Halfway between Agatha Christie, Hahnemann, and Grimm, this fairy tale presents different homeopathic characters. Will you recognize them?
Once upon a time,
There was a woman who loved to wear sparkling jewels, and so beautiful that she shined more than her precious stones. Silver, she had, for she was involved in the jewelry business, a most lucrative job with secrets of the trade only known by her.
She would not allow any spiteful gossip or comments about her activities: she knew how, in one instant, with a quick glance, transform a soft expression into a cutting one and affirm her superiority. Her fits of anger terrorized everyone, but not as much as her scornful smile, which made one want to crawl to the center of the earth.
Tina, as her father named her, had a daughter: Tilla. After dabbling in secondary school, Tilla was, at last, realizing her life dream: she was going to be an actress in a theater. She set her heart on multiple disciplines without ever finishing what she started. The last one to talk was always right for her, as long as it came along with flattery and caresses.
All was perfect between Sky and Earth until one day when Lacy, a customer, and known blabbermouth, came into Tina’s shop. She was all dressed in white like as a young bride, although she was no Spring chicken.
The jeweler lifted up her sharp chin and made her silver mascara flit around. The two women had hated each other for as long as they knew each other: “Your daughter is getting so beautiful, even more beautiful than when she was a child with her marvelous blond hair, her big blue eyes…” said the blabbermouth, flooding Tina with details.
Tina jumped as she was bitten by a snake. Her rage was so over-powering that she promised herself to make Tilla, this little person who reminded her she was no longer eighteen years old, vanished from the surface of the earth. But how to get rid of her own daughter without leaving any evidence? Her anger dissipated when she realized her client was still talking, explaining that a famous jeweler, Cleftan, had just been completely stripped by “invisible” burglars. “Invisible,” repeated Tina, suddenly transported into the world of a Machiavelli plan. How could I take advantage of that? She knew these “Artists,” and she came up with the idea that put her mind to ease. She was very pleased with herself.
Meanwhile, somewhere in the city,
The Artists were celebrating their success. Happy was trying to wipe up a wine mark on his white and red-check shirt. His protruding belly had blown off two buttons, and the menu of preceding days was mapped on his shirt, from starters to desserts. As usual, he was wearing his old black shoes, full of the mud accumulated during his night rambles.
Alone, standing apart, Doc, one of the gangsters, looked very busy. Always flanked with his perfect suit and luxury shoes, he was making the inventory of the loot. His yellowish face, invaded by straight dark hair, turned crimson in front of each coin and lightened up once in a while with thundering laughter.
Suddenly, he stopped on a gold ring and tried it on his little finger: “I feel so close to gold.” The shouts of indignation of Grumpy interrupted his sensual daydreaming, which upset him so much that he was shaking. All noise ceased: everybody feared the boss, especially when his temples started to pulse and his face became scarlet red.
Grumpy tidied up his light blue Burlington shoes. He was the only one capable of standing up to the chief anger. Straight out, Doc stifled him: “We must get in touch with this Tina thief; she is the only one who can fence the goods.” That was more than Grumpy could take: “She’s still going to pocket the maximum while we take all the risks. I can’t stand her arrogance. She always comes at nap time and disturbs me. She comes in, opens the windows and creates unbearable air drafts. In fact, Grumpy had decided to kill her since the day she had called him scrawny. He dwelled on his vengeance every single day.
The Chief turned towards Bashful. He was wearing green clothing, as usual, dressed with care and old-school elegance. His touch of class and old-looking aspect called for respect, even from Doc, the Chief himself. Physically, and excepted from Dopey, Bashful was the weakest of the Seven Dwarfs. He kept himself in the background during the arguing, as long as he could save face. He talked little and immediately stuttered when asked to speak, so nobody spoke to him. In fact, Bashful was much less shy than people thought, and, once the ice was broken, he was an implacable quibbler. The Chief liked him much and often headed to his advice. These were the times when Bashful let his scornful look out, silent, disdainful, watching the other members of the gang from the corner of his eye.
They came up with a simple strategy: They had to blackmail the old woman. But how?
The Night had been long. The thieves had lived through strong emotions; they were exhausted. It was just past 10:00 pm. The shop they used as a hideaway, a bakery called “Doc Laboratory” for his great love for bread, was now bustling with activity.
Suddenly, a series of “explosions” took the thieves out of their deep thoughts. It was Sneezy, having another attack. Like a tap suddenly opening, his face flooded, burning his nose and eyes. Each violent sneeze made the windows vibrate. The wide, warm wool hood Dopey always kept on his head was shaking. Sneezy took off a white handkerchief from the breast pocket of his black shirt.
Sleepy realized that his dozing was over. He slowly put on his brown shoes, scratched his ears diligently, and turned the radio on. Sleepy loved to listen to classical music. Luckily a concert was on. It was the Four Seasons of Vivaldi. Sleepy took off his shoes and socks, exposing his itchy toes and soles, slumped his enormous fat body in an armchair, and started weeping. Soon, Sneezy imagined himself at sea, and this image triggered a torrent of tears interrupted by noisy bursts of laughter. Bashful, too, liked these moments when he could rock himself to the sound of music and abundantly cry as if he was a baby in the arms of his mother. Dopey, as all little children, did not resist the pleasure of weeping with the others for too long.
All was right, Sneezy was not going to alert the neighborhood of their presence any longer, but the gang was now neutralized. Grumpy stood up abruptly. Music made him crazy. He slipped into his green and light blue madras jacket, adjusted his blue tie, and went out, muttering swearing words. He needed a breath of fresh air.
Doc hid the loot in the safe place and then swallowed a hot coffee spiked with two fingers of whisky.
The gang dozed off.
