Revolting Rumplestiltskin

In commemoration of 100 years since Roald Dahl’s birth I have written this revolting rhyme, as partly heard in Hardeep’s Sunday Lunch yesterday.



The tale of Rumplestiltskin tells,

Of how men use their little gels,

To harness some financial gain,

And rid themselves of the dire pain,

Of finding a suitable man,

To wed their daughters. Here’s the plan:

The miller lies, the miller cheats,

“My daughter spins pure gold in sheaths,”

The king heard this as he rode by,

“I need this woman to be my

Treasurer, spin gold, fill my bank,

If she does this, the highest rank,

Of queen, my wife will all be hers

But if he lies she will incur,

My wrath poured out on severed head.”

Thus our heroine full of dread,

Waved goodbye to evil father,

For certain death ever after.

Locked in a room with spinning wheel,

And enough straw for a cow’s meal,

She dissolved into distraught tears,

When suddenly an imp appears,

“My dear,” he said with such aplomb,

(Brought up properly at Eton),

“Dry your eyes on my handkerchief,

What I perform is past belief,”

She sat snivelling in the corner,

Reader, how shall we forewarn her?

For whilst he spun the straw to gold,

His real intention was foretold,

By the smooth leer upon his lips,

Calamitous relationships,

Followed him where’er he travelled,

As quickly his charm unravelled.

Delighted with the pure gold pile,

She gave her necklace with a smile.

The king with pound signs in his eyes,

Places more straw to her surprise,

This time she calls out for her friend,

Who saves her from her sticky end.

With love bursting within her heart,

Her precious ring she did impart,

As a sign of her intention,

He accepts for his deception.

The king is greedy through and through,

And demands one last revenue,

The imp returns, she’s aflutter,

What he demands makes her shudder,

Her first born son is all he wants,

Despite her imploring response.

So now she’s married to the king,

Proud mother to her first offspring,

Imagine her immense surprise,

When imp returns to claim his prize.

You all know the story from here,

Three days for his name to appear,

She gets it on the final night,

His anger drove him from her sight.

What dear reader is never told –

How this encounter made her bold

To leave the king and start afresh,

Caring for children in a crèche,

Where she tells her favourite story –

She triumphed over men in glory!


© Jonathan Bryan

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