Monday, March 04, 2013

Troll, the Reformer

Once upon a time there was a little village of faeries. The vast majority of the faeries were good faeries, although they all felt they worked too hard and weren't very appreciated by the gnomes who ran the show. A tiny minority of the faeries were bad faeries who weren't afraid to be bad because they had been in the village so long they knew the gnomes could not chase them away. One of the main duties of all these faeries was being sure there were enough hardy ladybugs to keep the aphid population low.

One day a huge, enormous, really really enormous troll took over the village of the faeries. This troll decided that, no matter how long a faerie had lived in the village, that faerie should not be protected from being expelled by the gnomes. Even though the ladybugs were doing all right with the aphids, the troll thought the bad faeries should go, because the bad faeries were costing too much money in upkeep.

The troll devised a plan. All the gnomes would be carefully trained to watch and evaluate each and every faerie, good and bad.

The system of evaluation was difficult for the gnomes to learn, so the troll had to pay for training. Then the faeries said it wasn't fair that the gnomes knew how to get rid of the faeries, but the faeries didn't know enough about what to do to protect themselves. So the troll had to pay to have the faeries trained as well.

The faeries were to be judged for 88 criteria in a mere 40 minutes four times a year by a trained team of two gnomes. But each team of gnomes got assigned 40 faeries apiece. Now, that was more judging than a pie-taster at a state fair!

The gnomes told the troll that they couldn't spend 40 minutes, four times a year with 40 different faeries and expect to cover all 88 criteria. So the troll told the gnomes to make two of the visits short and just write down whatever they saw the faeries doing wrong.

Even the best of the good faeries looked at this and felt like they didn't have a chance of keeping their homes in the village.

Morale became very low among the faeries. Where they once worked together, they now competed to get the best judging scores. Whatever it took to impress the gnomes, they did ... never mind if it was in the best interest of the ladybugs.

Before the troll assigned the gnomes to this judging thing, the gnomes had other duties. They kept the village clean and made sure all the ladybugs behaved themselves. But once the gnomes got caught up in the judging, they didn't have time to mind the ladybugs' behavior. No surprise, the ladybugs ran amok, causing havoc.

The troll, seeing that the ladybugs were running amok, blamed the faeries. The troll hired more gnomes for training and judging but didn't do anything about the ladybugs.

Then the ladybugs found out that part of the judging of the faeries had to do with how the faeries treated the ladybugs' parents. Every ladybug who had ever had a problem with a faerie went home and told their parents to speak to the gnomes right away. Parent ladybugs swamped the village with complaints, and the gnomes took note.

Pretty soon, every faerie in the village was judged to be a bad faerie, or at very least, a mediocre faerie. The gnomes were worn to a frazzle from the judging, and the ladybugs ran the show.

The troll looked at all he had done and patted himself on the back. He would go down in history as a reformer of bad faeries. And once all the judging began, wow! Almost all the faeries turned out to be bad!

When the ladybugs' parents saw how many bad faeries were out there in the village, they petitioned the troll to find a new way to get their offspring ready to deal with the aphids. So the troll hired his best friend to build a private training center where ladybugs could go outside the village. Of course the troll's friend didn't know much about ladybugs ... but gosh, look at all those bad faeries!

It took quite a few years before the ladybug parents discovered that they had paid a lot of money to a bunch of gnomes to watch the faeries, and a lot of money to the troll's friend for a private center, and none of it made the ladybugs any better at catching aphids.

But by the time the ladybug parents got wise, the faeries had all left for a better village, one that was free of trolls, gnomes, and ladybugs.

Happy ending! Only in fairy tales.


Debra She Who Seeks said...

I sense this is really about something else, LOL!

Maebius said...

Well, it usually is the Redcaps (and red rape) that stir up trouble, in those pesky forests isn't it.

Nasty Trolls.
but what about the Aphids? :P

on a less silly note: yeah, that sucks, doesn't it! Poor Ladybugs!

Anonymous said...

Doing one of my very occasional delurkings to say, what a wry smile you brought me! But I feel compelled to add that you left out the part where the beings running the private center cherry-picked the most compliant ladybugs and excluded the ELL and Sped ladybugs, as well as the part about the private center owners making out like bandits, private centers being nothing but graft machines.

I wish there was something to say to make this better. It's a bad patch of history all of us involved in education in one way or another are living through.

BellaDonna said...

Hopefully some big-ass billygoat will come along soon and knock the troll off a bridge into the river, and send him far, far away from the village.

Until then, hang in there, good faeries!! Because most of you ARE good, and we know this.