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September 24, 2012

The Little Boy Who Knew Everything - A Grim Fairy Tale

By Leni Matlin

Once upon a time but not so long ago there was a little boy who thought he knew everything. What makes this story unusual, however, is that the little boy did know everything. He was just born that way.You might expect the people around him to be happy there was someone who knew everything to help them solve their problems but that didn't happen.Instead, they became immensely annoyed...



Once upon a time but not so long ago there was a little boy who thought he knew everything. What makes this story unusual, however, is that the little boy did know everything. He was just born that way. You might expect the people around him to be happy there was someone who knew everything to help them solve their problems and learn new things from but that didn't happen. Instead, they became immensely annoyed for who wants to be around someone who thinks he knows everything even if he does know everything correcting everyone's mistakes and making them feel stupid?


So it was that the little boy's parents, siblings, teachers, classmates, and everyone in town grew to hate him. You see, it's good to be smart, but not too smart, because if you get too far ahead of the curve people will become immensely annoyed with you because no one wants to look stupid even if they are. People can live with being stupid, but it's the looking part that is so galling. In fact, the stupid people of the world - which some days seems like nearly everyone - have an unspoken agreement they will not point out each other's stupidity, especially in public,* and consequently manage to stumble through life with their stupidity intact.

(*unless they are running against each other for political office, in which case all bets are off)

But when someone breaks that agreement - or doesn't even know of it since they are not stupid and don't have to worry about looking stupid in public - people don't just get immensely annoyed, they get extremely immensely annoyed, in fact, extremely immensely annoyed enough to do something to that person to shut them up or make them go far far away.

Now the funny thing is that even stupid people are capable of being devious. In fact, geneticists have discovered the smart gene is at one end of the DNA strand while the sneaky gene lies all the way at the other end so they are not only independent of one other, they have never even met. Also, when the gene associated with ethics (midway between the smart and sneaky genes) is turned off as it is in lots of people these days, the sneaky gene can go to town and do whatever it feels like with no remorse or second guessing itself. This helps explain the activities of the present leadership of the world.

But back to our story.

The little boy w-k-e and was t-f-a-o-t-c - too far ahead of the curve - was aware he was not popular but he didn't care because why would a little boy w-k-e care what dumb people think? So he didn't, and suffered the big mistake other t-f-a-o-t-c people make by underestimating how sneaky stupid people can be and the things they are good at, such as: getting you to vote for them; smooth talking you into investing in businesses about to go belly up; signing you up for a mortgage you can't afford; telling you you'll get a million dollars from a bank in Nigeria if you give them your credit card numbers; passing laws so they can do anything they want to anybody, anywhere, at anytime; framing other people for mean things they've done and sending them off to jail; going on television and telling gullible old ladies God wants them to give him all their money; and lots more things like that.

So... one day in school, the little boy w-k-e was bored and staring out the window. His Teacher was always trying to catch him in a wrong answer but never could, and he had caught her in a few wrong answers, so she hated him too. When she saw the little boy w-k-e yawn, she thought this was her chance and quickly called on him. But even when he was sleepy, he still knew more than her and answered the question correctly and then gave a short discourse because he found it fascinating and thought they might too, but instead it immensely annoyed the teacher and his classmates.

The biggest boy in the class, who was also the stupidest boy in the class and the quickest to anger, yelled out, "You think you know everything, don't you!"

The little boy w-k-e answered him honestly and said, "I do know everything. I was born that way. It's just how it is."

But this only made the boy angrier. He snarled and fumed, but try as he might, he could not think of anything clever to say, so he did the only thing he knew how to do when he was frustrated. He punched the boy w-k-e in the face and knocked him down.

"I've been wanting to do that for a long time."

"But why?" asked the boy w-k-e as he looked up from the floor. "Why do you want to hurt me? I've never hurt you. I don't even know your name."

"Exactly," said the big stupid boy. "You think you're too good for the rest of us, you think you're better than the rest of us."

"No I don't. I don't think I'm better than you or anyone. I'm just different."

"But you think you're smarter than all of us."

"Of course I do, because I am smarter than the rest of you. I told you, I was born that way."

"And you think I'm stupid."

"Yes, because you are stupid. You were also just born that way."

"See what I mean?" the big stupid boy said to the rest of the class. They all shook their heads in agreement and started moving closer to the boy w-k-e who was sitting on the floor picking up his broken teeth and trying to stop the blood flowing out of his mouth.

"But don't you like having someone around who knows everything? Think of all the good I can do. Think of all the improvements I can make if you would listen to my ideas and try them. We can make things so much better for everyone."

Another boy yelled out, "We like things the way they are!"

"Yeah, that's right," everyone else said.

"Please listen to me. I only want to help. That's why I was born knowing everything, to help make things better."

The big stupid boy said, "You were born knowing everything? Then does that mean you were born knowing how to fight?"

The little boy w-k-e looked puzzled for a moment. He thought over and answered, "Now that is an interesting question. I know the philosophical teachings of all the great martial art experts and can talk for hours on their lineages, practices and techniques, but as for actually fighting, that is one area in which I have no practical experience. However, having said that-"

The big stupid boy had heard enough. He yelled out, "Would you just shut up already! Let's get him!" and all the other children attacked the boy w-k-e, even the girls. Some used their hands or feet, and others used their metal lunchboxes to smash the little boy w-k-e who was crying and screaming but you couldn't hear him over the shouting of the two dozen children who were beating on him.

The teacher went and sat in her chair and looked out the window and noted what a lovely day it was. The hydrangeas were coming along nicely and the roses would be blooming soon. She sat there and sat there until she finally got up and went and peeked at the mess on the floor that was once the little boy w-k-e and made other people feel stupid.

