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Cautionary Tales


(concise edition)

Little Jimmy

Little Jimmy was a good boy in every way but one. He always did what his mother told him, he never forgot to tidy his room, and he even washed his hands before and brushed his teeth after every meal, and even the Queen didn't always do that. But every so often, with great furtive glee, he would sneak off to the toilets and pick his nose. One day he even did it in school, at Assembly, in the back row, while he listened to the Headmaster give a speech. It felt so naughty, and yet so good! He knew it was wrong, but he just didn't care any more.
He had been picking his nose for almost a year when it happened that he needed to cross a road. He stepped up to the kerb, listened for cars, looked right, left and right again, and began to walk across the road. At that very instant, a double-decker bus came thundering by out of nowhere and struck him dead. There is no moral to the story.


The Folly of Unconventional Attire

  There was once a young man who found himself invited to a large gathering, where "black tie" dress was required. Feeling frivolous, he set to work, and by the time of the gathering had a suit made entirely of black ties.
However, as he walked up to the door, he found himself surrounded by partygoers who had been turned away for want of a black tie. As one they converged on him, saying that they only needed one tie, and he had so many there, and soon his magnificent suit had been stripped away to nothing. The doorman wouldn't let him in, as naked men are not allowed into black tie parties. The young man went home to consider his lack of foresight, but on his way was arrested, and beaten and raped in prison.
He certainly learned his lesson.


The Man Who Believed He Could Breathe Through His Anus

He died attempting to demonstrate this talent. It was all the more ironic because he could, in fact, breathe through his navel.


The Boy who Threw Tantrums and Held his Breath

  He lived, though he was brain damaged through oxygen starvation and too feebleminded to even get a job as a bin man.


The Little Girl Who Told Lies To Incriminate Others

  Eventually, everyone in the town where she lived was sentenced to death, and she was left all alone. She never worked out how to use a can opener or drive a car, so when the sweets ran out she was left eating mouldy bread for the rest of her life.


The Little Boy Who Wouldn't Eat His Vegetables

  He soon contracted scurvy and all his teeth fell out. His parents made them into a set of dentures and sold them to a little old man with no teeth. With his teeth, the little old man had voodoo powers over the boy, and made him eat his vegetables.


The Young Lady who Never Tidied Her Bedroom

  Two small Eastern European nations got lost in the mess and erupted into guerrilla warfare. She was a civilian casualty.


The Boy Who Made Ridiculous Promises

  Eventually all the other children in his school held him to his promises, and his family was bankrupted.


The Boy Who Pulled Cats' Tails

  While on holiday in Cornwall, he found a cat on top of a tall cliff. He pulled its tail and would not stop. He pulled and pulled and pulled. Suddenly the cat's tail came off, as it was not a cat at all but a gecko with a fur coat. The boy fell over backwards and tumbled over the precipice. He landed in a safety net and was uninjured, but he suffered from post traumatic stress disorder and could never speak again. The gecko grew another tail.


The Boy Who Would Not Go To Bed

  After a few days his father slipped a Valium into his school lunch. He was much easier to cope with from then on.


The Girl Who Refused To Wear Mittens

  On this occasion, her parents were completely in the wrong, as it was midsummer and very hot indeed. But she did reach out and touch a black car and burn her hand quite badly.


The Girl Who Was Excessively Greedy

  When there was no food left in the house, her parents locked her up and ate in restaurants every night and would not feed her. Soon she lost enough weight to be able to move again, so her parents let her have rice cakes. And nothing else, ever.


The Boy Who Was Selfish

  He constantly demanded attention and material goods, and burned things if he didn't get what he wanted. One day he burned the house down to the ground. To finance the repairs his parents sold him to a wealthy lady in China. He was to be a eunuch.


The Boy Who Besmirched The Good Name Of His Family

  After a heavy night's quaffing, carousing and lechery, all on his mother's credit cards, he arrived home to find that his whole extended family had changed their names and moved to Australia. All that was left in the house was rabid dogs.
They bit him, so he ran away.


The Girl Who Was Both Seen And Heard

  A passing wizard put a spell on her, making her neither seen nor heard, and though she conducted all sorts of mischief her life was devoid of all interaction and ultimately empty.


The Girl Who Talked To Strangers

  She was quickly discovered by a showbusiness agent and made millions, but was murdered two years later. Which just goes to show that talking to strangers always has dire consequences.


The Boy Who Played With Himself

His right hand became stuck to his penis and fell off at the wrist. He begged the surgeons to save it, so they grafted it onto his pelvis. He now plays with himself all day long, inside his pants.


The Girl Who Hung Around With Bad People And Performed Satanic Rituals

  A mad Catholic priest burst in on the ritual and killed them all, skinned the corpses, made a suit out of the skins and ate the rest. He then said fifty Hail Marys and begged for absolution and killed himself. He went to Heaven. The girl and her Satanist friends went to Heaven too, as they were inside the priest.
But the bowl of cornflakes the priest had that morning went to Hell.


The Girl Who Ate Sugar

  Her parents beat her because it aroused them. They beat her with sticks.


The Boy Who Said Rude Words

  He sang rude words in church and all the other boys laughed. Then he had a heart attack and died, because he was a big crack-fiend.


The Boy Who Listened To Heavy Metal Music

  While helping an old lady across the road, he narrowly escaped death in a traffic accident. He ran all the way home to tell everyone what had happened and sat on a scorpion. Fortunately it was unable to sting him through his chastity belt. He wrote all about his experience in an essay for school and his teacher gave him a gold star for imagination. He grew up to be a successful organic farmer and donated all the proceeds to charity. He still died though. In bed, at the age of a hundred and six. In the arms of his nineteen-year-old mistress. But he still died.


The Two Children Who Didn't Clean Their Fingernails Or Wash Behind Their Ears

  The big bus where they grow potatoes under the nails and behind the ears of naughty unwashed children came to take them away, but they walked too slowly and reached the bus stop just in time to see it leave. Instead they were taken away by Jack the Ripper and Sweeney Todd and tortured to death. And made into pies.


The Boy Who Watched Too Much Television

  He became pathologically incapable of accepting reality, and was committed at age 12. When he died, his parents danced the Macarena on his grave.
They never did "get it".


The Boy Who Would Not Take His Medicine

  He recovered without it, but he left the full bottle of medicine in the cupboard. He grew up and inherited the house and settled down to start a family. His two children found the bottle one day and drank it and died. This sent him "over the edge", and he went on a murderous rampage through the suburbs. He was gunned down by forty police officers.


The Girl Who Stuck Her Tongue Out At People

  One day she stuck her tongue out at a man across the street and a homeless street urchin jumped on it and ate it. She went home and tried to tell her mother what had happened, but she didn't understand because the little girl had no tongue.


The Girl Who Was Unladylike

  This girl refused to wear the nice little frocks her mother bought her and was always out climbing trees and fighting with boys. When she grew up she was unable to find employment under the reactionary patriarchal establishment.


The Boy Who Played With His Food

  His parents used their magical powers to turn him into a cat. He still played with his food, but it wasn't any fun, as it was dead rodents. And fish heads.


The Boy Who Hid To Avoid Having A Bath

  Eventually his parents got fed up and went down to the pub. While they were away the house burned down. They washed his ashes when they got back.


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