Doc and Sleepy snored loudly, which woke up Sneezy and Dopey. Sneezy stood up, checked that all the doors were perfectly locked, and turned on the kitchen lamp for Dopey, who used to sleepwalk and might start yelling in the middle of Night. Dopey was wearing a huge beige shirt, his inseparable hood had fallen off, and he looked like an obstinate and serious monk with a balding head. Bashful also needed the kitchen light to sleep peacefully, but nobody knew about it. He never mentioned it. Every evening, he expected Sneezy’s little routine.
They finally all fell asleep.
Time was flowing fast that day,
Tina, heavily made-up, was wearing her black and silver panther dress adorned with her shiny and precious jewels. She had a good plan: she would send the “girl” to the bakery under the protection of Tony, her loyal henchman. She sniggered: “It’s in the bag.”
She found Tony at the snack bar, pigging out on two mustard hot dogs and enormous ice cream. Tony hated to be disturbed during his breakfast. So, she sat down, ordered her tenth coffee, and lit up a long, thin American cigarette.
Secretly, Tony has always been in love with Tilla. He listened to her while eating a huge jar of pickles. When Tony started to eat so fast, it meant he was annoyed, but Tilla did not notice it. She was too happy to think about Tilla disappearing forever.
Tony was fat, always dirty, he hated cold water, and bathing was too repulsive of a task for him to even think of it. His bad temper and his sullen aspect justified the authority his mistress treated him with. He knew well that he didn’t stand a chance with Tilla, as she was like a little flower with a lot of her romantic charm. He would not kill her. Rather, he would protect her.
On this Full Moon night, Tony followed Tilla to the bakery. His right toe was so painful that he was in agony. He admitted that his copious meal had been abundantly washed down with beer, wine, and liquors and knew this was calling for massive diarrhea later on.
Tony could not keep his eyes off Tilla. He shivered: she was sitting in an armchair, and the cleavage of her pink dress revealed a gracious neck. A river of pearls fell down her breast. His baby blue handbag was on the floor. Exhausted by the heat of the day, she must have sat on the chair and fell asleep quickly. He kept looking at her. He stayed there, watching her for hours until fatigue got the best of him, and then only he fell asleep.
It was time for our fearsome Dwarfs to wake up.
“Grumpy” was the first one to get up. He was in a very bad mood as usual and did not wait for a second to stir up some trouble. Paternalist, Doc was pleased. He got everybody to calm down and asked Happy to visit Tina. He was an excellent mediator with philosophical knowledge. His philosophical knowledge – he faithfully read the Reader Digest – and his jovial-fellow look always impressed people favorably, providing that he had cleaned himself up.
Transformed by a good night’s sleep, Happy, the emissary received the last recommendations and went out the door, followed by the others. The Night was very clear, but he stumbled on Tilla, although he did not wake her up. The Seven Dwarfs had never seen such a marvelous creature.
“Doc” immediately understood this discovery’s advantage and ordered to catch, attach, and hide Tilla in the back shop. “Dopey” was dripping with sweat from head to toes. “Sneezy” observed her suspiciously, “Bashful” had, of course, blushed into an intense red. As for “Sleepy,” he was busy again scratching some parts of his body we will not describe here. “Grumpy” was stretching while walking back and forth at the same time. “Happy” busted out of laughter while philosophizing on Diana and Venus. “Sneezy” emitted a sound beginning with endless stuttering, as if he had something important to say. Suddenly, “Sneezy could no longer hold it. The perfume of this young woman had got the best of him. Suddenly he took a deep breath, but his wide inspiration was immediately blocked by 4 hands.
Tilla woke up surrounded by seven pairs of eyes. She screamed and started crying, unbeknownst to the fact that her tears were a formidable weapon. All were instantly charmed and captivated by her beauty and sweetness. She offered to make tea, the best joke they had ever heard. They could not stop laughing! It was time to go out to work.
Tony just woke up when he saw them go away, the seven. Besides him was an empty chair; where had Tilla disappeared? Tilla had forgotten Tony, Tina, and her studies. This place was much better than any theater. She was singing, she loved this doll’s house, and the extraordinary little creatures looked like children. Tilla decided it would be her paradise. She would first clean the mess and then prepare a good soup. She started dancing.
Tina had gone to play baccara,
Mainly to flirt around. “Happy” took her aside and filled her in on the new events while offering gin and whisky. Since Tilla was cooking for her dwarfs, Tina would provide dessert. It would be a wonderful poisoned cake. After dessert, she’ll pocket all: the jewels and her vengeance.
The Seven Dwarfs came back. They were surprised and happy with their new house. “Happy” and “Bashful” went straight to the cake. “Bashful,” thought he would share it in 3 slices: one for him, the second for “Happy,” and the rest for the other dwarfs. “Happy” knew very well that most of the cake would be his as “Bashful” was fond of sweets, but he always took on more than he could chew.
“Dinner time,” Said Tilla. Come on, “Doc,” this red suits you nicely, but now I said it’s time to eat. “Doc” added wine to his soup, and “Grumpy” added pepper, ignoring the thought of the pain his hemorrhoids would cause the day after. “Sneezy” found the food was not salty enough as always, and he dipped big pieces of bread into his soup. “Dopey” dove his bald head into the steam of the soup; this heat was so good for his headache. “Happy” was smelling, sniffing, tasting, and swallowing. “Sleepy” appreciated a meal without meat, as the only thought of meat disgusted him.
The sweet time arrived,
The recipe for this marvelous cake will remain a secret. We just know that strychnine was the poison. Only one escaped from this murder: “Grumpy.”
The story would be very sad and not so authentic if it stopped here.
A peddler passing by dropped a few granules into the mouth of every one of our characters, just in time to save our heroes.
Michel Bouko Levy MD Novembre 1988
This story was inspired by an amazing concrete clinical experience.