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The Lovely Peasant
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TITLE (EDIT)
The Lovely Peasant
DESCRIPTION
A short story.
[773 words]
AUTHOR
G David Schwartz
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
G. David Schwartz the former president of Seedhouse, the online interfaith committee. Schwartz is the author of A Jewish Appraisal of Dialogue, and coauthor, with Jacqueline Winston, of Parables In Black and White. Currently a volunteer at Drake Hospital in Cincinnati, Schwartz continues to write essays, and fiction.
You can reach me at [email protected]
(513) 821-6414
and/or 1211 Morts Pass
Cincinnati Ohio 45215

[June 2003]
AUTHOR'S E-MAIL ADDRESS
[email protected]
AUTHOR'S OTHER TITLES (8)
Anger Drives The World (Essays) This is an essay that speaks about the *importance* of anger, and the misuse of it. [1,712 words]
Jason Sucrut's Sons (Non-Fiction) A short piece. [818 words]
Overcoming The Other (Essays) An essay. [11,150 words]
Reading (Essays) - [5,568 words]
Resolution (Essays) A short essay. [721 words]
Review Of The Idea Of The Dictionary (Essays) An essay. [1,770 words]
The Literal Day (Short Stories) The Literal Day is a surreal true story of a day no one would want to live through. [1,926 words]
The Parable Of The Copper Pennies (Essays) A short essay. [1,690 words]
The Lovely Peasant
G David Schwartz

There was once a lovely peasant girl who caught the eye of the prince. He said to her, "I am the prince, and desire to make you my wife."

The peasant girl scolded the prince for being so presumptuous and impetuous. "I belong to another," the peasant girl exclaimed.

"You have caught my eye," the prince asserted, "And now I will have you."

"I will have your eye," the peasant girl laughed, "But you must first catch me fair and square."

"How do you mean?"

The lovely peasant girl explained that cornering her in the marketplace was an advantage of royalty, yet a hindrance to true relationship. The prince pretended to understand. "You must give me a days journey, and then try to find me." The prince agreed with the words that he would be able to sniff her fragrance behind any pine in the woods, feel her beauty under any disguise, and flow into her arms by the charms of her attraction.

The lovely peasant girl took her father's uncle, a famous magician, and her mother's niece. They journeyed on borrowed horses. After a day, the prince set out to find her. Because he had the king's steads, he soon caught up with the troup. The magician turned he lovely peasant girl into a refreshing stream, the niece into a willow, the horses into stones, and himself into an enchanting book.

When the prince saw the stream he ordered his soldiers to dismount but not to drink until he had read what he thought was a book of testimonies which lay on one of the rocks under the willow. He picked up the book and read at random. He read: "Whosoever drinks of the lovely stream possesses beauty forever, but is forever sad." The prince puzzled over these words. He forbade his men to drink from the stream. He sat on a rock and pondered the mysterious words. He sat there for a day and a half. Finally, he thoughts tumbled into the refrain, " Beauty...sad...beauty...sad..."

The prince resolved to drink. "This is indeed a rotary bi-polar universe," he said, scooping water into his cupped hands and raising them to his mouth. Water dribbled down his chin and stained his clothes. He felt refreshed -- a disappointment considering he expected more! He felt tired. He ordered his men to remount and return to the kingdom. They would find her tomorrow, he announced. The prince alone filled his canteen with water before they set off down the dusty trail.

Once they were gone, the magician was again a magician, the horses horses, the niece a niece, and the lovely peasant girl a peasant girl. Yet she was slightly diminished. Her nose appeared awkward, still lovely, but somehow not set with her face as it had previously been. It was not the perfect jewel it had been that morning. Other than that, she was a lovely as ever.

The magician shook his head. "The prince has drunk deeply and without fear. You must return to him."

The next morning the three travelers entered the realm. Trumpets announced their return, yet the prince heard these very trumpets as an announcement of his victory. He came out to meet the trio in the square.

"I have won fair and square," he announced, more to the crowd than to the lovely peasant.

"You have," she responded.

"You are lovely. Lovely!" he said, but his eyes were fixed on the nose of the niece.

"I am," said the peasant girl, "And you shall always remember my beauty along with the pain of knowing what price it has cost you."

"Price?," the prince questioned. "I am the prince, son of the great King. I can afford anything."

"You are the prince," the peasant girl agreed, "And you can afford anything."

With these words, she pulled two daggers from below her gown and carved the prince's eyes out of their sockets. The prince reached out to catch them before they hit the ground. The peasant girl stepped close while he held his eyes balled up in his hands. She pressed herself against his chest, causing him to press his delicate eyes together between the two of them. He felt the plasticity of his own eyes against his blood-warmed fleshy palms. The lovely peasant kissed his lips.

"You have won that which you sought, O, my prince and husband. Now I shall be your lovely girl forever."

So saying, the canteen the prince carried burst open, and vapor filled the marketplace. No one saw what happened next. The mist was so heavy and thick that when it cleared all of the people of the kingdom, except for the niece and the magician, were blind, or mad, or both.

 

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COPYRIGHT NOTICE
© 2005 G David Schwartz
STORYMANIA PUBLICATION DATE
April 2005
NUMBER OF TIMES TITLE VIEWED
1969
 

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