A full accounting of the one hundred and fifty tales that make up the entirety of the thousand and one tales

A Thousand And One Tales was my long term, multi-part writing project, that was supposed to encompass a thousand and one tales over twenty years, but in the end fizzled out at a hundred and fifty and about three years or maybe four. Which is still probably more than was necessary.

Anyway, here is a great big list of all of them, for anybody so inclined to read them again, or for the first time, or not at all. It’s okay, it’s over now.

Tale #1: The Unhappy Bride
Tale #2: Wun, Mun and Undun
Tale #3: The Cat Wife
Tale #4: To Follow A Cat
Tale #5: Lonely Isobel

Tale #6: The Farmer’s Daughters
Tale #7: The Woman Who Was Granted Her Wish
Tale #8: The Three Wishes
Tale #9: The Saddest King of All
Tale #10: The Old Lady And The Three Brothers

Tale #11: The Old Lady And The Thief
Tale #12: The Old Woman Who Lived In The Woods
Tale #13: God, The Devil, And The Man Upon The Road
Tale #14: The Jealous Lord
Tale #15: (fragment)

Tale #16: The Man Who Made Himself A Wife
Tale #17: The Woman Who Lived Alone In The Woods
Tale #18: The King And His Weeping Wife
Tale #19: The Three Doors And The Fourth
Tale #20: (fragment)

Tale #21: The Wolves In The Woods
Tale #22: A Long Winter’s Night
Tale #23: Old Tales Are Made New In The Telling
Tale #24: The Lunar Queen
Tale #25: The King And The Light

Tale #26: The Seven Sisters
Tale #27: The Three Sorrowful Sisters
Tale #28: The Wolf In The Woods
Tale #29: The Wolf In The Woods
Tale #30: The King’s Daughter And The King’s Son

Tale #31: The castle was a prison in a sea of untouched snow
Tale #32: The Grief Stricken King
Tale #33: The Offered Daughter And The Promised Sons
Tale #34: The Lonely Heart
Tale #35: The Lonely Man’s Tale

Tale #36: The Old Woman’s Tale
Tale #37: To Lose Your Faith
Tale #38: The Idle Wish
Tale #39: The town, the forest, the past
Tale #40: Methods Of Torture, Methods Of Death (extract)

Tale #41: (fragment)
Tale #42: The Bear In The Cage
Tale #43: The Girl In The Bear
Tale #44: The Falling
Tale #45: The Floating

Tale #46: (fragment)
Tale #47: The Old Lady And The Woodcutter
Tale #48: The Old Lady And The Crows
Tale #49: The Innkeeper And The Woman
Tale #50: The Stolen Child (A Tale Told In Tales)

Tale #51: The Cat In The Graveyard
Tale #52: The Silk Gloves
Tale #53: A Finger For A Favour
Tale #54: The Search For Lost Things
Tale #55: The Forgetful Prince And The Regretful Bride

Tale #56: In The Woods In The Winter
Tale #57: The Thaw
Tale #58: The Tree
Tale #59: (fragment)
Tale #60: The Lure

Tale #61: (fragment)
Tale #62: Lessons For My Children
Tale #63: And We Went To War
Tale #64: Memorial For The Executed Generals Of The Siege Of Colchester
Tale #65: And In Their Ships They Sailed Out Across The Sea

Tale #66: The Silver Ship
Tale #67: The Fountain
Tale #68: The Drunken Sailor
Tale #69: The Swift
Tale #70: The Crow

Tale #71: The Crow Tree
Tale #72: Our paths trace out behind us
Tale #73: (fragment)
Tale #74: The Woman In The Woods
Tale #75: The Woods In The Woman

Tale #76: Of Wolves And Women
Tale #77: The Wolf And The Girl
Tale #78: On Hansel And Gretel, And Horror
Tale #79: Trail Of Breadcrumbs
Tale #80: A Labyrinth of Streets

Tale #81: How to escape from every maze in the world
Tale #82: Ariadne’s Web
Tale #83: Above the clouds, beneath the sun
Tale #84: The Fairy Tale Heart
Tale #85: Married Hearts

Tale #86: (blue plaque on ruined wall)
Tale #87: To Follow A Child
Tale #88: To Ponder Infinity
Tale #89: The Poor Woman
Tale #90: The Woman Who Lived In The Woods

