Ichabod and Millie
A long long time ago in a far far galaxy in a queendom of Iwanda (yes I said queendom) lived a bossy and overbearing queen named, Meena Mayne and her prince consort Peter (Pete to his friends). They were wealthy and healthy with loyal subjects and very few enemies. For the most part they were happy. The little part was they were childless.
Being childless most women usually are sad, but not Queen Meena. Instead, Queen Meena was grumpy. Being queen she took her grumpiness out on those around her. However the one that felt the most of her grumpiness was her husband, Prince Pete.
Now it so happened that the Mayne family had three fairy godmothers that had a habit of popping in and out. At times the three little ladies (they stood about three feet tall) were an annoyance with their popping in and out. The fairies were always curious. Nonetheless the royal family endured this for the three women were more of an asset than a deficit lending their magic to make events run smoother or when a member of the family called on them.
In exchange for their company and magical services all the three fairy godmothers desired were cookies and brownies.
Out of desperation, Prince Pete called upon three fairy godmothers, Roseflutter, Twinklestar, and Marshanna.
Out of No-Where (for that’s where they came from) the three fairy godmothers Roseflutter, Twinklestar, and Marshanna popped into view hovering like hummingbirds before the startle prince consort. The prince was always startled when they popped in. However he gained his composure and spoke.
“Please do something,” pleaded the prince. “Three of the chambermaids have quit, two of the cooks, four of the butlers, and now the Chamberlainest, Madam Deena is threatening to resign. The Queen is making everybody’s life miserable, especially mine. Unfortunately, I have a vow of marriage and I can’t resign.”
“And why is she making everyone’s life yours included miserable?” inquire Marshanna sympathetically.
“It’s the same old story. She can’t bear a child,” replied Peter. Then he added, “And it doesn’t help that she is now forty-two years old.”
“Why hasn’t she asked us to help her,” asked Twinklestar.
The tall prince leaned his head back and rolled his tired brown eyes, “Because she wants to have the baby the natural way. All the doctors tell her that’s the proper way to have a baby. Magic she claims is not natural.”
“Oh dear,” said Roseflutter the smallest fairy. “That is not good believing magic is not natural.”
“Personally,” sighed Prince Peter, “I don’t care if it is natural or not. I’m desperate. She is driving me nuts!”
“Oh do not despair,” cheerfully replied the oldest and fattest fairy godmother, Marshanna. “We will brew thee a potion of fertility.”
“How are you going to do that?” asked Peter with doubt.
“First we will start with a large bowl of chicken soup,” twittered Roseflutter. Presto a large hot bowl of chicken soup appeared.
“Then we will add a few shots of cayenne sauce with a few Jalapeños to add some flavor,” giggled Twinklestar.”
“And of course onions, garlic, and parsnips,” laughed Marshanna.
“Let’s not forget the Passion Fruit,” said Roseflutter.
“Or the Samayateen Sugar or the Howling Bee Honey,” replied Twinklestar still giggling.
“And for the final touch a fifth of Bourbon,” piped Marshanna. Then becoming a wee bit serious she added, “So now all you have to do is drink it all down at once.”
The prince stared at the large bowl with bulging eyes. “That looks to be more than a gallon. I think if I tried to drink all of that down at once it will kill me.”
The fairy godmothers all giggled at once when Roseflutter teased, “If it doesn’t kill you you will become extremely fertile. The queen just looking at you will become pregnant.”
Prince Peter picked up the hot hot bowl, guzzled it all down, and fell to the floor.
Nine months later.
“Thank you very much your majesty for inviting us to your baby shower. Your new daughter, Millie is absolutely gorgeous,” cooed one of the visiting ladies bearing gifts.”
“Yes, I know I know. Thank you, thank you very much,” replied Queen Meena beaming with pride.
The woman was one of many that came giving their respects and offerings to the queen and her new born. All the women ooed and aahed as they flocked around the bassinette. All of sudden the gentle noise and perfumed air was broken by a crude noise and the scent of sulfur gas.
Out of a huge puff of green smoke strode a woman decked in green and orange silks. Her sparking green eyes were small and her wild and long hair matched the orange of gown. She was accompanied by three burly and nasty looking ogres.
“Greena!” snapped the queen. “What are you doing here?”
“I thought there was an oversight in your invitations,” purred Greena. “So I decide to come anyway. After all an auntie has a right to see her niece.”
“There were no oversights in the invitations,” hissed the queen.
“Oh really,” replied Greena. “Why is that? My company is too good for you?”
