Saturday, October 21, 2006

"Gnomics of Fairy Tales With Wilbrod"

WILBROD the gnome sits crosslegged on a floating carpet, behind a heavy oak table in news-announcer fashion, backed by a wall showing a large talking MIRROR, various paintings of the Big Bad Wolf, The Wicked Queen, and Tom Thumb. On the table are various wands, crystal balls, garish jewelry, and seven-league boots.
The MIRROR forms the words "Gnomics of Fairy Tales" out of smoke and then goes blank.

WILBROD:
"Once upon a time there was a story called Silverhair, about a nasty, withered old crone that broke into a bears' home, vandalized it, stealing food and making herself at home. The story ends with the bears eating her up in revenge. Over time, the story changed. Silver turned into gold, age into youth, malice into charm, and the villainess into a heroine. The story is now called Goldilocks, and Goldilocks, unlike Silverhair, triumphs.

Such a transmutation has always been a mystery to the gnomic reader. This week, a forensic fable team has been dispatched to the scene to puzzle the true story out. Cindy, our ace reporter and seamstress, is there right now.

(The magic MIRROR expands and doubles as a large TV screen as zoom-in music plays. Dissolve to Cindy standing in front of the bears' cottage).

CINDY:
The forensic team is busy at work now that the bears have been tranked and taken to a local zoo. As you can see, this cottage is not a house where bears share freely. Look at those gouges tracing out the personal spaces on the floor around the table, on the table itself, and the paths to each bear's own doorway. You can see this three-bedroom cottage was a thoroughly divided house.

The bears were brusque but never savage until they saw their home invaded, not by WOMEN of any age, but a FOX, a skulking mass murderer of chickens who had put their clean cottage into chaos with porridge all over the house. The bears united to attack the fox.

The poulets down the road are even now petitioning the courts for their neighbors' release out of gratitude for their slaying the vulpine victimizer. Here comes the head of the fairy tale forensic and salvage team."

(Large, disembodied HEAD floats up)

FORENSIC HEAD:
"We completed the porridge analysis. It appears the fox had gorged on three different porridges flavored by three different sedatives never meant to be mixed together. We are satisfied by the bears' vet that there was no foul play concerning the porridges, and that in fact, they routinely cooked and ate their porridge separately to prevent drug interactions. As a result, the fox staggered and fell asleep in the baby bear's bed, never to wake up again, even when attacked by the bears."

CINDY:
"Is there any speculation as to the allegory behind this tale as of yet?"


FORENSIC HEAD:
'We have not yet identified all the allegories. "Don't cross a bear" as well as "A house divided against itself will unify against others", are two possibles.
We DO know now this story should be called The Fox and the Three Bears instead of Silverhair or Goldilocks, and that "Taste not what is not yours" is a always a good moral to remember."

CINDY:
"That is a lot of allegories to track down! What about the goat incidents at the Trolls' bridge? Will that be also investigated for further meaning?"

FORENSIC HEAD (groaning):
"I don't do goats, too gruff."

(Fade back to WILBROD)

WILBROD:
"Before we say good night, stop and think before you relate the tale of Goldilocks. Why is Goldilocks spun as a hero and allowed to escape punishment? We will discuss spin doctors and the moral erosion of storytelling next week on the newest Gnomics of Fairy Tales. Thank you for watching."

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