Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Fairy Tale Spotlight: The Fool and the Ferret

So this is the last of my own person fables. "The Fool and the Ferret" was written back in 2015 during a hilarious ferret phase I went through. (Although it may not have ever actually stopped.) Here is the fable in full. I hope you enjoy it!


Once there was a fool who knew not the value of money. He tossed any coin away that possessed an imperfection–such as a scratch. A ferret came by and snatched the coins away to place in his treasure trove. To himself, he stated, “I should never spend any of this, for if I do, I shall not be as wealthy!” But really, who would sell to a ferret but another fool!


So I was playing on the trope about how ferrets like stealing stuff and stashing it all away. They really do that. And yes, they will steal money. The point of the story was to show a comparison between wastefulness and miserliness. Not to be punny, but the concepts can often be two sides of the same coin.

The fool was very cavalier with his spending habits. It seemed like he did not understand anything of value. The ferret did understand value but did nothing but save and collect. Both are really not any good.

I was somewhat surprised that I tried to write a moral tale about money. Money has never really been a huge deal to me other than simply needing it to survive. I think I just wanted to come up with a good and clever ferret fable.

The very last sentence doubles as a really weird moral. It sounds more to me like a punchline. I tend to be very cyclic in my thinking sometimes. I probably saw it as a way to just bring the short fable into a full circle in the form of a joke. I don't think it is really all that serious in its meaning, but I hope you found it funny. But if you have a better moral for it, lay it on me!

Thank you for reading my blog! If you enjoyed it, you can comment below, or you can email me at tkwadeauthor@gmail.com. You can also visit my website at www.tkwade.com. Dook!

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Fairy Tale Spotlight: Cat (Bu Hua)

In 2002, a short film was released to the internet called "Cat" by a rather new-to-the-scene Chinese animator known as Bu Hua. She has gone on to make a number of interesting animations, but I was around when she first released this very striking film.

It was made entirely in flash. I'm not sure where I first found it. It may have been Newgrounds. Either way, it has always been one of my absolute favorite original fairy tales. It has inspired a number of my works, but I never quite captured how this animation made me feel.

If you are worried this film is going to be spoiled for you, here is a link to watch the full 5 minute film on Youtube: CLICK HERE! Or you can just read it first and watch it afterwards. Whatever works best for you.

The story is about two tramps, a mother and a son, who are simply traveling together. They love one another deeply and this love seems to be the bond that keeps them going along the road of life. While playing with a ball, a gang attacks the child, and the mother is forced to intervene and save him. Unfortunately, the gang is vexed by this intervention and soon kills her while she is embracing her son.

The film has an extremely nasty depiction of hell--called Ghostdom. It is a horrible bloody place where souls are tortured and burned by these strange centaur-like creatures. It's not particularly hopeful because even supposedly good people end up going there. This was also the fate for the poor mother. Nevertheless, the child bravely chases his mother's ghost all the way to Ghostdom.

As strange as this scenario is, it's a concept I've seen before in fiction. The main trial the boy has to pass in order to get to Ghostdom was to pass through a raging ocean. There was a similar scene in John Bunyan's "The Pilgrim's Progress." It most certainly represents an impossible challenge that ultimately will lead to death. But death is not supposed to be so much an ending as it is a transference into another state of being. In the case of "Cat," it is the child's access to Ghostdom.

The caretakers of Ghostom do not appreciate what the child is trying to do and stops him almost immediately. The child is even given his own prison where he will watch his mother's soul being burned. Somehow the boy gets enough strength to attack the centaur over and over again despite getting a brutal beating in the process. Soon after, he realizes he is not in Ghostdom at all and is able to take his mother's soul back to her body so they can continue on their travels.

I noticed that in two parts of the movie, an eye appears in the background. The first time was when he is assisted in making his way through the tempest ocean. The second time is shortly before he is allowed to go free of Ghostdom with his mother. The eye seems to represent something that was trying to help him. I'm not sure though.

Probably the most heartwarming aspect of the film comes from the sudden strength of the son. In the beginning, he is extremely dependent on his mother. But when she dies, he gains the strength he needs to save her from the clutches of the abyss. He does this all by himself, or at least with the help of some unseen entity--the eye.

