One of my young nephews consistently asks for at least one of (and often all of) three kinds of stories: princess stories, vampire stories, and witch stories. He also prefers made up stories, which are the kind that stretch my brain very far, especially when its elasticity has been worn out by a long hard day at work. But for what it's worth, here is the vampire story I told the other night.
Rupert the Vampire and the Three Kittens
Once upon a time, there was a vampire who lived in a little house in the woods, far away from other vampires and witches and goblins and stuff. He had one cat and three kittens, and he would watch the kittens doing the silly things that kittens do and he would laugh and laugh until he fell off his chair and tears ran down his face.
There was another vampire in the woods who thought that it was very improper for the kitten-loving vampire to have these kittens (the kitten-lover's name was Rupert); in fact, he thought that it was so improper that he decided to kidnap Rupert's kittens. He put them in a high tower, in a castle that was outside of the woods, and he put a forgetting spell around the tower, and he put a forgetting spell on Rupert which was so strong that Rupert even forgot his own name.
Rupert did remember, however, that he had a friend who was a witch who knew how to break forgetting spells, and he could remember how to get to her house, so he went. She could see right away what the trouble was. She told him that the best way to break a forgetting spell was to start remembering things. She asked if he could remember any pieces of poetry. He couldn't. She asked if he could remember his times tables. He couldn't. She asked if he could
remember his alphabet. He thought he might.
"Let's see. A, B, D-- no, no, that's not it. A, B, ummmm... C, uh, F, G,H, no, no. A, B, C, D, E! Yes! F, G, H!" And then he was able to remember the rest of his alphabet, in order.
Next, he tried his times tables. "One times one is two. One times two is two..." and a little later he said, "Six times seven is forty-two. Six times eight is forty-eight..." and so on until he had said all of his times tables.
He wanted to go on to poetry next, but his friend, Griselda the Witch, thought that all he needed now would be to remember his name (she didn't know about the other forgetting spell).
And with that he set off to find his kittens.
He didn't have to look very hard, because the other vampire hadn't thought that he would break the forgetting spell, and he had left a very clear path in the woods of scratched tree bark and blood, because the kittens had been biting and scratching the whole way as he kidnapped them.
When he got to the top of the tower where they were, he ran in to the second forgetting spell, but this time he knew how to break it.
"A, Z, B... nope. A, B. Yes. A, B, C, D, Z. No. A, B, C, D, E, F..." and he remembered the rest of the alphabet, and he remembered the times tables through twelve, and he thought about reciting Beowulf, but instead he just remembered that his name was Rupert and that he had come for his kittens, and he stepped inside the door of the tower (it wasn't even locked) and gathered up his kittens in his arms and carried them home.
After he got home, he put a forgetting spell around his own house so strong that if someone walked through it, they would forget that they even had a name, let alone what the name was, but he was careful to leave a hole so that he and his friends could go in and out with their memories intact, as long as they remembered the password.
And that is the end of that story.