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Friday, 21 February 2014

The Cunning Gypsy (Part 1 of a Fairy Tale)

The Cunning Gypsy (Part 1 of a Fairy Tale)

Once upon a time there was a noble Queen and a young Princess. They lived peacefully in the kingdom of Shayde until an evil King took the throne. He was kind and fair at first, allowing them to live in the castle. Yet as time went on, the King became cold and cruel toward the Queen and Princess. They were so scared that they never left each others side and slept in the same room with the door locked. Their fear became greater when they learned that the King was preparing to execute them by the end of the week.
One day, the Queen and the Princess went to the local market. Within minutes of being in the crowd, the Princess had gotten lost and was panicking. Every shadow held an agent of the evil King and she hurried to escape into the light. She nearly screamed when she turned a corner and bumped into a young, blue-haired woman in colorful skirts.

The young woman tumbled backwards and flipped up to her feet with a pretty smile. “That’s a rude greeting.”

“I am sorry, but you scared me,” the Princess replied. “I am in fear for my life because the King wishes to have my mother and I killed.”

“Then, you should run away,” the young woman stated.

“My mother and I would not know where to go,” the Princess admitted with tears growing in her eyes. “I am the Princess and she is the Queen. Neither of us has ever left the kingdom. The King would surely pursue and capture us.”

“In that case, you’re lucky,” the young woman declared. She bowed to the Princess until her long, blue hair covered the ground. “I’m Sari the gypsy. Escaping is my specialty and I would be happy to rescue you and your mother.”

The Princess was speechless as she looked that young woman. Sari was short and could not be much older than the Princess herself. Yet, the Princess had heard of the mysterious gypsies that wandered the land. They were considered thieves and tricksters by some and heroes and entertainers by others. One look at Sari and the Princess could tell that both stories were probably true.

“What would we owe you for helping us leave Shayde?” the Princess asked out of curiosity.

Sari gracefully spun on her toes as she thought and her hand stroked her chin. “I can get what I want whenever I want. I never find myself in need. Though, I might find something along the way. Promise me you’ll let me have what I want when I ask for it. I assure you that it won’t be steep.”

“You have my word,” the Princess said without waiting to think. “Can we escape the castle tonight?”

“Of course, but you must get me four things,” Sari said. Gently she led the Princess back to the crowd where the Queen fretted and fussed. “A sweet cake, a leg bone, a hook on some twine, and a whistle of wood. Those are all I need to save you and your mom.”

“I will buy those for you before I return to the castle,” the Princess agreed. She hurried to tell the Queen the good news and prepare for their freedom.

That night, the Queen and the Princess were excited and scared. They were dressed all in black and hid coins in their boots, wondering what waited for them beyond the kingdom of Shayde. It was midnight when a click came from the door and Sari wandered in with a smile on her face. The gypsy was still dressed in bright skirts and a cloak, which the Princess thought was odd for a late night escape.

“Why are you wearing that?” the Queen asked in dismay.

“Because these are my clothes,” Sari said with a grin. “May I have the sweet cake that you promised I’d get?”

The Princess politely handed the yellow cake to Sari, who split it in two. To the shock of the Queen, Sari gobbled one half down in the rudest way possible. Before the Queen could speak, Sari walked to the balcony and threw open the doors. She laid the cake on the railing and looked out to the stars.

“We cannot jump from here. We must go out the front door,” the Queen said with concern.

“The King is prepared to kill you at dawn. So tonight we must fly,” Sari happily claimed.

Sari breathed out and a mist left her lips as the magic of gypsies caught on a breeze. The mist disappeared beyond the far walls where a new form quickly came into view. Large wings of brown feathers and fur of gold could be seen in the moonlight as the griffin silently swooped onto the balcony. With a purring coo, the beast snatched up the remaining sweet cake and nuzzled Sari on the head.

“Lucy will take us to the forest’s edge,” Sari said as she hopped on the griffin.

The Queen and the Princess climbed up on the beast and hung on for dear life when it flew to the sky. Several shouts rang out as they saw guards run around the castle. The evil King saw them too and scowled in fury. He would chase them immediately upon his fastest horse, which would still be too slow for the fast flying griffin. Within minutes, the capital city was behind them and they were soaring among the clouds.

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