A Peculiar Fable

Originating on June 20th of 2001…

The Fable of the Ugly Penny

Once upon a time, a man found a penny. He picked it up and immediately grimaced. It was green and tarnished and even felt slimy.

“Gross,” he said and dropped the penny into a nearby trash can, wiping his hand on his pants leg.

Suddenly, a band of trolls came out of the woodwork. They cackled amongst themselves and this is what they said:

“He has so much money, he can afford to throw it away!” said the one with the wart on its nose.

“Ha! Yes, one day,” the one with the eye patch said, pausing to hack up a hairball,
“He will find himself one penny short of a fortune—.”

“And where will he be then?” interrupted the one with the long strands of hair coming out of its nose.

They cackled and, slapping each other on the back, faded back into the woodwork.

“Hmmmmm, they’re right,” said the man who overheard this strange conversation, “It’s dirty money, but it’s still money.” And the man dug through the trash, picking up rotting banana peels, and sticky aluminum cans, and used tissues until he finally found the ugly penny.

Suddenly, once more, the band of trolls appeared out of the woodwork.

“Ha!” one roared between large, messy bites from a bucketful of live frogs. “He’s so poor, he must dig for pennies from the garbage.”

“Down and out—poor human!” cried another troll tearing into hideous cackles that caused nearby pigeons to scurry, frightened, away.

As the first troll laughed even harder he started choking on a particularly large frog, which still croaked in his throat.

“Hold on to that penny human—don’t spend it all in one place!” laughed another troll, in one hand holding a young squealing pig, the other trying to wrench it’s head off.

Then the band of trolls disappeared off into the woodwork trying to revive the one choking on the frog, but were unsuccessful. Instead, the troll died of asphyxiation.

The man shook his head in disgust, clasped his fists together in anger, bit his lip and hurled the penny as far he could throw. But instead of flinging it very far, it slipped from his hand, due to the slime, and hit a beautiful young woman who happened to be reading nearby.

“Ouch!” she cried. “How rude!” Red-faced, the beautiful young woman picked up her book and stomped off in a huff.

The man left, his hand still stained green, and returned to his home and cursed the day that he ever saw the ugly penny.

Moral: Never bite off more frog than you can chew!

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