My first two stories on command!

05/07/2021

A friend of mine runs a dance school in Wilsele: "Pump 'n Dance": https://www.pumpendance.be/. She also gives swimming lessons. To help me get launched she ordered 2 fairy tales: one about someone who wouldn't dance and one about someone who didn't want to swim.They were based on true facts!

 

The Prince Who Didn't Love Swimming.

Once upon a time there was a prince named Rick in a distant land called Wolsole[1] who was terrified of water. Not just a little scared, but really panicked. You can imagine how difficult it was to put the prince in the bath. 5 muscular servants to hold the prince, a master magician who had to distract and pull rabbits of all colors out of his hat, a deaf hairdresser, who was not thrown off balance by the infernal screams and who could nevertheless concentrate on washing the prince's hair, half a kilo of valerian and lavender to calm the prince were involved. Afterwards, everyone had to lie down exhausted, including the prince.

Every week on Wednesday, Prince Rick had to take swimming lessons. From early in the morning he was locked into his room and the sheets were taken from his bed so that he could not tie them together and escape through the window. There the prince would stand trembling like a leaf in the paddling pool, barely up to his knees in the water and with a large white unicorn swimming ring around his waist (the Queen's idea). So he tried to imitate the swimming movements that the royal sports teacher showed him, but the poor prince barely succeeded because he needed all his concentration not to pee in his golden swimming trunks.

The king and queen consulted all kinds of specialists: an officer from the British Air Force survival school who taught people to descend waterfalls and jump off cliffs, a Cossack from Russia who could ride a horse in the river, a doctor from Guatemala who specialized in water allergies and even a shamanka from Siberia who could communicate with the water spirits. But none of that helped: the more people tried to help the prince with his hydrophobia, the more afraid he became of water.

The prince walled himself off more and more and took long walks in the woods that bordered the palace. A friendly stable boy who had to look after the royal horses and hunting dogs gave him a puppy as a present. The dog was the best companion the prince had had in months: no whining about needing a bath or swimming lessons, the dog accepted him completely as he was and loved nothing more than to race through the woods with him.

It was on a late, warm summer afternoon that Sloekie, because that's what the prince had called his dog, got thirsty. With his dog nose in the air, he headed straight for the stream that cut through the woods. Because it had rained a lot, because the warm weather had caused violent storms, the stream had swollen into a real river. In addition, the banks were muddy and subsided. But Sloekie wasn't aware of any of this, and with the turbulence inherent in youth, he plunged into the brook, which promptly carried him downstream. It all happened so fast that the prince barely had time to comprehend what was happening. And that's a good thing, because if he had thought, he wouldn't have dared what he did next: he kicked off his shoes and jumped after Sloekie.

He frantically imitated the swimming moves the royal swimming teacher had shown him and soon caught up with Sloekie. He put the poor creature on his shoulder and let himself go with the current, keeping his head and Sloekie above water as best he could and avoiding any obstacles. So they floated with the current and seen from the river the landscape looked very different than from the bank. It was actually impressive to see the trees from this perspective and the water was nice and refreshing after the long walk in the heat.

After a while the current diminished and a bend came into view. And there sat a beautiful but sad princess on the moss. She saw the prince and his dog come afloat and quickly searched for a thick branch to help them out of the water. The princess was very impressed by the brave and sweet prince who, you could just guess, risked his life to save this cute little animal. She wrapped Sloekie in her silk scarf and gave one of her sandals to the prince. Luckily she had big feet, which came in handy when swimming. "Welcome to our kingdom," said the princess, for that's how far the prince had drifted with his dog, all the way into another kingdom, and together they limped, each on one sandal (the prince's toes hung a little over the sole) , the princess still with Sloekie in her arms, to the royal palace where the princess lived. "Why were you so sad?" asked the prince, glad now that he had been freshly washed by his unvoluntary bath in the river.

"Because I can't embroider and everyone is always nagging me that a princess should be able to embroider," the princess admitted ashamed. She was afraid that the prince wouldn't like her either because she wasn't good at handicrafts. But the prince didn't care at all that the princess could embroider, she probably was capable of many other things, and he understood very well how bad it was to be forced too hard. They understood each other without words and fell madly in love with each other. Preferably they went swimming together with Sloekie and then they kissed for a long time on the moss under the trees by the river in the forest.

And when they married later, the prince gave a speech in his swimming trunks (without the unicorn) and didn't flinch when someone came to pour a bucket of ice cold water over him for the royal ice bucket challenge. "What a man!" all the noble ladies sighed sadly, because now they could no longer marry him.

The princess that wouldn't dance.

Once upon a time there was a princess who never danced. Why not, nobody knew, least of all she herself. For she loved to watch the graceful movements of the lithe performers who performed for the king and she loved nothing more than to live a story portrayed through dance and music.

