A Silly Story

Once upon a time, in a kingdom far far away, lived a beautiful queen. Her skin was velvety black like charcoal. Her arms and legs were long and thin but very strong. On her back was the mark of the heir, a red hourglass shape clearly visible from birth. She ruled her land with fairness, sitting on her throne made of the finest white silk.

Time passed. The queen gave birth to a little girl equally as beautiful as she and on her back lay the same hourglass birthmark. An heir had been born.

The queen held a party in her newborn daughter’s honor. She invited the entire court, as well as travelers from far lands. However, one person was accidentally forgotten. This was the witch of the forest, Lady Hedge. Since she rarely interacted with the kingdom, it is quite understandable how the queen forgot the Lady. However, this was not taken well with the witch.

On the day of the party the witch departed from her burrow in the forest and made her way to the castle. Everyone was merry, drinking heartily from their glasses and toasting the the baby’s health. Then came the time for each guest to present their gift to the queen and the heir. One after another, the guests filed past, bowing low to the queen and giving a silly wave to the giggling baby. Suddenly, just as the last guest filed past, lightning and thunder filled the hall. The guests screamed and dove under the tables. Glasses fell to the stone floor. The queen quickly seized her child into her arms.

Lady Hedge walked through the door and straight up to the queen. “Hello, Your Majesty.”

The queen, seeing it was the witch of the forest, began to relax. “Lady Hedge, how nice to see you! I’m glad to see you’ve made it to the party.”

“Oh really? Funny, that, seeing as how I never received an invitation!” Lady Hedge sniffed and raised her nose, looking down on the queen.

“What? How can that be? I am so sorry, if it is true! I could have sworn I sent you an invitation.” The queen drew herself up and clicked her jaws together, preparing for any fight the witch might bring.

“No matter. I have brought a gift for the young princess.”

“How kind of you.”

Lady Hedge brought together her paws. The hair on her back stiffened. Then she raised a hand and cried out, “Here is your gift, young princess. On your sixteenth birthday you shall fall into a deep sleep! The castle and everyone in it shall fall to slumber with you.” Then Lady Hedge gave a cheerful laugh and ran out of the throne room.

The guests still cowered under the tables after her departure. Queen Widow’s heart, stunned by the witch’s proclamation, gave up. The queen collapsed on her throne, the poor child left crying.

A few weeks later the king remarried. The new queen was horribly ugly and brought her own two daughters from her previous marriage with her. As Princess Aurora grew, the two stepsisters bullied the princess. They forced her to wait upon them and to do their chores. Aurora, kind hearted to the end, agreed to their demands.

Finally, the day of Princess Aurora’s sixteenth birthday arrived. The king, still remembering Lady Hedge’s premonition, locked Aurora away in her room. He stationed a battalion of guards in the hall around her room. He would not let any harm come to his precious daughter.

It just so happened that on this very day, a prince from a nearby kingdom was holding a ball in order to find a wife. Aurora’s stepsisters, eager to marry the handsome prince, primped themselves all day for the evening festivities. Aurora, locked in her room, could do nothing except spin beautiful webs that no one would ever see.

Evening arrived. The princess watched through her window as her sisters departed. Her stepmother and father ate dinner by themselves. Suddenly there was a sound from the hall. Aurora turned and walked towards the door. Since the door was locked, she could only wait for whatever fate would bring her. Suddenly the door blew open. Standing amidst the fallen soldiers and smoke was a small lady. Her nose quivered in the wind. Her spiky hair covering her entire body stood on edge. The lady looked very dangerous.

“Hello there, my precious,” said Lady Hedge.

“Hello. Can I help you?” asked Princess Aurora.

“Yes you can. Let me ask you, would you like to go to the ball tonight?”

Aurora paused before answering, “Yes, I would. It’s my birthday and I’ve seen nothing except the birds today.”

“Well, darling, I’m here to help.” Lady Hedge waved her paws around in the air. Suddenly the room filled with light. When the light finally dimmed Princess Aurora stood in the middle. Her skin was bright and black, just as her mother’s used to be. “Now you are ready for the ball.” Lady Hedge escorted the princess down to the front door where a carriage awaited. “My only request is that you enjoy yourself and return before midnight.”

“What happens at midnight?”

“The spell is broken.”

Princess Aurora turned to ask the strange witch what that meant, but the woman was gone. She climbed into the carriage and was carried off into the night.

The princess arrived at the ball and everyone immediately stopped talking to look at her. She instantly stood out from everyone else in the way she carried herself, as well as how she looked. When she entered the ballroom the prince personally came over the introduce himself. They danced together for three songs before the princess realized it was ten minutes to midnight.

“I’m sorry, but I have to go.”

“No, stay. You haven’t even told me your name,” he pleaded.

The princess shook her head and ran out of the castle. In her hurry, her glass slipper fell off one of her feet as she ran down the stairs. She jumped into the carriage and prayed it would make it back to her castle before the magic wore off.
The princess somehow managed to arrive a minute before midnight. She hurried inside as the clock struck twelve.

