Rumpelstiltskin

(If you can pronounce the title, then I’m impressed!)

You’ve probably heard that crazy story about a dude called Rumpelstiltskin who helps a girl spin straw into gold. Well, as is so often the case, the common retelling is wrong. First of all, the king didn’t want his precious straw turned into useless gold. NO! The king wanted all the gold that was just lying about his castle to be turned into something useful: straw for his horses to eat.

One day, the king heard a man boasting about how his daughter could spin straw into gold.

“Well now,” the king said to himself, “if she can spin straw into gold, then she ought to be able to spin gold into straw!”

The king sent a letter to the man requesting that the man’s daughter visit the castle. The man agreed, and the daughter was whisked away to the castle and locked in a room filled with gold.

“What am I supposed to do here?” she asked one of the servants who had just at that moment come from backstage.

“Can’t you do anything?” the servant said. “You’re not supposed to have to ask or be told what to do. You’re supposed to just read the king’s mind.”

“Well I can’t!” the girl said. So the servant had to tell her what to do.

“But I can’t do that!” the girl said.

The servant sent a telepathic message to the king explaining that the girl couldn’t turn gold into straw, though she could do the opposite.

The king came up with an absolutely brilliant idea. He searched his entire kingdom until he found a person who could turn gold to straw, took that person to the castle, and started a process that would give his horses an unlimited supply of food (or so he thought). He had the girl spin straw into gold, the gold was given to the other person who turned it into straw that was then given to the girl to turn into gold. And so each person had an constant supply of stuff to work on. (Obviously, the king wasn’t made king because of his brain power).

***

One day, the girl was sitting in her room, grumbling as she worked on straw that she had seen a dozen times before. Suddenly, the people backstage produced a puff of smoke, and a little man appeared as if from… backstage.

“Who are you,” the girl said, sneaking a look at her script.

“I am—cough, cough—Rumpel—cough—stilt—cough—something- or-another… uh, skin,” the little man said somewhat less dramatically than the director wanted; but that’s the price for having puffs of smoke.

“Whatever,” the girl said. Then the smoke cleared revealing the rest of her script. “Uh…uh…Whatever could you want with me, smelly sir?”

Rumpelstiltskin sniffed under his armpit. Clunk. He fell backwards. The stagehands quickly pulled him away, and the backup Rumpelstiltskin ran on stage. “I am here to help you with your troubles that I don’t know exist, according to the director!”

The director made an ominous note on his clipboard, whispering something to his hit man.

“Tell me,” said Rumpelstiltskin. “What are your troubles?”

“Oh, the stupid k—” she lowered her voice. “The stupid king has me in this stupid infinite loop. His stupid servants keep taking this stupid straw that I make to the stupid person down the hall, and that person turns it back into straw. Then the stupid servants take the straw back here and have me turn it into more stupid gold that the other stupid person will turn into straw, and so on.”

“Well, that’s just stupid!” Rumpelstiltskin said. “I’ll tell you what; I’ll end this circle if you’ll do something for me. If you take my child away from me and raise it, then I’ll knock some sense into the king’s head gently guide the king down the correct path of action.”

“What’s the catch?” the girl asked.

“Well, I won’t lie to you. My child is the loudest, most annoying kid that ever saw the light of a light bulb.”

The girl thought about it for a moment. “Can’t I just guess your name?”

“Fine,” Rumpelstiltskin sighed. “If you can guess my name, then you don’t have to adopt my child. But otherwise, you’ve got to take the little twerp darling.”

“OK,” said the girl. “Is your name Stiltrumpelskin? No, huh? Is it Skinstiltrumpel? Rumpelskinstilt? Bob?” The girl finally gave up.

***

Rumpelstiltskin went to the king that night and turned off the tape player that was saying: “You can do anyyyyything. You are a genius. Your peasants looooooooooooove you.”

Then Rumpelstiltskin started whispering in the king’s ear…

The next day, the king jumped out of bed and did his usual morning exercise, walking to the bathroom. Then the king summoned all of his advisors and told them: “I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: We hold these truths to be self-evident; that all men are created evil.”

“Uh, your majesty, do you know what you’re saying?” one of the advisors asked.

“Oops!” the king said. He flipped through his book of impromptu speeches.

“I am here to tell you,” he said, “that you buffoons have been going around in circles with this straw-to-gold-to-straw thing.” He went on to tell them a piece of his mind, which was about all he could grasp at one time.

So, later that day, the circle was ended, and the girl was dismissed as a useless person who could only make gold, which, as everyone knows, ruins many people’s lives.

And as for Rumpelstiltskin’s child, well, let’s just say that the girl did eventually recover and was released from the insane asylum.

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Published in: on July 13, 2007 at 12:28 PM  Comments (4)  
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4 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. This was an interesting tale that should be at the end of Star. And what happened to the talented person who turned the gold into straw? Maybe that is a story to come later.

  2. Good and funny!

  3. It is a nice story which is twisted magically with interesting depths twined in it. A good story mixed with humilarity.

  4. A tale twisted magically with humorous depths twined together. Like gold and sivler sparkling. A good story with interesting events.


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