Welcome to my tour stop for “Hairy Tales” by Clifford James Hayes. Please refer the tour page for the full list of bloggers who are participating in this tour.
Paperback: 148 pages
Buy @ Amazon
Fans of quirky humour will love these Hairy Tales! Eleven different stories full of rhymes, morals and wit – or just plain silliness and absurdity! Great fun for children and adults alike.
Join The Ugly Mermaid on her amazing undersea quest to discover why she’s so hideous, and find out why Veronica the Velociraptor has such very bad teeth! Discover Aubrey’s Smelly Adventure in the Land of Bernards, and learn that it can be cool to be different in Shipwreck’d Sarah and the Silly-Looking Pirates! Are you brave enough to meet the hideous, toad-fearing Grandma Grunt … and what dreadful fate awaits Horrid Horatia, the fearsome lady-slug? Baron Tuskogee pays a terrible price for his greed in The Walrus Story, stinky old Podge the pig revolts in more ways than one, and the dreaded Lurgatron threatens to take over the world!
All this (and a great deal more!) can be found in Hairy Tales! New, revised edition.
Toward the sea would mournfully stare
The Ugly Mermaid, combing her hair!
Perched on dark, foreboding rocks,
She’d screech and wail and tend her locks
Sad was our mermaid, full of woe;
A curse had left her grim to behold!
She hoped one day to be set free,
Who’d save her from such misery?
One day, as she searched for a sign,
She watched the sun begin to shine.
Beneath its glow a dolphin swam,
‘I’ll follow it!’ she thought, then – wham!
She flolloped her bulk into the ocean,
And set her undersea quest in motion.
She dived and found what couldn’t be;
A kingdom deep beneath the sea!
Once upon a time, there lived a very ugly mermaid. The End. Well no, perhaps not quite The End, though the story certainly could end there – no magic potion was ever going to make The Ugly Mermaid beautiful, no mystical wizard of the sea was ever going to cast a spell on her to get rid of her fat, blubbery belly, and no handsome prince was ever going to fall under an enchantment and see her as anything other than what she was. She was ugly, and that was that. But, perhaps as you’d expect, that didn’t stop her from wishing otherwise – which is why I think there is a little more to tell.
Despite having a face that made seaweed shrivel and made sharks cast themselves down into the darkest, inkiest depths of the ocean in utter fear, The Ugly Mermaid really wasn’t a bad person. Scary-looking, but not bad. She was quite the opposite, in fact – though anyone and everyone who came into contact with her were always too afraid of her to discover what The Ugly Mermaid was really like.
And that made her cry. A lot. She cried so much (and so loudly) she made ships crash into rocks. Her wailing and screaming made sailors’ ears bleed, and the frustrated banging of her fishy tail on the rocks on which she lay sounded like terrible thunder. Sea-farers’ minds became so befuddled by the cacophonous noise that was the lardy sea-siren’s screech they preferred to sink to the bottom of the sea to get away from it. Whales and dolphins heard her wails and moans from many leagues away and mistook the noise for the tortuous grumbling of some unknown, terrifying sea-monster.
Everyone, and everything, feared her hideousness. They feared her wailing. And stayed well away. No-one knew her real name – she was simply known as ‘The Ugly Mermaid’ – which is fair enough, as it summed her up quite nicely.
Every day, without fail and regardless of the weather, she could be found perched on the same stretch of treacherous rocky cliffs overlooking the same stretch of gloomy, threatening sea. Were anyone brave enough – or foolish enough – to venture close to her dwelling spot, they would see The Ugly Mermaid holding a rusting, barnacled vanity mirror in one hand, whilst teasing her long strands of seaweed-tangled blonde hair with a brush held in the other.
And every day she cried out the same pleading questions. ‘Why, oh why am I so hideous?,’ The Ugly Mermaid would cry out to the dark ocean. ‘Why have the undersea gods forsaken me so, and left me with a face that’s as lumpy as a toad’s back? Why do my arms look like fat, tattooed saveloy sausages? What terrible, shameful thing have I done to end up this way, with my bristly belly of lard and facial jelly-moles the size of jellyfish? Why do my boobs droop like a seal’s flippers, and why are my jowls so bearded and stubbly? I only want to be beautiful! I only want to be loved!’ And every day her same pleading questions went unheeded.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Clifford James Hayes is an occasional author and independent publisher, and has to date written and illustrated over a dozen books in different genres (childrens’ tales, historical fantasy, comedic science fiction and biographical). His ‘day job’ is running his graphic design business (www.hayesdesign.co.uk) where his specialism is the design of books and cd/albums. Inspirations for his books include Roald Dahl, Monty Python, Rik Mayall, Spike Milligan and (most importantly) the mad outpourings of his young daughter, Poppy, to whom all his books are dedicated. For more info please get in touch via http://www.hayesdesign.co.uk.