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07 April 2009 @ 09:40 am
To my wife, on the occasion of her birthday  
Once there was a girl who lived in a land over the sea.  She was kind, and beautiful, and fiery in the way that redheads often are.  She did have her flaws, chief among them her love of disco music, but these paled in the face of her charms.

She dreamed of one day finding her prince, who would carry her off to a life of luxury and romance in the land over the blue waters.  She kissed a certain number of frogs, as is the custom, but none was her prince.

One day, after yet another frog failed to transform into princely splendor, an evil wizard with an intense hatred of disco music decided he would punish the girl’s love of the hideous beats by ensuring she would fall in love with not a prince, but a knave.

He cast a glamour on a picture, and arranged for a frog to show the girl the image.  The spell took hold, the poor girl was enthralled by the ogre-ish face, and she immediately set her mind to capture his tiny heart, as soon as he arrived from the land over the blue waters.

In time, the knave did come to the shores of the land over the sea, and he was soon overcome by the intense campaign waged by the girl, who appeared to have no moral scruples concerning sexually molesting people she had only seen in an enchanted picture.

In no time at all, it seemed, they were wed.  Of course, the groom being a knave, there were no carriages pulled by white horses, or carpets of rose petals strewn by small girls with blonde ringlets, and certainly no bishop in a tall mitre performing the ceremony.  This did not seem to concern the girl, who was still deep in the throes of the evil wizard’s well-wrought glamour.

As might be expected, there was soon an heir to the knave’s minuscule fortune, a girl, who in another story might have been a princess, but in this story was only the daughter of a knave.  Despite that handicap the daughter of the knave and the redheaded girl flourished, even as the knave took his new family away from their home and back to the land over the blue waters.

Years passed, and the wizard’s spell grew weaker and weaker.  The girl realized her prince was really a knave, but because her heart was much larger than a normal heart she had enough love even for him, and did not cast him out, as she had every right to do.  The knave often behaved in a knavely manner, as was his nature.  Still, he was not set aside in favor of another.

Being but a knave and not a prince, the man was not able to provide the luxury the girl had always dreamed of.  Being a knave, and a poor one at that, neither was he able to provide the romance the girl had longed for.  Being a knave through and through, he was only rarely downcast at not being able to provide these princely staples.  Even yet, he was not cast down.

The wizard, of course, had been watching all this from afar, and decided to heap even more misery on the girl.  The knave’s aged father was struck by a curse and was no longer able to take care of himself.  The knave’s family was, of course, very knavely in nature.  Being the least knavely, the knave let himself be convince by the girl that is was their duty to take in the decrepit old man and care for him in his declining years, of which there were not thought to be many left.

It was then that the wizard’s master stroke was made evident.  The old man’s illnesses were like a zephyr, suddenly rising, then falling, but never enough to carry him to the land far beyond the horizon.  The burden of his care weighed heavily on the girl, whose heart was large enough to accommodate love for the old man, for the knave bore resentment for his father, even while the girl provided gentle, loving care.

It was then that the knavery of his life was made evident to the knave.  The girl, separated from her family by the sea, still loved him.  The girl, burdened with the care of a father not her own, still loved them both.  The girl, crumbling under the weight of the stones of her life, gave of herself and her purse to her daughter, and her daughter’s daughter, and still loved them all.  Being a knave, the knave knew he would always be a knave.  But at least in a part of his tiny heart, he dearly wished he had been born a prince, so he could give the girl the luxury and romance that she had lived without for so long, but deserved so richly.  And it pained him to know that he would still be a knave, and she would still love him, for the injustice of that was surely a dagger to both their hearts.

Happy birthday, dear.
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