Tell an Aggie Fairy Tale on National Tell a Story Day
April 27 is National Tell a Story Day. To celebrate, the College of Liberal Arts is reimaging some of our favorite fairy tale characters as Aggies!
Stories by Rachel Knight ‘18
Illustrations by Dana Dang ‘23
In honor of National Tell a Story Day on April 27, the College of Liberal Arts is retelling some of our favorite fairy tales as if the main character’s were Aggies!
Join us in celebrating story telling, reading, and writing. Enjoy our Aggie themed fractured fairy tales now. Then share them with friends and family later.
“Goldilocks and the Three Bears”
Moral of the Story: Respecting others (and their privacy and property) is good bull.
Once upon a time a prospective student named Goldilocks visited Texas A&M’s beautiful campus. After completing her campus tour, she decided to go exploring. She wondered from one end of campus to the other until she was a little lost. She found a beautiful building that faced a golf course, and decided to see if anyone inside could offer some directional help. She admired the ornate columns lining the front of the building as she climbed the stairs to the front door.
At the top, she found three members of the Aggie family whose last name was Bear. She ran up to the Bears shouting, “Howdy!” It wasn’t until the three Bears stopped smiling and looked very concerned that she realized she’d interrupted their recording of a class project.
The Bears, being selfless Aggies, quickly recovered from their disappointment and offered to help the prospective student. Goldilocks explained that she was lost and had been headed inside to ask for directions. The Bears helped Goldilocks download a map of campus to her phone while explaining that they were anthropology students recording a video about the importance of respecting the artifacts they discover in their research.
Goldilocks felt like she’d just discovered an important artifact of her own, the Aggie values in practice. She offered to operate the camera for their class project and keep an eye out for other lost prospective students in exchange for a few more campus insights. The four became life-long friends and lived happily ever after.
“Hansel and Gretel”
Moral of the Story: Be creative with how you communicate.
Once upon a time Hansel, a communication major in the College of Liberal Arts, invited his sister Gretel to campus for the weekend so that he could take her to a football game and give her a campus tour.
The Aggie football team played a great game, but it was close up until the end when the Aggies made a last minute touchdown in their third overtime to win the game. Hansel, being a dedicated fan, cheered on the Aggies so loudly throughout the game that he lost his voice. He didn’t think much of it during the game, but as he prepared to give Gretel a campus tour the next day he realized that he wouldn’t be able to talk about all of the things that make Aggieland so special on their tour.
A line in the “Spirit of Aggieland” came to mind, “There’s a spirit can ne’er be told,” as well as a lesson on nonverbial communication from one of his classes. “That’s it,” Hansel thought to himself. “The spirit of Aggieland isn’t something you can verbally communicate. You have to show it to somebody, not tell them about it.”
Hansel began the tour in Spirit Plaza. He watched Gretel’s appreciation for his beloved university grow as she read about each Aggie tradition. He knew she’d fully grasped the Aggie spirit when she touched the letter written by Ted Crowed after witnessing his first Silver Taps ceremony as if she were squeezing the hand of an old friend. When Gretel asked if she could write her own letter for this month’s Silver Taps, Hansel knew Gretel understood “the spirit can ne’er be told.”
“Jack and the Beanstalk”
Moral of the story: Make good investments.
Once upon a time, an economics student named Jack was a redpot (leader of the organization that builds the traditional Aggie Bonfire) helping make important financial decisions for Bonfire. The organization had fallen on hard times, and needed to carefully budget what little money they had.
After a long night of exploring local businesses on Northgate, Jack was tasked with heading into town to purchase new equipment and food for Cut, the first day of harvesting logs. Jack ran into a wise looking older gentleman who was selling live hens, strong axes, and beans. “Howdy!” Jack said. “Are those axes for sale?”
“Indeed they are,” replied the man, “but they’ll cost you a pretty penny. What have you got to offer for them?”
Jack counted his money and reported back to the gentleman. He was careful to explain that he needed enough money left over to buy food, too. “Don’t worry about the food,” The man said. “I’ll throw in my hens and these beans free of charge. Both species are nearly extinct, but because you’re an Aggie I know I can trust you to take excellent care of them.” Jack, eager to get back and started on his next task, thanked the man profusely as he traded all of his money for the axes, hens, and beans.
His peers were furious when he returned with live hens and beans for food. They threw the beans out the window and said the hens would be sleeping with Jack that night. Jack went to bed feeling horrible, hungry, and tired.
