The Art of Darkness

Unspooky Thursday

July 12th, 2012 by Cobwebs

so there’s this girl named Oksana
who is sweet and kind and clever
and lives in a small house with her father
and her stepmother
and her stepsister
and already we can see right where this is going

OF COURSE Oksana’s stepmother doesn’t like her
and makes her do all the housework
and wear her stepsister’s old clothes
her stepsister is named Olena by the way
which sounds like a brand of margarine

somewhat unusual for this type of story
is the fact that the heroine’s father is alive and well
instead of nobly dead somewhere and unable to defend his daughter
he just doesn’t give much of a shit
parenthood fail

so one winter the snow is particularly bad
and Oksana’s family runs out of money
the story just presents this as fact
without stating the connection between deep snow and insolvency
so your guess is as good as mine

and to nobody’s surprise
Oksana’s stepmother insists that she be sent away
so her father
who is really whipped
takes her to a cottage deep in the woods
and says he’ll see her in springtime
when the money thaws out

and although Oksana is very frightened
she is also brave and resourceful
because when was the last time you heard a fairy tale
where the protagonist was an idiot
and totally unable to cope
that would be a very short fairy tale
because the protagonist would wind up as troll snacks
or be turned into a newt and NOT get better
or otherwise meet a messy end
let’s see Disney make a heartwarming movie out of THAT
woo tangent


so Oksana collects wood and builds a fire
and makes a snare out of branches and catches a snow rabbit
and digs under the snow and finds roots and berries to eat
and melts snow for drinking water
Oksana may be distantly related to Bear Grylls

when night falls Oksana lays down near the fire and goes to sleep
but in the middle of the night
there’s a knock on the door
man, the jehovah’s witnesses are everywhere
no wait
different story
there’s a knock on the door
and Oksana gathers up her courage
and a big stick
and answers the door
instead of doing the sensible thing and hiding in a closet until morning
fairy-tale protagonists may be plucky and resourceful
but they don’t have the common sense that god gave a doorknob

and there’s nothing there
and just as Oksana is breathing a sigh of relief
she looks down
and there’s a cow head on the doorstep
looking at her expectantly
as they do

so Oksana gasps and says “who are you?”
and the cow head says “I am Cow’s Head”
because it may be supernatural
but it is not very creative

so Cow’s Head says it is cold and hungry and would like to come in
and Oksana
whom we have already seen is a little light in the common sense department
says sure
and Cow’s Head asks her to lift it over the threshold
and place it near the fire
which she does
the story does not address how it made it to the front door and knocked if it can’t move

then Cow’s Head tells Oksana that it is hungry and asks her to feed it
which she does
and the story also does not address where the food goes
inasmuch as there is no stomach attached to the head
so use your imagination

and finally Cow’s Head wants to sleep
so Oksana covers it with her blanket
it is essentially the creepiest babydoll ever

Oksana falls asleep in the corner of the cottage
and when she wakes up Cow’s Head is gone
but where it had slept was a large trunk
full of beautiful clothes and gold and jewels

and at that very moment
her father appears at the door
having nutted up and come back to get her

so Oksana returns home
rich and happy
and soon marries her true love
and lives happily ever after

and as a postscript
the story notes that Olena decided to try the same thing
and went to sleep in the cottage
but when Cow’s Head showed up
she was too lazy to serve it
and when she woke up all her possessions had turned to dust

the moral of this story is when a disembodied cow head shows up on the doorstep at midnight you should make it comfortable

Posted in Funny Peculiar | 4 Comments »

4 Responses

  1. cookie Says:

    Burgers should not be choosers
    Fortune favors the braised
    Money doesn’t grow on beeves
    One man’s meat is another man’s poisson

  2. Cobwebs Says:

    Ouch, ouch, ouch, ouch, ouch.

  3. pensive Says:

    i still say you need to make a book out of these. i’d buy it. and take it with me everywhere. because no matter what dastardly devious doo doo is ruining my day, these stories make me laugh.

  4. xJane Says:

    I’m a huge fan of the genre of fairy tale where the True Daughter is Kind and Generous (I usually read these in German, where Capitalization is an Art americans lost after the Declaration of independence) and because of that, gets riches and then the step-daughter (of course, I mean the True Daughter of the barely mentioned father, obvs, the step-daughter is someone’s True Daughter, but not anyone worth mentioning) tries the same thing and gets covered in shit.

    No really. (Note that this translation, as many others, mistranslates what the stepsister gets covered in (for the rest of her life, mind you) as “pitch” or “tar”.

    Favorite parts of this telling: “troll snacks” and “Oksana may be distantly related to Bear Grylls”.

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