Once upon a time, there was a queen who liked to read in quiet places, but quiet places were hard to find. Her four young knights were loud and messy, and sometimes the queen was heard to say, “Who do you think I am? Your scullery maid?” (As the castle was short-staffed, she was indeed, the maid, the cook, and the washerwoman.)
The young knights always burped at their round table and laughed too loudly and fell off their chairs, which greatly dismayed the queen. The knights were also getting a reputation for doorbell ditching.
The queen was ready to throw in the towel. She wanted to run off & join the Shakespearean company, but that didn’t seem fair to King David.
One night, after her exhausted husband had foreclosed on yet another fiefdom, she complained, “We are not raising these boys to be good knights.”
“Are you kidding?” he said. “They can headlock any young boy in the village, they’re quick with their swords, and they’re eating plenty of meat. They’ll be fine.”
“I’m not talking about that. I’m talking about the code of chivalry. They need to learn to be honest, loyal, and true. And they also need to learn how to use a napkin.”
“Ah, for that they will need a princess sister to teach them good manners.”
“But don’t you remember?
My best friend A sorceress cursed me. I can only bear sons. A daughter is not destined for our family!”
“Then get uncursed,” he said.
The queen was grateful she had a husband with all the answers. She called up the sorceress who promptly uncursed her. The sorceress had just born a son and decided that maybe she had been a little to harsh on her former best friend. Even by her evil standards, the “only boy” curse was a little much.
So the king and queen did have a girl, a gentle, quiet, girl who played the piano with dainty fingers and cast a spell of silence at the dinner table. Well, not exactly.
Unfortunately, the princess was even louder and more boisterous than the knights. And even though she hadn’t yet learned to walk, the village children said she could slay dragons. Anyone that tried to hold the girl knew this to be true.
However, the local bards sang ballads about a princess who shot an arrow right through her mother’s heart. The queen see the beauty around her, and she no longer wished for another life.
At least most of the time.
She never did find quiet places to read alone, but she did read stories to her boys. And her children gave her plenty of stories to tell. As for the king, he tried to teach his children to be honest, loyal, and true. Tune in next year to see if he succeeded.
*As in most fairy tales, all of the events are true.
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A few notes on this story:
The first part of this story can be found here.
The Sicilian hex is all true. My friend truly hexed us and unhexed us.
It’s also true that I didn’t know she was Sicilian until he hexed me. If I had known, I might have been more careful.