Category Archives: Fairy Tales

The Legend

Maiden’s Dilemma

Each myth, legend or fairytale
from “once upon” to “fare thee well”
shares some elements of story
be they sad, uplifting, gory.

Always a damsel in distress—
Rumplestiltskin’s name to guess,
for straw once spun out into gold,
or another story to be told.

Too much sleep may be her curse,
ugly stepsisters, or worse.
Murder, treason, sloth and pox
were emptied from Pandora’s box.

These troubles spread from near to far,
(although, in fact, it was a jar.)
Zeus forgave Pandora’s shame.
The imp revealed his own strange name.

But the other women described above
were saved by cleverness or love.
Scheherazade escaped the hearse
with stories, legends, tales and verse.

Cinderella rose from hearth and ashes
and Sleeping Beauty opened lashes­­––
both maids saved by daring-do:
one by a kiss, one by a shoe.

So whatever might have been their fate:
loss of child or murderous mate,
wipe tears and fears away with laughter.
They all lived happily ever after.


Another rewrite from four years ago. The prompt today was legend.

Spiked Interest: A Modern Day Fairytale

Spiked Interest: A Modern Day Fairytale

There’s spiked interest in forgiving. It’s become the newest fad.
Sis forgave her boyfriend and my mom’s forgiven Dad.
Isis forgave the infidels and Christians forgave arabs.
Egypt forgave England for absconding with their scarabs.
Now the Nepalese love China, they called them on the phone
and China made a promise to leave Everest alone.
Ukraine made up with Russia. Mongols gave up declining
to give any permits for the Chinese to keep mining. 
The world would be so perfect, given all of these befriendings;
but sadly, only fairytales have these happy endings.

Marilyn, thanks for suggesting a tie-in to this Tom Lehrer song:

The WordPress prompt today is “spike.”

Locked and unlocked



Locked up in my bedchamber. More than I can bear.
The beauty of my countenance, the shimmer of my hair
do me no good for no prince charming comes to find me here.
I will go unmarried––for my whole life, I fear.

My father thinks he honors me. I am his special treasure.
He worries not about my fate.  He thinks not of my pleasure.
I am but one more lovely thing he keeps for his collection––
admired for my golden locks, my flawless pale complexion.

I care not for beauty.  I care not for my tresses.
I do not treasure jewels or slippers or my ornate dresses.
A husband and a family are all that I desire.
A simple life’s the sort of life that I most admire.

From my window I look out upon the broad King’s Highway.
All roads must converge here––every path and byway.
And so I see them passing: beggars, countrymen and princes.
Vendors selling mangos, apples, oranges and quinces.

My eye is caught by sunlight flashing from his sword
as he stoops to have a sip from a vendor’s gourd.
He pays her with a small coin and thanks her most politely,
then mounts his horse with one sure leap–graceful, sure and spritely

I see him passing often and his face is full of laughter,
calling out and gesturing to companions, fore and after.
One day I wave my scarf at him as he goes passing by
and every day thereafter, I know I’ve won his eye.

At first he bows politely–a gesture I don’t miss.
and after a few weeks of this, one day he blows a kiss.
I reach out and grab it and press it to my face.
He rears his horse and races off at a faster pace.

The next day he doesn’t come, although I wait and wait.
But finally, I see him turning towards my father’s gate.
In distress, I call out that  he must not tarry here.
My father’s wrath must not be stirred.  It is what I most fear.

He does not see me gesturing. He hears not my distress.
I rue the day I waved at him, although I must confess
I also thrilled to think that he had come in search of me.
I fantasized that he would be the one to set me free.

But my prince never entered, though he tarried long and late.
Until the full moon rose above, he waited at the gate.
Although it had not opened by the time the next sun rose,
the young man sat astride his horse with hoarfrost on his clothes.

‘Twas then that I began my moan and tears sprang from my eyes.
I tore my clothes, scratched at my face.  I’d ruin my father’s prize!
My serving maids, sorely distressed, tried to stay my hand,
while my genteel companion sat with startled eyes and fanned!

When one maid put down the apple she’d begun to pare,
I grabbed the knife and severed one long lock of hair.
Lock after lock, I parted with this prison I had grown.
I’d see if father still wanted a daughter newly mown.

Then outside my chamber, I heard a deafening grate.
I flew back to the window. They were opening the gate!
At the same time, I heard a knock and my door opened wide.
I knew it was my father in the passageway outside.

I feared his consternation, his anger and his wrath,
and yet I chose to put myself squarely in his path.
In one hand I held half my locks, in the other were locks more.
All my other shorn-off glory, around me on the floor.

“I am not your possession,” I tell my father then.
I am no pretty pet that you can lock up in a pen.
You can have my beauty––” (Here I handed him my locks.)
“but you cannot seal me up in your private box.”

My father raised his hand, and I feared that he would strike me––
angered that he’d never again have a treasure like me––
but instead he circled his arm around my shoulder
and said, “This day, I have acquired a daughter who is bolder!