Did you recognize the music? The music is taken from the soundtrack of the movie "The Last Emperor." I think the music does really well for the animation, but I still get a little annoyed with how it is put into forced loops. It's really the only problem I have with the film, but I like the musical choice still.

The art and animation is very simple but gets the point across extremely well. It looks like a painting that is simply coming to life but is still bound by its simple style. The part where the cat is trying to hurt the centaur really shows this. I actually like it, if I could be honest.

I had one friend tell me that it looked like the whole adventure in Ghostdom happened within the child's imagination and that his mother was never really brought back. My counter to this is with a short scene near the beginning with the headline: "At the same time, in the world of Ghostdom..." This showed clearly that, in this universe, Ghostdom was real and existing simultaneously to the world of the living. So when he encounters it later, we should already know that it's real. It was not his imagination.

The last thing I want to mention is the fact that the main characters are all cats. It really does not have anything to do with the story other than to give it a certain artistic style. They just as well could be human beings. When I watch this film, I see humans. It is just that simple.

"Cat" by Bu Hua is one of my most favorite short films. I never really brought it up to any of my friends. It is hard to really explain why I enjoy it so much. I tend to get a little emotional about it, but I thought it was finally time to just get out with it. I hope you like it as much as I did.

Thank you for reading my blog! Did you enjoy it? If so, you can comment below, or you can email me at tkwadeauthor@gmail.com. You can also visit my website at www.tkwade.com. Meow.

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Fairy Tale Spotlight: The Mouse and the Rat

Here is the very first fable I ever wrote. I threw it together in 2011 shortly after I finished reading my "Aesop's Fables" book. I present for your enjoyment, "The Mouse and the Rat."


While gnawing on a delicious seed, a mouse noticed a rat scurrying around nearby. Wanting to give him a piece of his mind, he approached the rat and said, “You rats are disgusting. You should be more civil like us mice.” The rat smiled and thanked the mouse for his advice before promptly devouring him.


Mice and rats are two of my most favorite animals. I am pretty sure this fable was destined to happen. I simply threw the two animals together and watched what happened. What happened was actually pretty tragic. Of course, the mouse did probably have it coming. Still sad though.

In many ways, this story was re-written later on in the form of "The Coyote and his Meal" which was about a man claiming that he shouldn't be eaten by a coyote because he possessed a name. The mouse was claiming to be civil in the present story. The rat didn't really care.

The question that I am always left with when I read this story is, "Are mice really all that civil?" No, not really. Mice are about as primitive as rats are. One is just bigger and meaner than the other. The reason I probably cast the mouse as civil was because we usually associate mice with more gentleness and cuteness than we do with rats. We see rats as nasty pests.

The story also depicts the mouse as being an herbivore which is largely true. There may be some exceptions, but the majority generally rules when it comes to how animals are portrayed. Rats will eat anything. They absolutely do not care what they eat. In fact, I don't think they care about much at all. When the mouse attempted to make his place in the universe known, the rat took the opportunity to correct him. And yes, he was pleased that the mouse had given him the advice. Free food!

Not a bad start for me, in my own personal self-assessment. I did not include a moral. If you have a moral you think is appropriate to this one, let me know what it is. I love hearing the ideas of others.

Thank you for reading my blog! Did you enjoy it? If so, you can comment below or you can email me at tkwadeauthor@gmail.com. You can also visit my website at www.tkwade.com. Squeak!

Friday, July 20, 2018

Fairy Tale Spotlight: Book Review - Anubis Speaks!

I recently read a very good book by one Vicky Alvears Shecter called "Anubis Speaks!" It was subtitled "A Guide to the Afterlife by the Egyptian God of the Dead." And they weren't kidding. This book is written in the voice of Anubis himself! And what a great concept that is from the outset. But even more wonderful was how absolutely devious he was. Really, the canine was quite evil and even reveled in making the reader as uncomfortable as possible. I wouldn't expect any less from the God of Death.

