A Look On The Lighter Side: Good news, for a change!


The excitement was spreading all through Fairy Tale Land.

“Good news!” said the Town Crier, ringing his bell. “Good news for once!”

“Oh, please tell me, good sir — what news?” begged Snow White.

The Town Crier told her, and she started running.

The Seven Dwarves were relaxing in their cottage den, after a strenuous week in the mines, when Snow White came bursting through the door.

“Guess what I just heard?” she said to her housemates. “Some terrific news! Caffeine is good!”

“I could have told you that,” said Doc, pouring two fresh cups from the large carafe. “I’ve been counting on it for years.” He took a deep sniff. “And how do you suppose I ever kept these two in line?” he said, gesturing at Dopey and Sleepy as he handed them their cups.

“I don’t mean just useful — although it is that. I mean it’s actually healthy!”

“Who told you that?” said Grumpy, putting down his newspaper.

“The Town Crier. He says there’s a new audiobook out, by Michael Pollan, about ‘Caffeine,’ and he likes it! You remember him? He’s the guy who said, “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.”

“Oh, yeah, now I remember,” said Grumpy. “He’s the guy who didn’t want us to cook anything. Or eat meat. So now he likes caffeine? Don’t tell me the biggest grouch in the world has sold out? I thought I could count on that man to be negative about everything!”

“Well, not about this, apparently! He calls caffeine ‘the world’s most widely consumed psychoactive drug!’ ”

“What does that mean?” asked Dopey.

“That means it works on your mind, not just your body,” explained Snow White.

“It sure works for me,” said Happy, blowing bubbles into his latte.

“…and seeing as it’s legal,” Snow White continued, “it’s either harmless or actually healthful!”

“How’s that?” Doc wanted to know.

“Apparently, caffeine might actually protect us against Parkinson’s disease, heart problems, even some cancers…plus Pollan says it organizes the rhythms of his day.”

“What does that mean?”

“Keeps him regular, probably.” That was Grumpy.

“Oh.” Bashful blushed.

“Well, it all sounds good to me,” said Snow White.

“Oh, sure it does,” says Grumpy. “But he’s a little late to the party. Where was he, with this caffeine of his, when we needed to wake you up?”

“Yeah— it was really scary for us before that Prince Florian of yours came around with his magic kiss!” Sneezy made smooching noises but they ended in a sneeze.

“Well, all’s well that ends well!” Snow White smiled.

Just then, Florian, now Snow White’s husband, popped his head in from their semi-separate quarters off the den.

“Snow — it’s time to get ready.”

“For what? I only just got home.”

“Have you forgotten? Prince Phillip has invited us to a ball at his castle, tonight. It’s a rave, really. He’s hoping we all make enough noise to wake up Sleeping Beauty so that they can get engaged.”

“Has he tried kissing her?” asked Sneezy. He started to make smooching noises again, but the other dwarves stopped him.

“Not yet — her parents wouldn’t let him.”

“You’ve got to tell them the good news — about caffeine”! said Happy, Dopey and Sleepy together.

“Maybe you could bring along that audiobook,” suggested Doc.

“We’ll do better than that,” said Snow White. “We’ll bring them some coffee! A pound or two of these magic beans, with a grinder, of course, and some filters. Plus a tin of tea for the Queen and her ladies. That should do it!”

Snow White and her Prince walked off, arm in arm, back to their part of the cottage, as Snow White continued, chirpily, “I’m so happy about this! I would have kept drinking pots of it anyway — especially in the mornings. But it’s a relief to know that it’s actually healthy!”

“For me, too. Now, my dear, which gown do you want to wear?”

“Oh, the coffee-colored one, of course. I don’t want to worry about splashes!”


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