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"Tales of the Twilight Menshevik"

Stories in this series:

Sisters under Their Skins
Midnight Sun
A Year in the Life
October 6: A Night 2 Remember
A Day's Work
Late Summer Interlude
The Time the Twain Shall Meet
Message to a Grandchild
Ergo Bibamus 1: Eat, Drink and Be Merry
Lights in the Dark
Between the Woods and Frozen Lake
Ergo Bibamus 2: There's a Tavern Near the Town
Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Someone Blue
Valentine Allsorts
The Ballad of Trish and Henry
Rogue's Fairy Tale
Magneto, My First Love
To My Dark-Haired Lady
The Raven and the Oriole
Trish -- A Rapture

Val and Ray at the Movies
March 2002
July 2002

Tales of Future Twilight
Ergo Bibamus 3: Drink to Me Only With Thine Eyes
They Will Always Be Penny and Max to Me
Getting to Know You
Fourth Thursday in November
The Iceman's Tale
Pictures at an Exhibition
The Survivor Has a Different Kind of Scar

Twilight Yet to Come
Hang on to Your Ego
Strange Headfellows
Sonnet for Magnus
Between the Winds

DISCLAIMER: This is an unauthorized work of fiction using characters that are (c) & TM by Marvel Comics Group. No profit is being made on this story, which is (c) Tilman Stieve ( You can download this and copy it for your entertainment, but don't sell it for profit, or Marvel will set their lawyers on you. Please do not archive this on your website without informing me first.
This is a story from the reality of the "Tales of the Twilight Menshevik". Rogue made it up a few years in the future as a bedtime story for her young sisters Irene and Hope, the daughters of Val Cooper and Raven Darkhölme (Mystique).
You can find the other Tales archived on "Fonts of Wisdom," on "Down-Home Charm," on "Queen of Hearts" and on "X-Men Slash Central."
Note: This was written in answer to Kielle's challenge to write a story in the style of Kipling's classic Just So Stories.

Rogue's Fairy Tale

(With apologies to Rudyard Kipling.)

In the far-off early days, far away from here, there lived a neolithic couple, and they lived in a Hut. It wasn't a hogan, Best Beloved, or a kiva or a cliff-dwelling or anything fancy like that, just a rude cabin made of earth and wood. One of them was called Mystallumai Ravendrow, and that means 'Blue-warrior-who-cannot-keep-out-of-trouble', but we, oh Best Beloved, shall call her Mysti for short. And her mate's name was Valeranamai Coopimai, and that means 'Yellow-hair-who-won't-take-no-for-an-answer', but we shall call her Vally. They had two little girl-daughters, Best Beloved, whose names were Iriniai Coopallumai -- 'Little-blue-person-with-the-manners-of-a-sparrow' -- and Hopsulai Annulai -- 'Girl-who-giggles-at-inappropriate-moments' -- but I shall call 'em Iree and Hopey. And they were Mysti's Best Beloved and Vally's Best Beloved, and their parents overlooked more than was good for them; and they were all four very happy. Mysti and Vally often went out for adventures, but they always made sure that they were back in time for dinner, and in the meantime Mysti's son Kurtumai -- 'Fuzzy-skin-whose-belly-makes-a-nice-pillow' -- or her eldest daughter Rogulai -- 'Hair-like-a-skunk-and-slightly-better-smell' -- would come to the Hut to look after Iree and Hopey.

Now listen and hear and attend!

One day, when Mysti and Vally were out adventuring longer than usual, Iree and Hopey went with their Sister Rogulai to the river Potomahac (all set about with maple trees) to go fish some dinner. Only Rogulai had taken her good friend Magunai with her, and after a while they sat apart looking into each other's eyes and doing other grownup stuff, while Iree and Hopey sat on the river-bank (of course they had brought little stools, rudely made from wood and grass) waiting for the fish to bite. It wasn't a good day for fishing, and after a while they were beginning to feel bored and started to dangle their feet in the water (yes, they had their Mommies' leave).

Just then a Stranger-Man came walking along the bank of the river, and he stood there, watching them. He belonged to another tribe, the Tewaras, and he had never seen a girl with pretty sky-blue skin as Iree's or with pretty sky-blue hair as Hopey's. He smiled at them because he had a girl-daughter of his own at his home, and so he sat down with them and chatted with them for a time. But because talking with Iree and Hopey got him thinking of his own far-away family, he soon left to go to his own home.

Now, no sooner had the Stranger-Man (did I mention he was a Tewara?) left them, when another man appeared, Loganai Anonymai, whose name means 'Hairy-man-with-a-breath-that-causes-birds-to-drop-from-the-sky'. He belonged to the same tribe as the family of Mysti, the Children of the Acorn, and he was angry at Iree and Hopey for talking to the Stranger-Man. "Didn't your folks tell ya not t'talk with Tewara Stranger-Men?" he said. "The Tewaras make this a world that hates and fears the Children of the Acorn, ain't yer parents ever told you? If I were your daddy, I'd spank you!"