At the annual balls in the palace, she always found a corner in the balcony and carefully studied the different ways of expression and movement displayed by the noble lords and ladies. She noted that there were klutz who could actually move very nicely and that there were people who used a profusion of gestures and decorations. Some moved frugally, but every move was in order. For others their joy made the angels slip and there were also some who only thawed after a few dances (and a few glasses). Some danced sourly, their mouths in a line, but that didn't always mean they didn't like it, the perceptive princess remarked: they just wouldn't allow themselves to show it. She thought that was funny. She discovered that you could learn a lot about someone by looking at their way of moving: for example, where was there something stuck in their body, when did people hold back? What effect did meeting a potential partner on someone? There were some who started to show off their biceps or their breasts, while others danced more subdued and a little sad. In this way the princess learned a lot about her subjects and about people in general and therefore also about herself.

One day, the king and queen decided to send the princess to dance school. After all, she should get married someday, the monarchy has to think ahead, and everyone knows that you have to dance an opening dance with your bride or groom. A pair of glittering shoes and a glamorous dancing outfit were delivered to the palace and the royal limousine drove in front of it. "Princess Flor Fernanda María-de-las-Victorias-y-de-los-Fracasos-tambien Antonia Adelaida de Mora y Aragón y Santa-Agatha-Rodos" is expected in the driveway", cried the butler (because the princess was from Hispanic descent, notwithstanding her timid nature). Arriving at the dance school, the usual happened: the princess watched and observed and learned, but she herself did not dance.

However, the enterprising dance teacher at the academy was determined to bring out the best in every child she taught. She tried everything she could think of! She brought over light wooden hoops from Indonesia and balls filled with down feathers from the Dalmatian pelican bird in the Taurus Mountains. She choreographed an entire dance with diamond doves from Australia and once even released a hundred monarch butterflies from North America into the dance hall. Had-banging cockatoos from Malaysia perched on the ballet bars. The princess thought it was all wonderful and she had a great time looking around, but she didn't dance. The teacher took Flor's hands in hers and made her move to the music. But as soon as she let go of her, her ams fell limp again next to her body. She even convinced the queen to join the dance: it took 3 servants to hold up her majesty's skirts so she wouldn't step on them while dancing. But when the Queen began to take pleasure in it, she did an enthusiastic pirouette that spun the servants head-to-head. The teacher tried to be strict, she tried to be kind, she promised the princess a flying rhinoceros and a talking horse, but to no avail. The princess simply wasn't ready to get involved.

It was on a beautiful day in the spring that she suddenly started dancing. Just like that, for no apparent reason, she felt just ready inside. In class, she amazed everyone, including herself, with a flawless performance of the dances they learned. All this time she hadn't done nothing, she had been paying attention extremely well!

The princess became a very good dancer, as you can guess, she even became a renowned competition dancer not only in flamenco but in different styles! She became so good that eventually she could perform herself in the royal palace for her family and staff.

When it was time for her to get married, and this was not a problem anymore, a message was sent to all neighboring kingdoms for an audience. On the day itself, the princess was only a little nervous as she relied on her powers of observation to choose the right man. It was a long day of boasting and bustle: muscles were flexed, martial arts demonstrated, terrible poetry recited, birds in golden cages (which the princess released as soon as the prince who gave them had left), and precious carpets and perfumes given.

By the time the last prince had to present himself, the princess felt a little desperate. The prince was petite and shy. He did not speak but bowed deeply to the princess. Then he signaled to the fiddler he had brought, and the latest one began to play a sad song. A withered leaf blew in through the open window. The prince caught it and began to move gently to the music, massaging the petal with both hands. Everyone watched breathlessly. As his movements became larger and larger, the petal began to change color. It turned green again! And then the music changed, happy notes began to resound in it, and from the petal miraculously grew a stem and a purple orchid with golden specks. It was truly magical. Without words, the prince handed the flower to the princess. Because, maybe you don't know, flor means flower in Spanish. And such a beautiful and special flower like a purple orchid! The princess understood the prince immediately. She instantly fell in love with this profound and gentle man who seemed to suit her so well. They felt very good about each other.

Under their rule, there was a lot of dancing in the kingdom: party or not, rain or shine, in the streets, in the fields, on the train, in the classroom and in the church, in the office and during meetings, even in the military people were dancing everywhere. They often sang along and the work progressed much faster. People took themselves a little less seriously and their kids loved it. There was also much less arguing because people had an outlet for all their emotions, even the more difficult ones, such as anger, fear and sadness. And it also became a hype to make dancing marriage proposals, but the prince who was now king never gave away his magician's secret. "It was just a dance that made sense," he said truthfully when someone asked him about it.