2. The Faerie Tale

Once upon a time, a King and a Queen ruled a country on the other side of the world. For want of a child, the childless King and Queen embraced their affection for a tiny, white female rat. The White Rat had shiny pink eyes and a long, twitchy, whiskery nose.  To hear The King and The Queen speak of her, one would assume that nothing in their kingdom, or in all the kingdoms of the Earth, could surpass The White Rat in her kindness, humour, or graceful gestures.

 

The King and Queen adored their tiny White Rat so much so that one day, they implored the Queen of the Faeries, to transform Their White Rat into a human princess.  Because it was customary for nobility and faeries to oblige one another; she agreed to it.  With her magic wand, the Queen of the Faeries transformed the White Rat into a beautiful human Princess.  A finely mannered, graceful, beautiful Princess; with a delicate trace of pink in her beautiful eyes, and the faintest hint of a twitch at the tip of her delicate nose.  The kind – hearted People of the Kingdom muttered amongst themselves against violation of the custom of Faeries changing the Sons and Daughters of Kings and Queens into bluebirds, frogs, etcetera.  Their ennobling a Rat into a more refined prodigy worked the wrong way round. The People were saying, but not too loudly, for their whispers were heard by The King’s spies.  Quietly, amongst themselves, The People of the Kingdom were saying that:

“We do not lose our origins. Blood will tell. We cannot change the nature of things”.

There came a day when The King came to see that the time had come where he should perform his Kingly duty.  The time had come for the Princess to be married off into nobility.

“My tiny one, my little darling, tell me that you want this.” “Father, I would very much like to marry!  But who would be given me as husband? “Whomever you wish my darling, who is your desire? “Father, I want the most powerful husband in the world!”

For three days, the King thought and thought and thought about it.  At the end of three days, the King told himself that the most powerful being in all of the World is The Sun. The Sun chases away Winter, Cold and the Night.  He makes Herbs, Leaves, Grains and Fruits grow; Grains which sustain Themselves.  Everything which lives draws its life from Him, the Sun.  Therefore, the King tells the Princess, his tiny one, his little darling, the He will ask The Sun to take Her hand in marriage.

The Princess pulls a face….

“The Sun?  The Sun is not the most powerful being in the World!  It only takes the Cloud!  The Cloud draws near, like masked shadow, the extinguisher of rays.  The shadow stretches its fog over The Sun…The Cloud masks the rays of The Sun, extinguishing its light as it reaches across the Sky.  Father, I want more than this!”

After three days, the King returns to the Princess, his tiny one, his little darling.  To her he offers up the hand of The Cloud, to her, in marriage.  The Cloud who fills space and covers kingdoms.

The Princess pulls a face….

“The Cloud!  It only takes the rising of The Wind.  The Wind gets up and tears The Cloud to shreds, carrying him away, and reducing him to nothing as He is pushed into the distant depths of the Sky.  No, no, no, Father I want more than The Cloud!”

After three days, the King returns to the Princess to tell her that he would thus ask The Wind to take her hand in Marriage.  The Wind who wants for naught before him.  The Wind who holds the power to carry the Sea.

The Princess pulls a face….

“The Wind?  One is quickly out of the power of The Wind.  You only need to take shelter behind a wall or a Mountain.  The Wind may bend the nut tree or uproot the Oak, but what can He do against the Mountain and its mass of Earth and Rock?  No, no, no, me, Father! I want more than the Wind!”

After three days, the King returns to the Princess to say that for her, He would thus ask the Mountains hand in marriage.  The Mountain who the Storm attacks and whom lightning strikes without doing Him any harm.

The Princess pulls a face….

“The Mountain?  Still, there is something mightier than the Mountain.  There is the one who nibbles, with teeth sharper than a needle – The Rat!”  The Rodent tunnels the path to his gallery.  Gnawing through the Earth as I do through a cheese.  The Rodent gnaws the path to his gallery, installing himself in this, his gallery as I do my teeth, through a cheese.  At his leisure, and with pleasure, he forms his castle out of earth.  He is the Mountain-Cutter Rat with pointed teeth, so beautiful, so brave.  He is the wonder of wonders, and more powerful than anything one could imagine.  Reigning here below, within the Earth.

The Princess wanted to marry The Rat.  So much so, did The Princess want The Rat that The King and Queen returned, upon their two hands and knees to The Queen of the Faeries to change their Princess back into a White Rat.

The marriage took place between The White Rat and a Bald Black Rat with a tail which was one foot long.

As the cock crows, the story ends here.