Much to his surprise, when he awoke the next morning, Jack was sleeping on a pile of eggs four feet high. He opened his window to get some light, but all he could see was a giant green tree. “Since when do trees grow beans?” he asked himself. Then he realized the beans he’d purchased must have grown overnight. His investment turned out to be the best one Bonfire could have made. They had eggs and beans for breakfast each day, and what they couldn’t eat they sold for a quick and easy profit.
“Beauty and the Beast”
Moral of the Story: Knowledge, a kind heart, and expanded worldview (which can be gained through books) leads to a happy ending.
Once upon a time there was a smart and beautiful mascot named Reveille. She was cared for by a member of the Corp of Cadets at Texas A&M University, who was referred to as her handler. One day, her handler had to travel to a strange place called Austin.
Austin sounded dangerous and unfriendly to Reveille, so she offered to travel with her handler. “Absolutely not!” her handler said. “But I’ll bring you back anything you’d like.” Reveille knew her handler was a poor college student, so she made just one small request. “I’d like you to bring me some Austin soil, so that I can say I’ve stood on strange land.”
Reveille’s handler traveled carefully from College Station to Austin, but ran into some trouble on the way home. They pulled over next to a brightly lit barn and decided to rest for a bit before returning to the road. The barn seemed like a good place to get a handful of soil for Miss Rev, so they went inside. It was more friendly and inviting than anything else in the busy city, so they decided to stay for a while. They found a nice little cot next to a heap of hay, laid down, and quickly fell asleep.
Suddenly, Reveille’s handler felt a rush of warm air on the back of their neck, and startled awake to find themself face-to-face with a huge beast with long horns and a name tag that read “BEVO.” The beast insisted on knowing from where the handler had traveled. When the beast heard the handler was an Aggie, he became giddy with excitement. “You’ll take me back to the oasis called Aggieland you hail from, or else I’ll put my horns through your truck door,” Bevo insisted. Reveille’s handler decided their best bet was to bring Bevo back to College Station, or else they’d never get back home to Reveille. So they loaded Bevo into the truck and hit the road.
When they returned to College Station, Reveille was puzzled to find her handler had brought a little more than a handful of soil from Austin. “He’s brought an entirely new species!” she thought.
Her handler warned her to stay far away from the beast named Bevo. Reveille obeyed until her handler and the beast were both asleep. While her handler saw a beast with long horns when they looked at Bevo, she was well read and simply saw a steer who’s horns needed a good trimming. She sawed Bevo’s horns off as he slumbered through the night. She also carefully removed the horribly colored name tag from the steer’s face. When everyone awoke the next morning, her handler was surprised to find Reveille playing with the most handsome steer he’d ever seen.
Reveille and Bevo became lifelong friends and lived happily ever after reading books and taking English classes that taught them not to judge a book by its cover!
“Borreguita and the Coyote: A Tale of Ayutla, Mexico”
Major: Hispanic Studies
Moral of the Story: Use your wit when facing a formidable challenge.
On a campus called Aggieland, there once lived a little ewe lamb. Students simply called her Borreguita, which means “little lamb.” One day after all the Aggies had gone to bed for the night, a coyote came along. “I’m going to eat you,” growled the coyote. Borreguita bleated, “Senor Coyote, why eat me when there is something that tastes so much better than lamb just a short walk across campus?”
“What could taste better than lamb?” asked Coyote. “Cheese!” Borreguita replied “And I know where you can find a whole big wheel of it. Follow me!” So off they went across campus. Their walk was lit by a full moon straight up in the sky. Borreguita led Coyote to Fish Pond. “Do you see it?” she asked as she pointed her hoof at what looked like a big, round cheese glowing in the water. “Swim out and get it!”
Coyote splashed into Fish Pond and swam toward the cheese. It seemed to be endlessly in front of him, until finally he opened his big, wide mouth and lunged. The image disappeared, and Fish Pond water rushed into Coyote’s mouth. He returned to the edge of Fish Pond in a coughing fit, only to find Borreguita was gone. The cleaver Aggie lamb had tricked him! He shook off the water, looked up at the moon and howled in frustration.
The next morning, Borreguita went to graze near the giant Aggie ring statue behind the Alumni Center. She knew Coyote would come after her, but she wasn’t afraid. She was an Aggie with a plan. When she heard Coyote coming, she quickly climbed a ladder she had carefully placed under the center of the enormous ring. She lay on her back bracing her feet against the top.
