March 21, 2009
Recently, I thought about fairytales.
About Sleeping Beauty and how she had to be kissed so she can wake up, and about how the Prince had to go through that many obstacle.
About Snow White and how she, too, had to be kissed by yet another Prince in white horse. About Cinderella who cannot break free from her cruel stepmother and stepsisters, but had to wait to be rescued by, again, a Prince in white horse and shining armor.
I can’t help but think what fairytales do to children. I mean, what kind of ideas do this kind of fairytales embed into the minds of young children, especially girls. Would they grow up waiting for their knight in shining armor, only to find that the armor is rusty, the horse grey and limp, and the Prince not at all what they had expected?
Well, they could just be stories to them, mere fruit of imagination, like they were to me, but is it wise to tell them stories that was made up of helpless women, damsels in distress?
So…I tried…to make my version of fairytale… I write it in white, so to read you have to highlight it. Here goes:
Once upon a time, in a Far, Far Away Kingdom, lives a mighty king and his enchantingly beautiful queen. This royal couple, King Francis and Queen Felicity, has been longing for a child for sometime.
At that time, once upon a time, in a Farther Away kingdom, lives another King and Queen. The king, King Marcus, is just as mighty as King Francis, and the queen, Queen Marianne, is as stunningly beautiful as Queen Felicity. This royal couple, too, has been longing for a child.
The two queens are what used to be called “bosom friends”, or what we simply refer to as “best friends”. They visits each other regularly, for they have quite nothing to do, and no child to take care of. They spend the days walking through the grounds of the Far, Far Away Kingdom, and picking apples in the orchards of the Farther Away Kingdom.
They are happy, of course, being queen and having ladies-in-waiting and all. But in the nights, they cry themselves to sleep, pouring their tears for the children they never had. It’s understandable, one might say. Women living once upon a time would have nothing else to do except for nurturing their children, cooking dinner, and domestic stuff. They don’t have to, say, do an research to accelerate the time needed to turn heaps of organic garbage into compost. Plus, they’re queens, and would never be subjected to hard-work. Perhaps if they have Harvey-Nichols or Debenhams or Sogo, and Louis Vuitton bags to buy, they wouldn’t be this distressed. But again, they were living once upon a time, where women don’t even carry handbags, let alone monogrammed handbags with sky-high prices.
The kings see this with anxiety. They don’t want their lovable, stunningly gorgeous queens to wither and die of sadness. They will then have to find new queens, and the new ones may not be as beautiful as the ones they have now.
So the two kings agree on consulting a witch.
Back then, once upon a time, there are two prominent witches in each of the kingdoms. The two kings discuss whether to consult Helga of the Far, Far Away Kingdom, or Harriet of the Farther Away Kingdom. Helga is a witch well-known for her Tarot Card Reading, Divination and Matchmaking skills, and while Harriet is in reality better-skilled than Helga at any witchcraft a witch can possibly do, she is also notoriously wicked and exceptionally good at casting curses. Legends have it that she once bring back a dead soul. And as we know, too, necromancy is the darkest form of witchcraft.
It is but natural that the two kings agree to see Helga. They took, however, extreme acts of precaution to avoid Harriet knowing the fact that they prefer Helga to her. They are both aware that it will provoke hell.
Long story short, they go to Helga’s Hut. The witch is waiting for them; she sees the both of them walking towards her hut while gazing through her crystal ball. She also know what they’ve came for; she consulted her Tarot Cards.
As soon as the two kings set foot in her hut, Helga says, “It can be done.” The two kings are taken by surprise, and she adds to that surprise by continuing, “I’s possible, as far as I see it, and mind you, I see quite very far. My Seeing Eyes say that you,” she points her index finger to King Francis, “shall have the perfect son for a prince and heir. And you,” she says dramatically, pointing her other index finger to King Marcus, “shall have a beautiful daughter. Rebellious, but still, beautiful.”
The two kings are overjoyed to hear that at last they shall have heirs to their thrones. Their queens, too, upon hearing the prophecies from their kings, are overflowed with happiness.
Then the prophecies come true. Queen Felicity gives birth to Prince Frederick, and no more than a month later Queen Marianne gives birth to Princess Madeleine. At the christening of Princess Madeleine, Queen Felicity visits the Farther Away Kingdom, bringing along her newborn son with her.
Being bosom friends, the two queens quickly reach an agreement to engage their children to be married. The prince and princess are to be married when they come of age. And to strengthen the engagement, they went to Helga, to ask her to bind the two babies.
“It can be done,” says Helga, “It’s very possible indeed, and it’s been done by my ancestors. However…,” she says in an unusual mystical voice, “I sense something here. Something dangerous. Something…,” she stops, then all of then sudden zooms her face towards the two queens, causing them to back away, and Helga whispers dramatically, “cursed!”
The two queens are mystified, horrified, terrified, but in every way else very determined. They wants to bond their children, no matter what. So the witch complies, and does what was requested.
But Helga’s reputation is not built on nothing, for when the queens walk out of the hut, a loud and completely frightening thunderbolt welcomes them. And the surprise is not only thunderbolt, the sky is filled with huge vultures flapping their black wings in the maddening sky, and on the ground are hyenas, and in the front line is…Harriet!
And she brings hell with her.
(to be continued)