Posted on 17 September 2004

In an hour, I’m off on an overnight adventure with Susan. We have not seen nearly enough of each other. Writers tend to hibernate I think.

I said yesterday that I might tell a fairytale. I don’t know if this will bore you to tears but I’ll give you the first part. I began this story in the midst of the second writing shop and although I took the exercise seriously, what came from me was downright silly. Saying this I have a feeling that it will take a serious turn. I have not polished this story nor do I intend it. Once in a while a writer has to have fun.

The story grew from an idea that I had as a child (a common one I hear) that my parents were not really my parents. I was a princess from an exotic land where carpets flew and genies lived in bottles. For some reason, my real parents had to give me up but one day they would come for me.

Part One

Once upon a time, the raven-haired Vivacia, who just happened to be queen of Persia, gave birth to a girl child. Under other cirumstances the tiny, fair-haired beauty would have been adored but the queen knew as soon as her husband, King Monogamy (or Monotony as he was called behind his back) saw the child, he would know that two dark skinned, raven haired people could not produce such a child and he would banish mother and babe or worse still, throw them in the rat-infested dungeon where they would die a slow and painful death.

This wasn’t all he would do, Vivacia knew. The king had brought from Ireland, the only fair-haired male in the kingdom – a tutor for their son – and would naturally assume the young man was her lover which was, in fact, the case, although their affair had happened innocently enough.

Vivacia slept little during the hours her husband favoured for dreaming and often walked, under the stars, in the walled garden where the Irish man too often wandered, reciting verse by Yeats, Thomas, Joyce, or others from his homeland. She loved hearing his soft lilting voice, watching his long lean body, shoulders slouched with the intensity of his thoughts – so unlike her husband’s rotund figure and booming bass – that she would hide behind a favourite oleander bush so as not to distract him.

One evening, the young man, needing to relieve himself, stopped in front of the queen’s bush, and pulled from his trousers, a soft tube similar to the crown jewels but much prettier. When Vivacia saw it and his intention, she was so shocked that she jumped up and revealed herself and reveal herself she did more than she realized as she wore a thin night dress that was transparent in the bright moon’s light.

They stood staring into each other’s eyes and then sighed in unison as if giving into the inevitable, joined hands and found a sheltered spot to explore the other’s treasures. And thus this became their habit.

When Vivacia’s belly begin to grown, she feared that the child would be his but hoped beyond hope that the few occasions in which her husband had demanded her presence in bed would produce another raven haired child.

Alas as soon as she held the enfant in her arms, she knew that she had to act quickly. Her lord and master, away on a hunt, was due back in two days or, at the most, three so she gave her precious daughter to a trusted servant and bid her take the child across land and sea to the emerald isle, home of the child’s father.

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