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Poor Fairy Tales With Valid Messages

Confusing or Boring, but Slightly Meaningful Stories

By Conor HuftonPublished 6 years ago 3 min read

A lot of fairy tales are obscure for a reason, and in the cases of these mentioned below, the obscurity is probably something to do with how poorly they executed otherwise genuine messages.

'Crumbs on the Table'

It literally takes seconds to read. Hard to keep this shorter than the tale. A man encourages some talking puppies to eat some crumbs. They’re reluctant because their owner might attack them. He goes, "Nah, she won’t *hehehe*" (except he doesn’t say hehehe), then she comes in and attacks them till they run away. The man goes "Well, to be fair, guys, you knew this'd happen." It does teach that you shouldn’t listen to people goading and not to act against better judgement, but it’s so abrupt and uneventful that this doesn’t resonate as well as it should.

'Hans in Luck'

Hans goes off on a journey with a lump of gold. He uses it to buy a horse—he realises he can’t control the horse so trades it for a cow. He indulges in a chain of other misguided trades until he ends up with a grindstone. He accidentally loses it, but essentially says "Meh, probably a good thing. Was heavy anyway." It ends. Yeah, I know. The story is meant to teach lessons about optimism and how material possession doesn't instigate happiness, but ends up seeming pointless because of how mundanely and abruptly this is expressed.

'Clever Hans'

Alright, first thing you should know about this Clever Hans guy; he’s really not. Also, he may be deranged. Hans is given gifts from his fiancé, including herself, as she puts it. They are specifically: a goat, a ham, a needle, and a knife. Hans confuses their functions for one another (e.g; he walks around with the ham on a rope instead of the goat). His confusion ends with him tying his fiancé in the stable like he should’ve done with the calf and, after he’s told to "cast his adoring eyes at her," he blinds all the other stable animals and throws the now injured livestock at his captive fiancé, never questioning himself. The obvious moral is: don’t be a crazy idiot who ties up women and nonchalantly abuses animals for nothing. However it seems to also send the message of how to use gifts and advice wisely and to appreciate positive people in your life. The story doesn’t have any magic in it, though, and could’ve used this fact to create a believable fairytale. However, Hans’s behaviour is completely unbelievable and the moral is dealt with casually.

'What Old Man Does Is Always Right'

Another story about misjudged trades. Originally Norwegian, and entitled Gudebrand on the Hillside, this has also been rewritten by Hans Christian Andersen as What The Old Man Does Is Always Right, which is almost identical. Gudebrand goes off to sell an animal, trades it, then trades the next item he receives and continues in this way till he ends up with either nothing or something useless, depending on the version. He tells someone about his day and that person says "Aww, your wife’ll kill you!" Gudebrand goes "Nah, doubt it. Wanna bet?" and bets $100 his wife will understand. He sees his wife, tells her about his misjudged trades, and she goes, "I get you, I ain’t even mad," so he wins the bet. The end. It does promote optimism and it shows a blissful relationship, but still, this isn’t enough to save it from being boring and overall unsatisfying.

'Three Ridiculous Wishes'

A man is granted three wishes by some powerful being who changes between variants. The man wishes for sausages. His wife tells him that’s a waste, so to annoy her, he wishes for sausages to grow on her nose, then he wishes for them to stop growing on her nose, and they’re in the same position they were before. The end. I’m serious. Oh, and in some variants, it's black pudding and not sausages—what an amazing twist. A dull and under-constructed story that the rules of comedy don’t quite allow for, even as a non-lethal example of "Be careful what you wish for."

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About the Creator

Conor Hufton

getting better at this writing thing (aka slowly learning the alphabet, learnt how to use pen). Spanning critical writing, fantasy, parody and sci-fi (ruining all of them in the process).

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