Coyote found her and growled, “I see you silly Borreguita. And now I’m going to eat you!”
With an edge of pain and worry in her voice, Borreguita bleated, “Senor Coyote, you can’t eat me now! I’m holding up this heavy Aggie ring. If I drop it now, we’ll both be crushed.” Coyote looked at the ring and saw that the Aggie lamb was indeed holding it up.
“If we work together we can both escape,” Borreguita suggested. “You hold the ring and I’ll go get help.” Coyote thought for a quick moment as the little lamb’s legs began to shake. He crept under the center of the ring and put up his feet. “Push hard,” said Borreguita. “A little harder. Oh, now you’ve got it.” Once Borreguita could see that Coyote was struggling to hold up the weight of the ring, she hurried down the ladder and went leaping and running across campus.
Coyote held up the Aggie ring until his legs ached. As his legs wobbled he said to himself, “Even if the ring falls, I can’t hold it up any longer!” He rolled over on his tummy and covered his head with his paws. Much to his surprise, the Aggie ring did not fall. He realized the Aggie lamb had fooled him a second time, and howled in frustration.
As soon as his legs would carry him again, Coyote hid himself in a memorial on campus. He knew Borreguita was a good Aggie who would stop by to pay her respects. Just as she entered the memorial, Coyote jumped out and said, “Borreguita, you cannot escape me now!” Borreguita looked remorsefully at Coyote and said, “Senor Coyote, I know you will eat me as you wish, but please grant me one small wish. Swallow me whole so it won’t hurt as much.” Coyote considered this request and asked, “How could I possibly swallow you in one piece?”
“Why, Senor Coyote,” Borreguta replied. “Anyone who howls as deeply and loudly as you must have a mouth big enough to swallow an Alabama Elephant, much less a little Aggie lamb! You just open your mouth as wide as you can and I will run right in and save you the energy of all that chewing.”
Coyote thought to himself, “I am awfully tired from swimming in Fish Pond and holding up the Aggie Ring. Perhaps this is a kindness I should accept from the Aggie lamb.” So he agreed. He opened his mouth as wide as he could. A little howl escaped and he closed his eyes.
As his eyes shut, Borregeta got ready to run. Little did Coyote know, Borreguita had been training with the Aggie football team. She put her head down and prepared to charge at Coyote as if she were a defensive tackle! She hit the inside of Coyote’s mouth so hard, he went rolling and howling all the way to Kyle Field. From that day on, Borregeta frisked about campus with glee, and Coyote never bothered the little Aggie lamb again.
Moral of the Story: Tell the truth and take responsibility for your own mistakes, a lesson history often teaches us over and over again.
Once upon a time, there was a loving father who wanted only the best for his three beautiful daughters. He was poor, but hard working. He’d saved up enough money to send his daughters to the best university in all the land, and on this sunny August day he took his three girls to study for the next four years in Aggieland.
Along the way, he ran into an influential scholar. He thought that being in the scholar’s good graces might help his daughters in their studies, so he began to brag about how brilliant each of them was. After he’d been talking for quite some time, he found himself saying that his daughter’s could turn knowledge into gold. The scholar was highly impressed and invited the father to bring one of his daughters one at a time to his office for an internship for the next three summers. The father agreed and the family finished their trip to Texas A&M University.
The three daughters studied hard and took more classes in one semester than most students take in a full year. Before long, summer was here. The girls welcomed the break from their studies, and looked forward to seeing their adoring dad. On their way home, the family dropped the oldest daughter off at the scholar’s office to start her internship. “Your dad said you can turn knowledge into gold,” said the scholar. “Let’s see if this is true. I’ll give you until the end of the summer to complete all the classes your heart desires and turn them into gold.”
With an incredibly long list of classes in hand, the girl began walking home. “How will I ever turn all this knowledge into gold?” she wondered to herself as she stared at the computer screen. Then, as if by magic an email appeared from the Association of Former Students announcing that she was just six course credits away from ordering her Aggie ring. “That’s it,” she thought to herself. “I’ll finish a couple more classes and order my Aggie ring!” She studied diligently all summer until she had enough course credits to order her Aggie ring. She was giddy with excitement, until she saw the price of her little piece of gold. She’d been so absorbed in her studies, that she’d forgotten how expensive Aggie rings are. “Apply for an Aggie ring scholarship,” suggested a boy she assumed was another student. “Here, I’ll help you fill out your application.” Together, they put together the best application the Association of Former Students had ever read. “How will I ever repay you?” the girl asked. “Your books look pretty nice,” said the boy. So she gave him her books and ran to the Association of Former Students to pick up her Aggie ring.