Strange, the princess thought, why am I so sleepy? Before she could make it back to her room she fell asleep right there on the floor.

Far away in the forest came an evil laughter as Lady Hedge giggled to herself with glee. “She forgot her shoe! Too bad for you girly. My prediction is complete!”

The castle was immediately swallowed in the vines and trees that surrounded it. All of the workers and people inside the castle slumped to the ground, taken by the sound sleep that had also taken their princess.

The prince had run after the beautiful princess but was not quick enough to catch her. As he was returning back to his party he noticed her shoe lying on its side. The next day he was caught staring at it as the servants cleaned up after the party.

“My lord, what is that you are staring at?”

“It’s a shoe. A shoe belonging to the most beautiful girl in the world.”

“Who is she?”

“I don’t know. I don’t know her name or where she’s from. How am I supposed to find her?”

“Why don’t you go around and have girls in the surrounding kingdoms try the shoe on?”

The prince looked up from the shoe at his manservant. “You, are brilliant!” The prince immediately ordered a horse for him and his servant, as well as a box for the shoe. He sent out a notice about the shoe to all of the ladies who had attended his ball, as well as some who didn’t. He traveled all day and all night, fitting the shoe onto many women’s feet. However, none of them fit the daintiness of the glass shoe. It was as if magic kept them from perfectly fitting.

Weeks passed. The prince had seen every girl but he still couldn’t find the princess. Suddenly, he heard some people shouting his name.

“It’s mine. It’s mine!”

“No it’s mine, you dumb blonde!”

“What? How dare you?” Aurora’s two stepsisters fell to pulling at each other’s hair while the prince approached them.

“Excuse me, does this shoe belong to you?”

“Yes, it does,” said the older one.

“May I ask where you live?”

The younger one pointed over to the west. “We live over there, but for some reason we can’t get inside our castle. There’s thorns and stuff grown all over it! Disgusting.”

“May I ask how long it has been since you have returned to your house?” asked the manservant.

The two sisters looked at each other, then the older replied, “Since the night of your ball, actually. Strange. We’ve been staying with some relatives but we’d really like to go back. All our things are there!”

The prince looked at his manservant and immediately returned to his horse. “I will go check it out. You two ladies stay here.”

The prince and his manservant rode out to where the younger sister had pointed and came across a castle. “It really is covered in vines. I wonder how long it’s been since someone’s lived here.” He began hacking away at the vines with his sword. After twenty minutes and the help of his servant, he could finally see the giant front door. They pushed against the door, straining under the weight and the stiffness of the wooden planks. Finally, the door budged and opened with a groan.

“We’re in!” The prince wandered through and began to roam through the halls. “Whoa, so weird. Everyone’s sleeping.”

“Over here, my lord!” cried the manservant.

The prince rushed over to his servant and saw what the servant had shouted for. There in the throne room lay the beautiful princess he had been searching for. But after so many mistakes, he needed to be certain. He took out the shoe from the box and approached her. Before he could put it on, though, he stopped.

“Sir?”

“Uh, which foot do I put it on?”

“What do you mean, sir?”

“What do you mean, what do you mean? She’s got eight feet!! Which one does the shoe go on?” The prince couldn’t believe it. He was so close and yet now, to be stopped by such a small thing. “Fine, I pick this one.” However, before he place the shoe on, a loud bang sounded behind him.

“Oh ho, I see you’ve found the princess,” sneered Lady Hedge.

The prince whirled around, sword raised to confront the stranger. “Who are you?”

“I am the master of this curse.”

“Curse?”

“Yes, the princess will sleep forever. No one can wake her, except the one who returns what she lost.” Lady Hedge laughed at her intelligence.

The prince stopped for a second, confused at the little creature standing before him. “Wait, are you talking about this shoe?” He held up the glass shoe.

“No! Where did you get that?”

“It was left at my house…”

“Give it to me!”

“No! I shall use it to wake up the princess!”

Lady Hedge shouted and ran towards the silly grasshopper. He jumped out of the way and swung his sword at her. The blade harmlessly bounced off her quills. “Haha, you’ll have to do better than that, Prince Hopper.”

“How do you know my name? Not even my parents…”

His servant let out a chuckle.

“Don’t laugh! It’s not funny.”

“Sorry, sir.”

The prince swung the sword again, this time catching the witch in her soft belly. She yelped and fell to the ground.

“Please, be merciful. I didn’t do anything to her.”

“I don’t care. You are an evil, if cute, little creature. People should know the true you.” He killed her.

The prince got up and walked over to the princess and delicately placed the shoe on one of her feet. Then he came over to her pincers and gave a timid kiss. The princess stirred and opened her large eyes.

“What? Where?” Then she saw the prince and Lady Hedge.

“Do not worry. It’s all over now.”

The prince took her back to his castle as the inhabits of Aurora’s castle slowly woke from their slumber. He told his parents his name and his intention to marry Aurora. They were married immediately and lived happily ever after.

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