Often I wake up with a word in my head, without knowing where it comes from or why it is there. Today the word is "Rumpelstiltskin". He is of course the dwarf, in the fairy tale who helps a miller's daughter weave straw into gold, in return for which she promises to give the dwarf her first child, when she becomes, as surely she does, queen. In time she marries the king and has a child. When she is reminded of her promise, she tries to persuade the dwarf to excuse her handing over the child. He relents, but only on the understanding that she must guess his name within three days. The princess sends a mesenger far and wide to find out the dwarf's name. He has no luck. But on the third day the messenger comes upon a cottage in a wood, and there, through the window, he sees the little man dancing round his fire and singing:
Tomorrow I bake, tomorrow I brew,
Today for one
Tomorrow for two
Little knows my royal dame
Rumpelstiltskin is my name.
The messenger tells the queen, and she says to the dwarf: "Is your name by any chance Rumpelstiltskin?"
At the back door of Carluccio's restaurant in Mount Pleasant, I see a stately cook, clad in a white smock down to her ankles. She wears a circular white hat. From her pocket she produces a mobile phone into which she begins to speak, like a princess.
Bunches of fresh white raddish in the Farmer's Market give promise of munching bliss.
Doesn't Rumpelstiltskin spontaneously combust with rage at that point?
There seem to be various endings to the story. In none of them does he seem too pleased with the way he is treated. And who could blame him!
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