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Sunday, May 3, 2020

StoryADay - Retell a Fairy Tale

So in my StoryADay challenge you receive a prompt every day and must write a short story.  You must carve out time to write daily which teaches you the practice of writing consistently.  You must also finish each story, which teaches you to give focus to your craft.  I am doing it with two friends and so far have enjoyed the effort.  Today's prompt and story (Remember, I had to finish it, not proof and edit it so please pardon any errors!):

The Prompt
Think of a fairy tale you like. It can be a well-known one, or one that’s not well-known. (If it’s one you’re familiar with mostly from Disney movies, though, you should probably do a quick re-read of the original fairy tale, because those movies have been known to change a lot of stuff.) Now write a scene from that fairy tale, but reset in some way — you could move it to the present day, or the future. You could also move it to another culture (make sure it’s one you’re very familiar with) or find some other way to turn it upside down. Think about what the story is saying, and how that message changes when the story gets moved. 

The Wolf and the Seven Grand Goats

The Nanny sat her seven young grandkids down at the table.  “Listen,” she said bending her head and showing her world – worn horns.  “I have to go to work.  I’ve left you a list of what you need to do while I’m gone.  Clean this table, read your books, then do chores.”

The seven little grandkids all gave their best “Baaaa-yes!”  They loved their Nanny and wanted to make her proud.  

Nanny goat put on her bright blue bonnet and tied the strings under her chin.  Then she took her blue umbrella which served either as cover in the rain or as a cane for steep stairs.  There were many steep stairs where she worked devouring kudzoo and other plants.  At the door, she turned to her grandkids as they finished their leafy breakfast. “Now there may be people who come to the door.  They will ask you to come out but you must not do so.  Only open the door for me.”

“How will we know it is you?” the youngest butted in.

“Look to your grandbilly’s clock for the answer.  When the small hand is on the six and the big hand is on the twelve I will be home.  Anything before then is not a full day’s work.”  The door closed gently, and the grandkids heard the key turn the lock.  

After breakfast the young goats looked over the table.  There was spittle and chewed bits of food, a wooden spoon one goat had accidently half eaten before realizing it was not part of the meal.  The chairs were not tucked in and the table was not set for the evening meal.

“We should clean the table?” the youngest goat asked his siblings.

“In a minute,” said the oldest.  “Come look at this!”

The goats all ran to the window.  There was a sound, muffled by the home’s sturdy windows and doors.  The oldest cracked a window to hear more clearly.

Full grown, finally a man, just scheming on ways
To put some green inside the palms of my empty hands
Just picture me rollin'
Flossing a Benz on rims that isn't stolen

“Great tune!” shouted the oldest.  “And look at that car!!”  2Pac’s chorus faded out as a bright red Dodge Charger pulled into the driveway.

“Nanny walks to work.  She doesn’t drive a car,” said the youngest goat.

“Maybe Naaaaaanny finally bought one!”  exclaimed the oldest as he rubbed his goatee.  “See!  She has a blue bonnet and a blue umbrella!”

Outside, the wolf hopped nimbly out of the car.  He put a blue bonnet over his pointed ears and snatched a blue umbrella from the back of the Charger.  He picked a bit of fur from his sharp teeth before saying:

            You see what you want and all wants are needs
            I am your dear Nanny as you clearly see
            So don’t think about such things as affordability,
            There are no consequences!  Live as you please!

“That is a baaaaad ride!  I want a ride in that car,” said the youngest goat, “but Nanny said to do our work.”  He looked over at the clock his grandbilly made.  It was still 9:00 AM.

“Baaaa Ah no!,” exclaimed the oldest.  He crawled out the window and clomped down the driveway.  “Nanny! Nanny!  Can I drive it?”

“Why even better, my grandgoat.  It can be yours for just a small interest fee. I wouldn’t milk you for too much extra, though there are a few document fees.  Come, come!  Ride with me!”

The car zoomed down the road as 2Pac’s song again howled out of the speakers.

The other six goats herded in the hallway.  “Well,” said the youngest goat, “perhaaaaps it is time we looked to Nanny’s list.  We must clean the dining room and then off to our reading.”

Five of the goats went into the kitchen.  Four began clean while one ate the dust mop.  But the now oldest goat said, “Not me!  It is a baaaad time of day for chores.  I have gaaaaames to play!”  And with that, he went to the living room chewing a discarded table leg.  He sat down with a controller in hoof to rid the world of villainy and vice.  “This is G.O.A.T. logging on” he exclaimed as the console came to life.

“I’m not kidding,” bayed the youngest.  “Nanny doesn’t want us playing games.”

“Ah, she knows we are just kids,” the other goat said as he stormed a virtual hill on the screen.

Just then, the red Dodge Charger again pulled up in the street.  This time the thump of Megadeath played.  The sound burst in through the house’s open window.