Tale #91: The King’s Wives
Tale #92: The Morning Birds Free The Soul, The Night Ones Take Them
Tale #93: A circle, whispering time
Tale #94: Beneath the weeping willow she sat down and wept
Tale #95: In The Garden Between

Tale #96: On her shoulders, ravens (a dream of judgement)
Tale #97: The Lord And His Angel
Tale #98: The Woman Of Small Miracles
Tale #99: The Protection of Bees
Tale #100: Old Hope

Tale #101: A Story In The Afternoon (alternate, expanded, 2020 version: A Story In The Afternoon)
Tale #102: You Don’t Have To Read This, But I Hope You Do
Tale #103: Lavenham Ghost Story
Tale #104: A Forlorn Appearance
Tale #105: Beneath A Ceaseless Sky

Tale #106: To Be Kept Safe
Tale #107: The House At Dusk
Tale #108: The Woman In The Bookshop
Tale #109: To Stroke A Hedgehog
Tale #110: To Lose A Beard

Tale #111: The Wooden Man
Tale #112: The Sad Tale Of Lonesome George
Tale #113: The Unfairness Of Being
Tale #114: The King In Red, The Queen In Yellow, The People Clad In Rags
Tale #115: A Short History Of A Minor Kingdom

Tale #116: The Third Dream Of The Waiting Prince, In His Time Of Seclusion, In The High Palace Of Eternal Solitude, Above The Clouds Of The Empire’s Reality, Beneath The Moons Of The Empire’s Imagination
Tale #117: The Eighth Dream Of The Waiting Prince, In His Time Of Seclusion, In The High Palace Of Eternal Solitude, Above The Clouds Of The Empire’s Reality, Beneath The Moons Of The Empire’s Imagination
Tale #118: The Fortieth Dream Of The Waiting Prince, In His Time Of Seclusion, In The High Palace Of Eternal Solitude, Above The Clouds Of The Empire’s Reality, Beneath The Moons Of The Empire’s Imagination
Tale #119: Little Sparrow
Tale #120: While The Peasants Tended Their Trees

Tale #121: Between The Hills, Beyond The Waves
Tale #122: The Dogs
Tale #123: (fragment)
Tale #124: A Dream Upon The Pyre
Tale #125: Reflections Of A Pale Moon

Tale #126: (blue plaque above nondescript door)
Tale #127: To Forget, To Forget
Tale #128: Song Of The Data Miners
Tale #129: The Playgrounds Of Our Youth
Tale #130: On Bluebeard (excerpt)

Tale #131: The Swan (A Morality Tale In Miniature)
Tale #132: The Cormorant In History
Tale #133: The Three Sons
Tale #134: The Three Wives
Tale #135: What Is A Child Worth?

Tale #136: The Bull And His Bride, or The Maid And Her Man (fragment)
Tale #137: The Snow Daughter, or The Voice Beneath The Snow
Tale #138: A Mother’s Love
Tale #139: A Quiet Revolt
Tale #140: All I Know Is That I Am Not You

Tale #141: If You Describe Each Moment Of A Person’s Life, It Becomes A List Of Crimes, An Endless Recitation of Horrors, A Biblical Judgement Upon Their Worth
Tale #142: The Ship Sailed Into The Harbour
Tale #143: The Emperor’s Zoo
Tale #144: The King In His Castle
Tale #145: The Ogre’s Boots

Tale #146: Four Tiny Tales
Tale #147: The Toymaker
Tale #148: The Man Who Wept Too Much
Tale #149: The Woman Who Lived In The Woods
Tale #150: The Man Who Left

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Notes:

1. The tales can mostly be read in any order, but a couple come in pairs – Tales #28 and #29 are two versions of the same story; Tale #43 follows on directly from Tale #42; Tales #116, #117 and #118 are all from the same (larger, unpublished) piece; and Tales #133 and #134 are two parts of the same story.

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Tale #149: The Woman Who Lived In The Woods

There was a woman who lived in the woods. She was the greatest witch who had ever lived, with powers and knowledge beyond the comprehension of all but herself. She had lived through the entire history of the universe from birth to death many times, and learned of it something more each time, for it was endlessly changing and vaster than infinity, and as her knowledge of the world increased so did her knowledge of herself.

She had lived recently not just in the woods but as the woods, her consciousness spread through every root and branch and leaf of it, from birth and growth and now its gradual death. To understand the causes of its decline she concentrated an aspect of her mind into the form of a single human, and lived as her and died many times, understanding slightly more of the ways of humans with each new life, and each new death.