The book was listed as intended for young readers. Nevertheless, Anubis assured us that he will not hold back all the nasty, disgusting, and bloody details of his way of life from them. He promises that the book will be full of horrible things and it truly was.

"Anubis Speaks!" was all about how the gods of Egypt did their business. It went into how the day and night cycle was really the death and rebirth of Ra (the sun god.) The story was full of adventure, battles, and a lot of humans getting caught up in the often very nasty business of the gods.

Anubis is forthright about his enjoyment of death and the destruction of human lives, yet he still tries to convince you that the world worked much better when he was in control. He even said that he would often side with humans when he was tending to the scales which would weigh their hearts. The goal seemed more to convince us that we should accept their violent rules for the sake of the lesser of two evils. Isn't that interesting?! I seem to see similar concepts pop up in modern media.

I don't know about you, but I am not too keen on the idea of a malevolent creature acting on my behalf. But he seems to think the world works better when the complicated and often nasty lives of the gods are the ruling caste of the world. The book, as entertaining as it was, smacked of truth. I am pretty sure these creatures really thought they were doing us a favor by sacrificing a number of us for their own terrible whims.

While "Anubis Speaks!" is a work of fiction, it glides along parallel with the truth. It really puts into perspective how these creatures, who I really do believe existed, thought about us. It shows their ego as well. Much of that ego is captured in the brilliant illustrations of Antoine Revot. Anubis is always grinning and showing his teeth. Although smiling, he looks like he would have no problems at all tearing you to shreds. It was one of the finer aspects of the book that really sold it.

If you are interested in a fun and wild look into ancient Egyptian lore without the taint of political correctness, "Anubis Speaks!" is highly recommended. A good book for boys who like adventure and action as well! Snap this one up!

Thank you for reading my blog! If you enjoyed it, you can comment below, or you can email me at tkwadeauthor@gmail.com. You can also visit my website at www.tkwade.com. Thanks!

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Fairy Tale Spotlight: A Quick Demon Text Message About Imagination

A friend of mine brought up some interesting stuff about imagination in a recent story he wrote. I really liked the whole concept he brought up. I decided to relay how I felt about it in a text message to the demon I recently interviewed. Meetings with him are extremely hard to arrange. This was the only way I could get up with him. The following is my full text to him as well as his response. Sorry for the typos on my part. Typing on my phone is not as easy as on a keyboard.


T.K. Wade: A story a friend recently wrote got me thinking about imagination. We didn't really get to talk about it alst time we got together. I am very curious about how you view human imagination. As far as I know about demons, they cannot imagine things. They cannot create new fiction. human imagination is (i believce) the very foundation of what makes us accomplish all the amazing things that we do. I often believe that when someone creates fiction, it inspires people to make that fiction a reality. Do you like imagination? Do you hate it? Do you understand it? I raelly just want your honest opinion on it.

Demon: Hello, T.K. It is good to hear from you again. I am quite busy today, but I have enough time for a brief response. I do not dislike imagination. As a matter of fact, I am rather impressed by it. You are very much correct that demons cannot imagine things. Nevertheless we make up for it by making improvements on established properties. I am sure even you can agree to how impressive that is. As to whether or not I like or hate it, please understand that I am upset by anything that has a potential downside. There are many wonderful things in the world that are good but only if what is good can be controlled. Human imagination is an aberrancy that can, at times, be useful. Uncontrolled it can lead to chaotic conclusions. This benefits no one and can disrupt all the good of the former. So just to be clear, there is nothing wrong with human imagination, but like many things of great power, it is better off being controlled and extracted in a stable environment. I hope you are having a good day, T.K.


That's all for now. Thanks for reading the blog. Did you like it or hate it? Either way, feel free to drop a comment below or email me at tkwadeauthor@gmail.com. You can also visit my website at www.tkwade.com. Thanks!

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Fairy Tale Spotlight: Movie Review for "Pom Poko"

I was looking forward to writing this review... until I saw the movie. I had planned to watch "Pom Poko"--the definitive tanuki fairy tale experience ever produced for film--on Wednesday night, and I was going to have a review up on Thursday. About 30 minutes into the film, I was scared to death about writing the review. I want to say why, but I need to build up to that. Just know I am fairly uncomfortable about writing this right now, and I need to get some things off my chest before I tell you what I think.

