March 28, 2009
“You do not have one?” asks Nate, following Madeleine into the depths of the Forest.
“Nope,” says she.
So they walk, walk, and walk. They walk and stumble upon trees, leaves, more trees, a carcass of a deer with an arrow through its head, more trees, a family of rabbits that run scared upon seeing the two human, and, believe it or not, more trees. Until…
“Do you see what I see, Nate?” Nate turns his head around to face Madeleine, then looks to the direction Madeleine’s finger is pointing to.
It is a house. Of gingerbread. And candies. With sugars for windows. Madeleine’s stomach lets out a mutinous growl. The last thing that has come close to her mouth has been a live frog.
“Great, food. I’m starving,” says Madeleine, walking briskly past Nate into the sugary heaven of a house.
“Hold on, princess,” says Nate, while looking at the house in caution, “Do you really think it’s safe?”
“Don’t be silly, Nate. What could be unsafe about it, it has lollipops sticking on the roof, for goodness’ sake. Do you think there’s a wicked witch in there waiting to cook us in an oven and eat us?”
“Well…,” says a rather doubtful Nate, “I don’t know, wouldn’t it be like trespassing or something?”
But all of Nate’s feeble excuses are not heeded by a ravenous Madeleine. She has already gone ahead and broken one of the many the window casements on one pull and is eating it on spot.
“I don’t think that is wise, prin-,” but Nate does not finish his sentence.
Madeleine turns her head, and Nate is gone. “…N-nate?”
“You need to leave immediately, princess,” says a shy voice from the bushes behind.
Madeleine turns her head around, and another round, but still she sees no one.
“Who are you? Where are you? Show yourself,” Madeleine says rather curtly.
“Please, don’t be mad, Your Highness,” says that voice, and the owner of the voice comes forward from the thick Forest. It is a fawn.
“Oh great, just what I need… A talking deer.”
“But, Your Highness, I was just born last winter, so I’m still a fawn.”
“Never mind that, what did you say earlier?”
“I said you should leave.”
“Your friend has fallen into the witch’s trap,” says the fawn, lifting his left forelimb to point to a big hole on the ground.
Madeleine goes to the hole in a flash, and kneels beside it, “Nate?” she calls, “NATE! ARE YOU THERE? ANSWER ME, FOOL!”
The fawn shakes his head sadly, “Your friend has been captured by the wicked witch. You really should leave, Your Highness. She is coming here any moment. By the way,” the fawn asks as if remembering something, “you didn’t happen to meet a doe on your way here? I’m looking for mother. She tells me to run earlier, which is weird now, is it not, and now I’m looking for her and I cannot find her anywhere.”
“What am I to do? Where shall I go now?” the distraughted Madeleine does not hear a word the fawn said. “Nate, what am I going to do?” she whispers.
“I know one place where they take in princesses who are being targeted by assasins,” says the fawn, who does not know what the word assasin means let alone the sentence he just said.
“Well then, let’s go there, fawn, show the way.”
“Yes, right away, Your Highness. Mother will not be mad, I suppose, if I come home late, I’m helping a princess am I not,” says the fawn. “My name is Bambi, Your Highness, at your service.”
(to be continued)