Charlie and the Gold
Discovery in Rhyme
The first time I told stories at South School in
Andover, MA the kindergarten students  were
studying fairy tales.  I combed through some old
favorites and found that Rumplestiltskin would
Chilly LIttle Charlie and his bear.

I had already written the alphabet poems
naming 26 boys and 26 girls for the story: Little
Charlie's Dream.

It was fun to stay true to the overall plot of the
well known tale while putting a unique touch to
my own version
In a glorious kingdom and once upon a time
There was a boy named Charlie who was very good at rhyme
And such imagination, in fact he was so bold
He told his friends that he knew how to spin straw into gold

And the news spread rather quickly from town to town to town
Until it reached the castle, before the sun went down
That night while Charlie brushed his teeth and settled into bed
A knight on horse came to his home and this is what he said:

Hear ye, hear ye, pack your things and do so with much haste
By order of the king himself, we have no time to waste
You boast of something magical or so it is I'm told
That you can spin the finest straw until it turns to gold.

And before young Charlie knew it he was whisked away from there
Wearing only his pajamas and clinging to his bear.
And when he reached the castle he was locked up in a room
With nothing but a heap of straw and simple wooden loom

And so poor Charlie stood there, just thinking what to do
But spinning gold from only straw was not a thing he knew
He hugged his bear and tried to sleep, his eyes swelled up with tears
But then a strange thing happened, a little man appeared

"I see you are quite helpless and in trouble with the king
I'll turn the straw into some gold and I want just one thing"
"It is a deal," said Charlie.  "Whatever you request;
But do it now and hurry, there is no time to rest."

The little man he spun and spun and it no time behold
The heap of straw that once was there had all been turned to gold
"And now for my small payment - I'm sure you'll think it fair:
All I want from you right now is that cuddly little bear."

"No please" said Charlie "Not my bear, how will I ever sleep?"
He sat upon the heap of gold and then began to weep
The little man felt devilish and so proposed a game
I'll let you keep your bear and gold if you can guess my name

Now Charlie was quite clever, but smiled cautiously
And then he sang the boys he knew from A right down to Z

Is it Adam, Brian, Christopher, Drew
Edgar, Franklin, Gabriel, Hugh
Isaac, Jonathan, Kyle, and Leighton
Matthew, Nicholas, Owen, and Payton
Quincy, Robby, and Stan
Todd, Ulysses and Van
Will, Xavier and Yukon Jack
The last that I know is little Zach

No no no that's not my name.
Oh how I love to play this game

But Charlie wasn't finished.  He tried another way
He sang the names of girls he knew from Z back up to A

Is it Zoe, Yolanda and Xena
Wynn, Vicki, Uma and Tina
Sarah, Ruth, Quinn and Polly
Olga, Nancy and Miss Molly
Lynne, Katie, Judy, Irene
Holly, Grace, Farrah, Eileen
Debbie, Caitlin and Brianna
The last I’ll guess is Adrianna

No no no that's not my name.
Oh how I love to play this game

Now Charlie didn't falter.  "I have to fix this mess."
And so he thought creatively and took one final guess
"It sounds absurd to speak of this except for what it's worth
Perhaps then Rumplestiltskin is the name that marks your birth."

The room filled up with silence in the moments that came next
And Charlie watched the little man who seemed a bit perplexed
Then came, at last, a piercing scream:  No, this isn't fair!!!
And with that guess young Charlie won his fortune and his bear.