Listen to these words: I do not like environmentalist films. Movies like "Once Upon a Forest," "Ferngully," "Happy Feet," and really any movie where humans are made out to be the bad guy for developing land makes me cringe beyond belief. I hate them. They are wastes of my time. I don't want people to make them. They always demonize humans. I will never, ever support a project that seeks to do this. There, I said it. And I meant it too. But see, here's the problem. This is why I wasn't looking forward to writing this blog.

The 1994 anime known as "Pom Poko" is an environmentalist film... and I loved it.

First of all, I feel absolutely filthy all over. Seriously, I am sick to my stomach. I want to just crawl into a hole and die. I'm experiencing all kinds of horrible regret for ever watching the movie. Yet... it was one of the most wonderful things I ever saw. And I can't get it out of my head. There were so many moments I just wanted to jump in there and be a part of it. So if you would: I need you to hear me out while I attempt to explain myself. Believe me, this is hard on me. Ouch. It hurts.

"Pom Poko" goes deeply into the fairy lore of the tanuki or Japanese raccoon. I mentioned them before in one of my animal spotlight blogs. I also brought up "Pom Poko" as well which I had not yet been able to see. The story is set in, I believe, the 60's or 70's while Tokyo was going through a major land development phase. This development was eating away at the land where the raccoons lived. Sound familiar? That's right! It's the formula for every environmentalist movie of the 1990s! As soon as I realized this, I groaned because I figured I was going to hate the film and I had two hours of it to watch.

The raccoons decided to wage war on the humans to stop them from developing. They would use their special transformation abilities to accomplish this as well as some interesting techniques involving their... testicles. At times, the raccoons would simply try and scare the humans away by preying on their superstitions. At other times, they would get violent and try to, and even sometimes succeed, at killing them. The movie is about this particular war.

The movie is steeped in Japanese folk lore. Although it centered around the magical past of the tanukies, it also went into the kitsune (foxes). The differences were made very clear and the contrast was wonderful. We find that both the raccoons and the foxes had transforming abilities and could even pretend to be us. It even went so far as to suggest that they were living among us regularly--something they were forced to do when there was no forest to live in.

So why did I like it? Well one theory is that the raccoons and their lore were so well presented that I just decided to overlook the environmentalist plotline. In the same way, I could have just adored how cute the raccoons were leaving me with the same result. Actually both of these are true, but there is more. For one, the movie never out-rightly demonizes humans. In fact, the raccoons seem to rather admire us in the film. They want what we have. They want to live in comfortable houses, watch TV, and eat fast food. But... they don't want to work for it. The tanukis of the movie are incredibly lazy. So living in a forest just suits them better.

The humans are basically accused of ignorance. They would help the raccoons if they knew it was really a problem. But since they don't understand that there are other lives affected, they develop for themselves violently and also indiscriminately. The movie never even once calls human development evil and even encourages it. It just wants human being to not overdo it and keep the animals in mind.

It was a tradition in American environmentalist films to make the land developers into sneering, evil, animal-hating beasts who adored the idea of tearing up land and making money. "Pom Poko" never does this. It was enough to put me in a happy place where I could enjoy the attempts of the tanukis to fight against the clearly confused humans. They were lovable to the end. I even rooted for them here and there.

Yes, this is the definitive tanuki movie out there. It will educate you deeply into the fairy tale lore of the Japanese raccoon. And it is probably the only environmental movie I will ever like. It never felt like they were shoving it down my throat. The story stuck with the characters and their situation. They stayed true to writing a wonderful story with very interesting characters. I can honestly say that I would love to meet one of those big, fat, lovable things!

Thank you for reading my blog! Did you like it? Did you hate it? Either way, you can comment below, or you can email me at tkwadeauthor@gmail.com. Also! You can visit my website at www.tkwade.com. Thanks!