"My, what is going on here?" she asked.

The children stopped and looked at her.

"I think I had better get the principal. Be good, children."

The Teacher went to the door and opened it, then looked back at her class and winked at them. They grinned at her, and as soon as the door closed, they went back to beating the boy w-k-e.

The teacher went to the principal's office, knocked and went in.

"Good day, Mr. Principal."

"Good day, Ms. Teacher. It is a lovely day, isn't it?"

"Yes it is. The hydrangeas are coming along nicely."

The principal looked out the window.

"Indeed, they are. And the roses will be blooming soon."

They smiled at each other.

"Mr. Principal."

"Yes, Ms. Teacher?"

"I think you should come to my classroom."

"And why is that?"

"There has been a bit of a disturbance."

"What is it about?"

"It's about... him."

"I see. Is it serious?"


"Well, then, let's enjoy the flowers a bit longer."

"All right."

And so they did.

By the time they went to the classroom, the children were so exhausted from beating the little boy w-k-e that they were all sitting down and quiet. The big stupid boy was standing over what was left of the boy w-k-e. His friend had just asked, "Is he dead yet?" and the big stupid boy kicked him a few times but the boy w-k-e didn't move or even groan.

"Maybe," the big stupid boy said, just as the teacher and principal walked in.

"My, what do we have here," said the Principal as he walked over to the pulpy mess on the floor. "What happened to him?"

The big stupid boy didn't know what to say, so his friend, who was a little less stupid, volunteered.

"He fell down."

"Really?" said the Principal. "He fell down?"

The Principal looked around the room and all the children nodded their heads.

"I see."

The Principal turned to the big stupid boy and asked him, "Why are your hands bloody?"

The big stupid boy was at a loss for an answer and looked panicky. Another friend, who was even less stupid than his other friend whispered in his ear.

"My hands are bloody because I was trying to help him get up."

"I see," said the Principal. "Very well, then, we'll just have to call for an ambulance. While we're waiting, why don't you and everyone else wash your hands... and lunchboxes."

The ambulance came and took the unconscious boy w-k-e to the hospital. A short while later he was on the operating table. Among other injuries, several ribs were broken and one had punctured a lung. A thoracic surgeon and his team had his chest cavity opened up and were patching up the lung. They were looking to see if anything else was wrong when the surgeon dropped a scalpel which sliced the boy's aorta clean through.

"Oh, my, look at that," the surgeon said.

"Look at what?"


"What is that?"

"I seem to have sliced this boy's aorta in half."

"That looks serious," his assistant concurred

"Yes, it does," the surgeon agreed. "I wonder what we should do about it?"

They stood there in silence for a few minutes watching the little boy w-k-e's chest fill up with blood.

"This doesn't seem to be going very well," the surgeon said.

"No, not at all," agreed the assistant surgeon.

You see, the boy w-k-e once came to the hospital to visit his older brother who had been in a car accident and while there saw how things could be done better. He wrote up a list of improvements and came back the next day and gave it to the head of the hospital who thanked him for it and then ran it through a paper shredder as soon as the boy left. Everything on his list made perfect sense and was easily doable, but instead of being appreciative for having the flaws in their system pointed out so they could do a better job, the hospital staff and big doctors got very angry, saying, who does he think he is to come in here and tell us how to do things, he's just a boy and we are big shot doctors. Besides, this is our hospital, he has no business here. The fact that the boy was right didn't matter; he was stepping on some big shot toes and they would never forget it.

The thoracic surgeon and his team also hated the little boy w-k-e and saw him as a troublemaker, so they stood around and chatted until he bled to death and then wrote a report that it was a most unfortunate accident.

And all the stupid people in the town lived happily ever after.

The Moral of the Story

There are several morals to this story.

1) Be smart, but not too smart.

2) Be ahead of the curve, but not too far ahead of the curve. How can you tell the difference? It's easy. When people start to resent you and your ideas, you're too far ahead and it's time to back off. And if they threaten you, then you're way too far ahead of the curve.

3) Even stupid people know when someone is making them look stupid in front of other people and they find that galling and may do away with the person who is t-f-a-o-t-c in any number of sneaky ways.

For instance:

They might beat the person to death and say he fell down.

They might fail to call for timely help when it's urgently needed.

They might make a mistake, say during an operation, which could prove fatal.

Or they might blow his brains out with an exploding bullet when he's riding in a fancy car next to his beautiful wife on a pleasant sunny day and then kill the man they said did it so the case could be quickly closed and no one would ever know what really happened.

So that's what can happen to little boys who are too far ahead of the curve and make other people look stupid and immensely annoy them.

And little girls, too.

The Big Book of Grim Fairy Tales

for the Depressed Young Reader

Submitters Bio:

Leni Matlin was born in NYC and attended Brooklyn College before moving to California in his twenties. For the better part of his adult life, he has worked as a musician (keyboards / vocals) and played in more bands then he can remember, while living and working in New York, the Bay area, LA, Key West, Costa Rica, Palau (Micronesia), a Caribbean cruise ship, and elsewhere. His travels have also taken him to Thailand, Nepal, Vietnam, and India where he lived for 10 years. Writing has now become Leni's creative focus and his works include novels, screenplays, and varied genres of short fiction. His interests range from political, social, and psychological themes to the metaphysical, spiritual and visionary. He regularly employs humor and satire to explore issues and events both contemporary and historical. His eBooks are available at most eBook retailers including Amazon Kindle: http://www.amazon.com/author/lenimatlin.com and Smashwords: http://www.smashwords.com/books/leni+matlin A free song and video montage of the Occupy Movement is available at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pelhdn8f7qk&feature=relmfu and a CD of original music is at http://www.lenimatlin.bandcamp.com