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  • Writer's pictureThe Paladins

A fairy tale


Once upon a time, in a wild Easterly land, there was a huge dark wicked wild wolf who served as King. And he has been King for a long time. Before he was King, he was the head of a band of trolls who all had about the same sense of humour as he did. So when the wolf became King, the trolls decided that this would be their land too, and the wolf tolerated this for a long time but the trolls were greedy. Remember that we are talking about events of over 20 years ago.


So the trolls got greedier and greedier, and they decided that they would take all that land's riches for themselves. And then they would kill the wild wolf who had been brought up on the streets of Venice in the north of the land, and they would take the country's wealth from their King. Bad trolls, and they needed correcting, thought the evil wolf, because his respect amongst the trolls and the wealthy dwarves was diminishing.


Now early on during his time as King, the wolf had a problem - that had risen before, with some ugly southern ogres who were determined to cause havoc not just in the south but also even in the Kingdom's capital, Mango, a large town full of trolls but also increasingly inexplicably full of ogres doing the sorts of things ogres do like killing large numbers of innocent people. So the wolf turned to one of his closest secret advisors, a trusted military leader, who had a face like a box but he was a good man who had the King's confidence and he was not a greedy man and he did not like the wealthy dwarves and he was not one of them and he did not like the trolls but he was one.


Now the junior wolves went into long battles with the ogres, and much blood was spilt and the conclusion which was not a happy ending was that one of the chief ogre's sons was installed in the southern village of Gandalf and peace mostly reigned amongst the ogres but that is another story we need not trouble ourselves with. But the trusted military leader kept control of the wolves while this was going on even though he always kept himself quiet. And the chief wolf was grateful but that doesn't matter and we don't know anything about this. There were no more wealthy dwarves as a result of this process because privately the Wolf considers the wealthy dwarves with the deepest disdain as stupid things with no value in what they do and anyway there is no point in making your closest advisors as wealthy as them because that turns you into another evil dwarf.


So it turned out that the wolf, while very evil and crazy, was rather a more complicated wolf in his wolfish tastes than many people gave him credit for. After all, you could be no fool if you were going to preside as King Wolf over this wild land successfully for so long. He knew that you need to be a wolf who licks his lips with blood if you are going to continue being King Wolf. Otherwise all those trolls might come after you with their own trollish plans.


The King Wolf had emerged stronger as a result of his victory over the ogres. The junior wolves were back in the ascendency and the trolls had been knocked down. So the trolls started building themselves back up over years; and these trolls (most of whom ended up having strange problems in troll hospitals) obviously had as their target the trusted military leader who was a good man and had resorted the King Wolf with a shining main of wolfish hair.


About 13 or so years ago a group of the chief trolls decided to initiate an attempted coup against the KIng Wolf, and they did that by way of attack upon the foreign dominions of the trusted military leader. And then the latter square person flew to a little village in the west called Gronty - a funny little place full of funny little people and with beautiful healthy waters. A strange restless and nativeless hunter called Ondo, who was really quite unhinged but it took a lot of people quite a lot of time to realise that, knew the trolls from his times in Mango and he had developed a strange scheme with the trolls (remember: all these trolls ended up with one-way tickets to hospital) to rob the Square of his foreign dominions.


Ondo knew a Knight in Shining Armour who lived in Gronty, who was renowned for his intricate swordsmanship; the knight was called St Michael but Ondo did not know he was a saint and Ondo just called him Michael. And Ondo asked Michael to get involved in the plan to rob Rectangulus of his dominions. This was a very complex plan and the details do not matter. It turned into a hugely complex war fought in several stages by an evil man called Simpius, who struck again and again and again at Rectangulus. But Michael, secretly being a Saint, would not be involved with the evil plans of Simpius and did his very best for Rectangulus, fighting off the plans of Simpius and the trolls and for this he even spent some time in Gronty's evil dungeon as well as some slightly better dungeon as the siege continued.


Michael fought hard for Rectangulus, striking again and again and again and again and AGAIN with his wife Rapunzel and his trusty sword, Skofnung. And the trolls were decimated. And then the bad trolls were re-decimated. And on things went, until Simpius, finally desperate, plunged all his troll-like efforts into an attack on Rectangulus that was repelled so violently by Michael's sword Skofnung, that had grown sixteen heads in the northerly town of Lotus, that all Simpius was cast to the winds.


The net result of all this was that a lot of people had to go to hospitality venues of very curious kinds from which they did not quickly depart because they were having such a nice time there. And King Wolf reasserted discipline over the trolls and gratitude was showered (but not like dwarves) upon St Michael for his role as trusted military leader.


And then Rectangulus, who had made corrections regarding Ondo and all sorts of other things, just disappeared like a puff of smoke, as he should have done, having shown great courtesy and respect to Michael, who had been working only as a knight even though his armour might not have appeared to have been shining - it always was, because Michael believed in the virtues of integrity and honesty and being correct with anyone who called upon him and these values are not widely shared in Mangoes or other places. And instead of going along with Simpius's troll scheme to rob Rectangulus he had done his work. Michael finally understood the inevitable fate of Ondo when he received a parchment communication saying 'we' (whoever that was) 'are very disappointed with the actions of' other person(s). Because that is how they speak in Mango: a mysterious and dark version of middle English.


