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.


Once upon a time there was a miller's daughter named Gladys.  Gladys had a pathetic existence. All day long, she would spin straw. And all night long, she'd sit up and think how she would like to be famous. Oh, to be famous, with untold riches and men falling at her feet and her own line of action figures.

One night------ a strange little man appeared before her.

"Little lady," he said, "I can make you famous overnight!"

"Who are you?"

"I am what is known as a PR man," he squeaked. "You know, public relations. Publicity. Flackery. Glamourize the unglamorous. Turn the pedestrian splendorous. Now let's see. What can you do baby?"

"Oh, I can spin straw."

"Spin straw! I love it. Love it."

"What do you mean, you love it?"

"Don't interrupt. I'm looking for an idea. The spark! Of spin straw into gold!"

"But I can't spin straw into----"

"Doesn't matter! Doesn't matter! I'll do the talking. I'll just contact Liz smith."

And so it happened that overnight, Gladys did become famous.  Gossip pages, talk shows, and her own entourage of beefy security men who would beat up fans. Of course, nobody had ever seen the gold. But through the PR man's magic---ad since it had appeared in all the papers---the people believed it. Everyone one of them. Even the king.

He called Gladys to the castle.

"I understand you spin straw into gold," said the king. "Well, I am going to put you in a room full of my very best straw and have you spin me a heap of your very best gold. Twenty-four karats, please. None of that fourteen-karat garbage."

"But---" protested Gladys.

"Of course, if you can't, you will be locked forever in my darkest dungeon. And I'm told the humidity down there is awful."

"Oh," said Gladys.

"Not so fast, my good king,"said a voice. Who should it be but the PR man, who had magically popped into the castle. "My client isn't giving gold away, y'know. However, she will spin one room of gold for you on one condition: that if she does, she becomes your wife and, therefore, queen."

The king agreed, and signed on the dotted line. So did Gladys. And then Gladys was left to her task.

"Well, now what?" she whined.

"Have I ever let you down, baby?" the PR man asked. And, true to his word, as the girl's eyes widened with amazement, the little man spun a roomful of pure, unadulterated gold. "And now, my dear, our business ends. You are rich and famous. So until your firstborn comes into the world, I bid you adieu."

Her firstborn? Gladys raised her eyebrows. But the little man pointed to the fine print at the bottom of the contract, conveniently providing her with a unclear nu-clear microscope with which she could read it.  And sure enough, there it said in black and white that her firstborn child must be given to the PR man. Gladys wondered if the PR man ever heard of adoption agencies, which would seem like an easier way to get kin---but it was too late.  She had already signed it away.

About a year later, a beautiful child was born to the king and queen. And sure enough, the little PR man came for the child, according to the contract. What the little man didn't know is that in reading the fine print, Gladys found a loophole.

"A loophole as big as a Mack Carriage, buddy!" the queen told the PR man. And then she read it to him: "If the party of the first part (that's me) within 3 days discovers the name of the party of the second part (that's you), the party of the first part shall keep the party of the third part (that's the little kid)!"

Unfortunately, that was easier said than done. (Not that it was easy to say mind you.) She spat out dozens of names --- from Alfred to Barnaby to Clyde to Zeke --- but none of them was right.

On the third night, Gladys was in despair, having exhausted all the names she knew. Just then there was a knock at the palace door.  And who should come in but a man who has no importance to the plot other other than to get us out of this hole that we're in. He spoke as if he came from a time long, long ago.

"Like, hey, man," he said to the queen. "You don't know me, but I've got to hip you to some news! Like the other day, I'm walking through this cool forest, when, man, what do I see but this little cat going, 'Ba doo oh bop, she-ram. I am the Rumpelstiltskin man. The king's got his gold. The queens got her fame. And their baby will have my Rumpelstiltskin name.'"

The next day, when the little PR man appeared again, the queen was ready.

"Ba doo oh bop, she-ram. You are Rumpelstiltskin man!"

"Ooops," said Rumpelstiltskin. "I really goofed."

And so Gladys and the king lived happily ever after, and Rumpelstiltskin was never seen n the kingdom again. There were several reports concerning a young girl who could make diamonds out of turnips, but of course that was in another kingdom. And you can't believe everything you read in the papers.


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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