You know them. You love them. They are the stories that defined our childhood. “The Ugly Duckling” (not to be confused with the far superior tale of “The Ugly Barnacle”, proving once again that the best among us live underwater [see the dolphin]). “The Emperor’s New Clothes” (not to be confused with The Emperor’s New Groove, that classic Disney movie featuring David Spade, John Goodman, and Eartha Kitt - an assortment that does not seem like it would have resulted in an enjoyable film but, surprisingly, led to a damn good flick that still holds up to this day...mostly because of this guy, though). “Thumbelina” (not to be confused with jambalaya, which is an incredibly tasty concoction cooked up by our Cajun brothers and sisters down in the French Quarter, although they tend to prefer the Delta drawl to the Parisian flair. The best thing about jambalaya, in case you did not already know, is that it is incredibly easy to make. In fact, you can probably make it right now. You don’t need a whole lot to make it. It is essentially just a hodgepodge of whatever you have around, with some spices thrown in for flavor. Its soupy cousin, gumbo, is even easier to make - but I am sure you know how easy soup is to make: just add hot water to a pot of veggies and voila, here lies soup). “The Ice-Maiden” (not to be confused with the English band Iron Maiden, whose performance of the song “Fear Of The Dark” on August 27, 1992, at the Helsinki Ice Hall in Finland ranks among some of the finest heavy metal performances ever given - up there with this one, and that one). And, of course, there is “The Little Mermaid”, which...wait a minute. This guy wrote that? Like The Little Mermaid little mermaid? “Undah Da Sea” little mermaid?

Well, not really. Her name was not Ariel, for starters. In fact, I don’t believe she actually had a name - in the story, at least. I am quite certain she had a name. But, I mean, who knows. Times were different. People may not have been as accepting of mermaids back then.

We live in a much more open-minded world than we did during the days in which Hans Christian Andersen woke up and tied his shoelaces. We live in a modern world, where we no longer need fairy tales to help us sleep at night. We have, at this point, realized that the world outside is crazy enough, and offers more lessons than any story about a silly little princess and a pea could ever hope to (no disrespect, brother H.C.A., but we’re living in strange days).

Andersen's Fairy Tales by Hans Christian Andersen (1805-1875). Published by planksip

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