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Happy Birthday Charles Perrault

Charles Perrault

Charles Perrault

Charles Perrault was born on this day 1628 in Paris, France.  Perrault began his career as a lawyer, but had a penchant for poetry, and writing.  He is most famous for his book Histoires ou Contes du temps passé (Stories or Tales of The Past) which included eight famous stories we are all familiar with listed below:

Subtitle: Contes de ma mère l'Oye (Tales of Mother Goose)

Subtitle: Contes de ma mère l’Oye (Tales of Mother Goose)

La belle au bois dormant (The Sleeping Beauty in the Wood)
Le petit chaperon rouge (Little Red Riding Hood)
La Barbe bleüe (Blue Beard)
Le Maistre Chat, ou le Chat Botté (The Master Cat; or, Puss in Boots)
Les Fées (The Fairies)
Cendrillon, ou la petite pantoufle de verre (Cinderella; or, The Little Glass Slipper)
Riquet à la Houppe (Ricky of the Tuft)
Le petit Pouçet (Little Thumb)

Charles Perrault was born into wealth and prestige, and was highly educated, and an excellent student. Perrault was successful in the law, and worked for the government under King Louis XIV.  He was elected to the Académie française in 1671.  Ironically while in the Académie, he was involved in “The Quarrel of the Ancients and the Moderns”, a bipolar dispute that pitted ancient literature up against modern-day writings.  Perrault took a modernist stance believing that ancient literature was not as sophisticated as modern literature.

Charles Perrault became a widower after only six years of marriage.  His wife bore three sons, and a daughter.  He was forced to retire from government life at age 56, and went home to care for and educate his four children.  In 1697 at age 69 he published Histoires ou Contes du temps passé.  This is a great lesson for all writers that it’s never too late to pick up quill and parchment, Underwood, or Apple.  It was his love of oral folklore telling, and the subsequent rewriting of those tales that have allowed them to be passed from one generation to the next; not quite the modernist after all.

Gustave Dore's Engraving

Gustave Dore’s Engraving

He is the inspiration for my story The Full Worm Moonand I am happy to wish him a Happy 388th Birthday.  It is an impressive feat to remain so relevant after death, and to continue to touch so many minds with such wonderful storytelling.

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The Full Worm Moon

When you’ve worked in a hospital as long as I have, you get to dread the full moon, and the crazy lunacy that kind of a night dishes out.  I thought it would be fun to see what kind of night the full worm moon would dish out on my fairy tale hospital.  I remember reading about the full worm moon last spring, and fell in love with the name.  This winter we will be celebrating a very rare Christmas day full cold moon, so  I thought it would be a good day to present my tale.  Enjoy.  Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and Happy New Year!

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(Photo by Lee Capps)

On the night of the Full Worm Moon,
Just three months shy of June,
The Nightingale sang her tale
In her melodic musical scale.

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Her notes spun the yarn of three wards
Where sick fairytale characters board.
She tweets of the one crazy night
When they all came in running with fright.

It was Lunacy’s raining assault
On the Hospital C. P. Perrault,
An impregnated orb shining smugly
On the wards of the: Good, Bad, and Ugly.

The Wolf was the first through the door.
Inflated with prisoners of war.
Dr. Spock had the nerve to come fore,
“What is making your belly so sore?”
The Wolf rolled around on the floor,
Moaning, “Too many petit fours?”

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(Image by Cale Atkinson)

Dr. Spock heard the cries from his belly.
This couldn’t possibly be teacakes with jelly!
“To the O.R!”, he cried to Nurse Kelly,
“Then admit to Ward Bad Machiavelli”

Mirror Mirror on the wall
In rolled the fairest of them all,
Obtunded in her glassed in wall,
Surrounded by 7 Dwarfs so small.

(Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Disney)

“Help, help!”   They cried,
“Snow White is dead!”
Her skin still white
Her lips still red
Dr. Spock ran quickly to her bed,
And placed his hand upon her head.

He checked her out from tip to toe
Swiftly diagnosing Snow,
“Poison!” from an evil foe;
“Call ENT please Nurse Cousteau.”

“A Poison apple I deduce,
A classic case of child abuse.
Once ENT can get it loose,
Admit Snow White to Ward Good Mother Goose”

Last, but not least
A horrible beast
Who dined on his wives
In a blood thirsty feast.

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(Artwork by ZhdaNN)

A serial killer of the first degree
Stabbed multiple times by his wife’s family.
With his blue tainted tendrils
A dark shade of red
The ER staff
Were shaking with dread.

Dr. Spock ever brave
Went to Blue Beards Bedside
To examine his wounds
And apply germicide.

“Your lacerations are deep, they’ll require a stitch.”
“Nurse Ratched please call in our surgical witch.”
With a swoosh, and a vroom, on a long hairy broom
Flew the witch through the doors of the Emergency room

All cloaked in black
With a cat on her back
Came the witch with her stitch
In her medical pack.

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“I’ll stitch up this beast,”
Said the witch to the doc,
“Then find him a room with an unbreakable lock!”

“Bluebeard as a detainee?”
“No, no” he thought, “That won’t be me!”
“Prison cells…how bourgeoisie”
For he possessed the enchanted key.

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“These doctors cannot lock me in.”
He smiled with an evil grin.
His bloodied beard then shook from chuckling
As he wheeled into ward Ugly Duckling.