Still we search and invent such intelligent weapons
That kill each other like the gears of war
(Gears of war, gears of war)
(Gears of war, gears of war)
When you ride with thieves, then you die with thieves
Cross my heart and hope that you die (that you die)
When the smoke has cleared, the devil's in the mirror
And you see his warheads paint the sky, now you die!

The wolf, rubbing his belly, again put on the blue bonnet and took out the blue umbrella.  

You see what you want and all wants are needs
            I am your dear Nanny as you clearly see
            So don’t think about work.  It will lead to bleating.
            There are no consequences!  Come with me to game rather than reading!

The wolf then opened up the back seat of the Dodge Charger.  There on the seat, new in the box, was the newest of the new gaming consoles. 

“That isn’t Nanny for sure,” the youngest goat warned.

“Of course it is,” said the goat setting down his game.  “And look, games are more fun than work.  Everyone knows that.  Even Nanny.  That is why she must have bought me this new one to play.”

“We won’t let you go!  Baaaaack off!” cried the other five blocking the window.

The oldest stomped his hoofs and went to his room.  The five goats heard the door slam.  Then, they saw their brother land on the grass outside his window.  He took a moment to eat some fresh grass, cut by Nanny the night before, and then he jumped into the backseat of the Dodge Charger.

The five remaining in the tribe looked to each other.  “That was not Nanny,” said the youngest.  And they returned to their reading.  

An hour later, the oldest sister declared, “This reading is useless.  I don’t even need to know any of this stuff about coyotes, foxes, and wolves.  When will I ever use it?  What I really want is to have some fun!

Outside an engine roared by the neighborhood pond.  There came a screech of tires into the driveway.  All five goats moved to the open window to hear Cndyi Lauper:

I come home in the morning light
My mother says, "When you gonna live your life right?"
Oh mother dear we're not the fortunate ones
And girls, they wanna have fun
Oh girls just want to have fun

The wolf, now with a belly sticking out a bit too far, exited the Dodge Charger.  “Who’s ready for a howling good time?”

“Is that Nanny?” one goat asked rubbing his eyes.

“I don’t think so,” said the youngest.

“But look!!” The older sister shouted pointing at the wolf in the blue bonnet.  In one hand he held a blue umbrella.  In the other he held a shopping bag and seven credit cards.

You see what you want and all wants are needs
            I am your dear Nanny as you clearly see
            So don’t think about such things as interest, debt, or fees,
            There are no consequences!  Live as you please!

Then the wolf in a gravely voice. not quite high enough to be Nanny, offered, “Fe’ Real, who would like to go with me to a shopping spree!  I hear there is a sale down at the Loafing Shed!”

“Me! Me! I love Baaaaaargains!” The older sister shouted.  She jumped up and down elated.  Even while brushing breakfast from her beard, she never took her eyes off the shiny cards.  “ I’m tired of not charging ahead!  I need new clothes, and shoes.  I need a necklace, and I need other things I don’t even know exist yet!  I must, I must!”

The other four formed a half circle around her and the youngest pointed at grandBilly’s clock, “Nanny said to stay here till she returns.  She said a good goat works till 6:00 and it is but 2:00.”  

“But don’t you see?  Nanny would want me to be happy.  That is why she wants to take me to buy things with money I do not yet have!”  The female goat turned and ran out the back door.  The four watched as she adorned her horns with foundation and put on lipstick before hopping in the front seat of the red Dodge Charger.

“We can not play anymore,” said the youngest goat.  “We must do our chores.”

“I hate chores,” said the middle goat.  “And now that I am the oldest in the house, we do not do any more cleaning.”

The youngest protested, “But Nanny said,  ‘You only get your allowance if your work is done.’”

“Nanny will understand our bleatings.  Besides, Nanny does nothing but work.  They work her like a mule, milking her for all she has.  But she baaaaarely gets paid.  There has to be a shortcut to wealth,” said the middle goat.  As she did, the four heard the band Train along with the familiar sound of a Dodge Charger:

We got the golden ticket
Kick it, hammock and a picket fence
And a pool underground
Take you on a LV spend spree
Open up that Dom P
Baby, cause we're Beverly bound
Every time you're here with me
It's like I won the lottery
As rich as I could wish to be
It's like I won the lottery

The red Dodge pulled into the driveway.  This time the wolf in the blue bonnet got out and placed his growing belly on the hood of the Charger.  He patted the top and smiled his toothy smile.  He had the blue umbrella but was using its end to pick some fur from his teeth.

You see what you want and all wants are needs
            I am your dear Nanny as you clearly see
            So don’t think about such things as working for cash,
            There are no consequences!  All you have to do is scratch!

The wolf held up a large stack of lottery tickets.  

