Computer betrayal

Posted on 26 November 2004

My computer has betrayed me and I am working on Rob’s – he’s at work and doesn’t know – and since I’m tired of being serious and pensive, I thought I’d continue with my fairy tale.

The Dreaming Princess Part VI

Yes, within a year, Barbara married Prince Hairy and, as in all royal marriages, the first year was like a dream come true, a fairy tale. They both worked hard all day and happily returned to each others’ arms each evening. Several years passed and then one night they found themselves in the kitchen with a stranger, who was demonstrating a new machine, called a “dishwasher”, something so alien to their space that they became sore afraid of their materialistic urges and decided to leave all their possessions behind and move across the country.

They settled into a community nestled between mountains and ocean, worked hard during the daylight hours, and returned to each others’ arms in the evening. All would have been rosy and their fairy tale life might have continued but the dishes kept piling up. The laundry too. Barbara started dreaming of dish washers, and clothing washers and dryers.

On the eve of her quarter-of-a-century birthday, Barbara realized she was not happy. She worked all day, slaved all night. She heard herself sounding like Pretencia with her list of complaints and this she couldn’t bear so she told Hairy that she must leave their poor castle and go out into the world to seek a different future. Hairy was not happy losing his lovely princess but, being a kind soul, wished her well and bid her farewell.

Vivacia would have been upset if she had seen the small apartment that her daughter now occupied – hardly the size of her dressing room – but she would have rejoiced at Barbara’s independent spirit. For the first time in her life, Barbara was alone and had time to think, to read poetry (often by Irish poets), and to walk in the forest. She had so much time that she decided to accept evening work in a dark cave, serving spirits to strangers but before too much time had passed, realized that the creatures inhabiting the underworld were bleak and ornery and it was no place for a princess.

She returned to her pumpkin-size apartment and started writing fairy tales and poetry although she was sore-ashamed of her efforts and told no one. On occasion, she would go to dance and concert halls and one musical evening she met a shining knight who spoke to her in French and invited her to dine with him. The evening was devine. Barbara found herself laughing as she had never laughed and fell a little in love with the knight (though he did not touch her heart as Hairy had.) Still he was good company with his love of fine food and wine, his laughter, and soft voice that had the same cadence as the Irish man who had enjoyed her mother in the royal gardens.

She spent many happy hours in his company until one evening, returning a book to his small sanctuary, Barbara found him, without his armour, abed with a beautiful young man. Not being Greek, she did not understand that it wasn’t unusual for some to be charmed by both sexes, and so, then and there, she sadly bid her fair knight farewell and left to seek yet another future.

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