When she returned to her internship the following day, the scholar was amazed to learn that she’d turned her credit hours into the most beautiful gold ring he’d ever seen. He was excited now to see the next sister repeat this feat next summer.
Another school year came and went, and when the summer months rolled around the middle sister went to work for the scholar who made her the same offer he’d provided the eldest sister. The middle sister wondered how on earth she’d turn knowledge into gold, until she realized she was just three credits away from earning her Aggie ring. She studied hard and aced her final summer exams only to realize she didn’t have enough money to pay for her Aggie ring. “If you’ll give me a few of your extra course credits, I’ll help you apply for an Aggie ring scholarship,” said a boy who, like her older sister, she assumed was a student. “Oh, thank you! I’ll give you whichever credits you like if you’ll help me,” she replied. So together they put together a winning application. She returned to her internship the following day and showed off her achievement with a shiny new Aggie ring. The scholar was impressed, and even more excited to see if the youngest sister could follow in the footsteps of the oldest two sisters.
Once again the sisters all returned to Aggieland. And once again summer came all too quickly. The youngest sister began her internship with the scholar, who offered a similar deal to the one he’d offered the oldest two sisters. This time, however, he sweetened the deal. “If you are able to turn your knowledge into gold like your sisters before you, I’ll make all three of you my business partners.” This was the opportunity her father had hoped an education would provide for his daughters, the youngest child thought to herself as she eagerly accepted the offer.
Just like her sisters, the youngest girl had no trouble completing her classes. Her challenge was in paying for the Aggie ring the scholar desired. Just when she thought all hope was lost, the same boy her sisters assumed was a student appeared. “I helped your sisters get their Aggie rings by helping them apply for ring scholarships,” the boy explained. “I’ll do the same for you, but it comes with a price. You must promise to give me your degree and position within the company.” The youngest girl thought hard about what to do. If she didn’t impress the scholar by turning her knowledge into gold, her sisters would miss out on the career of their dreams. Not wanting to rob her sisters of an opportunity for a fulfilling career, she agreed to the boy’s demand. She returned the next day to the scholars delight with a shiny gold Aggie ring on her hand.
The next year seemed to fly by. The three sisters graduated at Reed Arena on a warm day in May, and smiled holding their diplomas and hugging their dad. The boy who they all thought was a student suddenly appeared when the youngest sister found herself alone for a moment. “You owe me your degree,” he said. “Now it’s time to hand over that diploma.” The youngest sister thought of the countless hours she’d spent working for her education. She pleaded with all her heart to be allowed to keep her diploma until finally the boy offered another deal. “Fine. If you can guess my name and one thing I am not by the end of the day, I’ll let you keep your degree.”
The girl filled her family in on what had happened. They all thought long and hard about what his name could be and all the things he wasn’t. When he appeared before the sisters that evening. The youngest proudly proclaimed, “Your name is Rumpelstiltskin. You’re the character from the classic fairy tale we learned about in one of our history classes.” The boy was shocked. She’d figured it out. He didn’t worry though, because he had magic on his side. There was only one thing he’d never be. The sister continued. “The thing you’re not is easy to see. You’d be willing to lie, cheat, and steal a degree that doesn’t belong to you. You are certainly not an Aggie.” She was right. There was no denying it! Rumpelstiltskin became so angry that he stomped his foot though the ground and limped off in a rage and the sisters never saw him again.
“The Bremen Town Musicians”
Major: International Studies
Moral of the Story: You can travel farther with a little teamwork.
Once upon a time there was a donkey who had big dreams of traveling the world. He was a student at Texas A&M University who spent his days running from class to class hauling heavy books from one end of the sprawling campus to the other. At the end of his sophomore year, he realized he was officially an upperclassman and that his college days would soon be gone. He decided it was time to get serious about studying abroad, and set off to change his major to international studies.
As he walked across campus, he ran into a dog who was wearing an Aggie ring. The donkey knew this meant the dog was an upperclassman. The dog had a long, sad look on his face. “Howdy, friend!” the donkey said. “What’s got you down?” The dog explained that he felt like his college years were quickly slipping away and he felt he’d missed the chance to study abroad. “Well then, you should join me on my journey across campus,” the donkey replied plainly. “I’m going to change my major to international studies. Perhaps you can do the same!” The dog suddenly felt much happier, and began walking eagerly with the donkey across campus.
