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.

The Parrot Who Knew a Million Words

Once there was a parrot who knew a million words. Problem was, it never stopped talking. Also, did I mention it had the most beautiful feathers of red and yellow and green and purple. But no orange. This parrot went through owners like no one’s business, because it kept talking and talking and talking and talking. People got pretty tired of it or just died. For the most part, it was all just gibberish. Every now and then, the parrot would throw in the secret to life, the universe, and lots of other stuff. No one caught it, though, because there were just Too Many Words. The parrot was secretly satisfied by this. It had to take what it could get: it was gonna live 120 years.

Moral: When most of your words are meaningless and there are a lot of them, it’s pretty easy to conceal the real story.

The Camel’s Case

Once there was a camel–his name was Gerry–and he had this case. It was an accordion case. Not because it had an accordion in it, but because thick on both ends, thick in the middle, and all the rest of it was thin. He wasn’t really sure what was in there. He found some socks in there once and an old candy bar. Everywhere he went, he took that darn case. He just couldn’t seem to set it down.

Once, he saw a snake carrying a case. (Don’t ask me how.) It was a python, which is an irrelevant but amusing detail. The python’s case was really thin. No matter how hard he looked, he couldn’t see where the case fastener was. It all sort of bled together.

Another time, he saw a giraffe carrying a case. The giraffe’s case was really tall. The camel couldn’t figure out how it opened either. Or even where the giraffe ended and the case began.

By contrast, everyone (the giraffe, the snake, the bandit) understood intuitively how to open the camel’s case.

Moral: If you’re gonna stick a bunch of things in a case, use the Camel’sCase every time.

Rip Van Beacon

Once there was a beacon named Rip Van Beacon. He had a long flowing white beard. Just kidding. Of course he didn’t. He was a beacon. They look like square plastic boxes much smaller than a breadbox. Anyway, Rip Van Beacon fell asleep for a long long time (it involved dwarves; long story) and everyone forgot about him because he’d been stuck behind a potted plant. Anyway, a long time later, he woke up and everything had changed. He had some funny hijinks due to all the funny clothes and customs people had adopted in the meantime. Then his battery died. And that was the end of Rip Van Beacon.

Moral: Taking a long nap can really preserve your battery-life.

The Gitomancer and the Gitastrophe

Once there was a Gitomancer. He was a most puissant wielder of magic of a very particular kind. If he ate a lunch he didn’t like, he’d simply jump back to a pre-lunch commit and create a new lunch branch. That probably wasn’t the best way to do that, but he didn’t care. It worked well enough. Soon, though, there were fifteen versions (or branches, if you will) of the Gitomancer. (His name was Fred and he kept getting fatter and fatter the more he used his git magic. But that was OK. He had a pretty roomy wizard tower.) All the different Gitomancers, frankly, didn’t get along very well. Gitomancer (a41b6e7fdc295c4d40c50e64e59b282da2d5dcff) had terrible taste in fashion (yellow suspenders, for one). Gitomancer (9ad4227e44c76ea761bb3fd38f9c44152a4f2894) got crumbs just everywhere, even when he wasn’t eating anything. Inexplicable! Anyway, there was a big wizard showdown and then there were only three Gitomancers left (they were pretty sore, but thanks to their diff spell, they knew exactly who was who). They had a sneaking suspicion that all the others were still around. Somewhere.

Moral: It’s turtles all the way down.

The Tab Salesman

Once there was a tab salesman. He was really good at selling tabs. Soon, everyone was like: See how many more knickknacks I can keep in my house? And, I’ve got 47 tabs of house plants! Around the same time, people got really excited about these long cats. Short cats were right out! People started collecting all the long cats they could get their hands on and stuffing them in any old tab. Later, the knickknacks got dusty, the house plants died from lack of water, and the long cats, tired of languishing in solitude and exile, rose up and overthrew their neglectful human overlords. Thus began their long reign of tyranny and funny cat pictures.

The tab salesman split town.

Moral: A tab is a terrible thing to waste.

The Procedurally Generated Fablelike

Once there was a(n) protagonist.[animal|amusing occupation]. plot.[entertaining and unexpected detail.] The protagonist.[animal|amusing occupation] plot.[unlikely activity] plot.[unexpected detail] antagonist.[animal|vegetable|mineral].

Then detail.[pointed|whimsical|alarming] plot.[twistEvent].

Moral: moral.[oblique|whimsical|pointed]