More Than a Sleeping Beauty

Jack Stark September 29, 2017
Retold Fairy Tales
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    There once was a King and Queen whom could not conceive a child. Feeling hopeless they traveled throughout the kingdom visiting every temple and holy sight; offering the finest sacrifices to the gods. Finally, one autumn day the Queen felt she was with child and the following summer she gave birth to a pudgy, red, and wrinkled baby girl. “She won’t look like that when she grows up will she?” the King inquired nervously to the midwife. Before the midwife could speak the Queen interrupted, “what does it matter darling? We have a child!” The king nodded, but was still concerned about their daughter’s looks. Never the less, the king was overjoyed with the arrival of their new child and quickly organized a dinner for the three finest wizards in the entire kingdom in hopes that they might bestow wonderful gifts upon the girl. When the three guests had been seated, a commotion occurred as an aged wizard stumbled into the dining hall, visibly upset that he had not been invited. “Come in, take a seat,” said the King jovially, “the more the merrier!” As the meal ended talk of gifts for the baby began. “Make her the fairest in the land!” the King requested. “Why would I waste my gift on that?” Queried the first wizard. “You needn’t worry, she will be lovely just like her mother.” “Indeed!” affirmed the second wizard. “Positively radiant” the third chimed in. “Maybe…” growled the washed up wizard under his breath rather passive aggressively, still fuming even after eating the finest meal he’d had in years. The Queen gave a cheeky grin and raised her eyebrows up and down at the King as if to say, “You’re welcome!” The king breathed a sigh of relief. “No, instead…” continued the first wizard, “… she will be blessed with a brilliant and inquisitive mind.” Upon saying this, the first wizard waved his hand bestowing his gift to the child. The second wizard followed explaining, “your child will also be blessed with cleverness and wit,” as he too waved his hand over the child. Finally, before the third wizard could speak the disgruntled fourth wizard interjected, ” And for my gift I bestow a curse. For not inviting me, the 17th best wizard in the land, I curse your child to die if she ever touches a pen and ink.” With a wave of his hand and a puff of smoke the shabby wizard disappeared. When the smoke cleared the King and Queen looked desperately to the third wizard for help. “Although I cannot reverse the curse put upon your child I can reduce its severity,” explained the third wizard. “If the day comes that your child touches a pen and ink, she will not die but fall into a deep sleep for 100 years.” And so upon hearing this news the King had all the pens and inkwells removed from the castle. This tactic worked for many years to protect the princess from an awful fate.

    As the child grew the wizards prediction came true as she became lovely like her mother. By the age of fifteen she had become quite a remarkable young lady with the mind of a scholar and the charisma of a suave court jester. All of her teachers adored her, praising her as their best student, and they recommended that she begin studies in higher education. So the King and Queen sent for the finest professor in the kingdom to be her personal tutor. On the day the professor arrived the princess was so eager to meet him that she went to see him a day before her lessons were to start. When she entered the professor’s new office in the castle, he sat at his desk scribbling his lesson plan on piece of paper with a pen; being not yet informed of the “no pen policy”. “What’s that thing you’re writing with?” inquired the bewildered child. The professor looked up at the princess wondering how a supposed fifteen year old genius didn’t know what a pen was. “Why it’s a pen princess,” said the professor with an eyebrow raised in confusion. “Have you not seen one before?” questioned the professor. “No, I’ve only used chalk on a slate,” answered the child, eyes fixated on the mysterious writing utensil. “You can use it if you like,” said the professor offering the pen to the child. The princess reached out and touched the pen and instantly fell into a deep sleep. The grieving parents placed their child in the highest tower in the castle for her 100-year sleep. And since the princess was their only child and the two had grown too old to bear another child; when the King and Queen died the kingdom was left without rulers and fell into a dark age.

    After nearly 100-years a prince from the neighboring kingdom came exploring in search of the fabled castle with the slumbering princess locked away in the highest tower. Some even said she waits for a prince to wake her with a kiss. The prince eventually found the abandoned castle and made his way through the dilapidated halls to the highest tower where he found the princess fast asleep. As he leaned in to kiss the princess’s 100 years ran out. The princess opened her eyes to see the prince’s lips descending to meet hers, the sight of which caused the princess to violently push his face away. “My princess you’ve awoken for me,” grunted the prince as he clutched his battered face. “Your Princess?” questioned the princess in an irritated voice. The prince then proceeded to tell the princess about the fall of her kingdom and the legend of her, the sleeping princess. “So will you marry me princess and rule my kingdom with me?” asked the prince sweetly. “No thanks, it sounds like I have a lot of work to do here first,” replied the princess.

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