Once upon a time in a land not so far away their lived a young, innocent prince who set out into the world to seek a adventure, fortune and of course, a beautiful princess. One day, he saw a large tower covered in Ivory (the substance from elephant’s tusks not the dishwashing liquid. No elephants were harmed in the making of this allegory), on the very top a small circular house with a golden roof, and best of all a lovely princess who was crying at the window of the house.
He rode forward knowing that it was his destiny to have her. With each step forward he took, she became more lovely. Suddenly, there was a terrible earth shaking roar, and what he had thought were hills around the tower began to move until before him stood one of the largest dragons ever, in all of it fearsome, furious splendour. The prince’s heart quaked and twisted at the sight. He was tempted to ride away but at that moment the princess in the tower saw him and called to him plaintively. She begged him to rescue her from the dragon and promised all the charms and sweetness of her person would be his if he could slay yon dragon.
The young prince was enchanted, though he feared for his life, he could not refuse such a challenge. He strapped on his heavy armour, sharpened his lance and sword and sallied forth. From morning until noon he and the dragon battled over hill, over dale and along the dusty trails. At noon they were forced to stop for one hour (the prince’s horse was in a union) for rest. At the strike of one the battle did resume. It went one way then another, first the prince was winning, then the dragon, aye verily the dragon did kick the prince’s butt all over the field, but just before sunset, the prince pulled out his secret weapon (A Guiness bottle in his back pocket) and smite (smited? smote?) the dragon a mighty blow and the dragon stretched out upon the field, dead.
The prince, tired and sore from the battle climbed the steps of the tower, opened the door and received many a kisses from the princess. She helped him to take off his armour, fed him and gave him a bath, then allowed him to lay in her bed, while she went to change into something, “more comfortable” (She being young, healthy, lusty and without the attention of prince or even a court jester) alas upon her return she found the prince fast asleep, no surprise as these were days before Viagra and Red Bull.
The next morning, the prince arose filled with vigor and turned to the sleeping princess with every intention of claiming her when he heard a snuffling and a gruffling and then a mighty roar. The dragon was alive and well! The prince grabbed his armour,sword, shield, lance, Guiness bottle and a breakfast smoothie and bounded down the stairs to do battle. The dragon too, seemed refreshed, and they began to battle. This battle lasted all day, (the horse demanded overtime for working his lunch hour) and into the evening but again the results were the same. The dragon received a seemingly mortal wound, staggered from the field and died. The prince didn’t even get to take off his armour before he went to sleep.
The following day, the scene repeated itself. The dragon was alive and well and ready to do battle, the prince was willing but a little less able, the horse complaining about his rights, the princess urging the prince to battle and deeds of valour. At the end of the day, the dragon seemingly dies. In fact, the whole thing repeated itself every day for two weeks.
One evening after a particularly vicious battle, the prince sat on his bed wondering about the magical nature of the dragon. Sure, it was a beast of legend, but come on! It had been killed every day for two weeks! The princess came in bathed him and left. He resolved to find the source of the dragon’s power, so he drank a pot of coffee to stay awake and watch the corpse stretched out on the field. His vigil did not go unrewarded, at about the third hour after midnight he heard the sound of a door opening and gentle footsteps upon the stairs. He looked out to the field where the dragon lay and shortly he did see a small figure dressed in black approach and kneel before the body and begin to tend to its wounds. The figure turned and he saw clearly that it was the princess.
His blood boiled. He stood dumbfounded for moments and then grabbed his sword and his Guinness bottle and ran down the stairs. As he approached the princess he could smell the same potions and salves that she used to heal him, and the same song she sang when she bathed. Just as he reached them the dragon revived but was still weak, when it saw him it cowered for protection. She, seeing its fear, turned around and faced the oncoming threat.
“Thou deceitful wretch, thou betrayer and liar!”, said the prince, waving his sword in one hand and his Guinness bottle in the next. “Now I shall make an end of this dragon while it is still weak and then shall I deal with you! Stand aside for I shall have my vengeance!”, with that he raised his sword and bottle for the final blow when the princess fell upon his arms crying loudly. he pushed her off. “With thy comely form (fine shape), enchanting beauty (pretty face), and scintillating words (sweet talk) thou didst beguile me (trick me) but now I see that I was but a knave (fool). Why? (why?)