Eventually the forest died, and her entire mind came to reside in the latest manifestation of her human form, and she stepped out from the shadow of the final tree and into the town and walked out among its people for the first time.

“Nice tits!” shouted the first of them, but she could not answer, for she did not understand fully the complexities of their language.

“I’ve seen nicer,” said the next one. “She’s not all that.”

“A tit’s a tit,” said a third. “And those are some tits.”

She shifted her consciousness across from her body to touch upon their minds, in the hope of learning from them their language and their ways, and alighted upon the mind of the first. At first she was struck by the vast emptiness of what she found there, an emptiness greater by far than even the final days of the universe, when entropy had fully wrought its way and all lay in silence and stasis and a single thought took longer to form than the lifespans of all that we know and have known and shall ever know. Then, as she tried to leap from the first mind to the second, she discovered that it was not a void but a hole, a great dense immensity of concentrated ignorance that compressed all intellectual thought into a single point and let nothing of worth escape.

All her knowledge and compassion and soul was lost to the universe forever. As her old body fell like a tree to the floor one of the men said, “Hey look she’s a fucking spazz an’ all,” as they filmed her last few autonomic twitches with their phones.

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Notes:

1. Written in the summer of 2014
2. And unused till now
3. In lieu of a howling rage of despair
4. That is too inarticulate to bear

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Tale #148: The Man Who Wept Too Much

Once upon a time there was a man who was exceedingly lonely. He wept so often and so long even God was disgusted, and he cursed the slovenly creature so that rather than tears, he wept out stories instead. Each story was as bitter and unpleasant as poison, but they never stopped flowing.

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Notes:

1. Written on June 13th, 2020

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If you like the things you've read here please consider subscribing to my patreon. Subscribers get not just early access to content and also the occasional gift, but also my eternal gratitude. Which I'm not sure is very useful, but is certainly very real. Thank you.

Tale #147: The Toymaker

The toymaker worked on his dolls all day and dreamt of them all night. He gave them shape and depth, pasts and futures, so that each one was a unique creation, with its own life and soul, that was as precious to him as gold. Once they were polished and perfected and as fully realised as they could be, they were sold to the highest bidder, and he never thought of them again.

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Notes:

1. Written on December 12th, 2019

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Support An Accumulation Of Things

If you like the things you've read here please consider subscribing to my patreon. Subscribers get not just early access to content and also the occasional gift, but also my eternal gratitude. Which I'm not sure is very useful, but is certainly very real. Thank you.

Tale #146: Four Tiny Tales

The King And The Peasant

The King said to himself, “To serve my people justly I must know life as they do.” To this end he took off his crown and his fine robes and dressed himself in rags and went out into the streets of his kingdom.

There he met a peasant, who said, “Why, O King, do you dress as a peasant?” The King said, “Why, O Peasant, do you dress as a king?” This baffled the peasant to such an extent that he ran away, fearing the King may be mad.

The King himself went back to his castle, put back on his crown, and pretended he had not left the hall all day. Things continued thereafter as before.

The King And The King Who Looked Exactly Alike

There were two kings who looked exactly alike. The people of both kingdoms said it was a miracle, but in fact it was merely the result of centuries of inbreeding between the ruling families of the region.

Soon after, they were swept away into the sea by a storm of rebellion caused by their own failures, and nothing of value was lost.

The Queen That Couldn’t Be Bothered

There was a Queen who simply could not be bothered. She stayed in bed mostly, and sometimes walked around the garden, but beyond that she had no interest in affairs. She once saw a cat and stroked it for a while, telling it of the wondrous things she had seen in her dreams, but otherwise she spoke to no-one.

She died at the age of 107 and was mourned briefly by all.

The Tide

The tide that goes out will come in again. The tide that comes in will go out soon enough.

A great poet made mention of this to the king. The King, being ill-equipped to understand metaphor, asked what the hell that had to do with his rule or his kingdom, and the poet was soon after removed from the hall.

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Notes:

1. These were written on July 30th, 2014
2. And have never been used before
3. Primarily because they’re completely pointless
4. Please don’t hate me

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Support An Accumulation Of Things

If you like the things you've read here please consider subscribing to my patreon. Subscribers get not just early access to content and also the occasional gift, but also my eternal gratitude. Which I'm not sure is very useful, but is certainly very real. Thank you.