One of the favourite bed-time stories at home used to be the one about a dragon who lives very happily on a mountain, leaving the villagers alone because he has no interest in things like breathing fire and fighting. He has one friend, a little boy who likes to listen to his stories.
Then one day, the villagers find out he's there. They're convinced he's a terrible menace because that's what dragons are. They invite a brave knight to come along and slay him. That's fine by the knight because that's what he does and anyway he's been told of the many terrible things the dragon has apparently done.
What to do? The boy works it all out.
The knight and the dragon pretend to have a big battle. The villagers are happy because they get to see a fight. The brave knight is happy because he gets a) to win and b) all the glory. The dragon is happy because for the price of a black eye or two, the villagers are happy to leave him where he is because they tell themselves that he's learned his lesson and frankly, he was never any trouble anyway.
In other words, the boy works out that it's not how you get there that's important. It's what you're left with at the end that really matters.
Over the past week or so, there've been several versions doing the rounds of the tale of the Assembly election, the campaign battles to come - both mock and real - and how deals and alliances will later unfold.
Now you're not daft. You know that when politicians tell us journalists a story, it's usually because they want to see it reported somewhere and so they tell us the story they want you to hear. Since, unlike story-time at home, you're not 6 and 7 years old and since you've worked out a long time ago that everything you're told isn't absolutely true, I'll fill you in.
Let's start with Labour. In the past Labour have said that if they get a majority on May 5th, they will govern alone. Seems obvious. But what, realistically - not just literally - constitutes an outright majority? At what point does an outright majority become a working majority? Would Carwyn Jones seek to go it alone on 31 seats? Or given AMs can sometimes be ill, or find they don't agree with the party line on a particular issue and won't vote for it, or are caught on a train between north and south, does an outright majority really mean 32 or 33 seats?
The message from Labour is that if they win 31 seats out of the 60, the party will expect the leader to ditch any talk of deals and form a Labour-only government. And if that's what the party expects, that's what the party gets if - if - Labour get to 31 seats.
Is that what the leader wants? There are plenty who suspect that if that 32 or 33 proves just out of reach, Mr Jones' next best option would be a tally of 29 seats on the night - a good result for Labour but with the door open to striking some sort of deal that delivers a clear, comfortable majority.
Would that deal be with Plaid?
One Plaid MP, Jonthan Edwards, has come out and said it bluntly: "the elephant in the room for Labour in Wales is - what can they really offer Plaid Cymru?" Labour can't put pressure on ministers in London to deliver anything this time round. They don't have any.
But others - in particular, others who were fully paid-up backers of the deal with Labour back in 2007 - are saying just the same, just as vehemently, if a lot less publicly for now. People who you'd have put money on being fans of One Wales Two are saying they'd need some convincing, come May, it would be the right thing to do, even if opposition would be the price to pay.
The recent Labour attacks on Ieuan Wyn Jones personally have incensed Plaid (precisely as intended, of course). "It may not be people sitting round the cabinet table in Cardiff but it's still senior figures in Labour" said one Plaid source who added the party would have to be absolutely clear that Labour could offer Plaid something worth having - or walk away - regardless of the arithmetic.
Would Plaid talk to the Conservatives? Ieuan Wyn Jones has already said given the spending cuts being implemented by the Conservatives in Westminster, that would be "very, very difficult". Privately the Tories raise an eyebrow and suggest Plaid would find it far less difficult than they're admitting out loud.
Why would Plaid talk to the Tories? Ok, it's unlikely said one well placed Tory source. It's not very near the top of the list of likely deals. But if Plaid came calling and if Nick Bourne was keen on a deal and if he asked the Secretary of State whether the 'missing' £300m from the Welsh budget every year was the price of a term in government in Wales, wouldn't she be more than happy to pass on that request to the Treasury? Certainly, came the response.
And what about that other partnership, Lab-Lib? Labour sources in Westminster reckon it would make sense. If the maths works out, Labour would have to give very little in return for kicking Plaid into touch. Bear in mind too, said a well-placed Liberal Democrat, that it would suit Ed Miliband down to the ground to forge an alliance of some kind with the Lib Dems in Wales. If it doesn't work out in Scotland, then he needs somehow to persuade the Lib Dems that there is an alternative, before the Tory/Lib Dem coalition at UK level "ossifies".
All four Welsh dragons will be breathing fire over the next few weeks. Some battles will be real, some for show. They'll also be telling me, and you, a fair few fairy tales. Just bear in mind that what will really matter for the next five years is how the story ends - and I don't think any of them are sure just yet.