whittington“That’s true,” Sagacia said, “But I am not sure it’s what Dilemma in Duluth was asking about.”

What’s true?” Simplia asked, leaning in.

“What Simon Brooks said.” She read . . .

There are many tales to tell and it is okay for one to choose not to tell a tale because someone else, like me, might just love it and tell it! Let’s face it, if we are telling any story of the Greek Gods then we are telling tales of cheating, lying, bestiality, torturing the innocent (or ARE they?), alcoholism, incest etc etc. Try telling a 7 year old how Mr. Minotaur was born! Sounds like some of the crap drama on TV these days. Nothing new.

“All true, but Dilemma in Duluth was asking about fairy tales, not myths,” Simplia said sagaciously.

“Right!” Sagacia said simply.

“And she also wasn’t asking about stories you don’t like,” Simplia continued. “She was asking about fairy tales that you DO like but that have some parts which kind of sours you on the whole.”

“Yes,” Sagacia agreed. “One solution to that is is to follow your attitude, like Julie Moss Herrera did with ‘The Day It Snowed Tortillas.’”

Personally a story that hit me in the face when I was actually telling it is “The Day It Snowed Tortillas” where the ending in Joe Hayes’ book by the same name basically says it’s okay not to know how to read or write. But I was telling this story to children who struggle everyday with reading and writing. How could I tell them it’s okay not to work hard on something they will use for the rest of their lives? Then the answer came… So now in my ending the first thing the clever wife does after saving hers and her husband’s lives is use some of the found money to hire a tutor to teach her husband how to read and write so he will never be embarrassed again.

“I think that’s closer to what Dilemma in Duluth was getting at, and that one little sentence doesn’t change the story.”

“It just reveals the storyteller’s attitude,” Sagacia said. “And having an attitude is the storyteller’s privilege.”

“One of the basic rights a storyteller possesses!” Simplia declared.

“In truth, though, that story may not be a fairy tale, either,” Sagacia said. “No journey, no return, no magic, no transformation . . . . Just tortillas and snowing.”

“And speaking of snowing, . . . “ Simplia whispered, pointing to the window.

“Ah!” Sagacia acknowledged.

Forgetting their fairy tale questions, the Simpletons watched the tiny white flakes of falling silently. Wistfully, they thought of their dear friend Vasilisa, whom they greatly missed, and hoped she was not at this moment forging her way through the forest by the light of her skull lantern, frightened but brave.  They hoped she would find her way home. They hoped they would see her soon. They hoped it wasn’t snowing on her.

“Meow.” From outside the door, Murzik’s whimper interrupted their fantasy.

Simplia tiptoed over and cracked the door just enough. The cat stepped in and shook himself, then sauntered over to the hearth where he curled up before the fire, closed his eyes, and went to sleep.