For the slightly older, though not too old!


A fairy story about a giraffe’s long sleep.


a giraffe is a sleepwalker.


Once upon a time a giraffe fell asleep.

First its knees began to bend and its belly slumped to the ground. Then it slowly drew its neck down from the thick clouds and stooped and stooped across the green valley, following the course of a dried-up river bed, along an avenue of monkey-bread trees, through a forest of banana trees and then down to an immense plain full of small lakes and shrubs. Until finally it rested its head between two fig trees and slept a long, deep sleep at the bend of a fast-moving stream, even though it had started to lie down three hundred metres to the south, at its source. It was the largest giraffe in the world.

While it was sleeping these animals climbed up onto its neck: an antelope, a beaver, a locust, a woodpecker, an emu, a ferret, a gibbon, a hyena, a chameleon, an ibis, a lizard, a hummingbird, a sloth, an anteater, a bat, an eagle, an armadillo, a fieldfare, a seagull, a marmot, a chimpanzee, a toucan, a shrike, a grass snake, an eagle owl, a zebra and lastly a cumbersome turtle crawled up its neck, settled down behind its ear and of course brushed against it.

First one of the giraffe’s eyes opened, then the other, and then after some time its entire neck, laden with all of those animals, began to slowly rise. It took a long time before the awakened giraffe was higher than the round mountain and back on its legs. The earth became slowly more distant until the river source glittered once more down below the giraffe. Then, like a sleepwalker, the giraffe walked on and on through the night.

When the sun rose, it called out: “Wake up!” And all of the animals blinked their eyes and gazed in wonder at the earth far below them.

It was all covered with writing.

Some of the people there were still either reading or writing. They were linguists and the world which the animals inhabited was called LINGUISTIA. All of the people who lived there did nothing but make up language fables about animals, and they called these fables Linguistic Fairy Stories. Read for yourself all that happened during the giraffe’s long sleep…



A Fairy Story about X.


That is,

a fairy story about EKS.


“But such a letter which crosses itself out cannot exist!” X said angrily, straightening itself up and taking to the forest like a Roman number two. It had been sad for a long time because of its underuse.

“No-one needs me,” it said. “No animals begin with me and I rarely come up at any other time… OK, so Q has its problems too, but at least it can impose itself on words such as koala and so might at least be heard… But what about me? Even the most exotic animals have forgotten about me. Who would murder a language with Xiraffe, Xinoceros or Xapir? Everyone laughs at an X’s legs and a couple of foreign words and names of musical instruments won’t save me… If only there was an animal…!” complained X. “I’m leaving and I’ll look after myself.” It was April the 7th.

“Where has X gone?” wondered Owl in the morning, leafing through a thick calendar. “It was Vydra’s name day yesterday, the last of the V’s, and today is the International Day of Crosses… No-one really knows who that applies to, but what can you do? Look for a name beginning with X! But now even the X has gone from the calendar!”

Meanwhile, X, as straight as a Roman II, had wandered into the forest and was now being bothered by two birds. One of them was Blackbird, her yellow beak snapping and her wings flapping wildly. The second was Vulture, ten times bigger than Blackbird and therefore less agile. His forehead and bald head were creased in fury.

Suddenly all went quiet and Blackbird and Vulture looked at X, as straight as a Roman II.

“Two nice upright worms!” said Blackbird, and before you knew it she had one in her beak!

“They seem to be twins,” added Vulture, pecking at the second until there wasn’t even a Roman II left of X.

And Blackbird and Vulture chewed and munched and indulged themselves… They indulged themselves, chatted, made jokes and were enormously happy.

They cleaned each other’s wings, tended to the bald head, sharpened each other’s beaks – in short they discovered an affection for each other that was to turn to love.

“This is the first time I’ve heard of such a thing,” said Owl, turning his head round when he heard that Blackbird and Vulture had announced their wedding…

“I wonder what the crossbreed will be like!”

On the following 7th of April the bird Xosup had its name day… And Owl wrote its name down in the empty space on the calendar.

Little Fairy Story.

pampered fairy story.

Once upon a time there was a tiny forest.

Along the trails between the small ferns scurried teensy bugs. Little leaves rustled and small parachutes of dandelion seeds glided past. The fresh air above the trail, filled with minute flies, quivered in the rays of sunlight, and the shadows of the blades of grass caressed the teensy bugs’ wing covers.

