‘Tickling Butterflies’ – The Twins and the Shadow

Continuing the serialization of my epic fantasy novel, Tickling Butterflies, with a new fairy tale ‘episode’ every Sunday, Tuesday, and Thursday.

Enjoy the latest fairy tale:

The Twins and the Shadow

(Containing the shadowy tale of a favor owed John the Cute.)


Once upon a time, there lived two twins in the town of Bambooville. Through a strange accident of birth, the twins, Fiddle and Diddle, were born with only one shadow.

As they grew older, they learned that they had to share the shadow by always walking next to each other. The shadow would stretch from Diddle to Fiddle, or from Fiddle to Diddle, depending on where the sun was.

The two were quite unhappy, as they had different hobbies and had befriended different people. And yet they could never part more than a couple of yards when they were outside.

Then, one day, they came upon a system. Fiddle could go anywhere he wanted outside, with the shadow, as long as Diddle remained inside the house and out of the sun’s sight. In the same way, Fiddle would return and stay home, while Diddle would go about his hobbies, accompanied by the shadow.

Fiddle and Diddle were quite happy with the arrangement, but their shadow was not. The shadow felt he was doing work for two shadows, and he was getting quite tired.

One day, when Fiddle was sitting on the porch in the sunlight and had fallen asleep, John the Cute, now twelve years old, walked by and saw Fiddle and Diddle’s shadow crying.

When John the Cute asked the shadow why he was so sad, the shadow told him his sad tale.

John the Cute thought about the shadow’s problem for fifteen minutes and fifteen seconds, then suddenly said: “I know! We can tell the twins to sleep during the day and walk outside during the night. That way they can go their separate ways and won’t need their shadow!”

The shadow thanked John the Cute, who then continued on his way and forgot all about it.

A week later, John the Cute was walking the village path home in the early afternoon, when he ran into a familiar shadow, standing in the middle of the road, not attached to any body.

“I’ve run away from home,” the shadow said. “They don’t need me anymore.”

“Good luck in your future ventures,” said John the Cute.

“Thank you, my good friend,” the shadow said. “But know this: You have earned a friend for life. If ever I can repay you with a favor, if ever I can help you in any way, I will.”

John the Cute said that it was his pleasure and that the shadow should think nothing of it. But the shadow declined. Years later, he would remember the favor he owed John the Cute.  But that is another story.

This has been the shadowy tale of a favor owed John the Cute.

(To be continued on Tuesday…

And if you like the story, tell your friends.)


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