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Fairy Tale Spotlight: The Fairyland Safety Net

There has been a movement to make magical lands safer for children. In reality, if you were to cross over into a different plane of existence, you would become an alien entity within an alien environment. It stands to reason that it would be significantly more unsafe. We were only intended to exist within only one plane of planet Earth. Have you noticed that whenever we leave the atmosphere, things get increasingly more hostile? We need pressurized suits just to walk on the surface of the moon.

Fairylands often have a nitrogenous oxygen environments just like we are used to, but there are an abundance of uncanny and strange things which can cause us some very real problems. Most children who travel to this place would probably end up getting killed or enslaved in some way. I would not recommend crawling down that rabbit hole!

Nevertheless, we like sending children there in our stories. We soften the rules to allow this to happen. The child's natural intuition and curious nature interacts with the alien environment in a pleasing way. The creatures they meet are not all openly hostile, and even if they are, the price of failure is not usually so great. Most writers were very wary not to frighten children too much in their fairy tales. I still say, however, that this safety net is entirely unrealistic, but let's talk a bit about one of the very common tropes that may actually be a reality.

The one I am referring to is immortality. There are a lot of cases in both old and new stories that speaks of the child gaining immortality as well as the inability to age during there stay within the fairyland. There are also sometimes time dilation issues between the two worlds. Time may pass faster in our world than it does in Fairyland. Writers often use this to keep their adventurers safe, but it may actually be a real phenomenon. And if I could be honest, it is not really as safe as it sounds.

L. Frank Baum used this trope in his Oz stories for the same reason as most authors did. He wanted Dorothy protected while in the hostile environment of Oz. Even so, he went on to explain that a bad ending in that fairyland could often lead to fates worse than death. If Dorothy was crushed under foot by a giant, she would not die. But she would still be flattened to a pancake and be stuck that way for eternity. I forget exactly how Baum said it, but the implication was that the hamburger may be alive, but it is still clearly hamburger. Imagine living the rest of eternity in a broken state of existence. How awful!

Another thing that seems to be very prevalent in these fairylands is what happens when the child leaves after a very long time. A few moments after she returns to our world, she will quickly begin to get back all the time she lost. She will begin to grow rapidly until she is whatever age she should be. A young child will quickly grow up to be an old woman in some cases. In reality, the shock would likely kill the person. Most authors would not want to deal with that. It almost happened to Dorothy once, and she quickly returned before the growing spurt went too far.

The business of sudden aging is nasty and horrible. It would take an incredible constitution to survive it. It is clearly another reason why we don't belong there. If you are having difficulties believing that this sort of phenomenon would exist, consider the effect of living in outer space has on the human body over a long period of time. By the time the astronauts come home, they can barely cope in the gravity environment. Sometimes they need to relearn to walk. It's quite shocking. Now imagine the same thing happening after coming from a place where you cannot age and are completely immortal. Not good.

I do find it amusing that these tropes are often used as a safety net to protect the child when it is actually a very realistic thing that is more likely to cause the child more pain and anguish in reality. Children do not belong in Fairyland. I do not recommend that any child goes there. If your child is getting invitations to go to a magical world of talking animals, tell her not to go. It's a trap! She does not belong there. She never did. None of us do. Fairyland was made for fairy creatures. We're better off staying here.

Thank you for reading my blog! If you enjoyed it, you can comment below, or you can email me at tkwadeauthor@gmail.com. You can also check out my website at www.tkwade.com. Thanks!

Thursday, July 5, 2018

My New Published Book: "The Steadfast Tin Soldier"


An American toy soldier known as Private James falls deep into the pits of hate and madness for the sake of a beautiful ballerina and his own dream of a better world. Despite the absence of one leg, James stands against despair, even when there is no hope left. But how can a simple toy soldier make a difference? Is love stronger than ancient evil?

Hans Christian Andersen's classic "The Steadfast Tin Soldier" gets a Americanized reimagining in this tale written by T.K. Wade and beautifully illustrated by Chris Buffaloe.

Fairy Tale Spotlight: The Child and the Hyena

I wrote this short fable in 2011. I'll comment fully after presenting to you. Enjoy!