But the girls were not scared, and Iree humphed and said: "But you're not our daddy, an' we're not scared of Stranger-Men, an' 'sides you smell."

And Hopey giggled and squealed: "Yes, funny man smells like potty used as an ashtray!" This was not exactly true, but near enough, for Loganai was returning from one of his adventures and had been marching across country for several days without ever taking a bath.

Then Loganai became very angry, because if there was one thing he hated it was people laughing at him. He said: "Why I oughta...!" and reached out for the girls as if he was going to spank them. At that moment their Big Sister appeared and hurled him into the river (while she had done that mushy stuff with her boyfriend, she had always kept an eye on her little sisters).

"You lay a hand on the kids, hairy, an' ah'll bop ya again!" she shouted.

The man clambered out of the river a couple of hundred yards downstream, and grinned. "Well, at least the little brat should like my smell better now that ya've given me a bath," he said, and set off into the woods.

And Hopey grinned and said: "You made goo-goo eyes at Maggie alla time 'stead of playing with us, didn't notice funny man was only joking!" And you know what, Best Beloved? Rogulai's face went all pink.

"He din't really want to spank us," said Iree, "I think he was just play-actin'."

And Rogulai wondered if she hadn't been a little hasty.

Loganai went to his tribal village, and told his neolithic friends what had happened. Unfortunately, one of those listening was 'Teller-of-tales-who-can't-keep-out-of-other-people's-business', and he went to the bald Head-Chief of the tribe of the Children of the Acorn and told him that Mysti and Vally had raised their three daughters most shockingly, and shouldn't something be done about it? And the Head-Chief called his Vice-Chief and his Deputy and Assistant Chiefs, and they held a pow-wow and a palaver and a storthing and an indaba and a conventicle to decide what was to be done.

Meanwhile, the three sisters had finally caught some fish, and went home to the Hut. And when they got there, they saw that their mommies had returned from their adventures. And they all were glad and started making dinner. And Rogulai's face went all pink again when Iree and Hopey told their mommies what had happened on the river-bank.

But when they were sitting down at their rude neolithic table, Mysti pricked up her ears. "There's people coming," she said.

They opened the door, and they saw the whole entire tribe of the Children of the Acorn approaching. First came the bald Head Chief, wheeled along in a rude neolithic wooden chair, then came the white-haired Vice-Chief, the red-eyed Deputy Chief and the Assistant Chiefs (all armed to the back teeth), tha Atamans and Avatars, the Maharajahs with their Morlocks and Counts with their caucuses; with Juju-Men, Augurs, Shamans, Bonzes and Tea-Leaf-Readers bringing up the rear (still armed to the teeth), followed by the entire Tribe of the Children of the Acorn in alphabetical order, from Aardvark-Man the Astounding to Zyppedeedooda (with a 'y') the Zany.

Vally said: "Welcome, tribe of the Children of the Acorn, we are just serving dinner. I'm not sure if there's enough fish for everyone, though."

And Mysti said: "You look agitated, Head-Chief, is anything the matter?"

And the bald Head Chief replied: "I have been told that you, Blue-warrior-who-cannot-keep-out-of-trouble, and you, Yellow-hair-who-won't-take-no-for-an-answer, have not told your children that they shouldn't talk to Tewara Stranger-Men. Why have you not taught them that it is the way of the Children of the Acorn to keep apart and to hide what they are from a world that hates and fear them?"

And Rogulai said under her breath: "Great, just what we need, an excuse for Iree to cover herself in mud..."

All the Chiefs, Juju-Men, Augurs, Shamans, Bonzes and Tea-Leaf-Readers looked down sternly at Iree and Hopey so intensely, that they began to feel a little incomfortable, but Iree felt her Mommy Vally's hands on her shoulders, and Mommy Mysti lifted Hopey up into her arms, and so they both felt safe.

Iree walked up to the Head Chief: "But you keep tellin' us of your dream of a world where the Children of the Acorn can live in peace with the Tewaras, so why are you tellin' us off when we do just that? An' 'sides, Mommy Vally is a Tewara, and she gets along just fine with Mommy Misty. Well, mostly."

And Hopey chirped up and said: "Yes, sometimes they shout at each other alla day, but in the evening they make kissy-face again." And Vally's face turned all pink, and Mysti's all purple, because grownups get all embarrassed when that sort of thing is discussed outside the family.

But the Head Chief said to Iree: "Well, Little-blue-person-with-the-manners-of-a-sparrow, if you put it that way, there is something to it. And Loganai tells me that your Big Sister was watching over you, so I think you weren't in any danger. And now I and the other Chiefs will have to think about what you just said."

And with that, the whole tribe turned around and went back to its village. A few of the Children of the Acorn were grumbling, and a lot of them were ever so polite to Teller-of-tales and called him a fathead who had wasted their time. But Mysti and Vally took their daughters back inside their rude neolithic hut and they all finally had dinner without being interrupted again.

But ever since that day, there were more and more Children of the Acorn who would actually live the Head Chief's dream and not just talk about it.

Copyright Note: Recognizable characters belong to Marvel Comics, Irene and Hope Cooper belong to me.


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