Bedtime Stories with R.A. Spratt

'Rumplestiltskin' as told by Nanny Piggins

March 24, 2021 R.A. Spratt Season 1 Episode 57
Bedtime Stories with R.A. Spratt
'Rumplestiltskin' as told by Nanny Piggins
Bedtime Stories with R.A. Spratt
'Rumplestiltskin' as told by Nanny Piggins
Mar 24, 2021 Season 1 Episode 57
R.A. Spratt

When Nanny Piggins gets a little bit over enthusiastic about commandeering an ice cream van, she and the children pass the time on the walk home with the story about a distant cousin of her and the strange little man who helped her spin straw into chocolate cake.

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Show Notes Transcript

When Nanny Piggins gets a little bit over enthusiastic about commandeering an ice cream van, she and the children pass the time on the walk home with the story about a distant cousin of her and the strange little man who helped her spin straw into chocolate cake.

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Hello and welcome to bedtime stories with me, R.A. Spratt


Well we’re having torrential rain here where I live in Australia. So if you can here the pitter patter of what sounds like rain in the background, yes that is rain. We’re also having power surges so it’s going to be interesting to see if we get through this record. So lets’s get started. This weeks story is…



Rumplestiltskin as told by Nanny Piggins


Nanny Piggins, Boris and the children were sitting at the bus stop waiting for the bus to come and take them home. They hadn’t intended to go so far from home. But Nanny Piggins had been walking them home from school when she spotted an ice cream van. 

Now it just so happened that Nanny Piggins was dressed as a pirate at the time. They’d had career day at the school and the school encouraged everyone to dress up as the profession they hoped to pursue. 

Nanny Piggins had not realised that by ‘everyone’ the school simply meant the students, so she had dressed up as well. The children had tried explaining this to her, but it is very hard to explain something to someone who is determined not to understand. Especially when that someone really really likes dressing up as a pirate. 

The only problem was, that Nanny Piggins enjoyed the costume so much she got caught up in the character. So when she saw the ice cream van, she had a rush of blood to the head and decided to ‘board that thar vessel, and plunder all its loot.’ Which meant in this case, eat all the icecream.

Now the man driving the ice cream van had had a very dull day. His boss had sent him to park outside a retirement home and the matron in charge wouldn’t let any of the residents come out and buy an icecream because they had been bad. She’d caught them whacking the heads off dahlias with their croquet mallets. 

The icecream van driver knew his boss would yell at him if he went back to the yard not having sold a single scoop. So when a fabulously glamourous pig dressed as a swashbuckling pirate, leapt out in front of his van, drew out her sword (made from a cardboard cereal box) and declared that she was commandeering his vehicle, and if he didn’t do as he was told, she would make him walk the plank. He decided to go along with it. 

Being hijacked by a crazy pig would make an excellent excuse for his poor sales. So he immediately surrendered and allowed Nanny Piggins, Boris and the children to board his “vessel” and set sail for a “sheltered cove”. Which meant a quiet street where they could eat all the ice cream undisturbed.

They all had a lovely time, until the man who owned the ice cream van found them. Apparently, he was so suspicious-minded he’d had GPS tracking installed in all his vans. 

Ice cream van hijacking is more common than you’d think. 

He wasn’t angry at all, once he realised that Nanny Piggins fully intended to pay for all the ice cream they had eaten. Which was literally ALL the ice cream. 

None of his vendors had ever sold a full van full before, so the driver was happy too because he immediately made employee of the month. But having given out Mr Green’s credit card details, and waved the nice ice cream sellers goodbye. Only then did occur to Nanny Piggins that they were a long way from home.

‘Oh dear,’ said Nanny Piggins. ‘And it’s getting late. We don’t want to miss our dinner.’

‘But we just ate so much ice cream,’ groaned Samantha. She was lying on the nature strip because she was so sugar addled she was incapable of standing.

‘Yes, but ice cream is practically a liquid,’ said Nanny Piggins. ‘It’s definitely a liquid by the time it gets to your stomach so your body metabolizes it much faster. We’ll all get hungry again in five minutes.’

‘I don’t think I can walk home,’ said Michael, He was sitting in the gutter curled up in the foetal position. ‘My legs are too full of ice cream to move.’

‘Ah yes,’ said Nanny Piggins. ‘Ice cream legs is a common malady. It’s like sea legs among pirates. You’ll soon get used to it, once your body has acclimatised to all the ice cream.

‘Why don’t you tell us a story,’ said Derrick, he was actually standing but only because he was clutching on to a lamp post. ‘To take our mind of our stomaches as we walk.’

