by Adam Acidophilus
In a land which was not fantastic, in a castle which was far from magnificent, there lived a princess who was not in the least bit beautiful.
For, though blessed with good health and perfect features, the princess was astonishingly dull, and not interested in anything (and you know what they’re like). And she was called The Princess Purblind.
“I shall offer the crown of this less-than fabulous kingdom and throw in the far from magnificent castle to any man who shall marry my not in the least bit beautiful daughter, the Princess Purblind,” announced the king.
And soon enough, three suitors came to the castle gates.
“Your eyes are like the evening stars,” said the first, who had never seen her.
“Oh you’re not into astronomy, are you?” said the princess. “I hate astronomy – it’s really boring.”
“Your voice is like music,” said the next, who had never heard her voice.
“Actually,” she replied, “I hate music even more than astronomy.”
“Your hair is like a beautiful waterfall – ” began the third suitor – who was talking out of his hat.
“Not only do I detest geography,” said the princess. “But I don’t actually agree with it either.” (For she was opinionated in the extreme.)
“Will no man marry my daughter?” sighed the king.
“No,” they all told him. (Well, these three did, anyway.)
But a few days later there came into the castle precincts a travelling craftsman – a jeweller, to be precise.
“Majesty,” he began. “I believe I hold the answer to your request … ”
“Oh no,” said the king. “We’re not marrying into trade – and in any case, the only jewellery that would help in this situation would be a pair of diamond-encrusted earplugs.”
“You misunderstand, Majesty,” the jeweller explained. “I bear not ordinary, physical decoration of stone and precious metal. No! I am an Invisible Jeweller.”
“Bollocks,” said the king. “I can see you.”
“You misunderstand,” the jeweller explained, “it is my jewellery that is invisible. I am a jeweller of thought, and proffer ornamentation for the mind!”
The king paused. “You’re not the fellow that makes the invisible clothes are you?” he sneered.
“Though my jewellery be invisible,” the jeweller continued, “it certainly works. Here, try this … ”
And so he affixed to the princess’s lapel an invisible brooch, that did, indeed, ornament her mind.
“Papa,” she said. “Do you think we could do something for all the animals in the kingdom? They have such a hard life, and I have always cared so much about them.”
“Good God!” said the king. “Very well! Attend to the royal horses, groom them, shampoo them, and give them an equine pedicure. Place bird feeders upon all the trees in the forest, and shelters to spare our birds from the rain and winter weather. Knit jumpers for all the livestock, rubber suits for all the fish, and place carpets and some kind of music system in the royal abattoir!”
The jeweller removed the brooch from the princess. “Why are you wasting money on animals?” she shrieked. “Waste it on me! I hate animals!”
“See?” said the jeweller.
“That’s very impressive,” agreed the king.
“I have here a necklace that will make her royal highness erudite and intellectual,” said the jeweller. “Two earings that shall give her a good taste and understanding in music. An invisible nose-piercing that shall give her a tremendous appreciation of wine and all things gastronomic – ”
“It is an invisible nose-piercing?” checked the king.
“Euw!” squeaked the princess. “No thank you! Haven’t you got a tiara?”
The jeweller hesitated. “I do have a tiara … ” he conceded. “But it is rather potent.”
The court held its breath.
“Come,” said the king. “Come, daughter, let us try this potent invisible tiara!”
And – as he was bidden – the jeweller placed the invisible tiara upon the princess’s head.
“Now, how does that feel?” asked the king.
“Pater?” she answered. “To care for the animals is nothing. We need to care for the people! We need to feed them, and house them, and lighten their load, and reduce their weekly working hours – and provide free healthcare and schools for all their beautiful children.”
“I don’t know that we can afford that,” gulped the king.
“Well of course we can,” she answered. “Why if you consider the gross domestic product of our little nation and – Can I have that necklace please? thank you – the essentially feudal nature of our economic system, with a simple redistribution of wealth and the establishment of a co-operative system in all our farms and industries – which shall now make ploughshares instead of swords or armour – and a rewriting of the constitution to truly meet the needs, and the hopes, and aspirations of our people and our minorities and our LGBTQ community –
“And let us not forget the environment!” she continued. “I’ve always cared about the environment. That’s why I insisted that the witches were burned on pyres cut from sustainable forests. Now let us change our ways: let’s drown them instead – it’s carbon neutral and we could do a few hundred in the moat –
“It’s what I want!” she continued even further. “And it’s what God wants, because, after all, he made us – and I was talking to him the other night and he really wants us all to live in peace and harmony – ideally with me in charge.”
“Hmm,” said the king to the jeweller. “And you can take this tiara off, I hope?”
So the jeweller lifted the invisible tiara from the princess’s head and she covered him in burning vomit.
“Right,” said the king. “I’ll have the necklace for meself, and she’ll have everything else. And just one more thing … ”
“Majesty?” asked the jeweller – flushed with success, though covered in smouldering puke.
“Well … we’ll need another one of those tiaras for her chap!”
Moral: A tattoo, however, is forever.
© Adam Acidophilus 2021