“No because your company is too bad for us,” snarled the queen. “You are not welcomed. You always bring trouble.”
“This is not a nice way to treat your sister,” hissed Greena.
“I don’t care what you think, Greena,” snapped Meena. “I want you and your ilk to leave now.”
“Since you don’t care then I will teach you to care,” snarled Greena. Saying this she quickly strolled over to the bassinette.
Baby Millie cooed.
Greena wave an elegant hand over the cooing baby.
May you grow too thin and too pale,
May you always be weak and frail,
May your be eyes be beady and small,
May you speak with a dismal drawl,
May your cute nose grow red and long
May your breath be biting strong,
May your tresses be grey and drab,
May you always long for sweet gab,
May you always crave for cheese,
And never know the birds and bees.
The queen and everyone were stunned.
“Guards seize her,” cried Meena the queen. “She has cursed my child.”
Alas in a flash Greena and her ogres were gone.
“What am I to do?” wailed Meena holding her baby Millie. Looking around in desperation she spotted Marshanna, Roseflutter, and Twinklestar the fairy godmothers.
“You all have magic. Remove Greena’s curse!” the queen ordered.
“Oh fair Queen Meena,” sighed Marshanna, “we have not the power to remove a curse. We are only fairies while Greena is a very potent witch.”
“Is there anything you can do?” sobbed the queen.
“Let us confer with each other for a moment oh, Great Queen,” answered Marshanna.
All was silent except for the near whispers of the three fairy godmothers.
“Oh Great Queen,” said Marshanna, “while, we cannot break Greena’s evil curse we can bestow a blessing on your sweet child.”
“Then do so and be quick about it.”
The fairies fluttered around Millie and sang a song seven times.
May love and truth prevail
For the lowly and frail.
May base born eyes see,
Millie’s inner beauty,
And set her forever free,
Of Greena’s evil decree.
“Is that all?” asked the queen.
“That’s all that is needed,” answered Roseflutter.
“What does all that mean?” asked Meena.
“We don’t know, your Majesty,” replied Twinklestar.
“It comes by inspiration from the Creator,” added Marshanna.
Twenty-one years later.
“Look at the size of that nose,” said one handsome young man. “Can you see it?”
“A nose that red how could I miss it?” the other swain replied.
“Hey, what are you guys talking about?” a couple more boys asked.
“The bag of bones over there that is making the other wall flowers look hot.”
“Oh you mean the one with the small beady eyes and the dog breath?”
“Yeah the queen’s daughter.”
“I wonder does she howl at the moon at night?”
“Well, if she does it’s with drawl,” laughed one of the young men.
“Yeah, a dismal drawl,” added another young man.
“I can’t believe that the queen is serious about one of us marrying old drab hair.”
“I believe she is serious,” answered another one. “After all, giving out more than two hundred bags of a hundred gold coins to the most eligible bachelors of the queendom is serious business.”
“Well, I don’t know about you guys, but I’m taking my bag of gold and I’m leaving.”
“As far as I’m concern,” added another young man, “a hundred gold coins isn’t enough for a one night stand with Millie let alone marriage.”
“You’ve got that right,” echoed the other bachelors as they all left the ballroom with their bags of gold.
“I have a bouquet of flowers for Princess Millie,” said the portly young man to one the guards. “Where is she?”
The guard without a word pointed.
“Hello your majesty,” said the tubby guy. “I’m awful sorry about being late with your bouquet, but my bad leg wouldn’t let me move faster.”
“Oh, that’s alright,” said Millie taking the flowers. “I’m a little lame too and don’t move as fast my mother wants me to.”
“Parents at times can be difficult,” replied the young man pushing back a thin lank of hair on his balding head.
“That is so true,” sighed Millie twirling her dry hair. “I don’t remember seeing you before.”
“That’s because you’re use to seeing my father do the deliveries. However business has become quite busy lately. He doesn’t trust anyone else to tend to the small details and so he ordered me to make the delivery. I’m glad he made me come.”
“I am too. By the way, what is your name?”
“Ichabod, that’s a nice name.”
“Thank you your majesty,” answered the young man blushing. “My friends call me Icky.”
“That’s a nice name too,” she said smiling back. “Please, call me Millie. Do you like gazing at stars?”
“Yes, I do.”
“Then come with me to the outside balcony.”
“Well Millie dear,” asked the queen, “How many of the young men purposed to you?”
“Don’t worry dear,” continued the queen waving her hands in dismissible. “Most young men become very shy in the presence of a beautiful girl such as you. Did any of them talk with you?”
“Very few Mother,” answered Millie quietly.
