Bedtime Stories with R.A. Spratt

A Tall Tale about Socks... and Goblins

March 10, 2021 R.A. Spratt Season 1 Episode 55
Bedtime Stories with R.A. Spratt
A Tall Tale about Socks... and Goblins
Bedtime Stories with R.A. Spratt
A Tall Tale about Socks... and Goblins
Mar 10, 2021 Season 1 Episode 55
R.A. Spratt

One night after dinner, Mum reveals to Vanessa and Tammy that they are going to have to start picking up their own socks because of tragic circumstances involving the work place conditions of fairies.

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Show Notes Transcript

One night after dinner, Mum reveals to Vanessa and Tammy that they are going to have to start picking up their own socks because of tragic circumstances involving the work place conditions of fairies.

Support the show (

Hello and welcome to Bedtime Stories with me, R.A. Spratt


Today’s story is going to be a tall tale. But before we begin, I do have one explanatory note. In this story I’m going to mention an Australian food, so if you’re not from Australia, I’ll explain what that is now. 

It’s fairy bread. Fairy bread is really common at kids birthday parties here in. It’s really simple to make. It’s just bread that been buttered, then you pour sprinkles (the type you put on ice cream or cupcakes) on the butter. It’s actually really good. You should try it. And when your grown up asks what you on earth you’re doing – tell them you’re having a multi-cultural experience, trying authentic Australian cuisine.


Okay, so here we go. Today’s story is…


A Tall Tale about socks and goblins


Tammy, Vanessa and Mum were sitting around the dining table. They’d just had chicken stir fry for dinner. And Mum’s chicken stir fry was pretty good. 

So good, Tammy didn’t even complain about the fact there were vegetables in it. She didn’t eat the vegetables. She picked them out. But she didn’t complain that they were there, which was her way of complimenting the chef that it tasted pretty good. 

So anyway, as a result of the meal tasting nice there hadn’t been much conversation during dinner. Just the minimum of ‘how was school’ and ‘fine’ in between mouthfuls. Now the meal was over and they could talk.

‘Before we get up from the table,’ said Mum. ‘I have announcement.’

‘What is it?’ asked Vanessa. She was concerned. Announcements were rarely good. And she had a vivid imagination so in less than two seconds she could imagine lots of horrific possibilities.

‘It’s about the fairy who picks up the socks you both leave lying on the floor,’ said Mum. 

‘What?’ said Tammy.

‘Well you know how when you come home from school or art class or guitar lessons or anywhere else you go, the first thing you do is take your shoes and socks off. And then you leave them right there, whereever that is, usually in the middle of the floor. Where there’s the maximum chance that I’ll trip over them?’ said Mum. 

This was a sensitive topic with Mum. She’d broken her toe two weeks before and did not enjoy bumping into things with that foot. 

‘Obviously you wouldn’t leave filthy sweaty disgusting socks in the middle of the floor if you thought I was picking them up, because I’m your mother and you love and respect me too much to do that. 

So I assume you believe that a magical fairy has been sneaking into the house either using magic, or picking the front door lock, or climbing in through Henry’s dog door – and once inside - she goes about the house picking up your foul sweat, fungus and bacteria ridden socks and carries them to the laundry for you.’

‘Yes,’ said Vanessa. ‘That’s what we think has been happening.’

‘Well, I’m sorry to have to break it to you,’ said Mum. ‘It’s very bad news. So brace yourselves. The sock fairy is dead.’

‘Oh dear,’ said Vanessa.

‘How did she die?’ asked Tammy.

‘She was hit by a truck,’ said Mum. ‘She didn’t stand a chance. But she was so exhausted from picking up socks after children she didn’t see the huge eighteen wheeler barreling towards her.’

Now Vanessa and Tammy both knew there was no truck, there was no sock fairy, and there had been no tragic accident. This was just Mum’s way of saying ‘pick up your socks yourself’. But Mum never liked to say things in a simple way. She always liked to turn things in to stories. 

‘Really?’ asked Tammy.

‘Yes, really,’ said Mum. 

‘I don’t believe it,’ said Tammy.

‘That’s understandable,’ said Mum. ‘Denial is always the first part of the grieving process.’

‘No, I don’t believe it,’ said Tammy. ‘Because I think the sock fairy would be too professional to get exhausted by our socks. She’d have to pick up the socks of teenage boys. That would be much worse.’

‘Urgh,’ shuddered Mum. ‘Yes, that’s true. It’s horrific to imagine just how bad the socks of a teenage boy would be.’

‘Especially if they played rugby,’ said Vanessa.

‘Or enjoyed standing in swamps,’ said Mum.

‘Are there a lot of boys who do that?’ asked Tammy.

‘Who knows how boys minds work,’ said Mum.

The girls nodded. They didn’t have any boys in their house except for Dad and the dog. And the dog didn’t wear socks.

‘Which is why sock fairies don’t pick up the socks of teenage boys,’ said Mum.

‘Who does?’ asked Tammy.

‘The teenage boys?’ asked Vanessa.

‘Don’t be ridiculous,’ said Mum. ‘No, the sock fairies are responsible for picking up the socks of boys, but they can’t bear to do it, because of the stink, and they’re so big, they’re hard for a little fairy to carry.’

