Updated date:

Trouble in Fairy-tale Land: A Poem

Chris has written poetry for 28 years though he focuses on short fiction. But watch out for the occasional twisted nursery rhyme.


Trouble in Fairytale Land

Little Jack Horner pouted in the corner

For dropping a kitty down a well.

Along came a spider drinking hard cider

And asked Jack why he’d done it, "what the hell?"

Out of the cupboard climbed Old Mother Hubbard

and a bovine that had hurdled a star

With Old Lady Leary tracking her query

Claiming the cow had burned down her barn.

Meanwhile, the king’s stallion kicked a teetering wall

That sent Humpty into a fatal fall.

Then a poor, crooked man

walked beside a crooked fence.

All the wild, crooked brats

stole his cane and last sixpence.

The King paced across the throne room floor

Considering the mayhem outside his door.

The tales that had once been joyful and sweet

Were now violent, mean, and untoward.

The King proclaimed a royal feast with sport and games for all.

He hoped to quiet the peasants’ fears with an elaborate, royal ball,

That a tale might unfold to brighten all hearts,

To stem the downward trending

So the darkness would fade and stories again

Would have glorious happy endings.


Somewhere out in a countryside cottage

A young woman brushes tangles from her hair

In her heart, she dreams

Of a gown that flows free

Of slippers that glow as she dances to and fro

With a prince at the King’s royal ball.


© 2018 Chris Mills


Chris Mills (author) from Traverse City, MI on January 22, 2019:

Rinita, I think you are correct. New nursery rhymes and fairy tales could use an update. Maybe that would be a good poetry series of hubs.

Rinita Sen on January 22, 2019:

I do like the ending. Fantastic dreams remain believable, after all. Seems to me the fairy tales we grew up with might be expiring soon, and fresh tales would begin. The style and the flow made the poem a joyous read.

Chris Mills (author) from Traverse City, MI on January 20, 2019:

Graham, Thanks for stopping by. Fairytale Land has its ups and downs it seems. Personally, I was shocked at the treatment of the crooked old man.

Graham Lee from Lancashire. England. on January 19, 2019:

Hi Chris. At last the question I have pondered for years has been answered. Was Humpty pushed or did he fall? A Tip Top hub as usual.

Chris Mills (author) from Traverse City, MI on December 11, 2018:

I will look around for the elusive Mrs. L. Thanks manatita.

manatita44 from london on December 07, 2018:

You raise a pertinent question. never thought of it, but perhaps there is an answer somewhere. Ask Mrs L (Linda Lum) L.o.l. Seriously, she's excellent at research.

Chris Mills (author) from Traverse City, MI on December 07, 2018:

manatita, yes, fun while the muse is off doing what muses do when they aren't doing their jobs. In the meantime, I am playing with all the Jacks of nursery rhyme lore. Have you ever considered why there are so many Jacks? Jack Be Nimble, Jack Jumped Over the Candlestick, Jack and the beanstalk, Jack Sprat, Little Jack Horner, Jack and Jill, Jack A Nory, Jack and His Fiddle, Jack Jelf, Jack Jingle. Maybe it's just me. Yes, I'm sure it is. Nice to see you, friend.

manatita44 from london on December 07, 2018:

Pretty inventive and creative. Many years ago, the 'mighty sparrow', a West Indian calypsonian, composed a song with many children nursery rhymes in it. It was called 'school days.' Your piece reminded me of it. You're having fun? Great!

Chris Mills (author) from Traverse City, MI on December 06, 2018:

Dora, The trouble in Fairy-Tale Land is just beginning. Next up is a short story called, Little Jack Horner...Not So Little Anymore.

Chris Mills (author) from Traverse City, MI on December 06, 2018:

Sean, I've got one more along these lines. It's a short story this time. Then I promise, I'll stop. Thanks for reading. Lewis Carroll, indeed.

Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on December 06, 2018:

The real world may be in trouble when there's trouble in Fairy Land, but it's a fun read. Thanks for leaving us at Cinderella's ball.

Ioannis Arvanitis from Greece, Almyros on December 06, 2018:

Lewis Carroll in poetry! Fair enough! Ha! Ha!

I think I can see your innuendo and it's profound! I believe, and I hope that we'll make the Fairy-tale land bright again! With the return of Queen Love. The dream of the young woman...



Chris Mills (author) from Traverse City, MI on December 06, 2018:

I like to think so:)

Suzie from Carson City on December 06, 2018:

Aren't you clever? LOL

Chris Mills (author) from Traverse City, MI on December 06, 2018:

Hi Paulala. Thanks for visiting.

Suzie from Carson City on December 06, 2018:

Shauna.....Chris has a point!! "There must be a Fairy Land." Why else would so many people tell me I'm from "La La Land??"

Hi Chris! Love this piece.

You guys have a nice day!

Chris Mills (author) from Traverse City, MI on December 06, 2018:

Shauna, There must be a Fairy-tale Land. They have to come from somewhere. Thanks for visiting.

Mark Tulin from Palm Springs, California on December 06, 2018:

Love this princely narrative.

Shauna L Bowling from Central Florida on December 06, 2018:

Chris, I love how you intertwined several fairy tales in one story. Very clever!

Chris Mills (author) from Traverse City, MI on December 06, 2018:

Suhail, I am glad you recognized the nursery rhymes. They are one little thing that knits much of this world together. Who would have thought that these stories were known in the place where you grew up? Fascinating.

Chris Mills (author) from Traverse City, MI on December 06, 2018:

HI Liz, thanks for reading. I think the ONLY thing I did to these stories was to add a bit of real life. It definitely changes how we perceive them.

Chris Mills (author) from Traverse City, MI on December 06, 2018:

Hello, Eric, Like Liz said in her comment, I seem to have injected a little reality into these tales. I might mess around with this concept a bit more. I like the idea of bringing these familiar characters into real life. Thanks for reading

Chris Mills (author) from Traverse City, MI on December 06, 2018:

HI Ann, the little twist was supposed to be Cinderella, but I don't know if I communicated that very well. Thanks for comments.

Chris Mills (author) from Traverse City, MI on December 06, 2018:

Venkatachari M, I do enjoy telling stories whether in flash fiction or in poetry. I'm glad you enjoyed it.

Suhail Zubaid aka Clark Kent from Mississauga, ON on December 06, 2018:

Hi Chris,

Although I grew up in a small town of an under-developed part of the world, which was north-western Pakistan, I am sure my parents managed to send me to a good school for I remembered all those nursery rhymes fairly well.Then you mixed them up to keep me up on my toes. Very well done!



Liz Westwood from UK on December 06, 2018:

I appreciated your amusing take on fairy tales. Would you say that you have injected an air of reality into them?

Eric Dierker from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on December 06, 2018:

Fantastic. A favorite now to be saved. You got me to reach up high in my library for the book "The Real Mother Goose". Life reaches up into the sky of heaven and a poet like you brings it back down to earth where we can actually grasp it. Merci Beaucoup mon ami

Ann Carr from SW England on December 06, 2018:

Great mix of all the old nursery rhymes, Chris! Then a hopeful twist at the end. Brilliant!


Venkatachari M from Hyderabad, India on December 05, 2018:

A wonderful story through this poem. I enjoyed it all. Your creativity is great!

Chris Mills (author) from Traverse City, MI on December 05, 2018:

Thank you, John. This was fun to write.

John Hansen from Gondwana Land on December 05, 2018:

An interesting new take on our favourite fairy tales taking a downward turn...and the King's proposed ball looking like it may brighten things up.

Good job, Chris.

Related Articles