WOE: A Rainy Night in Dusseldorf

AKA – The Dangers of Fairytales

Swan's Head with Dripping Beak

“It was a rainy night … in … Dusseldorf …”

“Dusseldorf?!  What kinda place is Dusseldorf?”

“It’s a cool place with all sorts of cute houses and a big castle.”

“Huh.  Sounds lame.”

“Do you want me to tell you a story or not?”

“OK, OK.  Dusseldorf.”

“Right.  Now it was a horrible rainy night in the faraway kingdom of Dusseldorf but a princess was born …”

“It’s always a princess!  I bet there was an evil witch too.”

“No there was no evil witch, just the princess.  You don’t want a princess?”

“No, princesses are silly.”

“OK.  So who lives in this faraway kingdom?”

“A prince.”

“OK.  What’s this prince like?”

“Oh he’s brave and handsome.  They always are you know.”

“Right.  So on this rainy night in Dusseldorf a prince was born … “

“No you don’t want him being born, that’s no fun.”

“Right, OK.  So no young prince then in this story that I’m supposed to be telling you?”

“No.  Being a baby is kinda boring, you know, they just cry and lie there.  See?”

He did a remarkable impression of something that could have been a baby lying on its back, or maybe it was a beetle stuck on its back, limbs flailing.  I nodded, it seemed best to agree.

“See when they grow up they have much more fun, they go fight dragons and they can ride horses.  There’re lots of things princes can do but babies are stupid.”

“OK, so this grownup prince does what?”

“Oh, he goes riding into the forest, because they always go hunting.  I’ve read this you see but I didn’t know it was in Dusseldorf. The book doesn’t say.”

I nodded at this mysterious development.

“Yeah, that’s right, he rides into the forest and sees this beautiful swan and marries her.”

“Marries the swan?”

“Yeah and then the swan comes to live in the castle with the prince.  And they live happily ever after.”

“Oh.”  My mind pursues a more adult course of logic.  “Does the swan like living in the castle or is it rather difficult?”

“No, I expect they feed it cake.  We fed the swans at the park cake, they liked it.”

I nodded, still doubting whether feeding swans on fudge cake had been a good idea but my repertoire of entertainment for small beings was rather limited.  Then he added with deceptive innocence:

I like cake.”

I nodded in agreement, the way he had polished off two slices of the stuff just an hour ago had rather confirmed this.  He looked expectantly at me and I looked back at him.  He sighed and added:

“Maybe I could have some cake.  I’m rather hungry you see.”

Ah, the penny clicked.  Well I might not know much about these small beings but I’m pretty sure that I’m not meant to feed them cake after bedtime.  Besides, there was plenty of things I was looking forward to watching on telly, I checked my watch.

“Uh-uh, bedtime for you mister!  Night.”

I clicked the light out quickly and rushed away downstairs, a small voice echoing behind me.

“Your story sucked!”

Word count: 524


19 thoughts on “WOE: A Rainy Night in Dusseldorf

Add yours

  1. Great piece. Really well written and super engaging!

    My little one is just 6 months old…but I can just imagine a scene like this happening some years down the road at bedtime.

    Look forward to reading more!

    Thanks again for popping by my blog earlier, reading and then leaving a comment.

  2. I loved that transition, from telling the story to the child to the child telling the story to the grown-up, into the child using the story as a machination to try and get something! I could absolutely see the mischief in bed as he shouted ‘your story sucked’

      1. Oddly, the autism makes mine much more straightforward. My encounters of this nature have always been with kids I was watching. When mine think they need extra cake, they tell me. And tell me. And tell me. AND TELL ME until I want to turn all clown and smash the cake in their faces! (Not that I would. But I might wish for a cream pie.)

I'd love to know what you think, concrit is especially welcomed on fiction pieces. Thank you.

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