Sunday, December 26, 2010

The Magic Bottle - A Fable

There was once a great land that time had forgot. It was ruled by a great king and queen and many loyal subjects. The land was vast and beautiful. It was known for its majestic gardens, sparkling rivers and marble fountains. In it lived many creatures both big and small. One day, the king told his son that the prince needed to urgently leave the kingdom to find his bride. A beautiful princess had been captured by an army of dwarfs and had been taken away to the edge of the world. The king warned his son that this was no easy task to rescue the princess and marry her and he also told his son that this strange land had no sense of time. If the princess stayed there she would naturally get old and die and there was little time to rescue her since everything in their kingdom would be destroyed until she was returned. That meant the prince would have to hurry and if he any chance to rescue the princess and the kingdom, he would have to think of a clever plan. The prince could see that he had little time as he himself was growing older, and everything around him was changing and aging. He quickly bid his father farewell and hastened to rescue the princess from her captors. When he finally arrived at the edge of the world where the princess was imprisoned, he noticed that he had now stopped aging but knew that he had little time to rescue the princess and return back to his home since time was still in this strange world. He quickly hurried to the castle where the dwarfs were keeping her and stealthily entered her room and explained that he was the prince that was meant to rescue her and marry her. Unless they could escape and leave this strange land, all would be lost for them back home. The princess was happy to see him and she wept with joy. As they were getting ready to leave, the army of little men entered the room and stopped them, holding up a small lock and key, and their commander, a little man wearing a red cap approached and warned them that if they took one more step he would turn the lock with the key and unleash all the evils in the world. The prince and the princess did not dare to go one step further. They looked at each other and anguished that they would never escape and return back to their kingdom. The prince quickly thought of a clever plan to distract his captors. He had brought with him a bottle of wine from the kingdom that had once been used to house a genie but the genie had been let out and it had become an ordinary bottle of wine. He presented the bottle to his captors and asked them to open and drink from the bottle since the world was now being lost and he wanted to celebrate these last moments with his bride. The captors agreed and the little men began drinking from the bottle until everyone was quite drunk and distorted. They thanked the prince for bringing them the wine and to show their hospitality, welcomed him to stay with the princess until the entire ordeal was over. The prince stopped them from leaving, insisting that the empty bottle of wine was magical and that a powerful genie had once been kept there and if someone so little entered the bottle, he could rub the bottle and make them all bigger. The little men were astonished that this could even be possible and they desperately wanted to become bigger since their entire kingdom was so big and they truly disliked being so small. But if they entered the bottle, they would have to leave the magic lock and key with the prince in case something went wrong. The little men could not refuse such an offer and they all agreed to enter the empty bottle one at a time. The prince and the princess crept down to the floor and watched the little men enter the bottle. Once all them were inside, the prince quickly turned the bottle over as cries of help whistled from the open mouth of the bottle and he closed the top with the cork pushing it tightly inside so it would never open again. At that instant, the edge of world was made whole again, and time resumed since all the little men were inside the bottle. Flowers began to grow, water began to flow and sunlight began to shine and the world was wonderful again. The princess was rescued and the prince returned with her to their home. She was so happy and she asked him what he would do with the bottle now that she was rescued. He said that he would return the bottle to his father, the king who had used it to capture an army of little men many years before. Indeed, it was the genie that had escaped the magic bottle all those years ago and created an army of little men to destroy their happy kingdom.

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