‘Good idea,’ said Nanny Piggins. ‘I know. I’ll tell you a story about a distant relative of mine whose father was miller and he was an even worse rotter than yours.’

‘Was he a criminal?’ asked Michael, perking up. He liked a good crime story.

‘Not technically,’ said Nanny Piggins. ‘Although he used to tell the most criminally insane fibs. He loved to boast you see. 

He was always telling everyone how good he was at everything and how everything he had was so wonderful. Most of the villagers ignored him. They’d shove turnips in their ears and pretend to be deaf so they wouldn’t have to listen to it.

Is that why you often have turnips in your ears at breakfast time?’ asked Samantha. ‘To avoid listening to father?’

‘Well I wouldn’t buy two turnips every week for any other reason,’ said Nanny Piggins.

Anyway, one day the king of the entire kingdom was riding through the village. The miller couldn’t believe it. He’d never boasted to a king before. So he rushed out into the street to stop the king and tell him how wonderful he was. 

But when he got there the king was already talking to his daughter, Moira Piggins. 

The miller immediately started telling the king how his daughter was the most beautiful girl in the entire land. Now, as it turns out. This was actually true. She was staggeringly good looking. She was a Piggins after all. 

But the miller couldn’t leave it at that. He had to embellish. He boldy announced she is the best spinner in the village. Again this was actually true. But it didn’t seem to impress the king at all. Spinning isn’t really a great conversation. Not a terribly interesting subject matter. So the miller took it one step further. He said that he daughter was so good at spinning she could spin straw into…

‘Gold?’ asked Derrick.

‘No, why do you say that?’ asked Nanny Piggins.

‘I’ve heard a similar story before,’ admitted Derrick. ‘About a girl who had to spin straw into gold.’

‘Who’d be impressed by that?’ asked Nanny Piggins. ‘You can take a nice nap on a pile of straw. It’s actually a tremendously practical thing to have lying around. But you can’t nap on a pile of gold. Well you can, but it’s terribly uncomfortable. The gold bars are always so lumpy and hard, and they’re cold so you never feel warm. No, the miller didn’t boast that. He boasted that his daughter could spin straw into something far more impressive. She could spin straw into - chocolate cake.’

‘You should have seen that coming,’ Michael chided Derrick.

‘It’s the ice cream,’ said Derrick shaking his head. ‘I wasn’t thinking clearly.’

‘Now this caught the king’s attention,’ said Nanny Piggins. ‘It’s only natural that he should like a slice of chocolate cake. But it turns out he was a rotter too. It was terrible luck for my poor cousin, to have a father and visiting member of the royal family both be rotters. 

The King said, ‘Really? Let’s see if that’s true’. He took poor Moira back to his castle and took her to a room full of straw with a spinning wheel in the middle. He said she had to spin all the straw into chocolate cake by morning, if she did not then her father would be executed for telling whopping great big fibs.’

‘That’s a very harsh punishment,’ said Michael. He told fibs occasionally himself. Usually about whether or not he had brushed his teeth or taken a bath in the last week.

‘I know,’ agreed Nanny Piggins. ‘People were brutal back in the olden story days. Particularly kings. I think it’s because they had to wear crowns all the time. They’re not terribly comfortable, so all royalty permanently have headaches.’

‘Really?’ said Samantha. This actually explained a lot about the brutality of the last 3000 years of European history.

‘So the King locked poor Moira in the room, without even a chocolate bar to sustain herself,’ said Nanny Piggins. ‘And naturally she did what all girls do in such circumstances. At least, what they always did in the olden story days, she sat down and wept and wept.’

‘Can I weep too,’ asked Boris, who was already tearing up at the tragic tale.

‘Of course dear,’ said Nanny Piggins. ‘But try to do it quietly. We don’t want to startle any passing motorists and make them have car crashes.’

‘Now where was I?’ said Nanny Piggins. ‘Oh yes, Berth was weeping when suddenly the most amazing thing happened. A strange little man appeared. He was about half the height of a regular man, he had tall pointy ears, a long chin, a long nose and great big feet. The princess was too polite to comment about any of this. Because obviously a person’s physical appearance shouldn’t’ matter. But I thought I should tell you all this so you can paint a picture in your minds. 

The little man said, ‘I will spin all the straw into chocolate cake for you.’

‘You will?’ asked the girl. Optimistically hoping that despite looking odd that this man was secretly really nice. 

‘Yes,’ said the little man. ‘But what shall you give me in exchange.’

‘He wasn’t so nice then?’ asked Derrick.