“Oooo!!!” said the other sister goat.  “Well kiss my dairy air!  Those are the lottery tickets uncle LeBron plays!  Sometimes he lets me scratch off the circles with my horns.  Nanny must have bought some.  Its great she finally thinks it best to get money without working!  She is so smart!”

“That’s right I am!” howled the wolf.  “Come on down and these tickets are yours.  There is no need to work and even less to save.  The best way to get wealthy is to win by chance.  Luck is always more favorable than hard work!”  The wolf fanned out the lottery tickets to show how many opportunities for easy wealth there could be.  The young goat lept out the front door and into the Dodge Charger.

As the Charger rolled away she screamed, “Goat Load of Cash!  This is my favorite one to scratch!”

The youngest goat said to his two remaining siblings, “That’s an itch you should leave alone.  Listen, there is work for seven young goats and now we are three.  We must work harder than before to be done before Nanny gets home.  Grandbilly’s clock says it is 3:15.”

“You do you, just don’t butt heads with me,” said the oldest remaining goat.  “I’ve been working all morning.  My back hurts, my hoofs are raw, and my gums are tender.  I feel I don’t even have teeth in my upper jaw.  I need something to help me relax, to take my mind off the loss of our brothers and sisters, and to make me feel better.”

“Nanny says the best feeling is a job well done,” the youngest goat meekly said.  

“Baaaa haaa haa.  I say do whatever floats your goat.  Work is haaaaaard.  I’d rather someone else did it while I just relax.”

The red Dodge Charger again passed the neighborhood pond proclaiming Lil Wayne:

I am sittin' on the clouds, I got smoke comin' from my seat
I can play basketball with the moon, I got the whole world at my feet
Playin' touch football, on marijuana street
Or, in a marijuana field, you are so beneath my cleets
Get high, so high, that I feel like lying
Down in a cigar, roll me up and smoke me 'cause
(I feel like dying)
Only once the drugs are done, that I feel like dying I feel like dying
Only once the drugs are done, that I feel like dying I feel like dying

“Now that is the G.O.A.T. for sure!” said the oldest goat remaining.  

This time the wolf struggled to reach his seat belt and turn his belly away from the steering wheel.  He had to push the seat all the way back and use the open door for leverage.  The Red Dodge Charger rocked as he got out.  The blue bonnet was haphazardly set on his head, no longer fitting his engorged face.  The blue umbrella was now used to support his slow gait.

You see what you want and all wants are needs
            I am your dear Nanny as you clearly see
            Let others work while you play
            There are no consequences!  You deserve to be happy today!

The wolf opened up the back seat.  Inside were two other young goats.  One was holding a beer and lifted it to show how much he was enjoying the venture.  The other shook a pill bottle as he puffed out a cloud of smoke.

“Look!” said the oldest remaining goat.  “Nanny finally isn’t treating me like a kid.  Nanny knows my baaaaack hurts.  She knows that I have been working all day, while our sibblings ran off to chase money and things they did not have nor need.  I don’t want money or stuff, I just want… no, I deserve… to have a good time.  And Nanny knows it.  That is why she wants me to go with my friends.”

The youngest goat gritted her teeth and they grinded side to side.  “Nanny said to let no one in until 6:00.  She said to work till then.  It is but 4:30 and we have more to do.  Can’t you see, that is but a wolf that waaaaaants to devour you?”

“Nonsense!” the other goat declared.  She put on her flannel shirt, taking a bite out of its collar as a snack.  “Don’t you see her blue bonnet?  Who else would be here wearing thaaaaaat?”  Then she laughed and smiled clomping her way to the red Dodge Charger.  In the front seat, she held aloft a bottle of Thirsty Goat as someone in the back handed her a chew.  She wave the bottle at her two sibling goats as she waited for the wolf to get his seat belt buckled again.

“Now there are but two of us, and we have so much more to do.  We have to clean the bathrooms, sweep the floors, and do the laundry.”  The youngest goat spoke as he moved toward a pile of laundry laying in the floor.

“But,” interrupted the remaining goat, “why should we work when others have not?  Shouldn’t someone make it fair?  I mean, I’m not going to let anyone get my goat over a few undone chores.  Besides, this isn’t even all my mess.  I shouldn’t have to do it.  Someone else should.”

Again, the red Dodge Charger pulled in.  The youngest goat looked at  grandbilly’s clock.  It was 4:45pm.  The crisp evening air coming from the open windows and doors brought in the melody from Tracy Chapman:

While they're standing in the welfare lines
Crying at the doorsteps of those armies of salvation
Wasting time in the unemployment lines
Sitting around waiting for a promotion
Don't you know
They're talkin' 'bout a revolution
It sounds like a whisper
Poor people gonna rise up
And get their share
Poor people gonna rise up
And take what's theirs

The wolf stuck his head out the window and waved his blue bonnet.  He made no effort to get out of the car.  The exertion may have been beyond his ability.  He burped a loud burp and snorted some hair.  Then, in a predatorial voice.

