Castles in the air - they are so easy to take refuge in. And so easy to build, too.

आम्हां घरी धन शब्दांचीच रत्नें | शब्दांचीच शस्त्रें यत्न करुं ||
शब्द चि आमुच्या जीवांचे जीवन | शब्दें वांटूं धन जनलोकां ||
तुका म्हणे पाहा शब्द चि हा देव | शब्द चि गौरव पूजा करुं ||
- abhang of Tukaram Wolhoba Ambile of Dehu

There's No Freedom Like That of a Child's Imagination

கடலுக்கு உண்டு கற்பனைக்கு இல்லை கட்டுப்பாடு

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

A Scary Fairy Tale


Sometime, somewhere there were a King and Queen who had no children. They were very sad because of that. That is because they did not observe people who had children. If they had observed, they would not have wanted children.

One day a Witch came to the Palace and said that she could help the King and Queen have children. The Witch called for a large cauldron, and told the King to fetch her the following things:-

1.Puppy-dog tails – 1 doz.
2.Snips – 1 lb.
3.Snails – 2 doz.

When he had them brought, she mixed them up in the cauldron, along with mushroom and onion sauce. When it was done, she took a spoonful and daubed it on the King's head. She took another spoonful and daubed it on the Queen's head. She called for others to be daubed with the potion if they wanted children, but they all declined, very politely. Then she told the King that she would claim her payment when the right time came, and he must give her whatever she asked for. Then she flew off on her broomstick.

*

Twin boys were born to the King and Queen, though they smelled faintly of mushrooms and onions. There was great rejoicing throughout the kingdom, and the King ordered a great Feast. A special messenger was sent to invite the Witch. She had left them her address.

The day of the Feast came, and everyone including the Witch lined up to see and bless the babies (she was a well-behaved witch). By the time her turn came, the King was already fretting and fuming. He politely asked her (you must always be polite to a witch, even if you are a king),
“Dear granny, now everyone is going to know my sons smell of mushroom and onions, no matter what we do.”
She replied, very politely (you must always be polite to a king, even if you are a witch), “Well, be thankful. There is a lot worse they could have smelled of.”

Then the Witch flew, but not before she reminded the King of his promise.

*

The Princes grew up into strapping young lads. What they strapped to what, I cannot say. I probably should not, either.

One day, the Queen called them to her parlour (but she did not offer them any bread and honey. She didn't have to. They never ate any.) and told them that it was time that they set off to find brides for themselves. They went to the King, who was counting his money. He told them to be off and not ask him for any money because they were good at nothing.

So one Prince set off to the West, and the other set off to the East.

*

The one who went West had to hitch rides all the way, but he did not worry as he had his towel with him. People give you rides if you know where your towel was. But when night fell, he found himself stranded in a dense forest, full of thorny trees. And then he saw seven dwarves walk by him.

*

The one who went East also had his towel with him. He hitchhiked his way till he found a great hedge of thorny bushes that stretched from North to South blocking his way. And what a strange thing, the moment he tried to enter the hedge (don't ask me why he did that. He just did that.), voila! The hedge parted, and the thorns turned to roses.

*

One day the King stepped out on his balcony, and what did he see?

From the East came a taxi, and from it got off his son and a very beautiful woman. He yelled out, “Dad! Please pay the taxi off and come and meet my bride!”

From the West came another taxi, and from it got of the other son, with another equally pretty lady. He too called out, “Dad! Pay my taxi off too and come and meet my bride!”

The King and Queen rushed out. What a happy rejoicing it was!

The Queen held the first girl's cheeks between her thumb and index fingers, and counted all her teeth. When she was satisfied, she asked, “So how did my son woo you?”
“The girl, whose name was Snow White, said, “Well, like, I was kinda sleeping in a, you know, like a glass coffin like, and then this guy comes along, like, and you know, he kinda like, he kinda like kisses me just like that, and I wake up like, and, and...”
“And what?” asked the Queen.
“And then you know, I get these funny smells, kinda like, you know, faintly like onions, and, and, mushrooms. Kinda weird. And then I see there's this piece of apple, you know, in his hand, and he kinda says he got it off my mouth.”
“An apple?” the Queen shrieked. “Apples = carbs. Eee!”

The Queen recovered and gripped the other girl the same way. Her name was Sleeping Beauty. When she was satisfied about her pearly white teeth (it is always important to brush your teeth, especially when you have to sleep for a hundred years), she asked her her story.

She curtsied, “Well, Your Highness, I was destined to fall asleep for a hundred years when I pricked myself on a spindle.”
“What's a spindle?” asked the Queen.
“Oh, Your Highness, it is something they used to spin with in our times.”
“Oh! Get on with your story.”
“Yes, Your Highness. As destined, I pricked myself on the appointed day and fell into a long sleep. A hundred years later, the spell was broken by my beloved Prince.”
“I knew he'd do that. He's always breaking things. How did he break it?”
The princess blushed. Coyly, she said, “He kissed me. When I awoke, what do I behold, but a handsome prince, attired very strangely, and with the most intoxicating fragrance.”

“Mushrooms and onions?”, asked the queen, suspiciously.
“I like mushrooms and onions.”
“So what happened next?”
“I realised what had happened, and I fainted right away. I was a hundred years behind fashion!”

*

The King and Queen called for a great Wedding Feast to be organised, to which they invited everyone in their country, the kings and queens of the neighbouring countries, and the Witch.

In the middle of the Wedding Feast, the Witch
turned to the and said, “I shall claim the price for my servi
ces, now, King!”
“Yes, Madam. Your wish is my command. What is it you wish for?”
“I could wish you would not use clichés, but...”
She pointed to Snow White. “I want the piece of apple that poisoned her.”
Snow White came forward, knelt and handed over the piece of apple.

Then the Witch pointed to the princess, who now being called Sleeping Beauty. “I want the spindle that pricked her.” Sleeping Beauty came forward, knelt and handed over the spindle.

The Witch flew off, and was never seen again.

*

After the day of the Wedding Feast, the Princesses began to squabble with each other. They squabbled in the Queen's parlour and spilled her bread and honey, they squabbled in the King's counting house and put him off his counting, they squabbled in the maid's garden and messed up all the clothes on the line.

They squabbled over who had slept the longer. Sleeping Beauty said she had slept a hundred years, Snow White said she did not know how long she slept, but it was certainly more than a hundred years.

In a huff, they went to their bedchambers and each lay down to sleep. They slept, each for six hours, before they woke up and found they were even. They went to sleep again, and slept for eight hours each. They tried again, and again, but without their magic charms, they could never sleep more than a dozen hours.

But they remained very youthful and beautiful looking because of all that sleep, while their husbands grew older, and developed paunches and became grumpier than ever. And the King and Queen wished they never had children.

2 Comments:

Blogger CyZfus On Skis said...

It is a cute tale and stays funny all the way by keeping meticulously away from serious angles. You should write more of these. Perhaps about the four-and-twenty blackbirds and dainty dishes for the king.

3:08 PM, January 15, 2011  
Blogger Ozymandias said...

Thanks...will surely attempt more of these!

5:06 PM, January 16, 2011  

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