I’m participating in the Deal Me In Short Story Reading Challenge this year, wherein we use a deck of playing cards to fairly randomly pick a story to read.
This week, I drew a diamond again. I’m not complaining: Diamonds direct me to read a story from Andrew Lang’s Rainbow Fairy Books, and I loves me a fairy/folk tale. But I drew so many diamonds already, I’m afraid I’ll run out, and have no fairy stories later in the year. Oh, boo-hoo, poor me! As if I can’t read some anyway, right?
ANYWAY, this week’s story is “The Six Hungry Beasts.” It’s really about one hungry beast, but it begins with six. This story comes from Finland, and I do believe the moral must be, “Don’t fuck with a Finn”. I had already gathered that, from one source and another. This story confirms it.
Okay, so it actually starts out with an old man and an old woman, and the old man goes out to lay a trap for whatever’s been eating their poultry, gets caught in the trap, falls down and hits his head, and dies. So the itty bitty marten who has been eating the poultry, goes, “Jackpot!” and puts the old man’s corpse on a sledge and pulls it away. He gradually recruits five other increasingly large animals to help pull. First they all enjoy the funny story of how he got the body, then they enjoy eating the corpse.
I know, right?
Then they decide their next meal will be the smallest of their company. The three smallest run away. The fox, who is now the smallest, gets the wolf aside and goes, like, “If you help the bear eat me, guess who’s next on the menu?” So they go their own ways and hunt for themselves.
Now there’s a big section of the fox convincing a magpie to make Sophie’s choice and throw down one after another of his babies to keep the fox from eating them all.
This is a children’s story, right?
The crow be like, “How is a fox going to cut down a tree, fool?” So the magpie stops listening. The fox tries to kill the crow, and the crow tricks him into letting him go. What’s that all about? It’s like a whole ‘nother story.
And then the bear’s wife dies, and the fox has such a beautiful mourning song, the bear hires him to come do the professional mourning. So the fox mourns until the bear goes to get him some food. Then the bear goes, “Why did you stop singing?” And the fox is like, “I’m almost finished eating her body. I’ll sing when I’m done.” Well, wouldn’t you know, the bear tries to kill him? And he hits him in the tail with a ladle, and that’s why the fox has a white tip on his tail. The end.
Imma tell you what: I just did a search, and Australia/New Zealand are the farthest spots on the globe from Finland. When I grow up and get rich, Imma go to Australia and/or New Zealand.
A WRITING PROMPT BASED ON MY POST: Write about somebody telling a freaking insane story.