I first encountered this story in a general collection of children’s literature. I loved the delicious language and the whimsical nature of the storytelling, the absurd names and the illogical non-sequiturs. Only after I had read it to my kids a number of times did I realize who the author was: the illustrious Charles Dickens, and then everything made a lot more sense. It originally appeared as Part II of a work called Holiday Romance.  The Good Fairy Grandmarina has long been one of my favorite characters – for no-nonsense, she puts Mary Poppins to shame.
So without further ado, I present you the full text of “The Magic Fishbone.” Have no pity for the dreadful little snapping pug-dog next door – Dickens certainly didn’t.
THERE was once a king, and he had a queen; and he was the manliest of his sex, and she was the loveliest of…
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