Once upon a time, there lived a man named Judson who had a terrible disease. No one really understood what the disease was or where it came from; and worst of all, no one knew how to cure it. It was very difficult to describe. All Judson knew was that he felt topsy-turvy in his stomach, itchy-scratchy in his skin, clogged and stuffy in his head, and empty-achy in his heart. Over all, Judson felt a heavy weight and loneliness that would never go away.
As it seemed that this was no natural ailment, Judson decided to visit a certain famous elf named Todifer, known far and wide for his exceptional remedies. Judson wanted to tell him of his Great Heaviness and ask for his help.
“One obvious way to overcome a Great Heaviness,” the elf declared with much confidence, “is to consume a Great Lightness. I will prescribe for you a special potion of Bubble Mixture. Take one drop three times a day until the burden is lifted. Now, this is only a symptom reliever, not a cure. I recommend that you visit the Great King for a more permanent solution.”
Judson received a small glass vial of sudsy, swirly rainbow liquid. After dutifully following the elf’s orders for a week, the Great Heaviness seemed to be lighter, but a new ailment was upon him. He returned to Todifer’s home in a desperate state.
“Please, sir, you must- HIC! –help me!” Judson haltingly pleaded as bubbles escaped his lips.
“Oh no!” Todifer moaned. “I forgot to mention that the side effect of the bubble mixture potion is an uncomfortable and chronic case of the hiccups.”
“Do something- HIC! –quick!” Judson cried. “I can’t- HIC! –make it stop! And my stom-HIC! feels more topsy-HIC!-turvy than ever before!”
“There, there now,” the elf said, patting him on the shoulder. “Hiccups are easy enough to cure. Eat a spoonful of sugar while standing on your head, and drink a glass of water from the opposite side while holding your breath and thinking of purple elephants. After that, you should visit the Spring of Herbal Restoration, to help ease your topsy-turvy stomach. I will draw you a map, and you must follow these instructions very closely: once you find the Spring, fill a tea cup with its water. Heat the water almost to a boil, add honey and lemon, and then drink every last drop.”
“Are there any- HIC! –side effects I should know about?” Judson asked suspiciously.
Todifer chuckled. “Don’t worry, the Spring’s water won’t harm you in any way; but be nice to the fairies who protect the spring, or they won’t give you a single drop.”