Soon, the donkey and the dog crossed paths with a cat. The cat looked weary and worried, so the donkey tried to cheer her up with a friendly smile and a happy “Howdy!” The cat was startled at first, but once she recovered she responded warmly. When the donkey asked why she looked so worried, the cat said, “I fear I’ve missed the opportunity to see the world. I’m about to be a senior, and I still haven’t studied abroad.” The donkey gave a quiet and understanding bray. Then he invited her to join them in paying the international studies department a visit. The cat was delighted by the solution and fell in step with the donkey and the dog.
Not too much further on their trek across campus, the donkey, the dog, and the cat spotted a rooster who was crying out in despair. “Why friend, whatever is the matter,” the donkey asked with concern. The rooster shared that he was about to be a junior, and just realized he’d not included a study abroad trip in his degree plan. The donkey offered a simple solution, “Change your major to international studies. Studying abroad is part of the curriculum.” The rooster crowed with delight at the thought and joined his new friends on their quest.
The troop of upperclassmen continued to sing the praises of international studies all the way to the Academic Building. When they got there, the students suddenly felt a little nervous. Each was wondering if studying abroad with the international studies program was the right choice for them. The donkey had an idea. “Let’s stand one on top of the other and peek into the windows on the second floor. We’ll be able to audit the classes and get a better idea of what we’re signing up for.” The others were delighted by this idea, so they carefully stacked up. The donkey volunteered to be the base. The dog stood on the donkey’s back, and the cat stood on the dog. The rooster stood on the cat, and carefully peered into the window.
The troop of friends was in luck! The class they were auditing had just returned from a study abroad trip. The students were taking turns presenting what they learned. As each student reported their experiences to the class, the rooster reported them to the new friend troop. They all began making the most peculiar sounds in delight. The donkey brayed loudly. The dog howled happily. The cat meowed excitedly, and the rooster crowed in delight. The sound of the friend troop singing frightened the class. They all ran out of the Academic Building to see what was causing the chilling sound. As the students left through the back door, the donkey, the dog, the cat, and the rooster entered through the front. They went straight to the advising office and signed up for a trip to Breman together. The advisor jokingly called them “The Bremen Town Aggie Musicians” referencing the noise they’d made earlier. The friends liked the name, and still call themselves “The Bremen Town Aggie Musicians” to this day!
“Puss in Boots”
Major: Performance Studies
Moral of the Story: You can achieve anything and be anyone so long as you have the proper costuming!
Once upon a time there was an Aggie and an LSU tiger who worked together at a summer internship in Bryan College Station. The Aggie was nicknamed Sarge and the LSU tiger was nicknamed Puss. Sarge was a year ahead of Puss in school and served as Puss’ mentor in the office. Sarge knew Puss had a lack of local knowledge and friends, and being the kind Aggie that he was, Sarge tried hard to make Puss feel welcome in Aggieland. Puss was incredibly thankful for Sarge’s kindness, and developed a plan to repay his kindness.
Sarge had shown Puss his favorite local coffee shops, and Puss quickly realized Aggie students often gathered at these coffee shops to pass the time on long, hot summer days. He also noticed Sarge was interested in dating, but far too shy to start up a conversation with a stranger. Puss, being a smooth talker and personable cat, started introducing himself to groups of Aggies in the coffee shops he and Sarge visited. He would slowly bring Sarge into these conversations, and before he’d known what had happened, Sarge would find himself connecting with others in the Aggie network.
On one of their weekly visits to a local coffee shop, Puss struck up one of his casual conversations with a group of Texas A&M students. Sarge spoke with more enthusiasm than normal, and Puss watched Sarge closely to see if he could figure out why. He concluded that Sarge had really taken a liking to one of the girls in the group, and set the next phase of his plan in motion. “Say, what’s your name,” he innocently asked the Aggie girl. She shared that her name was Alice Kyle, but that her friends just called her Ali. “We’ll take that as an invitation to call you Ali, right Sarge,” Puss said. Eager to make a good impression, Sarge quickly agreed.
The conversation continued with Puss gently leading the discussion and Sarge following his lead until Ali said she had to leave for a summer class. She’d taken an interest in Sarge during their conversation. She liked that he was more reserved than Puss, and felt like she’d enjoy spending time with him. So she casually mentioned that she and some friends were going dancing that night and invited Sarge and Puss to join them. Before Sarge could answer, Puss responded, “We’ll be there!”