“Kind prince set aside your wrath but for a few minutes, and I shall explain my actions” said the princess. “Yon dragon is more of a magically mystical beast than you can imagine. It is because of this dragon that my form is comely, my face pretty, my clothes the best quality. The ivory tower that I live in belongs to the dragon as well as the gold carriage on 22 inch rims behind the stable. If it were not for the dragon I would be but an ordinary maiden”.
“Surely not!” said the prince. “Yet, if you are so fond of this beast why would you have me slay it?”
“For the dragon does keep me a prisoner. I yearn to see the world but cannot, I yearn to be free, but am trapped by the beast!”
“Foolish maiden you are not trapped by the beast, you are trapped by your extravagant tastes!” Did I not slay the dragon multiple times, yet each time you revived it, why?”
“Truly, prince you are correct. Each night after the battle I thought of another gown that I wanted, a new pair of glass slippers, a new Dooney & Bourke bag, a new charm for my Pandora bracelet. Then would I go and revive the dragon and ask him to get it for me before sunrise.” She hung her head in shame and cried.
The prince being male (as a prince what else could he have been?) felt his heart soften and his anger dissipate. “Fear not, pack the few items that you own and leave this place with me.” The princess looked at him, then looked at her ivory tower and gold jewelry, she looked at him and then went behind the barn to look at the carriage. Then it became apparent to the prince she would never leave the dragon. For she would never love a man as much as she loved her things and was therefore happy to be a slave of the dragon. Even if he were to forcibly carry her off, the dragon would eventually show up and the cycle would begin afresh.
The prince went behind the barn, where the princess was polishing the golden carriage that never went anywhere, he kissed her on the forehead made his farewell and left (the chronicler of this tale would have liked to go into more detail of this sad parting but it was late and he was tired, he recommends that you download the Isaac Hayes song, “By The Time I Get To Phoenix” for a full understanding).
The prince continued his wanderings and many adventures did he have. Along the way he met many princesses and their dragons but most of them were like the first. One day, he wandered into a small vale and saw there a small stone house with a thatched roof. Pictures of flowers and laughing children were painted on the walls of the house. There was a garden and a small orchard. The whole scene seemed to have come right out of a children’s storybook. He looked about expecting to see a retiree from the king’s court or a fat merchant. Just then coming around the corner of the house he spied a maiden. Her face was beautiful for its unadornment, she wore a watch but no other jewelry, her dress showed off her comely figure but while it was not the latest fashion it was lovely. She smiled at the handsome prince and he smiled back.
At this point he heard a snorting, snuffling and gruffling which meant that she also had a dragon and his heart sank. He looked in the direction of the sound and saw a most peculiar sight. The maiden’s dragon was the size of a small dog! Even better the chain around its neck would have held a herd of elephants in place. He laughed and walked over to pet the dragon, which frisked around and wagged its tail. “Nice dragon!” he said to the maiden.
“It was not always so” she replied. “At one time he was huge and frightening, and I was enslaved by him.”
“I can believe it!” marveled the prince. “I have met many princesses whose dragons are the size of castles.” “How did this one become so small and weak?” asked the prince in amazement.
“First I starved him. It took years to get him down to this size. Then I made a magical chain of wisdom, good habits and resolve and placed it around his neck, and there he is.”
“Well done, fair maiden, well done!.” said the prince.
“Enough about my silly old dragon, you look hot and tired, would you like to come inside for a drink?” said the maid.
The prince went inside with the maiden, and as far as I know he is still there.
copyright© Jeremy K. Delancy 2011
Prince Gullible male
Princesses Gold diggers
Smart maiden Herself
MORAL: Trying to kill debt looks good but starving it is more permanent.
If you want to know how to start off a happily-ever-after, go here.
The same thing happens to women. This story makes me depressed.