Illustrated image for article Fairy tales on piece-by-piece!

Fairy tales on piece-by-piece

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When my daughter was little, we traveled a lot. Every day to the kindergarten on the other side of Prague, to the cottage, or just for a trip. Except for a book, we mostly had only our hands. And so we read, talked, or played theatre with our hands.


One hand magically became a doll and the other one became a table, a bed, a blanket, a cup and I don't know what else. My daughter loved it. We made up stories and the journey went by pleasantly, even if it was physically demanding at times. My gentle four-year-old princess covered the imaginary doll with a non-existent blanket with such commitment that she almost put a hole in my hand, and her demands for creating more props could only be met by an octopus at times.


When we didn't feel like it, we played a game called "What I See," which consisted of taking turns naming everything we saw. We could name the same thing with several terms, but none of them could be repeated. This game was absolutely amazing on long routes. We lasted for hours.


We were living in a rented apartment at the time. We didn't have much money, we didn't have a TV and the evenings were long. Reading stories was endless. I would yawn after just a few lines while my little blob relentlessly demanded more and more stories.

"Mommy, one more story. Please. Or at least a piece."


And so the tales on the piece-by-piece were born. The advantage was that I didn't fall asleep during them, because I had to concentrate like hell to keep it all straight.

What was it all about? We basically chopped the whole story into halves, quarters, eighths, bits and pieces, and so on. I told how half of Grandpa wanted half of a doughnut from half of Grandma, and another time how a quarter of a fox wanted to ride on a quarter of Smolie's tail. We laughed a lot.


I remembered it when the grandkids came to visit recently. For once, we turned off the TV and I started telling them one of these stories. It was a very nice and giggly evening.


So whenever you feel like it, turn off the TV and tell them:

In One Half of the Kingdom

Half a king, half the trouble

Half prince, half king

Half a princess and so on

Then once more at first

And you've got the whole fairy tale again.

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Background Photo of the author Hana Vondráčková!
Picture of the author: Hana Vondráčková!

Hana Vondráčková

Kostelec nad Labem, Czech Republic

Writing is a therapy for my aching soul and a bit of an escape from reality....

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