November 29, 2010

In a peaceful kingdom beyond the wood and across the river, the king and queen worried about their daughter, Bellette. Yes , Bellette was lovely. Yes, Bellette was happy. Yes, Bellette’s laughter rang throughout the palace, lifting the spirits of all. Yes, Bellette larked about with her pet lark. Yes, and this is the yes that worried her parents, Bellette was in love with an ordinary pebble. It was not magic. It was not beautiful. It was a plain gray pebble, one among thousands to be found on the banks of the river. And yet, Princess Bellette adored it. She sang to it and announced to her parents that she would marry it when she came of age. Her parents, not keen on the idea of having a pebble for a son-in-law, sent heralds out to gather all the third sons of anyone they could find. Third sons were desired, of course, because first and second sons invariably failed to fulfill tasks or solve riddles. Third sons, on the contrary, were notably successful. Sadly, all possible third sons had died. Several drowned getting out of bed. A few hanged themselves while attempting to pull on their socks. The rest died in sewing mishaps. The king and queen died, too. Bellette married her pebble and laughed and laughed for the rest of her life.

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