Posted by admin on February 20, 2017 in Storytime |

Given that I have written Nixonocchio and Obama and the Three Scares, how can I resist another political gem from the Grimm Brothers (and no, that’s not a typo this time around)?

Once upon a time there was a man who was called before the King. In order to make him sound even more important than he really was, he told the King that he had a son who could spin bald-faced lies into plausible policy with ease.

The King said to the man that this was indeed an art that pleased him to no end. “If your son is as clever as you say,” the King said, “have him visit my big white castle tomorrow and I will put him to the test.”

When the boy was brought to the King he was placed in a room that was quite full of unfinished edicts. The King said, “Now set to work. If you haven’t turned these edicts into plausible policy by morning I will send you to the Land of Maralago from which you will never return.”

The boy was frightened at the thought of spending eternity in the land of swamps and alligators. But did not know what to do, for he had never spun such lies into policy before. He began to weep.

Suddenly, the door opened. And standing there was a little man. He said, “Why are you crying Steve?”

“Alas,” answered the boy, “I do not know how to make lies into policy the people will believe. The King says I will die in the morning if I don’t deliver.”

“What will you give me if I do this for you?” said the little man with a wry laugh.

“A lot of nice write ups in my blog,” said Steve.

The little man seated himself at the desk and began to whir and whir, churning out edicts at a lightning pace. On and on he went through the night until all the parchments had been filled in with shiny new policies on immigration, homeland security, coal mines and banking.

At daybreak, the King saw all the neatly folded papers, ready for dissemination. But he grew greedy. He commanded the little boy to stay in the room and ordered more and more parchments and quills to be delivered.

That night, the little boy weeped once more. Again the door opened and the little man with equally small hands appeared. “What will you give me to help you?” the man asked.

“I will tell all my friends how wonderful you are and tell them to support you if you ever run for office,” the boy replied, figuring that there was little chance the man could ever amount to anything.

Again, the little man went right to work, writing in a flurry throughout the night, turning paper into plausible policy at a furious pace. In the morning, the King returned. He was quite pleased at all the work he no longer had to do himself and commanded the boy to do his bidding one more time.

That night, the boy again found himself in the room with the little queer man.

“I have nothing left to give you but my soul,” said the boy.

“Then promise me,” said the little man. “If I become King someday, you will surrender your soul to me.”

After seeing the polls, the little boy felt quite confident that this would never happen.

“Deal,” he replied.

The little man went right to work again. This time, the room was so full of new policies that the King could not even get through the door.

As a reward, he made the little boy his close confidante and Court Jester. The little boy was quite happy, given his new power with the King.

But word began to spread that the King was not really so kingly as he said he was; that all his new policies had not been written by him, but by another.

Knowing that the boy and the boy alone knew the truth, the King condemned him to die in three day’s time.

That night, the little man reappeared in the dungeon. He told the boy that he could make himself King and spare the boy, and even give him back his soul.

All the boy had to do was tell him his name.

When his best friend visited him the next day, he pleaded with him to find out the little man’s name. Later, when the little man returned, the boy started with lots of names, beginning with some that began with four letters. But they were all wrong. The little man just laughed and danced as the little boy tried in vain to say his name. “I will return on the morrow to give you one last chance.”

The boy was doomed. On the next day, his friend returned. He had not been able to find out the little man’s name, but he had come across a large gathering of people in the shire cheering. He said that he was pretty sure that they were listening to a little man who was shouting –

“I am here, women and men,
to make this kingdom great again,
Make me your choice for this kingly game,
Trumpelstiltskin is my name.”

You can imagine how happy the boy was to hear this. Shortly before he was to be executed, the little man returned.

“And what is my name, lad?” the little man said.

“Conrad?” the boy replied. “Joe? Doug? Hmm. Perhaps it’s Trumpelstitskin.”

“Who told you that?” the little man demanded, as he flew into deep rage, such a rage that he turned orange instead of red. “The devil has told you that! Or was it someone from the CIA? A leak perhaps? Or was it that evil witch down the lane, Hillaria?”

He stomped his feet again and again and again saying that he wanted the man’s soul and desperately wanted to be King. He stomped so hard and so often that the very ground upon which he stood tore open and he fell into a great pit of despair, never to be seen again.

Hey, it’s a fairy tale. You know, those alternate facts for kids. If these stories were true, then the witch in the woods would have dined royally on roasted Handsel with a side of Gretel gravy that night.

In the Emerald City, tapping my heels three times but going absolutely nowhere,

  • Robb




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