Image description. The tale at work...
nce upon a time
there was the very first sentence of a fairy tale.
There was another one right after that.
And then another one that followed suit.
Though the third sentence wasn’t even a proper one, the fourth pointed out.
“Don’t complain about every tiny detail,” the fifth said.
“What’s going on here with all you sentences?” a burly fellow then burst into
the blithesome series of lines. That's because he was irked. He had his own
title, the “paragraph”, because he was many. And all the sentences, who were
single, looked up to him, because he was so bulky and massive, and most
important of all: He had a lot to say in general, and thus was to be respected.
“Don't you guys have any sense of order and purpose?” he scowled. “Pay
attention! Don't you see that this is supposed to turn into a story?”
“Story?” one of the sentences asked back.
“Who says so?” the next wanted to know.
“How would we know that this is a story?” the last one inquired, unsure what to
do now, feeling trapped between two paragraphs, because the next one was already
“Don’t fuss about, sentences, and question everything just for the sake of it!”
the paragraph that followed said in the authoritarian voice of his. “You know it
all too well: We won’t get anywhere with that chaos of yours and everybody
talking! If you’d paid attention, it should be clear to everyone where this is
meant to be going. Just look up and read the title! It’s obvious we’re in the
middle of a… fairy tale!”
The following sentence agreed by claiming that that’s what he thought all along.
“Hey, now that you mention it, I notice we’ve even started with ‘Once upon a
time’… ” another one chipped in.
“You’re right, you’re right!” the sentence after the last and before the next
one cheered, tingling with excitement.
“Fascinating, this looks as if it's heading somewhere!” an enthusiastic sentence
“Half there!” a smaller one concurred.
Then a sentence with a question mark at the end wanted to have something
clarified: “So what else is there to a fairy tale?”
And all sentences looked at the upcoming paragraph for answers.
“Well,” that paragraph began and pondered the subject a while. Then, with his
typical slow drawl in his voice, he said: “Fairy tales usually have all kinds of
fantastic things in them. That’s it, more or less. Like fairies – hence the name
by the way! –, and princesses, dragons, heroes and wizards, that sort of thing.
There’s the occasional child and then there are frogs! There seems to be a
fondness for frogs in fairy tales, believe it or not… – Well, thinking of it,
even talking sentences might go through."
“And we already have talking sentences!” a sentence, which talked,
squealed with glee.
“Would that be enough to make a fairy tale?” another voiced his concerns.
A longer sentence then tried to pin down the exact minimal requirements and
inquired whether fairies, princesses, dragons, heroes and wizards could be
“Well, we’ve mentioned them all already up there, so they are part of this
anyway!” went a clever comment, addressed to the master himself, the paragraph.
The paragraph mulled over the past pages they had just produced together so far
and thought about it for a while. “I would say, actually, you’ve made a fair
point there,” he agreed. “We've got some fantastic things in already, so we
might as well wrap up our little story – providing we end it well. For, aside
from a fitting first sentence, fairy tales also need a proper ending. You can’t
do without and still call it a fairy tale!”
“Yay, let's finish it!” a tiny sentence squeaked.
“Pick me, pick me, for the last sentence!” an impatient candidate yelled.
However, he only earned a disapproving look from the paragraph. “No, no, you
cannot be the last sentence – for very obvious reasons, you fool!” he grumbled.
“You’ve had your chance, like everyone else, but now that you’ve volunteered,
you’re already part of the story, and cannot be last anymore." He turned to two
sentences at the end of the page. "What about you two? – Do you happen to know
how fairy tales end? Well, then give it a try. You, smaller one, serve as the
sentence leading up to the last, and then” – he nodded to the second one – “you
take care of the final words. And before we all know it, we're done.”
Thus the paragraph spoke and it was to the acclaim of everyone around.
Well, and so the last sentence stated that this rather peculiar fairy tale had
come to its end, and all the sentences and the paragraphs therein lived happily
ever after – as part of this story, right here in this book.