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Toad Words
June 26, 2014 11:55 AM   Subscribe

A lovely little twist on the old fairy-tale, by the ever-marvelous Ursula Vernon.
posted by The otter lady (16 comments total) 40 users marked this as a favorite

 
Brilliant.
posted by MartinWisse at 12:06 PM on June 26


I suppose Joan Baez got the diamond blessing, but with iron oxide instead of gold?
posted by ubiquity at 12:11 PM on June 26


My favorite version of this tale is The Talking Eggs, which sets the story in Louisiana and has marvelous illustrations by Jerry Pinkney.
posted by ChuraChura at 12:28 PM on June 26 [1 favorite]


Great story - thank you for posting.
posted by YAMWAK at 12:57 PM on June 26


I enjoyed this story.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 12:58 PM on June 26


When it got to the part about amphibian populations disappearing, I suspected it was going to turn out that the narrator was inadvertently depleting them -- that she wasn't creating frogs and toads, but rather summoning existing ones. But I suppose that's not how words work.
posted by baf at 1:08 PM on June 26 [2 favorites]


That's pretty wonderful, thank you.
posted by Erasmouse at 1:12 PM on June 26


When it got to the part about amphibian populations disappearing, I suspected it was going to turn out that the narrator was inadvertently depleting them -- that she wasn't creating frogs and toads, but rather summoning existing ones. But I suppose that's not how words work.

Yeah, that bit is a nod to reality. Frogs, toads and salamanders are all dying at a distressing rate, for lots of reasons, some still unknown.
posted by YAMWAK at 1:31 PM on June 26


I like toads and frogs and self reflection and fairy tales and relishing the flavors of words.

This story is the story equivalent of a lovely little sculpture or smooth round stone that feels Just Right to hold in the hand.

So good.
posted by Lou Stuells at 1:32 PM on June 26 [1 favorite]


Love is a frog word, if spoken earnestly, and a toad word if spoken sarcastically. Frogs are not good at sarcasm.

I really love her fairy tales; I hope she collects them together one day.
posted by jeather at 1:33 PM on June 26


To those who liked that and feel they might enjoy a longer work by the same author: I strongly recommend the thing with the goblins. (It's published under a pseudonym, mostly so people who are looking for her popular childrens' books don't buy a darkly comic fantasy littered with corpses for their wee ones by mistake.)

The bits can be got via Smashwords if you'd prefer that over feeding the Amazon monster.

I also enjoyed her earlier work Black Dogs, though it may appeal a bit less broadly than Nine Goblins. It can be had on dead trees over at Sofawolf.

If you do the comic book graphic novel thing, Digger is crazy good (and can be read for free in its entirety via that link).
posted by sourcequench at 2:07 PM on June 26 [2 favorites]


I love Digger so much, and Ursula also does marvelous little non-graphic stories. So talented.
posted by suelac at 2:13 PM on June 26


Great story. Annoying website. Why can't I ctrl+mousewheel to zoom in? Why would you even disable that?
posted by Nossidge at 5:57 AM on June 27


This is the second Toast link i've posted here in as many days, but I read this take on that fairytale over there recently and loved it, not realising it was a riff on an old, existing story.
posted by pseudonymph at 6:06 AM on June 27


sourcequench you are one of the few people I've encountered online (apart from on Vernon's website) who've read Black Dogs. I really enjoyed it too, but it certainly wouldn't be to everyone's taste
posted by Fence at 12:13 PM on June 27


I think what I like about Nine Goblins and Black Dogs and Ursula's various short takes on traditional fairy tales is this: She tackles, with rare aplomb, the question of "What happens if you take EFP, then make the additional assumption that the characters involved are not idiots, psychopaths, Mary Sue, or some linear combination of these?"
posted by sourcequench at 7:44 PM on June 27


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