You see what you want and all wants are needs
            I am your dear Nanny as you clearly see
            Come with me to the welfare line
            There are no consequences!  You should get paid while others pine!

The youngest goat looked to his sister, “No!  Nanny will be here in a few minutes.  She said 6:00!  We should waaaaaait!”

“But don’t you see?  She has come early to get me so we can go get in line.  At 6:00 the elephants will shut it down.  We must go now to meet with the donkeys and such.  Otherwise, we caaaaan’t sign up!  But if we do, we don’t have to work.”

“That’s right!” came a voice outside.  The wolf had driven the car up to the edge of the door.  He snarled, “Come with me.  We can’t let those wealthy cats, fattened pigs, and others keep all the money.  We must go demand our share!”

The goat looked at the youngest sibling and said, “You should come with me and Nanny.”

“That is not Nanny, but a wolf that will devour you whole.  Don’t you remember your reading today?”

The other goat shrugged and moved to the Dodge Charger.  The wolf smiled a toothy smile before backing out over the curb and hitting the mailbox.  The contents spilled out and Nanny’s copy of Backyard Goating and The Keto Trash Diet sprawled across the street.  The Charger roared as the tires spun out.

The youngest goat shut all the doors and closed the windows before he set to work.  He did not stop except to look at the clock.  At 6:00 there was a knock on the door.  He looked through the window and saw his Nanny.  She wore a blue bonnet, carried her blue umbrella, and had a small grocery bag of food for their dinner.

“Where are my other grandkids?” Nanny asked.

“Oh Nanny,” the youngest cried.  “I tried to tell them it was not you but a wolf came.  Six times he came and coaxed them out.  I am afraid he ate them all.”

Nanny petted the youngest goat and stroked his chin hair.  “Do not worry.  Your grandbilly and I often chewed over what to do in a situation like this.”  Nanny set her bonnet and umbrella by the door.  Then she walked to grandbilly’s clock.  She reached in the bottom of the floorlength clock and pulled out a small torch.  “Now let’s wait on that wolf to return.”

“Do you think he will?” asked the youngest goat.

“Oh yes, don’t kid yourself.  He has no self-control and likely never even shed his coat off at his home before coming back.”

The two watched out the window for the red Dodge Charger to see if it would appear before the sun gave up its daily task.  With just an inkling left before the moon ran supreme the two heard the Dodge Charger’s stereo boom:

Windows tinted on my ride when I drive in it
So when I rob a bank, run out and just dive in it
So I'll be disguised in it
And if anybody identifies the guy in it
I'll hide for five minutes

Come back, shoot the eyewitness
Fire at the private eye hired to pry in my business

The car parked and the wolf got out.  His blue bonnet had been swapped for a gold chain and a black toboggan.  “Time to come out now.  You got something I have been hunting for Nanny.”

“And what is that?” Nanny said.  

“Your last grandgoat.  The others came willingly.  But this one I will just snatch.”  The wolf chomped his teeth together.

Nanny put on her blue bonnet.  Then she picked up the torch, lit it, and then picked up the blue umbrella.  She walked outside.  The now oversized wolf lumbered out of the car.  The torch shown and the youngest goat could see his claws. The youngest goat hid his eyes in fear. 

There was a loud sound like someone tore a large piece of paper in two.  The youngest goat looked up and saw the wolf’s body upon the ground.  His belly had been ripped open and the sharp point of the blue umbrella now shown bright red.  Nanny, in her blue bonnet, slowly helped each of her other grandkids out of the wolf’s belly.  The youngest goat went to get the clean towels he had put in the dryer as Nanny herded the others inside.

Nanny returned to their lawn.  The youngest goat followed to watch her sewing the wolf’s stomach back up.  He asked, “Why are you sewing him back up?”

“Oh dear, I set rocks in his belly.  He needs to feel the weight of what he has done.”  With that and the last stitch, she rose and took the youngest goat back inside.

The seven grandkids and Nanny ate some dinner and cleaned up.  Before bed they heard the wolf wake outside.  “I am thirsty!” he cried out.  “I have eaten so much and have had nothing to drink!”  

The goats watched out the window as he slowly walked to the pond.  There he began to drink and drink.  However, as he leaned into the pool for water he felt the rocks in his belly shift.  “These goats are not settling well,” he said before he slipped on the bank.  He tumbled into the water.  The rocks in his belly gave him no chance for escape.  

As he sank to the bottom of the pond, Nanny turned to the grandkids.  She said, “Listen, I have to go to work.  I’ve left you a list of what you need to do while I’m gone.  Clean this table, read your books, then do chores.  Remember, to earn your allowance you must do your work.  No shortcuts!”

“Yes we will!” shouted all seven of the grandkids.  And they meant it.

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