English: The Faerie Glen (2) See 651006.

“All right, one story, but none of your lies and obfuscations!”

“Lies? Me? No! You can check with her.”

“Leave me out of this, old man. I’m going to make some supper while you tell her her story.”

“Really? Such cowardice. All right. How do we begin?”

“I believe “Once upon a time” to be traditional in these cases.”

“Oh, yes. Once upon a time I was strolling with my wife through a faerie woodland.”

“This is starting to get boring.”

“No, it picks up right away. You see we were attacked by a faerie queen and escaped.”

“Didn’t you just give away the ending?”

“No, you know we escaped. If we didn’t escape, how could I be telling you this story?”

“Ah. Clever. So, you were attacked by a faerie queen. What was she like?”

“Oh, she was terrible and cruel.”

“Are you sure? Perhaps she was nice and you were just annoying her.”

“Oh, yes, terrible and cruel. After all, she wanted to kill us, didn’t she?”

“Well, yes, fair enough, so she was terrible and cruel.”

“…and she wanted to kill us.”

“And she wanted to kill you.”




“I was there?”

“Yes. You were very small at the time.”

“I find that difficult to believe.”

“Well, you are only twelve. Your perspective on these things is limited.”

“I’m almost certain I’m not twelve.”

“You are. I was, I’d remind you, there when you were born. So was your grandmother.”


“You can ask her later, at supper.”

“I will. That being said, your story has yet to begin.”

“No, our story began a while ago. Attacked by a faerie queen, remember.”

“Oh, yes. Terrible and cruel.”

“…wanted to kill us.”

“…and wanted to kill us.”

“Yes, and she made me tell recursive stories, to avoid being killed.”

“Oh, that’s where you tell one story, and at the apparent end, one of the characters says “That reminds me of the tale of so and so” and you carry on for years and years?”

“Yes, that exactly. I told her stories for three years.”

“That seems excessive.”

“It’s why we named your mother Schazerade.”

“That seems ridiculously unlikely, but back to this faerie queen.”

“We escaped.”

“That’s not a story! That’s just a plot! You can’t just say “We were attacked by a faerie queen and escaped. There’s your story!””

“I could., There are some really brief stories. “She woke in the dark” or “Digging turnips” for example.

“What’s “She woke in the dark?”

“She woke in the dark. She was very afraid. She reached for the matches. They were handed to her.”

“What are matches?”

“Forget I mentioned them. Candle lighters. It’s a Criamon adulteration thing.”

“None of the words in the end of that last sentence actually meant anything at all. That’s not a story, if there are no matches.”

“No! It’s creepy and its about being vulnerable at night.”

“OK, I can sort of see it. In a distant sort of way. What’s Digging Turnips?”

“It’s a story.”

“That’s yet to be seen, on recent form.”

“Two men were digging in a turnip field. One turns to the other and says “I don’t believe in ghosts. The other, he just — vanished!””

“OK, even if I accept that’s a story, and I’m not sure I do, this other thing…it’s not a story.”

“It might be. “We were walking in a wood. A faerie queen attacked us. We escaped.” That’s a story. It might not be very good…

“It certainly isn’t.”

“..but it’s a story. It has characters, and an opponent, and a resolution.”

“..but its not very clever. The resolution.”

“Oh, I think its clever enough. And I’ve distracted you for long enough for your grandmother to make us dinner.”


“Yes, Rosa. It’s time for dinner. You can have another story tomorrow.”

“Will it be a better one than this one?”

“Oh, certainly. But this was a proper story. It even had a moral.”

“Don’t get killed by faerie queens?”


“Oh, that’s just ridiculous.”



“Yes, Rosa?

“Were you really attacked by a faerie queen, when I was little?”

“Well, there is some element of exaggeration in all of his stories. We were not attacked by the Queen herself. We were imprisoned by her minions, and he was forced to tell her stories. Other than that, it’s all true.”

“And my mother’s really named Schazerade.”

“Not in the baptismal sense. Now, then, get started on your dinner.”


3 replies on “The First Story of Marco, Who Has Often Been Accused of Telling Lies, To His Grand-Daughter

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