‘No people are always taking advantage of young girls forced to perform magical feats to keep their parents alive,’ said Nanny Piggins sadly. ‘But she did have a ring her father had given her so Moira offered this to the strange man.’ 

He snatched up the ring and set to work. While Moira collapsed emotional exhausted and went to sleep in the corner of the room. The little man worked all night, spinning the straw into chocolate cake. When Moira awoke the room was full of mudcake, spong cake, sheet cake, all of the chocolate variety. It was stunning.

When the king opened the door fully expecting to find a weepy girl and a lot of straw, so he could have a good fun day of executing a loud moth miller. He was stunned to see so many beautiful cakes. 

Now a nice king would at this point have said, “I’m sorry to have doubted you, well done. I’m very impressed. You can run along home now.”

‘But he wasn’t nice?’ guessed Michael.

‘No, King just don’t think that way,’ said Nanny Piggins. He’d already shoved the first slice in his mouth and now he was chocolate cake crazed. He couldn’t believe how good it was. He wanted more.’ 

So he locked Moira in a bigger room, full of more straw and ordered her to do it again. 

‘What a rotter!’ wailed Boris. ‘We all love cake. But where’s the bearmanity?’

‘Bearmanity?’ asked Derrick.

‘It’s like humanity,’ said Nanny Piggins. ‘But more humane because bears have a higher level of empathy.

‘So anyway, again Moira wept,’ continued Nanny Piggins. ‘And again the strange little man appeared. What would she give him this time?’

She did have a necklace that had belonged to her mother. She did not want to part with it. But if she didn’t, it would mean certain death for her father. And annoying as he was – she couldn’t do that. So Moira promised to hand it over.

Again she slept, again the strange little man spun, and in the morning the king opened the door and was astonished by the huge piles of cake. He couldn’t believe it. And it was all so delicious. He wanted more. 

To be fair, the cake was so good, it could drive anyone crazy with cake longing. He grabbed poor Moirat and shoved her into another, this time massive ballroom full of straw and demanded that she spin it all into cake.

Moira just started weeping straight away this time. But the kings offer was slightly different. This time he promised - not only would he not kill her father, but he would marry Moira as well.

‘Really?’ asked Derrick. ‘Straight from a death threat to a marriage proposal?’

‘I know,’ agreed Nanny Piggins. ‘Talk about the least romantic marriage proposal ever. But kings are never good at these things. Even in fairy tales, they never have anything whitty or charming to say. They just get down on one knee and whip out a ring. The music swells. They never say anything clever at all. 

‘He didn’t even offer her a honey sandwich,’ sobbed Boris.

‘Wasn’t there a window she could climb out?’ asked Michael.

‘No, sadly castles are always built with really narrow windows specifically to prevent fiances escaping,’ said Nanny Piggins. ‘Who knows how the stories of Cinderella, Snow White and Sleeping Beauty would have ended if that were not the case.’

So the king left, Moira wept, the strange man appeared. But this time Moira had nothing left to offer him. She had no more jewellery. 

But the strange man said that was alright. He would accept something else. He would spin the whole ballroom full of straw into chocolate cake if - after she married the king and had her first child  - she gave the baby to him.

What?’ said Michael.

‘That’s just crazy!’ said Samantha.

‘I know,’ said Nanny Piggins. ‘If you had the ability to transformed straw into cake why would you want a baby? You’d be too busy eating cake. It doesn’t make any sense at all. But stories rarely do.’

‘Now obviously Moira did not want to agree to this,’ said Nanny Piggins. ‘It was nuts. But she reasoned that even if the king married her. It would be at least 9 months before she had a baby, possibly longer. And who knows what might happen before then. The strange man might forget about it, or be killed in an avalanche of rubber duckies, or swept away by an inland lemonade tsunami. It was worth the risk. So she agreed. 

Moira slept. The cake was spun. And when the king walked in the next morning he dropped down on one knee and offered her a ring, while shoving chocolate cake in his mouth with the other hand. 

Moira rolled her eyes at the predictability of this cliché, but she accepted. Because none of the other men back in the village were much chop either, so she might as well make do with the king.

‘It doesn’t sound like a good way to start a relationship,’ said Samantha.

‘No,’ agreed Nanny Piggins. ‘But fortunately, on the first day they were married the king suffered a nasty head injury.’

‘Really?’ said Derrick.

‘What sort of head injury?’ asked Michael.

‘An anvil dropped on his head,’ said Nanny Piggins. ‘Terrible luck for him. But it totally transformed his personality. And he was quite nice after that. So Moira, now Queen Moira actually ended up having quite a happy marriage with him.’