It was never me who kept you sealed  up in this tower.
You always had it within you to unlock your own power.
You must know this unlocking is both metaphor and literal.
The freedom that you’ve won today, both actual and clitoral.”

And that is how this princess, once set upon a shelf,
learned that the price of freedom is to win it for one’s self.
By cutting off my own locks, I opened up the gate.
My reward––the clever prince wise enough to wait!

Helen Meikle sent along this song which she said had a similar theme to my poem.  Can’t believe I’ve never heard it before…but I agree.  Listen to it HERE


Pragmatic Faith

Coins cast in a fountain with wishes voiced above–
requests for fame or money, beauty, health or love.
Do those who make the wishes have faith they will come true?
If so, what difference from the prayer whispered from a  pew?

Twenty years thereafter, what wishes still remain?
Do we again repeat these things that we’ve wished in vain?
Do we still have faith in magical solutions
via coins subjected to watery ablutions?

Fantasy may have its place in fairy tales and dreams,
but it rarely helps us to achieve life’s major schemes.
Santa Claus and fairies, the Easter Bunny, elves?
Far better that we base our faith mainly in ourselves.

A Small Adjustment at the Fairy Ball

A Small Adjustment at the Fairy Ball

Her gold tiara, finely pearled,
came undone as she danced and whirled
and across the room was often hurled
as the hair that held it came unfurled.
Then her attendant tightly furled
her fairy hair as they fussed and girled.
For the rest of the night, she bowed and twirled,
for now that her hair was tightly curled,
all was right in the fairy world.

The Prompt: Easy Fix—Write a post about any topic you wish, but make sure it ends with “And all was right in the world.”


Disclaimer Notice:  This is a work of fiction, not of fact!!!!


I have been dieting for months and I’m in fine fettle. I can see the admiring looks of several men as I enter the restaurant, along with the slightly irritated stares of their wives or girlfriends. I’m fresh from the beauty parlor: newly coiffed, manicured and pedicured, wearing a size smaller than I wore a month ago and several sizes smaller than a year ago. Feeling buff, I slide into a booth, fanning both hands over the smooth surface of the Formica table top, admiring my French manicure.

He enters the restaurant shortly after I do. Taking the long way around the aisle that runs between the tables in the center and the booths along the four sides, he scans the faces of diners with a curiosity that signals an interest in life. He is tall and intelligent-looking with a quirky doorknocker beard and mustache and a Hawaiian shirt—all elements of his appearance that call out for notice. I do not disappoint.

I watch him as he draws nearer, but drop my eyes as he approaches my booth. So it is that I am surprised when he stops in front of me and says, “May I ask you what you name is?”

I bring my eyes up to meet his. Is this the Cinderella story I’ve been waiting for my whole life? Quickly, my mind fills in the prior details. He noticed me on the road and followed me here. Or, he was driving by when he saw me enter the restaurant and, on a whim, seized the day and came in search of me. Or, this is an old and long-forgotten flame, someone from my past—a college or high school friend I haven’t seen for twenty years.

Without asking why or giving a smart answer, for once I merely answer the question. “Judy. Judy Dykstra-Brown,” I purr in a humorous, slightly sexy voice, not once looking away from his clear hazel eyes.

He does not disappoint. “I’ve been looking for you,” he says.

“I’ve been looking for you, too—for a very long time,” I answer in my best low flirtatious tone.

He reaches out toward me, and I extend my hand toward him as well; but in place of his own hand, he places something soft and warm in my palm.

“You must have dropped your wallet in the foyer,” he says to me, “You’re lucky that the right person found it.” He turns then and walks across the room to sit down at a table with a lovely woman in a white sundress and two darling tanned children. They are like a commercial for a Hawaiian vacation.

I open the wallet to see that all the money is intact, the driver’s license just slightly askew from where he must have withdrawn it to see the picture of its owner, and my mind replays his final words to me.  “You’re lucky.”

“Welcome to Perkins!” The waitress interrupts my thoughts in a perky voice, living up to the name of her place of employment. I take the menu she proffers and order humble pie.

The Prompt: Greetings, Stranger—You’re sitting at a café when a stranger approaches you. This person asks what your name is, and, for some reason, you reply. The stranger nods, “I’ve been looking for you.” What happens next?



NaPoWriMo Day 16: A Teenage Mythology

A Teenage Mythology

A sneeze is how a poltergeist gets outside of you.
At night a different stinky elf sleeps inside each shoe.

Every creaking rafter supports a different ghost,
and it’s little gremlins who make you burn the toast.

Each night those tricky fairies put snarls in your hair,
while pixies in your sock drawer unsort every pair.

Midnight curtain billows are caused by banshee whistles.
Vampires use your toothbrush and put cooties in it’s bristles.

Truths all come in singles. It’s lies that come in pairs.
That’s a zombie, not a teenager, sneaking up the stairs.

It will come as no surprise that our prompt today was to write a ten-line poem in which each line is a lie.