Words Unfolding

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Ivan Bilibin, 1900, for "The Frog Tsarevna,"

Ivan Bilibin, 1900, for “The Frog Tsarevna.”

“My, you’re up early!” said Sagacia, coming down the narrow stairs into the kitchen.

“I can’t explain it,” Simplia responded without looking up. “I just couldn’t sleep, and also I had an idea for an origami parrot. See?”

She held up a form of folded multicolored paper that did indeed look like a proud parrot, right down to the little feathers on his chest.

“Wow!” Sagacia gasped, unable to form a precise sentence before generalized gasping sounds emerged.

Simplia rotated the little fellow to show the back: smooth, graceful, bright, with the colors falling just so, suggesting a perfectly curved wing on each side.

“That is magical!” Sagacia went on. “I’d expect him to squawk out ‘Polly want a cracker’ at any moment!”

She reached over to touch the little creature, create-ure, and Simplia set it to rest on her finger. Sagacia squinted to see the details of its lovely coat.

“It looks like, . . .” she said.

“Like what?” Simplia asked.

“It looks like there are tiny words on the paper. See?” She moved it closer to Simplia again.

“Hm-m-m,” Simplia said, inspecting the model from all sides. She began to tug at the beak.

“Don’t tear it!” Sagacia cried out. “You’ll ruin it!”

“Oh, I can do it again,” Simplia said. “I mean, I have to, anyway, in order to really be sure I know how.”

She unfolded the paper into it’s original rainbow-like sheet and held it under the light.

“It is writing,” she said. “Sheesh! Is today the third of the month?”

“Well, yes, it is!” Sagacia noted with some relief.

Simplia squinted at the paper again and read.

Dear Vasalisa the Wise,

I like Fairy Tales, but you know what chaps me? The ending: “Happily ever after.”

Really?? I mean, I’m all drawn into this engaging quest and some enchantment and a happy closure, but ever after? Isn’t that asking just a little too much?

We all know there are going to be unhappy times with plenty of totally miserable and despairing moments to come. Even the wealthiest and most powerful kings and queens suffer deaths of loved ones, children with illnesses and deep needs, infidelities, knee surgeries, pirated ships, stillborn grandchildren, awful, awful stuff that will happen sometime during that “ever after.” Who do we think we are fooling here?

—Dubious in Dubai

PS: I loved you in “The Frog Tsarevna.” I’ve told all my friends to read it.

Sagacia was shaking her head. “Well, how ‘bout I take this over to the Fairy Tale Lobby to pin up on the bulletin board, and you can make another parrot!”

“I’ll go with you,” Simplia said, snatching up some squared rainbow paper. “I can fold and listen at the same time.”

And off they went. But seriously, magical friends, what do you think about that “happily ever after?” Meet the Simpletons at the Fairy Tale Lobby and comment all you like about it. Eight chairs; no waiting.

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Thank you, Adam Hoffman!

Friends and readers, a couple of weeks ago from his remarkable blogspot at Fairy Tale Fandom, Adam oh-so-kindly bestowed upon us the beautiful “Very Inspiring Blogger” Award. How could we not be thrilled and proud and quite overtaken at the generosity and kindness of this gesture! So, there it is in our sidebar, and there it will stay!

One of the benefits of receiving it is the privilege of passing it along to some others whose words we admire, in particular some who were there before us and whom we have joined in the effort to spread the joy of storytelling and of fairy tales.

Charles Kiernan blogs at Fairy Tale of the Month/Reflections and Delusions. In discussion with one of the Grimms or his fair Thalia and her Teddy or any of several enlightened merchants or tradesmen in his village, Charles reflects upon a single fairy tale in three parts, three perspectives, three chapters, all posted at the turn of the month. If you’re working on a tale, you’ll likely find some compelling and unrushed insights about it there. Check the archive for your story!

Blogging at The Multicolored Diary, Csenge Zalka places no limits on herself! Mention Fairy Tales or other traditional stories ANYWHERE and she is right there bringing a bright eye and a quick mind to the issue. Movies, books, performances, television programs, graphic novels. . . None escape her probing. Csenge is also a co-host of the April A to Z Blogging Challenge, and you’ve got just one month to sign up and join her in what has become a fun, world-wide endeavor.

Right now, Slavicist storyteller Priscilla Howe is in Sofia on a Fulbright, soaking up Bulgarian culture, but that hasn’t stopped her from continuing to blog in English about her life as a full time traveling storyteller at Storytelling Notes, and we more stay-at-home types can share her joy at the cultural discoveries of travel in South and Central America, Belgium, and home again in Kansas, reminding all storytellers of the forever-blending of our lives with our stories.

Very Inspiring Bloggers Charles and Csenge and Priscilla, you are now endowed with the privilege of passing the “Very Inspiring Blogger” award along to others who have inspired you.