October 9th, 2021

Fairy Story

Once upon a time there was a princess who fell asleep in an enchanted castle surrounded by an impenetrable forest of thorns.

After ninety-eight years a prince came along and set about hacking at the thorns with his sword, but he wasn't used to manual labour and his armour was getting scratched so after a while he gave up and went and did some jousting instead.

After ninety nine years a rich landowner came along and set his labourers to work removing the thorns but when he saw how his own estates were being neglected he declared the job economically unviable and called them off and sent them back to his farms.

But one of them stayed behind- a hedger- who would have been doing this kind of work anyway, day in, day out- and didn't see why he shouldn't do it for himself for a change- and he set about the thorns with his bill-hook, cutting a path, surviving on a diet of berries and mushrooms and nuts until after a full year- on the hundredth anniversary of the princess falling asleep- he broke through to the other side...

...And the rest of the story proceeds along familiar lines...