Friday, December 17, 2004

Make That "One Thousand and TWO Nights"

Once upon a time there was a handsome, young Arab prince named Ibn Battutah. He was the King's favorite son and everyone in the kingdom admired him. Everyone smiled at him and told him that he was a fine young man. But as he moved into his young adulthood Prince Ibn Battutah became disenchanted with being just a young prince. He wanted MORE power than he had.

One morning as he and his young fellas were playing along a river they came to a bridge. Prince Ibn Battutah's boat floated under the bridge and he dove into the water and swam after it. Suddenly under the bridge he was seized by a large, ugly ogre. The ogre got his head in a headlock and told Prince Ibn Battutah that he would offer him unlimited powers if he agreed to switch names with him.

"What is your name?" inquired Prince Ibn Battutah.

"That I cannot tell you until after we close the deal," smiled the ogre.

Thinking of the power he could have and what he could do with it, Prince Ibn Battutah agreed.

The ogre took out a knife and made cuts on both of their arms and they mingled blood. As soon as the two streams of blood touched each other--




But the ogre had told a lie. The young prince was transformed into a TROLL and the ogre under the bridge became the handsome young prince.

The ex-Prince, now a Troll, called out: "What is MY NAME?!"

The ogre laughed and replied, "I had NO NAME and now neither do you. HA! HA!"

Over the next three years the ex-Prince, now an Ugly Troll, lived alone under the bridge and he became very sadistic, attacking anyone who came along the stream, kind of like Uday Hussein.

When he attacked people he would ask them their names and would try to use them as his own, but everyone LAUGHED at him because they could see he was just an UGLY TROLL WITH NO NAME.

The Ugly Troll wandered the countryside attacking people, but after a while he grew tired of his actions. Despondent, he walked and walked until he found himself in an Enchanted Forest.

A lisping snake approached the seated Troll. "Thay there, Ugly Troll, why tho thad?"

The troll glared at him and barked, "I got NO NAME!"

The snake smiled. "No problemo. Bring me the broom of the Wicked Witch of the Wetht."

"Wicked Witch of the West?"

"Yeth, that'th what I thaid."

The Ugly Troll's eyes opened wide. "Then I can get my name back?!"


"Hey, but isn't that some Western story?"

"Today even myths are multinational," quipped the snake.

Over the next two days the Ugly Troll walked day and night until he reached the Wicked Witch of the West's mountain-top fortress.

"I know exactly what to do," the Troll laughed to himself. "I didn't tell that stupid snake that I had already seen the movie."

Just like he had seen in the movie Wizard of Oz, the Troll snuck into the fortress disguised as a guard. Grabbing a bucket of water, he ran up the steps and knocked on the Witch's door.

"Who is it?" came a high-pitched, snarled voice.

"Trick or Treat!" laughed the Troll.

The Witch opened the door and the Troll threw the whole bucket of water over her head.

"You IDIOT!" screamed the Witch. "That was a MOVIE!"

The Troll stood there stunned, holding the bucket in his hands.

"FLYING MONKEYS!!" the Witch called. "Take him away!"

The Flying Monkeys, who had been rubbing their hands together as they waited in the corridor, drug the Ugly Troll outside, beat the crap out of him, and then tossed him over the parapet.

Days later the Ugly Troll, one leg and both arms damaged, crawled back to his native region. Now he could no longer attack anyone. Instead, whenever he came close to a village, the children threw stones at him and called him a NAMELESS TROLL or ANONYMOUS TROLL.

Finally he could take no more and he raised his arms to the heavens in supplication and shouted:





The Ugly Troll was suddenly transformed back into the handsome, young prince.

He ran to the edge of the pond and looked at his reflection.


Prince Ibn Battutah returned to the palace, removed the imposter ogre, and took his rightful place next to the king.


MORAL OF THE STORY. Don't be an Anony-mouse. Take a name, any name, and learn to love that name. And don't steal other people's names! One day you will end up like the UGLY TROLL WITH NO NAME. Everyone will laugh at you and throw stones at you when you approach them.


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