After Ali was out of earshot, Sarge looked a Puss with shock on his face and said, “Dude, I don’t know how to dance. Why on earth would you accept an invitation from such a beautiful girl to show off my two left feet?” In truth, Puss had assumed all Texans knew how to two-step, but quickly recovered from his shock. He told Sarge not to worry and said he’d take care of everything. “You better,” Sarge said with a laugh, “Or we’ll be the talk of the town tomorrow morning.”
Puss took Sarge shopping that afternoon. Puss outfited Sarge in the finest western wear in Aggieland, and explained that there are three secrets to dancing. The first was dressing sharp. The second was using confident body language and facial expressions. The third was a fine pair of boots.
When Sarge and Puss hit the dance hall, Sarge looked as if he’d spent many nights gracing the floor. Ali was thoroughly impressed, and at the end of the evening agreed to go on a date with Sarge. Puss was happy for his friend and said, “See, good looks, good manners, and the proper costuming can help you achieve anything!” Sarge was thankful that he helped Puss to Texas A&M and become a performance studies major. The two have lived happily ever after as best friends ever since.
“The Three Little Pigs”
Moral of the Story: Hard work and dedication pay off, that’s our Aggie philosophy!
Once upon a time there were three brothers whose last name was Pig. Their mother simply called them her “Little Pigs.” One day she realized her Little Pigs were almost fully grown. “My sweet Little Pigs,” their mother said. “The time has come for each of you to choose a college. This weekend, I’d like you to visit a university you think you might want to attend.”
The three Little Pigs left the house early Saturday morning. They ran into a man who was hauling hay, and the first Little Pig decided to strike up a conversation with him. “I see you attended school at Texas Tech,” the first Little Pig squealed pointing to the man’s hat. “Ah yes!” replied the man. “Great school! You should check it out. I’m actually headed there now. Care to join me?” The first Little Pig was delighted by the offer and agreed to travel to Lubbock with the man for the weekend to learn more about Texas Tech University.
The other two Little Pigs continued their quest to find universities that interested them. Before long, they ran into a man who was hauling lumber. The second Little Pig thought he looked nice, and struck up a conversation with him. “Hi there!” he began. “I can see that you’ve spent some time studying at Baylor University. Did you enjoy your studies there?” The man was excited to hear an inquiry about his intellect, so he eagerly replied. “Those were the best years of my life. I’d love to show you around campus. I’m headed that way now. Won’t you join me?” The second Little Pig thought it would be rude to deny such a friendly offer, so he agreed to travel to Waco with the man who was hauling lumber.
The third Little Pig continued his pursuit of a higher education institution. He searched long and hard for the best university, until finally he ran into an Aggie who was hauling bricks. “Howdy, sir,” said the third Little Pig. “I couldn’t help noticing your Aggie pride,” he said pointing to the man’s polo shirt. “Howdy!” the man replied with a smile. Seeing that the Aggie was friendly, the third Little Pig decided to ask a little more about the man’s alma mater. “Well, it’s hard to describe what makes Texas A&M University so special,” the man said plainly. “It would be easier to show you. I’m actually hauling these bricks to campus now. Why don’t you come with me?” The third Little Pig eagerly accepted the offer.
Each Little Pig asked what his host was doing hauling things to their alma mater. Each host explained that wolves had returned to Texas and that they were going to use the materials to protect their schools from the big, bad wolves.
The first Little Pig helped the Texas Tech grad build a pen out of straw. The structure went up quickly. When the big, bad wolves arrived, they ran right into the pen. Then, because the structure was so weak, they ran through it and right back out.
The first Little Pig caught a ride to Waco, where he found the second Little Pig helping the Baylor grad build a pen made of lumber. The Baylor grad had taught the second Little Pig to cut the lumber into ornate shapes that were about the size of twigs and sticks. The woodworking skills resulted in the most beautiful pen either Little Pig had ever seen. When the wolves came, they ran right in, but as soon as a big gust of wind blew, sawdust went flying through the air and the lumber structure came tumbling down. The big, bad wolves were on the loose again.
The first and second Little Pig decided to see what the third Little Pig had discovered. They thanked their hosts and headed to Aggieland. The third Little Pig was hard at work alongside the Aggie and other members of the Aggie family. They slowly and carefully built a brick structure two stories high and three layers thick. The Aggie explained that he’d learned the value of hard work while studying all kinds of topics in the College of Liberal Arts. Interdisciplinary studies classes in topics like women and gender studies, Africana studies, Latino/a and Mexican American studies, and religious studies made him a well rounded problem solver. The third Little Pig noticed a list of words labeled “Aggie Core Values.” He realized that in the short time he’d spent with the Aggie family, he’d seen respect, excellence, leadership loyalty, integrity, and selfless service. He put the final brick in place just as his brothers came running onto campus.
