Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Rindercella: A Blory Stog

If you have never heard of Spoonerisms then the title of this post is probably yeek to Grou. If you were a Hee Haw fan, however, you probably heard Archie Campbell tell the story and know exactly what I am referring to.

Spoonerisms (named after Dr. William Archibald Spooner) are phrases that exchange the first letters of words to create new words or phrases with entirely different meanings ( for example, "Larry had a little Mamb" certainly conveys a different meaning than "Mary had a little Lamb").

I love spoonerisms. I first heard Rindercella some years ago when a storyteller told it at a story swap. Now I cannot recall the teller's name or even where the story swap was--I'd guess it was at a National Storytelling Conference--but the story amazed me and I decided to learn it.

Rindercella is one of the few stories I memorized because the placement of letters and words is important in this tale. For most of the stories I tell, I learn the story, commit its "bones" or outline to memory, and then tell it in my own words. The telling varies by audience; their comprehension, the amount of time we have, their age all impact how I tell a story. In the case of Rindercella, I tell the story almost exactly the same every time.

Here is my version of Rindercella:

Tonce upon a wime in a coreign fountry, there lived a geautiful birl named Rindercella. She lived with her sticked wetmother and her two sister step-uglies. Poor Rindercella! She had to do all the wirty dork and those two sister step-uglies? All they did was hush their brair.

Now in that same coreign fountry there lived a prandsome hince. That prandsome hince was so lad and sonely that he decided to have a drancy fess ball and invite all the geautiful birls. When those two sister step-uglies heard that, they wanted to go! They said, "Rindercella! Drix our fesses and hush our brair! We want to go to the drancy fess ball!"

Well, after they left, Rindercella just cat down and shried. She was citting there shrying when her gairy fodmother showed up. "Rindercella, why are you citting there shrying?"

"I want to go to the drancy fess ball, but all I have to wear are these rirty dags," said Rincercella.

"Pro noblem," said the gairy fodmother. She turned a cumpkin into a poach and she turned six mite hice into hix mite sorses. Then she said, "You must remember to return at the moke of stridnight!"

Well, off Rindercella went to the drancy fess ball, and when she got there, the first person to see her was that prandsome hince. And he lell in fove with her, um hmm. They danced and danced. Then suddenly, the mock cluck stridnight! And Rindercella, she stan down the rairs!

But when she stan down the rairs, she slopped her dripper. And when the prandsome hince followed her, all he found was that slopped dripper.

The next day, the prandsome hince went all over the coreign fountry looking for the geautiful birl whose foot would fit into that slopped dripper. When he came to the home of the sticked wetmother, well those two sister step-uglies wanted to try it on. But their fig beet fidn't dit it. But when Rindercella tried it on, her fittle leet fid dit it.

Well, to make a strong story lort, Rindercella and the prandsome hince were married and they hived lappily ever after. And the moral of the story is: if you want to catch a prandsome hince, all you have to do is slop your dripper.

(Did this ever drive my spell-check crazy! Or should I say, did this ever spive my drell creck chazy!)

Other stories told Spooner-style:

Pee Little Thrigs

Beeping Sleauty

And closely related to Spoonerisms is a British tale I sometimes tell, Master of All Masters. The version below is from Joseph Jacob's English Fairy Tales.

Master of All Masters

A girl once went to the fair to hire herself for servant. At last a funny-looking old gentleman engaged her, and took her home to his house. When she got there, he told her that he had something to teach her, for that in his house he had his own names for things.

He said to her: “What will you call me?”

“Master or mister, or whatever you please sir,” says she.

He said: “You must call me ’master of all masters.’ And what would you call this?” pointing to his bed.

“Bed or couch, or whatever you please, sir.”

“No, that’s my ’barnacle.’ And what do you call these?” said he pointing to his pantaloons.

“Breeches or trousers, or whatever you please, sir.”

“You must call them ’squibs and crackers.’ And what would you call her?” pointing to the cat.

“Cat or kit, or whatever you please, sir.”

“You must call her ’white-faced simminy.’ And this now,” showing the fire, “what would you call this?”

“Fire or flame, or whatever you please, sir.”

“You must call it ’hot cockalorum,’ and what this?” he went on, pointing to the water.

“Water or wet, or whatever you please, sir.”

“No, ’pondalorum’ is its name. And what do you call all this?” asked he, as he pointed to the house.

“House or cottage, or whatever you please, sir.”

“You must call it ’high topper mountain.’”

That very night the servant woke her master up in a fright and said: “Master of all masters, get out of your barnacle and put on your squibs and crackers. For white-faced simminy has got a spark of hot cockalorum on its tail, and unless you get some pondalorum high topper mountain will be all on hot cockalorum.” .... That’s all.

Is your tonuge completely twisted now? Then try some of these tongue twisters:

The Tongue Twister Database

IndianChild's Tongue Twisters for Kids tongue twisters

ESL for kids tongue twisters

Have fun! Tee you somorrow.


Eirin said...

Oh, this was great fun! Spoonerism. I have never heard about it before. I am a norwegian storyteller an d I wonder if this could work in norwegian....

is there spcial set of rules to do this? Spoonerism. Love the word too:-)

Anonymous said...

I love the "Rindercella" version of "Cinderella". I remember watching it on Hee Haw as a kid. It still makes me laugh. Thanks!


Granny Sue said...

Eirin, I'm glad you enjoyed the story! The only rules I know are that letters or phonetic groupings of letters at the beginnings of words are transposed. I'm not familiar with the Norwegian language but I would think the same principle could be applied.

I rarely saw Hee Haw, amy, so I missed the performances by Campbell. Thanks to the wonders of YouTube, though, I watched one last night. Too funny!

laoi gaul~williams said...

fantastic sue!
but it was hard work reading it!

Margaret LaVonne Hall said...

I adore this Granny Sue!! Spoonerisms...I shall try to endeavor a fairy tale and see what happens...I love coming to your blog..It's like Forrest Gump's box of chocolates, you NEVER know what you will find...*smile*....Have a great day and upcoming weekend..

Marilyn said...

Hey, Sue, it just might have been ME that you heard. I'm pretty sure that I told my version of "Rindercella" at the storytell storyswap at one of the conferences. Denver, maybe? I do remember hearing you tell a story at the same gathering, wherever it was. I learned "Rindercella" for a speech class when I was in high school a thousand years ago, and I've been telling it ever since. I have an audio of "Little Ride Hooding Red" on my website. Thanks for all the extra information about Spoonerisms.

Granny Sue said...

It's quite possible, Marilyn--I was at the Denver conference, but I think I heard Rindercella prior to that. I sure love the story, and it is a lot of fun to tell, as you know! said...

I was often awakened as a child with the words "out of your barnacles and into your squibs and crackers"
I am quite thrilled to find it's story here! My family LOVES amphagory and would recite many silly things from "Alice in wonderland". Yes, we like being eccentric!

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