The Pop-Up Who Cried Wolf

One time there was this pop-up that kept crying wolf. People were pretty nervous the first couple of times. But after a while, people were all, whatever, and clicked OK or IGNORE or whatever the button said. They couldn’t even be bothered to remember. One time this wolf showed up and the pop-up did its thing. Too bad no one paid any attention. Let’s just say: that wolf was hungry like a… wolf.

Moral: If you’re a little boy named Piotr, don’t do this either.

The Knife Salesman

Once there was a knife salesman who never sold a single knife. He didn’t give up though. He just kept on trying to sell knives. For some reason, even though these were the sharpest knives in existence, sharper than the boiling heart of the sun’s core, he still couldn’t sell them. Not for lack of trying. Talk about the shoe leather, boy howdy! When trying to sell knives, he’d just cut through all kinds of things: spam, sausage, sauerkraut, and jello. He’d even cut through non-foodstuffs like anvils, phone books (remember those?), staircases, and giant sequoia redwoods. This guy was a one-man cutting machine. He even had a contest with a steam-powered cutting machine. That is, until he cut the cutting machine in half. Remember that guy King Solomon? He loaned him his knife once. Got it back unused, though. Sometimes, the knife salesman would sob silently to himself, cutting his tears in half as they fell.

Moral: When all you have is a set of awesome knives, everything looks like something you can cut, I guess.

The King of All Cake

Once there was a king of all cake. Not just some of the cake, all of the cake. That meant he had to eat a lot of cake. Also, he had to seize all of the secret cake. This was exhausting, let me tell you! Not only that, but the ant and rodent problem was off the hook. Also, there was especial difficulty around the issue of pies. Some of them were pretty close to being cakes. And the ice cream issue, well. It’s tough being the King of All Cake and not provide some ice cream too. Some days, he wished he could be a beer farmer or something like that. One day, someone brought him a beet cake. Yay, he thought, and he awarded the beet cake a medal or something.

Moral: Cake is delicious but monarchy is kind of a drag.

The Flaming Skull

Once there was a flaming skull (flying). All it wanted to do was be helpful. One time this knitting club got all their yarn knotted up. The flaming skull swooped in and untied all those knots all right! The knitting club dug through the ashes. “Thanks, Flaming Skull…” Another time there was this mountain climber in trouble. Again the flaming skull swooped in. “Thaaaaanks Flaaaaaaming Skuuuu.” That climber would never have any other climbing problems again. Nor opportunities for that matter. Another time, there was this forest fire. The flaming skull did its best, but. “Thanks, Flaming Skull,” all the firefighters said, rubbing ashes on their faces sort of accidentally. “What?” the flaming skull said, “I’m just trying to help!”

Moral: If you’re a flying flaming skull, the best thing you can do is stay well out of it, especially if it involves flammable material.

The Window Salesman

Once there was a window salesman who sold one size of window. When windows first came out, people were amazed. Saying things like “I can see trees from INSIDE my house!” and “I had no idea my kitchen was so dirty!” Windows sales were through the roof, so to speak. But soon people got bored. It seemed like everyone had windows now. Curtain sales were pretty brisk. Anyway, the windows salesman had a great idea while eating breakfast one day. Bigger windows! And he was right. People were tearing out their old windows and putting in bigger ones just as fast as the windows factory could make them. You can see where this is going. Eventually, the windows got so big that people were living in glass houses and LOVING it. The birds not so much.

Moral: You can have too much of a good thing.

The Bucket

Once there was a bucket full of donuts. The lizard and marsupial taxidermist happened upon it one day. He reached in to grab a chocolate donut with some strange orange goop on top, probably frosting. A tiger leapt out of the bucket and ate him. It was a very clever tiger. Also, it had a gluten allergy.

Moral: Maybe it’s better not to eat donuts from a bucket.

The Monkey in the Cavern

One time, there was this monkey. It was a pretty ordinary monkey except for the spelunking. Yes, it was a cave exploring monkey. You may not have considered it, but stalactites are pretty good for climbing. At least in this story. This monkey visited many famous caves: Ali Baba’s; Aladdin’s djinni’s; the Hardy Boys’ pirates’; Batman’s. It was pretty cool. That is, until it came to the dragon’s cave.

Moral: Monkey flambé is delicious.

The Wizard’s Solution

Once there was a wizard. He lived in a tower. (No, it wasn’t Zombardo. It was the other one.) This wizard was bald and had lots of rings on his fingers. Also, he had lots of strange pets. Anyway, the nearby town had this infestation of gremlins. These gremlins made sure that nothing worked quite right. Sometimes the butter churn would just fall apart. Or, other times, everyone’s mood rings would just turn black. Bummer! So the town’s mayor, the butcher, some chicken farmers, a haberdasher, the all-female choir and musical untouring troupe, and a few kids all showed up to ask the wizard how to deal with these gremlins. The wizard said, I don’t really think your problem is gremlins– No, it’s gremlins! all the town’s representatives shouted not really simultaneously. Also, I’m paraphrasing hardcore. So the wizard sighed, and was all, I’ll get to work! Then he went to go do stuff that he was more interested in, like scoping out the demiplanes of Shadow and Wonder. But these townspeople just kept on coming by griping about gremlins. Finally, the wizard was all, ALAKAZAM! And: I’ve solved your gremlins problem. The townspeople all said OoooooOOooooOOooooh! And then the wizard said, hey, I also made this magical contraption that you can use to deal with future outbreaks of “gremlins”. The townspeople looked at the wizard like he was crazy. Are you crazy? they said. Why would you give us this tool? Who knows what we’ll do with it? The wizard shut his door.

Moral: Sometimes when you make something too useful, people get upset.

The Detective and the Flea

Everyone was always wondering, Hey, what’s up with that police detective who has a flea for a partner? The police detective usually replied, Hey, I’m an INSPECTOR not a detective. Come on! And then people usually forgot about the flea. Truth be told, the inspector thought, this flea isn’t very useful in an investigatory capacity. Oh well. The flea did its best, but, you know, it was a flea. The inspector solved some mysteries with the flea’s “help”.

Moral: Sometimes stories just don’t have that much of a moral.