This isn’t an attempt to make a classic fairy tale more politically correct . Just my whimsical take on it. So indulge me, just this once 😉
‘It’s the kings order. Every girl between the age of 18 and 22 has to attend the ball.’
Beckerella looked woeful. A ball in the castle would be fun for a change, but she had no pretty gown to wear.
‘Oh, I’ll fix that’ , said her mother and stepped into her tailor shop and picked out discarded pieces of coloured silk. Pale pink, sky blue and sunrise yellow. Beckerella looked askance, but her mother wasn’t flustered. She had a good sense of the reigning style statements having stitched and embroidered gowns for every maiden of decent aristocracy in the kingdom. Beckerella’s father was a glass blower in the crystal factory by the lake. He made for her exquisite glass slippers that glinted in the sun.
On the day of the ball, her mother brought out the gown which had every single colour possible seamlessly entwined in its fabric . A sigh escaped Beckerella’s lips. ‘A rainbow dress!’, she exclaimed. And soon she was off on her horse. She left him by a tree on the outskirts of the castle , slipped on her dainty glass sandals and made her way in, reminding herself to walk slowly, like a lady. As she walked into the hall , abuzz with excitement, she could sense a hush descending on the room. Her gown was stunningly beautiful. Mama had hit the fashion bulls eye.
After the prince arrived, the dances began. The prince though handsome, seemed like one with a glad eye. He insisted on dancing with every maiden in the kingdom. And she knew what that meant- the aristocracy worked that way… every woman/girl in the kingdom was his property to use and discard as he pleased. Soon it was Beckerella’s turn. He seemed very taken with her and led her away to a curtained enclosure leading to the rose garden.
‘Milady, shall I get you some of the milk of human kindness ?’ he asked, kissing her fingers. She recoiled inwardly thinking nothing could get cheesier than this and asked him if there was any wine on the menu. ‘It has been excluded by mother from the menu, due to personal circumcisions’ he explained with a pained expression. His inability to hold a drink was a matter of common knowledge. But this idiosyncrasy was an unforseen flaw. ‘I begged her to atleast allow old wine in new bottles… but Alas!’ he said with a shake of his head. Beckerella suddenly started feeling restless. This wasn’t going the way she had imagined. She pushed him away with a kick of her elbow and ran down the stairs. He came running behind her and got a grip on her foot. After a brief struggle her glass slipper came undone tearing her gown in the process. ‘Apologies, milady. A stitch in time saves twenty nine’, he panted, stopping to catch his breath. She shuddered inwardly and gathering up the folds of her voluminous skirt , shimmied up the castle wall , signalling for her waiting horse with a wolf whistle that pierced through the skies and made good her escape. He was left holding the glittering glass slipper in his hand, wondering if all that glittered was truly glass.
A week later and Beckerella realises that the saga is not over as yet. The prince , for all his big talk of the moon and the stars couldn’t recollect her name. A true blue murderer of idioms, he had described her smile as being both heart warming and cockle stirring. And when she hears of his half baked idea of making every maiden try the glass slipper on , she heaves a sigh of relief. Because deep down inside , she knows that one size fits many.
‘Did the prince ever find Beckerella?’ asks the kid, a bit bewildered at the scurrilous turn of events. The mother chuckles and removes her rose tinted glasses. ‘Well, he never, ever did. In his own words, it was as futile as looking for a candle in a haystack’. The kid was like the king in the Arabian nights. She wanted to listen to a thousand stories. ‘So which is tomorrow’s story?’, she asked before dropping off to sleep.’Is it going to be Goldilocks?’. If there was anything her mother hated , it was retelling a story in the same old way. She would surely make an unreliable witness if asked to recount the events at the scene of crime. Scheherazade switched off the lights and said, ‘Tomorrow, we shall dwell on the adventures of Blackilocks’.
About the Author:
Dr. Priya Mary Jacob is a pathologist working in a cancer centre by day and harried mother of two by night. She blogs at acuteangle7.wordpress.com and has written a still looking for a publisher novel titled ‘Scopegoats’ along with her friend Dr. Sajna VM Kutty. It is a medical campus novel from a woman’s point of view. #scopegoats_the_novel.
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Image Courtesy: Panni99, Deviant Art.