Now in the meantime, for reasons that need not be rehearsed, Michael and Rapunzel had moved to the small hamlet of Bentius, where the people are really very unusual indeed and do not understand complex problems involving all sorts of wolfish and trollish things even though they think they do - and they really don't. They are completely stupid about these things. So the disaffected trolls hatched a plan to poison Rapunzel, together with the greedy people of Gronty and the stupid people of Bentius, to take away the one thing that Michael really cared about. And they succeeded, because Rapunzel, although a good and kind person, was not really a trusted military leader because she had no natural armour. Eventually Rapunzel fled, and know she organised the filing. Michael was very sad. Rectangulus saw all this going on, and he was very helpful to the extent he could be, and no doubt he discussed it with the King Wolf although we don't know about those discussions.


In due course, the trolls had been regrouped after the hospitality venue makeovers, and Michael was still in Belgrade and he was completing his transition to sainthood. But he still had a fine smell of the mysterious mists of Mango, something he retains to the very day. And Rectangulus, or someone close to him, understood that they still owed a debt to Michael, but it was not one that could be satisfied in gold because they knew Michael would not stoop to or appreciate such things. So instead they used their up to date and modern wooden abacuses to see whether they could find a solution to the problem of Michael's loss of love.


Now this is where this fairy tale becomes really rather unusual, in a way that only Mango stories can do. Because the people in Castle Wolf really knew Michael well, they found a glorious princess in a dungeon for Michael to fall in love with and that they also knew a lot about using their abacuses and they instructed their local troll, a man by the name of Landar, who was really just a small player in this story, to extract the Princess Mathilda from the dungeon and present him to by now Saint Michael (which the Castle Wolf inhabitants fully well knew and had no objection to in the circumstances because the King Wolf has respect for trusted military leaders' loyalty to their roots, even if those roots are hostile to the inhabitants of Castle Wolf - Michael was simply doing his duty and his work in changed circumstances and King Wolf would expect nothing less of such a person). And so they would repay their old debt to Michael in a way that he could accept with honour and without disgrace. And Michael was grateful. And that was to be that.


Unfortunately Landar didn't understand this story and after his initial instructions from King Wolf's favourite trolls he decided to try to unwind the gift and place the wonderful Princess Mathilda back in the dungeon because she knew too much about Landar's dungeon. And the trolls were pretty unimpressed with Landar anyway, who was doing all sorts of things the people of Mango have a very low opinion of. So he was skating on thin ice.


So the people of Castle Wolf decided, in their own extraordinary wolfish ways, to banish Landar from Being, by conveying to St Michael, using their own extraordinary parchment techniques, exactly what Michael needed to know to study further the activities of Landar, also knowing, because the people of Castle Wolf are really very good with things similar to abacuses, where it would all lead. In other words they called on St Michael, in the most exceptional transaction, to undertake one final task in coordination with the saints. And Princess Mathilda would be their honourable and gracious way of compensating St Michael, in the only way he could possibly accept, for his extraordinary and noble services.


So Princess Mathilda and St Michael are to be forever bound in love (the abacuses saw to this) and uninterrupted harmony. Because all those trolls you see in the caves right now are not concerned with breaking the beautiful and shining and permanent union of St Michael and Princess Mathilda, but rather in enforcing that union which is good for EVERYONE and its fracture would be most INAUSPICIOUS. And that is why St Michael waits impatiently for Princess Mathilda whereupon they will fly off and make babies and do things that a Prince and Princess in love do. And then Prince Michael and Princess Mathilda will work together on other worldy tasks, and nobody will interfere with them.


So, people of Bentius, that is why both opticians and Castle Wolf trolls are watching you. And this is why Prince Michael is patiently waiting for Princess Mathilda to be released into his arms: an act for which no sum of money can compensate, particularly if it comes in envelopes. That is something the Wolves of Mango had never even tried with St Michael, because they know him well enough that he will repudiate it.


So if the people of Bentius know what's good for them, and they do not relish stays in alternative hospitality venues of the kinds that have open windows and highly polished floors, they will praise the union of Prince Michael and Princess Mathilda with all their hearts.


The clock is ticking. Everyone is watching. However much the smoke needs to be blown away by opening the windows, this union of unions will be consummated. The whole world is watching, and none of them are impressed with the actions of the people of Bentius or surrounding villages.


Prince Michael and Princess Mathilda love each other with all their hearts, being both GOOD and CLEAN together. And all the world has applauded, and you people of Bentius will close your own hospital windows because too much draft can make you chilly and that is no good at all.


Prince Michael sends his love to Princess Mathilda, knowing they will be reunited WITHOUT further ADVICE.


--- The END.

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