‘Then what do that do?’ asked Tammy.

‘They outsource,’ said Mum.

‘Huh?’ said Tammy.

‘They sub contract the sock collection to goblins,’ said Mum. 

‘Goblins,’ said Vanessa.

‘Yes, but even goblins have standards so the only ones who will agree to do the work are goblins who have entirely lost their sense of smell – perhaps from an industrial accident or being over to smell a rose when a bee flew up their nostril stinging them and sending them in to anaphalactic shock.

It’s a very small elite group who are capable of doing the work. And it’s a horrible job. So they expect to be paid appropriately. And by appropriately I mean they expect a lot of money.

So would I,’ said Tammy.

Exactly,’ agreed Mum. ‘But fairies aren’t that cashed up. They’ve got a lot of expenses with buying fairy dust and giving children money in exchange for their teeth.

‘What do fairies do with teeth?’ asked Vanessa.

‘That’s another story!’ said Mum. ‘Don’t try and side track me.’

‘Sorry,’ said Vanessa.

‘It’s not easy for fairy to get money,’ said Mum. ‘Because a fairy can’t just apply for a job working the checkout at the supermarket. They’re too tiny, they might get accidentally sucked into that conveyor belt you load your groceries onto and end up squashed to death.’

‘Oh dear,’ said Vanessa. ‘That wouldn’t be good.’

‘It would be messy,’ said Tammy. ‘They’d get fairy blood on the groceries.’

‘Exactly,’ said Mum. ‘So fairies can’t seek gainful employment. To get money the sock fairies have to resort to robbing banks.’

‘Bank robbery?’ said Tammy.

‘They’re actually really good at it,’ said Mum. ‘Because they’re so tiny, they can flutter through the gap in the bullet proof glass. And they can fly, so they can sneak into vaults and safety deposit boxes easily. They’re in and out robbing banks all the time.’

‘Why don’t we ever hear about it?’ asked Tammy.

‘The government hushes it up,’ said Mum. ‘If people knew that rogue fairies were on the lose it would cause a panic. Children would be super gluing their teeth into their heads, to keep the tooth fairy away from their bedrooms.’

‘Who would have thought that fairies would be living double lives,’ said Vanessa.

‘Yes, bank robbing is easy for fairies,’ said Mum. ‘The hard part for them is the shame.’

‘Oh please,’ said Tammy.

‘It’s crippling for them,’ said Mum. ‘Because fairies are essential good. It is their job to do good in the world.’

‘Cleaning up socks is good,’ agreed Vanessa.

‘Which is why the shame is so crushing,’ said Mum. ‘They can’t live with the crime on their conscience. And that’s when they go off the rails. The fairies turn to unfortunate things to seek comfort.’

‘What sort of unfortunate things?’ asked Tammy.

‘Fairy bread,’ said Mum.

‘Fairy bread? LIke we have, bread and butter with sprinkles?’ asked Vanessa 

‘Fairies love it,’ said Mum. ‘You know how when the parrots eat the acorns off our oak tree, it has a weird affect on their digestive system, they get drunk and they crash into the house.’

This was actually a real problem they faced every year in their garden in late Summer. King parrots cannot handle their acorns. Once a parrot had nearly hit Mum in the head, and slammed into the front door as she stepped out of the house.

‘Fairy bread has the same affect on fairies,’ said Mum. 

‘They slam into houses,’ asked Tammy.

‘Sometimes,’ said Mum. ‘And sometimes they step out in front of trucks. Which is how our sock fairy came to get hit. Too much fairy bread.’

‘That’s the most ridiculous story I’ve ever heard,’ said Tammy.

Which was saying quite something because Mum came up with ridiculous stories most days.

‘I know,’ said Mum. ‘That’s why the fairies don’t like to talk about it. It’s embarrassing. 

Vanessa laughed.

‘I’m serious,’ said Mum. ‘A sock fairy has died for you. Now you have to pick up your own socks or suffer the consequences.’

The girls looked at Mum. They could tell her story telling magic was wearing off and she was reverting to just being a regular mum again.

‘Understood?’ asked Mum.

‘Understood,’ said Vanessa.

‘Whatever,’ said Tammy. 

‘Good,’ said Mum. ‘I will give you five minutes to find your socks. If after that time I find one of your socks I will get a roll of Christmas wrapping paper and bonk you on the head with it.’

‘It’s not Christmas,’ said Tammy.

‘I saved a roll especially for bonking annoying children,’ said Mum. She glanced at her watch. ‘Your five minutes starts now.

The girls looked at each other for a moment then took off running, looking for their socks.


The end.


Thank you for listening. To support this podcast just buy a book by me R.A. Spratt. There’s plenty to choose from across the Friday Barnes, Nanny Piggins and Peski Kids series. And now there are the audiobooks of ‘The Adventures of Nanny Piggins’ and ‘Friday Barnes, Girl Detective’ as well. You can order any of these things through your local bookstore, or go to my website and click on the Book Depository banner. They have all my titles and free international shipping. That’s it for now. Until next time. Goodbye.