The Ineffectual Prince

May 21, 2017

Once upon a time,
there was a prince.
He was not a wealthy prince,
nor a famous prince.
Not a particularly handsome prince,
nor a heroic prince.
One day, he did espy a princess
of singular beauty,
and wit,
and charm.
Being of little fortune, fame, looks and bravery,
the prince was unable to approach the princess.
Fearing rejection,
in the way a greater man might fear an ogre.
So, day and night,
believing himself to be more capable with words,
he sat in his tower,
composing a poem
of singular beauty,
and wit,
and charm.
He illuminated the manuscript,
in the rarest of inks,
working into the night,
until his head grew heavy,
and his eyes grew dry.
Finally, the manuscript was complete,
and, proud of his work,
he showed it to friends,
who, complimentary of his work,
told him to show it to the princess.
“But,” he said to them, “I’m not ready.”
“And,” he said to himself, “how do I know you’re only being complimentary because you’re friends?”
And so,
fearing rejection in the same way a brave knight might fear a dragon.
he locked the manuscript in a chest,
which he placed beneath the throne,
on which he grew old, listening to sad songs.

Chris Dabnor

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