The Little Pigs waited and watched for the big, bad wolves. When the wolves arrived, they ran straight into the brick pen. The first two Little Pigs just knew the structure would fall the next time the wolf pack moved or the wind blew. They braced themselves as the largest gust of wind they’d ever experienced blew through Aggieland. Much to their amazement, the brick structure held its ground. The big, bad wolves began to howl and cry. The Aggie family brought the wolves food and water, a kindness no one else thought to offer. The big, bad wolves became cheerful and playful. The Aggies showed them the way home, and the big, bad wolves left wagging their tails behind them.
When the three Little Pigs returned home, they announced to their mom in unison, “We’re joining the Aggie family!”
“The Pied Piper”
Major: Political Science
Moral of the Story: Cheating people can have unexpected and dreadful consequences.
Once upon a time there was a town in Alabama called Tuscaloosa. It was a beautiful city full of life, incredibly talented football players, and enthusiastic fans. Year after year, the football team won championships much to the fans delight.
Eventually, the fans grew so used to the football team winning that they began falling asleep during halftime of the games, which made for a very quite second half of the games. The coaches and players missed the crowd noise, and tried everything they could think of to rid the town of what they called the “halftime plague.” They tried trick plays. They tried cheerleaders. They even tried bringing in live elephants, but their fans all seemed to fall under the sleepy spell of the “halftime plague.” Eventually, the head football coach began advertising a scholarship at any school in the country for anyone who could keep the fans awake during their games.
One day a strange bus rolled into town that said, “Lead by Example.” The people who stepped off the bus were all dressed in plain khaki uniforms. “There’s no way this boring crew can keep our fans awake,” the head coach said to his team. The neatly uniformed crew ignored the rude comment and offered a friendly, “Howdy,” instead. “We’re the Fightin’ Texas Aggie Band,” the director declared. “We’ll keep your fans awake and off their seats through halftime if you promise to give each band member the scholarship to reward your promise in your advertisements. Our methods are tried and true. Passed down through our university’s history.”
“History?” the coach replied with a chuckle. “I slept harder in that class than I did in any other. You’ve got yourself a deal.” He stuck out his hand and shook the director’s in a gentlemen’s agreement.
The first half of the game ended with most of the Alabama fans yawning as their butts hit their seats. The Alabama coach looked up into the stands and laughed as he thought of the Aggie band trying to keep the sleepy fans awake.
Then, with all the enthusiasm in the world, the Aggie band director announced that the Fightin’ Texas Aggie Band was now forming on the field. This caught the tired crowd’s attention. With more precision and skill than the Alabama fans had ever seen, the Aggie band marched to peculiar tunes. Before long, the crowd was wide awake and standing to get a better view of the intricate marching techniques cascading through the stadium.
When the teams returned to the field, Alabama’s coach was mesmerized by the enthused and rejuvenated fans. He pinched himself to make sure he wasn’t dreaming. The Aggie band director walked up to the Alabama coach and said, “I hope you’ve got your checkbook ready.” The coach looked a little embarrassed as his face turned the color of his crimson shirt. “You know, my advertisement was really intended to attract just one person, not a full band. I don’t owe you or your band anything.”
The band director looked him in the eyes and said, “An Aggie doesn’t lie, cheat, steal, or tolerate those who do. You will regret this decision.”
The game began and the fans continued to cheer in delight. Then, the Aggie band began to play a somber tune. The crowd recognized it in an instant and quickly grew quiet and somber. The band played the song beautifully with trumpets taking the chorus. They continued playing it for the remainder of the game and the crowd stayed silent and stoick. The Alabama team lost the game. Without their fan base they were rendered useless. The fans were their motivation. They simply didn’t have the ability to motivate themselves. The game was the SEC championship game, and the team and coaches were devastated. They never tried to lie, cheat, or steal from an Aggie ever again. They’d finally learned a history lesson.
Moral of the Story: When we pay attention to our conscience and mental health, we make better decisions.