A curious child separated from his father when he heard the cackling of a hyena in the distance, and when he did approach the beast, he asked, “Are you laughing at me?” To which the hyena replied with a sinister glare, “I do not laugh at you but for the folly of a father who does nothing to keep watch over his own child in such a dangerous place.”


This is actually my least favorite of my fables. That is not to say that I hate it, but I rather enjoy my other ones much more. Nevertheless, let's have a look at it.

The story is not particularly clever in its presentation. I know I sound a bit self critical, but every time I read this I just feel like some part of it is flat. I went for the stereotype of a laughing hyena. If you have ever heard a hyena, they really do sound like they are giggling. The story is more or less just mocking parents who are not being as responsible with their children as they should be. Although this is an important lesson to learn, I don't think the story really survives entirely on the laughing hyena joke. It just feels harsh to me especially when you realize the child is likely about to die.

I did not include a moral because it was probably pretty clear by the last line. Aesop often left the moral section blank when the story was painfully self explanatory. And the story does very well follow the formula and style of an Aesop story. I think it is passable, but I definitely did better fables than this later on.

Do you agree with my self-criticism? Was I too rough or was I correct in bashing the story? I want to know how you feel about it! Also if you have a moral that you think belongs tagged to this story, what would it be? Please let me know!

Thank you for reading my blog! Did you enjoy? If so you can comment below, or you can email me at tkwadeauthor@gmail.com. You can also visit my website at www.tkwade.com. Thanks!

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Fairy Tale Spotlight: What is an Alien?

My dictionary of choice is the 1928 Webster's American Dictionary of the English Language. It is my go-to dictionary whenever I am trying to get the definition to a word without the cloud of modern political correctness. I agree with about 95% of what I see there. Recently, I wanted to write a spotlight about aliens and I figured I'd stop by the book and see what it had to say on the matter. What I found was a lot of repetition of the words "Foreign" and "Estranged." It also described an alien as "not belonging to the same country, land or government." Another way to describe an alien is as "a foreigner." In religious context, an alien would be "one who is a stranger to the church of Christ, or to the covenant of grace." All very interesting.

There is no reference to space aliens. This is likely because the book came before the popularized space alien tropes really got rolling in literature. Nevertheless, they were still there and people did always wonder. Much of the alien references simply applied to anybody who did not belong. Space aliens are named as such because they do not belong on Earth. They come from elsewhere and are here either as visitors or invaders. An alien, as a mere word, does not really explain what the alien is but only suggests that they are from elsewhere. Simply being an alien does not mean you are from another planet. It can just as easily mean you are from Mexico or Canada. The word is extremely generalized.

A space alien is assumed to come from somewhere in the depth of outer space. The word "space" rather denotes this. But we often just call anything strange or otherworldly an alien. We expect certain things from this--namely that they don't look human. Aliens can just as easily come from different planes of existence. They can be from Earth but a different plane of earth--alternate dimensions to our own. We may sometimes see them in mirrors or on photographs. These creatures are, by the very definition of the word, aliens. They are creatures that are not of our world.

It is believed that these otherworldly beings can breach into our own dimension. They can communicate with us and even help us out in ways. We tend to call them different things, but that doesn't make them any less alien. They are from somewhere foreign. They do not actually belong here. They're assistance is probably not in our best interest.

Throughout history we have encountered these aliens. They were given interesting names such as fairies, trolls, spirit guides, manikins, angels, and demons. We interacted with them without understanding that they were not human and did not belong here at all. Sometimes they were even worshiped. Deals were made. Slaves were took. Stories were written to document these incidents and we now call them fairy tales.

Today we still entertain these aliens. We see them all the time but in different ways than our ancestors did. They are still here. They still have the same agendas. And as long as we continue to tolerate them, inhuman practices will still invade our lifestyles. These otherworldly aliens are not human. They do not understand humans and they never will. Why? Because they are alien, foreign, estranged. They do not belong here. Stop... inviting... them... in.

Thank you for reading my blog! Did you enjoy it? Did you hate it? Either way, you can comment below, or you can email me at tkwadeauthor@gmail.com. You can also visit my website at www.tkwade.com. Thanks!