It was their little forest. Here they knew every pine needle, every nook. Petite plants and forest fruits quivered on thin little stems.

Tiny slugs swayed on the caps of slender mushrooms. The smallest of cobwebs shone with silver lights between the smallest of pine trees, little bees swarmed amongst little flowers and a brook babbled in a small glen where small frogs croaked and ribbitted.

Suddenly one of the dandelion seeds hit the head of the smallest of the bugs and fell right between its wing covers.

“That little bug has quite an umbrella,” remarked the other bugs. And when they came to the edge of the brook the wing covers opened.

When the wind picked up it took the little parachute as well as the teensy bug and carried them along the brook, high above the little meadow and over the little hills until the teensy bug was caught in a tiny hedge. As soon as he had wriggled out of it he tried to get back to his little forest. However, without wings he was as slow as a snail. The teensy bug walked and walked and it took several months before he completed his wanderings across the hills. A little yellow dandelion was slowly making its way along the trail leading to the little forest. However, the whole settlement was asleep as for a long time now there had been no little whirlwind which would bring the storm which in turn would release the rain. The little leaves from the little trees were falling, the brook had dried up and all the little frogs were sleeping through the drought, the flowers were wilting without the bees and all of the teensy bugs were snoring under the little brier bush.

And it was at this point that the little bug which had been carried off finally returned. A large, blossoming dandelion, full of little parachutes, stood in the middle of the forest and looked around.

Not even a little leaf rustled, everything slept soundly. The little bug climbed the tallest little tree and jumped. The little parachutes on his back flew off in all directions and landed on the sleepers’ tiny noses.

The first to awaken were the minute flies in the cobwebs and they began to whip up a little whirlwind. Then the other bugs, butterflies and bees awoke. The little whirlwind brought with it a little storm which brought with it droplets of rain. The rain brought water to the brook which ran over the lifeless little frogs. Finally the tiny slugs also awoke. Everything once again rustled, scurried and quivered.

Only the teensy bug with the stalk in its back snored in the cool of the day after its long journey…


The Confused Fairy Story

when some letters get lost.


Once ulon a bime there wat an alephant.

He had such a wong srunk that he had to lie knits in it. As the srunk drew, there appearit more and more knets. The knats crassed over until the brunk was like sleated dair.

Once the ilephant wanted to grink from a lape but he couldn’t tind the und of his frunk.

“Where is by tose?” he frumpeted, but uvuryone ran away tecause his noice rellowed in the lubterranean pepths. So the olephant steck his trank in front of simself into the dater and asked the lish: “Where is ty pose?” And mubbles appeared on the tater’s burface.

“Rish, do you know whire those mubbles cime from?” The cish remained dilent. They don’t spiak!

“Hey, xish, don’t you dee onything?” Even if the rish could have spuken, they wouldn’t have inderstood anything as the bunds in the slephant’s nase had wrupped around themselves.

“The mubbles bave to come from somewhyre! I wuuld like my nise to be straoght agein!”

The slephant fook his tlisted nase out of the vater, braathed and then strumpeted to the heather:


Of all the snimals only the nun moth anderstood.

“Me,” she whislered.

“Aah, nun toth – but you are so geak – how bould you?”

“I will go into your srunk and bickle you. Dirst of all I mave to find the stort!” And the nun doth disabbeared into the babyrinth of knots.

“Aah,” darvelled the iliphant, “now I dnow where I fonished…” and undud the girst snot. The nun roth continued and the dnots unruvelled. The bast sax gnots were a dreeze.

“Thank you, nun zoth. Wathuut dou I bould dever lave ranaged it,” he faid as the zoth alleared zrom his crunk and his vaice siunded like a srunk abain.

The both bisabbeared into the seather as thut’s shere his brunk entet. Dut the ald broblem demained – bow do shortun sis yrunk?

But the nun zoth falled on tio lonkeys and they rolled up the klephant’s mrunk like a vock. From thot bime on evetyone has zalled him: ROLLEPHANT.

Sell, that was quite a bibiculous mairy stary – is it at all possible to dorrect it?


Translated from the Czech by Graeme Dibble