Once upon a time there was a high school sophomore named Pinocchio. His greatest desire in the world was to study psychology in the College of Liberal Arts at Texas A&M University. His parents and teachers told him that he’d have to work and study hard to achieve his goal, but Pinocchio grew impatient and began looking for shortcuts to achieve academic success.
One day, he ran into an upperclassman in the hallway at school. They struck up a friendly conversation, and before long Pinocchio was sharing his dream of becoming an Aggie with his new friend. When Pinocchio said he’d have to study hard to achieve his goal, the upperclassman laughed. “Why work so hard now? You’re still young. You’ve got plenty of time to study for college.”
Pinocchio thought about what the upperclassman was saying, and decided he must be right. For the remainder of the school year, Pinocchio relaxed his studies. He coasted through school rather than actively trying to learn. He chose instead to spend his time watching TV and playing video games.
He knew his parents wouldn’t approve of the extra time he spent playing instead of studying for college, so Pinocchio made sure they never knew. He’d talk about the progress he was making through his prep books at dinner, and they’d purchase him the next one on a carefully crafted list of college preparation study aids. Each time Pinocchio told a lie, his pile of homework and study materials grew.
While Pinocchio spent hours in front of the TV, time flew by and before long the time to apply for college was just around the corner. His parents knocked on his bedroom door and told Pinocchio it was time for a chat. “Son,” they began. “We are so proud of you. You’ve spent hours upon hours studying here in your room to achieve your goal of becoming an Aggie. We just wanted to wish you luck on your college applications, because we know they open up next week.”
This was the first time Pinocchio had heard this news. He took a big gulp of air before recovering from his shock and thanking his parents for their good luck wishes. Just before they left, they added a new book to help their son prep for his college applications to the stack materials on his desk. When the door was safely shut behind them, Pinocchio heard his conscience kicking him for waiting so long to get started preparing for this moment. “You’ve known this day was coming for years,” his conscience yelled in his head. “You’ve had offers of help from your parents, teachers, counselors, and mentors for the past two years. Now, you’ve got just seven days to figure out how to make your dreams come true.”
Pinocchio spent the next seven days with his nose in a book. Slowly, he whittled away the stack of study and prep materials. He was exhausted by the end of it, and his brain felt 10 pounds heavier. His conscience however felt better than it had in years. He’d finally gotten out from under the lie he’d been living. At that point, Pinocchio vowed never to lie to himself or anyone else about what he was doing to achieve his goals. He spent the next week crafting the perfect application and felt confident when he sublited it to his dream university. All that was left to do was wait.
On a crisp fall morning, a large envelope arrived in the mail addressed to Pinocchio. He eagerly opened it and found a congratulatory acceptance letter inside. He vowed to himself to never let his mental health slip again and to follow his conscience rather than being led astray by others. The next fall, he began his first semester as a real Aggie and lived happily ever after.
Moral of the story: As long as we are true to ourselves, honest, and kind like Thumbelina, we will overcome the challenges of life.
Once upon a time there was a beautiful young scholar whose name was Thumbelina. She was an undergraduate student at Texas A&M who had a passion for helping others. Thumbelina wanted to pursue a degree that would help her help the most people in her future career, and assumed the best career for helping others was in the medical field. So, she began her studies as a nursing student.
One semester she enrolled in a sociology class to fill one of the many liberal arts core curriculum requirements within her degree. Her sociology professor was truly inspirational. She introduced her classes to research about nonprofits, and explained how sociology degrees can be used to help countless people through nonprofit work.
Thumbelina was enthralled by both her sociology professor and the content covered in the class. She asked her professor if she could volunteer with her at local nonprofits. Her teacher genuinely cared for all of her students, and eagerly accepted Thumbelina’s request and took her under her wing.
Through her volunteer work with her professor that semester, Thumbelina realized there was a great need for humanitarian driven leadership at nonprofits that serve children, women, men, veterans, the elderly, the sick, and people from all walks of life. She talked to her sociology professor about her new found passion for humanitarian work that betters society, and realized her passion for helping others went far beyond traditional nursing duties. Thumbelina wanted to enact changes at the societal level that would better all of humanity.
Her professor posed a simple question to Thumbelina that completely changed the young scholar’s life. “Why don’t you switch your major to sociology and pursue a career in nonprofits?” When these words hit Thumbelina’s ears, she felt like a whole new world of possibilities had opened up right before her. She eagerly asked for directions to the advisors’ office and put in a request to change her major.
Thumbelina graduated with a sociology degree, and continues to make society a better place for everyone with her humanitarian approach to running nonprofit organizations around the world.