A year later she gave birth to their first child. She expected the strange little man to appear straight away. But he didn’t. So she began to hope that perhaps he had forgotten.

But when the baby turned one, the strange man did appear. He had cleverly waited until the baby was past that difficult to look after age with all the spoon feeding and bottles and having to carry it everywhere. Typical man, avoiding all the hard bits. And he demanded that she hand the baby over right away.

Moira begged and pleaded with him and offered him all kinds of riches. But the little man just laughed. He thought it was a tremendous joke to have a queen begging him. 

The little man enjoyed being cruel so he saw a way he draw this out longer. He said, he would give her three days. If she could guess his name in that time. Then she could keep her baby. If not, then the child would be immediately his.

So the strange man went away and the Queen hurried to get out a pen and paper and she started writing down every name she could think of John, James, Adam, Nigel. All the obvious names first. 

When he came back the next day, Queen Moira had two thousand and she read them out one at a time. But to each one he’d say ‘no’, chuckling and giggling to himself. 

‘You’ll have to try harder if you’re going work out my name,’ he said with delight before disappearing into the night.

So the next day the Queen spent all her time thinking of unusual names – Rueben, Bartholemeuw, Atticus, Linseed Oil, Compass, Toilet Brush.’

‘That’s not a name,’ Michael pointed out.

‘Not to us,’ said Nanny Piggins. ‘But perhaps this strange little man had a mother with a very odd sense of humour. But when she tried them out on the man that night - none of these names were right either. The Queen had just one more day to find the right one. She sent for of the palace guards out on swift horses to travel as far as they could in one day looking for different names.’

It turns out that this was a brilliant idea, because one of the guards when he was coming home, was running late, so he took a short cut through the woods…

‘Not the woods!’ wailed Boris. ‘All the worst things happen in woods.’

‘And in the middle of the woods he came across a strange cottage with a strange little man gleefully dancing around and singing.


Tonight tonight, my plans I make,

Tomorrow tomorrow, the baby I take. 

The queen will never win the game, 

For Rumpelstiltskin is my name


The guard reported this back to the Queen. She knew she had the right name now. When the little man appeared that night he was bursting with excitement because he thought he was about to get the baby

‘Give me the baby, give me the baby!’ he demanded. Trying to snatch it right out of the Queen’s arms.

‘Not yet,’ said the Queen. ‘You have given me a chance to guess your name.’

The strange man laughed, ‘You’ll never guess. You might as well give me my baby now.’

‘Is it Bath Salt?’ asked the Queen.

‘No,’ laughed the man.

‘Is it Oregano?’ asked the Queen.

‘No!’ cackled the man.

‘Is it Foot Rot?’ asked the Queen.

‘No!’ squealed the man.

‘Is it… Rumplestiltskin?’ she asked.

The strange man looked like he’d swallowed a rock. His eyes bulged, his face turned red, then he suddenly screamed with rage. ‘How did you know! No no no!’ 

He through the biggest temper tantrum ever seen before or since in all of history. 

‘Even bigger than you see two year olds throw at the supermarket when their mothers won’t let them push the shopping trolley into the ankles of elderly customers?’ asked Boris. 

‘Worse than that,’ said Nanny Piggins. ‘He shook his fists and he stomped his feet so hard that the ground opened up in a huge crack that he fell into and was never seen again.’

‘Wow, that’s a dramatic ending,’ said Derrick.

‘I know,’ said Nanny Piggins. ‘I think my dear cousin Moira may have embellished that bit, but you can’t begrudge her some artistic license in all other regards it’s a tremendous yarn. So Queen Moira and the baby, and the King who was much pleasanter after his head injury all lived happily ever after. 

The King never again tried to get his wife to spin straw into cake. He learned how to bake cake for himself in the kitchen like a normal person. And the Queen never again promised to give her baby away - no matter how annoying her father was. The end. Time for bed.

‘We’re still miles from home,’ said Samantha.

‘Oh yes,’ said Nanny Piggins. ‘Well we better hurry up and get there faster if we’re going to bed. Oh look, a pizza delivery car. Let’s commandeer that!

So Nanny Piggins leapt into the road and commandeered a pizza delivery car and they all got a lift home with the very kind driver while eating as much margharita pizza as their stomaches could take. Which was a surprising amount after all that walking. The driver didn’t mind. As he said, he’d have to drive to their house anyway if they ordered, so it didn’t make any difference to him. So they all lived happily ever after.


The end.