Friday, January 29, 2010

A Terrible Spell

I wish to break from the adventures of Coco the Dog to recall a fairy tale. We will return to Coco's barks of wisdom shortly:

Once upon a time in a magical kingdom far, far away there lived a beautiful young princess who was the pride and joy of the land.

When the princess was happy, the very earth would be bright and happy. Orange butterflies would flutter, and bright green frogs would jump from lilypad to lilypad.

The day of our story was a deep dark gloomy day full of bitter cold and rain.

The princess's fairy godmother saw that things were bitter and cold. She deduced that the princess must be sad and fluttered into the castle to find what made the beautiful young princess gloomy.

"What is wrong young one?" asked the fairy godmother.

"Oh, it is horrible," said the young princess. "The Princess Academy is having a spelling bee tomorrow and I am a terrible speller."

Now, the fairy godmother could fix any problem faced by the princess with a wave of her wand and a magical spell, but the fairy godmother was scared of the headmistress of the Princess Academy and usually hesitated when asked to perform a school related spell.

So, the fairy-godmother tried to appease the young princess by saying: "You are a princess. You don't need to spell. When you issue your dictates from the thrown, a court page who will spell all the words correctly. He has a magical spellchecker."

"But I don't want to have to having some stinking page thinking he is all better than me because I failed out of the first round of the spelling bee."

After a few minutes of chatting and a well orchestrated pout, the fairy godmother gave in to the princess's demand devised a spell so that the child would no longer be a terrible-speller.

The fairy godmother chanted the magical spell: "No longer a terrible-speller will you be when you step up to compete in the spelling bee."

A bunch of shiny silver stars shot from the fairy godmother's magic wand. They circled the princess's golden hair three times and entered her ears.

The princess's eyes brightened and a smile lit her face as she found that a magical dictionary with correct spelling and etymology would appear in her mind when she thought of a word.

To test the effectiveness of the magical spell, the Fairy Godmother tried several super hard words:

"Spell 'aggrandizement'"

The princess recited "A-G-G-R-A-N-D-I-Z-E-M-E-N-T" with authority.

"Spell 'psychoanalysis'"

The princess spoke the letters "P-S-Y-C-H-O-A-N-A-L-Y-S-I-S" with cheer then shouted with glee: "I am no longer a terrible-speller."

With that thought the clouds broke and sunshine sprinkled down from the heavens onto the kingdom in happiness.

The happiness and joy of the moment continued until the day of the big spelling bee.

When it came her time to spell a word, the princess simply remembered the chant of her fairy godmother: "No longer a terrible-speller will you be when you step up to compete in the spelling bee," and the magical dictionary would appear before her eyes and she would trounce all of her opponents.

The spelling bee went through eight rounds and gradually eliminated all of the competitors until the contest was down to just her and that nasty little boy in the seventh grade who was slated to become the court page.

(err, don't ask me why there was a boy in the princess academy. I didn't think through that part of the story)

Anyway, the princess confidently approached the spelling bee podium with the spelling-spell and magical dictionary in her mind.

A quirky smile lit on the headmistresses face and she commanded: "Spell the word 'terrible'!"

To the princess's dismay she found that the magic dictionary in her mind could not open.

The princess broke out in a fierce sweat and spoke: "T-E-R-I-B-L-E."

The audience gasped at the terrible spelling of 'terrible' and the princess realized that the wish she would no longer be a terrible-speller meant that, for her kingdom, she could not spell the word "terrible."

The headmistress smirked. "Since you are the princess of the land, I will give you a second change to spell 'terrible'."

The princess tried a second time (wishing she could tear up the magic spell) and spoke the letters: "T-E-A-R-A-B-L-E."

The children broke out in laughter.

"You should be kind," the young girl thought, then recited the letters "C-H-A-R-I-T-A-B-L-E."

But the laughter increased in both depth and scope.

How dare they laugh at me cried the princess and spelled "D-A-R-E-A-B-L-E."

Now the children were rolling on the floor in laughter.

The princess wished that she could fly away on a balloon and spelled ' D-I-R-I-G-I-B-L-E"

With that, even the peasants toiling away in the fields began to laugh.

The princess tried a dozen times to spell 'terrible,' but the magical enchantment that prevented her from being a "terrible-speller" meant there was one word she could never spell.

"N-E-V-E-R-A-B-L-E" she spelled out.

Her attempts to spell 'terrible' fell further and further from the mark until the headmistress stood up and threw the strictest glower ever thrown between a headmistress and student saying:

"And let this spelling bee serve as a lesson to you and your fairy godmother to never again use your magical powers to cheat in my school."

And with those sharp words, the princess crumbled with humility. The skies turned dark and gloomy and the people of the kingdom wallowed in misery ever after.

The End.

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