The Story Finder

Voices in Fairy Tales

by Michelle Tocher

Story finder - Curly

Click the image above to fetch a new random story.

Rat Driver

I am very familiar with cages, and there I was, trapped again, only this time with two surly prisoners. They were certain we were going to starve, but I had been around this block before. “No, no, we’ll be freed soon enough,” I said. “You’ll see.”

Then, sure enough, our prison cell was air-lifted, and we went for a ride to the out-of-doors. But instead of being freed all at once, a pair of pretty eyes gazed in through the cell grate. The eyes fell on me. “You over there with the long beard, you stay back with me,” said the lady. “You appear to be a distinctive chap, and I do believe I can rely on you to be a good driver.”

Then we were set on the ground and the latch was sprung. My fellow inmates scrabbled in terror to get away, while I sauntered out into the open air. Before I could get a good look at the fine lady who had delivered me, I was struck by her wand.

Next thing I knew, I stood upright, a gentleman. Six feet tall, I was! I had a fine, satin waistcoat and long moustaches. The fairy lady directed me to the driver’s seat of a golden coach led by six dapple grey horses. I mounted the steps and sat there, proud as could be. After serving so many sentences in prison, I had finally won the position I deserved!

Six lizards were turned into footmen by that same fairy and then a dazzling princess stepped into the carriage. The fairy reminded her that she must return to her carriage before midnight because then the spell would break. I appreciated the lady’s consideration for the working hours of her employees and couldn’t wait to tell my friends of my adventure.

Then off we rode to the castle!

The Rat in The Little Glass Slipper, Charles Perrault, Blue Fairy Book. Illustration by Gustave Dore, “Council of Rats.”