy weights over my head while reciting clever verse."

"How did you know I was going to ask for food?" asked the old man.

"Because I read the book. Just nineteen ninety-five at your local bookstore. Run, don't walk!"

With that, he ate his food and continued on his way. No sooner was he out of sight than the third son came up to the shade of the old tree.

"Pardon me, young man," said the funny little man, "But I am very hungary---"

"You are?" Good! Then you eat this."

"You mean, you'll let me have your sour cheese, stale bread and cookie?"

"Sure," said the dull boy. "I may be a dull boy, but I'm not crazy enough to eat that garbage, ya know."

The funny little man was delighted, and when he finished the meal, he decided he would repay the dull boy for his kindness. He gave the boy an ax and instructed him to cut down the old tree and then scurried away before the boy could stop him.

"Wait! Couldn't I have a quarter or a magazine or something like that instead?" shouted the boy.  But the funny old man was gosh knows where by the time. So the boy did as he was told, and chopped down the tree. And that tree promptly fell on his head, which was all right since the boy was already so dumb it couldn't do much damage. And there, at the stump of the tree, to the amazement of the young man, was a golden goose.

"This is the first time I ever got the bird and liked it," said the dull boy, forgetting that no one was around to hear him. "I'm rich!"

He tied a string around the golden goose's neck and skipped off to the village. On his way, he met a wealthy merchant.

"Wellllll.....I see you have a golden goose there," said the merchant to the boy. "I'd like to buy one of it's golden feathers. How about I give you a nickel?"

"A nickel?" asked the boy, his eyes widening. "What! Do I look stupid?"

"Well, in a word, yes."

"A golden feather is worth at least six cents."

The merchant agreed and gave him the money. But then a strange thing happened. When the merchant touched the goose's tail to pluck a feather, his hand stuck tight and he cold not let go.

"What is going on?" the merchant shouted.

"Well," said the dullard, "this is a fairy tale you see, and strange things happen all the time."

With that, they continued on their way, the lad in front, the goose behind him, and the merchant stuck behind the goose. They hadn't gone far when they met a robber who waved his word and decided---although it was against the law and not something you ,young reader, should ever do---he decided to rob the golden goose.

But when the robber grabbed the merchant to pull him away from the goose, his hands stuck tight and the young man went on his way. When they reached the village, the sheriff saw the robber who was stuck to the merchant who was stuck to the goose.

"So," said the sheriff to the robber. "I've finally caught up with you, Fingers. You're under arrest."

The sheriff grabbed the robber to haul him off to jail, but of course...he also stuck tight. And so it went until an hour later, no less than two hundred and six people were stuck together behind the boy and his goose.  As the fourth to the last person in line remarked, it was quite a sticky situation. (The others tried to beat him up for that, but couldn't because they were stuck.)

Now it just happened that the king had a beautiful daughter who never laughed, and the king had offered her hand in marriage to anyone who could make her do so. When the princess looked out of the castle window and saw the long procession stuck behind the goose, she broke out into gales of laughter.

"Haw, haw, haw, haw," said the princess, making a sound that wouldn't have been out of place in a stable. Many felt the princess was more appealing when she wasn't laughing, but the king had to live up to the promise.

"You have made my daughter laugh," he told the dullard. "Therefore, you shall marry her."

"Well, now," said the dullard. "That's a good idea. But won't the honeymoon suite get a bit crowded?"

The king saw what he meant, and called the castle wise man to solve the problem. The wise man---who had a beard, which somehow seems to increase one's IQ---said he could solve the problem.

"I can make them all let go in just seventeen words," he declared. And then he turned to the line of stuck-together men and said, "Everybody who doesn't want to spend the rest of their lives in the dungeon...raise their hands!"

With that, everybody immediately let go of each other and raise their hands. And, with that, the dullard married the princess. And lived...not so happily ever after. You see, there was a reason the princess had never laughed: she was a natural-born sourpuss, and at least three times a day, she would introduce a rolling pin to her husband's forehead.

"Because of that dratted goose, I'll be henpecked for the rest of my life," sighed the dullard, as the rolling pin bonked away on his skull. "And that is for the birds!"

So remember, dear reader, if you ever meet a funny little man with a long beard and a crooked nose, don't give him your sour cheese, stale bread, and cookie. Or else, your goose will be cooked.

Read more Fractured Fairy Tales!
Want to read another fairy tale?


Note: There were 91 Fractured Fairy Tales. I loved all of them.
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!

Source: "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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