*Warning: do NOT listen unless you like long stories with no moral fiber and a bad constitution.*
Listen to this episode on the Wild Creation Stories Podcast here:
Once there was a little girl with shining, sun-gold hair so long she could wrap it thirty times around her body.
(Well, her hair wasn’t actually THAT long — it just felt that way because the little girl had a flair for the dramatic.)
Every day the little girl’s grandfather would tell her a bedtime story.
The little girl’s grandfather was very wise…
and very, VERY stubborn.
He was supposed to wear glasses, but he didn’t like the way they slid down his nose.
So he rigged up a giant magnifying glass in a frame held together by corn syrup and horsefly wings (ew) as a harness for the BOOK to wear instead.
(He really did that. I’m not making that up.)
The little girl’s favorite story was about a fairy princess…
who just happened to have shining, sun-gold hair so long she could wrap it thirty times around her body…
…and how she met her very first dragon.
The little girl loved this story so much that she asked her grandfather to tell the story of the fairy princess meeting her first dragon every single night.
He refused because that was his point of difference.
He would only tell the story on the evening of the full moon when the wind was blowing from the north JUST SO.
(Only the grandfather seemed to know when the wind was blowing “just so.”)
This was not nearly often enough for the little girl with shining, sun-gold hair.
The little girl begged and pleaded and cajoled and implored and even nagged (hard to believe, eh?) at her grandfather to tell her favorite story.
Every. Single. Night. Because that was her point of difference.
One day, the grandfather Had Enough.
Even though the moon was not full and the wind was not blowing from the north JUST SO…
he agreed to tell the story of the fairy princess and her first dragon.
Would you like to hear it?
It goes like this…
Once upon a time there was a fairy princess with shining, sun-gold hair so long she could wrap it thirty times around her body…
who woke up one morning and said:
“I wonder if I could meet a dragon today?”
The moment she asked the Question, a new Possibility catapulted into her universe.
(Asking Questions That Create the Impossible was just one of the fairy princess’ many superpowers, but she didn’t know that yet.)
On her way to the goldfish pond that morning…to brush and admire her shining, sun-gold hair so long she could wrap it thirty times around her body…
…the fairy princess noticed a long shadow in the shape of a giant snake cast over the water.
“You’re blocking my sun,” the fairy princess said without turning around.
“I’m sorry, miss,” a deep voice replied. “I’ll be going now.”
The dragon launched himself high, high, high into the air and flew away.
The fairy princess only had time to glimpse his glistening red scales and massive tail before he disappeared into the horizon.
And that is how the fairy princess met her first dragon.
“No! No! No!” the little girl cried. “That is NOT how the story ends!”
“Of course, that’s how it ends,” her grandfather replied. “That’s how I just ended it.”
“NO! It’s supposed to end with the fairy princess hopping on the dragon’s back and taking a ride across the kingdom with her shining, sun-gold hair so long she could wrap it thirty times around her body blowing in the wind like a river of cornsilk.”
“That’s not how it ends today.”
The little girl did not like this new ending, but it was time for bed. She refused to let her grandfather kiss her on the forehead.
He chuckled as he left.
The next night, the little girl demanded that he tell the RIGHT ending to the story of how the fairy princess met her first dragon.
Her grandfather agreed.
Only this time…
He told the story of a dragonFLY that lit on the fairy princess’ shoulder, bit her ear and gave her an infection that made all her shining, sun-gold hair so long she could wrap it thirty times around her body FALL OUT.
The little girl was livid.
(That means she was really, really mad.)
“Tell me the story of how the fairy princess met her first dragon!”
The grandfather insisted that he had told the story just as it was meant to end. This time.
The little girl fumed and went to sleep.
The next night and the next and the next, the little girl demanded the RIGHT telling of the story of the fairy princess.
And each time the grandfather told a different version of the story.
This went on for 40 nights in a row.
The more exacerbated the little girl got, the more amused the grandfather became.
Finally, the little girl could take no more.
“Why won’t you tell me the REAL story of the fairy princess and her first dragon, Poppy?” Her eyes filled with tears.
The grandfather looked at her with a sly smile.
“Every story is just as real as the next, little one. What if you could enjoy the story for what it is, instead of throwing a fit because it doesn’t end the way you think it should?”
The little girl blinked.
She’d never considered enjoying the story without knowing how it was going to end.
That actually might be kind of…FUN.
So the little girl agreed to listen to the story of the fairy princess and her first dragon, the way it was that night.
The grandfather told the story…
…this time the dragon kidnapped the fairy princess and took her to the Underworld where she was rescued by a chartreuse penguin named Felix.
The little girl gasped and laughed and clapped with delight.
From that night on, the little girl and the grandfather enjoyed each other a whole lot more.
The grandfather even let the little girl make up her own ending to the story sometimes…
…even when she told it upside-down-and-inside-out in a way that made the three remaining hairs on his bald head curl.
Because they know the secret:
ALL stories can be fun if you listen with your heart wide open and a willingness to enjoy the ride.