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Bedtime Stories That Will Get Your Kids to Do Stuff

04/20/2015 01:16 pm ET | Updated Jun 20, 2015
Eva Carollo Photography via Getty Images

Do we really need to read Goodnight Moon and If You Give a Mouse a Cookie again? It's high time we make storytime work for us. Why tell the tired old tale of the little bird that lost its mother when you can use one of these story gems to coax your kid into much-needed action? These stories are most effective with a mojito in hand. You're welcome!

*****

In an intergalactic space station, Striker Fierce raises his saber blade to eye level. He waves it back and forth rhythmically, its undulating drone mesmerizing the crowd that has gathered to witness the epic battle.

"No one can defeat the forces of darkness, Striker Fierce," says Savage Hellthroat, the leather-clad dominator of the hidden world.

"I have the secret of Aurora and the courage of Borealis," says Striker. "And I shall prevail. But first, I'll need to put on my socks."

Now you put on your socks.

*****

All the princesses were all together, having a birthday party with cake. It was all of their birthdays at the same time! And so every princess got her own cake -- the one with the blue dress, and the one with the purple dress, and the one with the pink dress, who was the prettiest princess of all.

"But where are the talking animals?" said the marginally popular princess.

"The talking animals are sad today," said the spirited princess who looked as if she had a naughty secret. "Because their bangs are too long. So they can't come to the party. And that's why all the birthday cakes are about to be destroyed!"

Let me cut your hair, and then the princesses won't be devastated.

*****

"Oh ho!" said the Fabulous Armadillo. "Can I have one of those fuzzy hats?"

"Yes! I will give you a fuzzy hat," said the Quirky Gorilla. "And can I have a pair of psychedelic Bermuda shorts?"

"Well sure," said the Agitated Giraffe. "And I'll have a mojito. No, just kidding. I will give you the Bermuda shorts. And can I have maple syrup from your maple tree?"

"Oh ho, I will give you maple syrup," said the Fabulous Armadillo. "And then we can all have pancakes. But we will get sticky!"

I'm sure you know where this is going. I will give you a million dollars if you get into the bath right now.

*****

"My!" said the princess in the pink dress. "We're all here together. Everyone is having a very good time."

"Yes," agreed the princess in the blue dress. "A very, very good time."

"I think that little bluebird is vomiting," said the talking fish.

"This Princess Party is getting out of hand," observed the shoeless cobbler. "Perhaps we should drink the next round more slowly."

"Or we could just eat some carbs," said the Fabulous Armadillo. "And keep the drinks coming."

That's your cue to eat what's on your plate.

*****

Savage Hellthroat lay on the ground, vanquished by the brave and valiant Striker Fierce.

"Have mercy," pleaded Savage. "For it is not I who masterminded the attack on the Xagorkians. I am but a servant of the Lord Thovazoid84. He is the true force of darkness. Striker Fierce, if you spare my life, I will offer you my firstborn."

"There is no need for such a sacrifice, Savage Hellthroat," said Striker Fierce. "For as a warrior of the Crellian Way, I am as compassionate as I am brave."

"Still," Savage Hellthroat reasoned, "That is no reason not to take my firstborn. You may take him. Please. There he is."

"As a Crellian warrior," Striker countered, as he eyed the young spawn of Hellthroat who was emptying a bag of small colorful rubber bands onto the floor, "My lifestyle does not really permit me to take on the custodianship of such a tender being as he."

"Perhaps just for a month, then," Hellthroat suggested. "Or a week. How about just for a few hours? You take him and I will be back in an hour, tops. I vow not to stay out longer than that."

But it was known in the galaxy that Hellthroat was not a warrior of his word, particularly where his firstborn was concerned.

"Can't do it," said Striker Fierce. "But what I don't understand is why someone would be so resistant to putting on socks. It just doesn't make any sense."

"No," agreed Hellthroat. "It doesn't. But what can we do?"

"I shall tell you," said Striker. "Because I have vowed to seek justice. I have sworn to plunge into the infinite and explore its depths. I brave the dangers of the galaxy and then defy its outer limits. I am a warrior, Savage Hellthroat, and I uphold the ways of the sacred code. So now I will pee in the toilet, brush my teeth and go to bed."

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