“Was there any young man that captured your heart?”
“Yes there was mother.”
“Oh wonderful,” purred the queen. “Who is this prince charming?”
“Ichabod Todd,” replied Millie with stars in her eyes.
Ichabod Todd? I don’t recall that name,” said the queen with a frown. “Who is he?”
“The florist’s son.”
“The florist’s son,” repeated the queen in peevishness. “A commoner!” she added in a roar. “No way. No way are you marrying a lowly commoner. You deserve better.”
“But he is better, Mother,” answered Millie softly. “He is gentle and kind and intelligent and most of all he talks to me and not at me like I was some kind of freak, but a real person. I love him Mother.”
“No you don’t,” sputtered the queen. “You only think you do. You will get over it. Now go to bed. You’ve had a trying day.”
Millie sadly walked away.
“By the saints,” murmured the queen. “A commoner of all things.”
The sun came up and so did Princess Millie. Millie had a sleepless night and so getting up early was no trial for her.
It looks a nice day. I think I’ll take a walk in the woods. Maybe it will help me get my mind off my woes.
As Millie strolled along a thought came to her. I wonder if I can find someone that can tell me where the florist lives. I would love to see Ichabod again.
Even though she was slow she ventured deeper and deeper into the wood singing as went along.
Finally feeling tired and faint for she had not eaten breakfast she sat upon a log. Sitting listening to the birds she saw a slow moving figure coming up a path. Still feeling tired she continued to sit deciding to wait for the stranger’s arrival.
The stranger she discovers is a middle age woman garbed in a faded green dress and a hooded cape. She also notices the woman is carrying a large basket. From the basket comes a familiar aroma.
“Hello dear,” said the woman quietly. “How are you feeling this fine morning?”
“I am feeling a bit faint,” answered Millie. “Are you by chance a cheese monger?”
“Yes, I am. I have many varieties.”
Oh good,” replied Millie. “I love cheese. I love all kinds of cheese.”
“Yes I know. I know,” smiled the woman from under her hood. “For twenty copper shillings I can sell you a wedge of Maireeno and cheddar and a slice of rye for free.”
“Oh splendid,” perked Millie. “That’s more than a fair bargain.” Saying this she gave the green clad woman the money.
“This is delicious. I never tasted anything like this. I will have to buy some more. I… I… I feel faint….”
“Tom, Dick, and Harry, take her away,” ordered Greena.
“Where to mistress,” queried the grey hued ogres.
“To Elon’s lair.”
“Elon the Dragon?” asked Tom.
“Is there another, Elon?” snipped Greena.
“Then get to it. And when you have finished the delivery go inform my sister, Meena of her daughter’s whereabouts. Oh, and one other thing…”
“Yes, mistress,” came a slow answer.”
“Until further notice your duties are to help Elon guard the princess and run errands for him. I don’t want the princess to escape because he gets too lazy to watch her.
Without harm to their persons, Tom, Dick, and Harry deliver Greena’s message. The message said Princess Millie was in a permanent state of slumber and could not be woken by mortal means and if Queen Meena and Prince Pete want Millie back they need to find someone to slay Elon the Dragon or pay a ransom of 10 million gold coins.
The last condition of this demand was an impossibility for all the kingdoms combine did not have this much gold. Many also thought the first condition of the demand was impossible.
“Oh Peter what are we to do,” cried the queen.
“Don’t worry, my dear we will think of something.”
With that said they sat down, holding hands, and began thinking. After some deep thinking the queen stood up and announced.
“I have it! What we will do is quite simple we will offer Millie’s hand in marriage and five thousand gold pieces.”
Prince Peter the thoughtful man he was replied, “Meena, my dear the gold is a good idea, but I doubt anyone wants Millie’s hand.”
“None sense,” said the queen. “Every man wants a beautiful princess’ hand in marriage.”
“So true so true,” sighed Prince Peter.
The word went out for a champion, with the offer of Millie’s hand in marriage and five thousand gold pieces, but none came forth. When it was inquired why this was so, the answer that came back (diplomatically of course) that Millie was too undesirable for any man to risk his life for.
At first the queen was enraged then she started falling into depression not talking or eating, (though she drank a lot).
By this time the sad story (and the reward) spread to all the other kingdoms on the continent. A very few did think about volunteering, however when Elon the Dragon’s reputation was also mentioned heroic thoughts vanished.
Nonetheless, one did come forth as a surprise, but without heroic ideals. The man was Sir Glamour of Glamouran. Sir Glamour was a man that made many a maiden’s heart flutter and faint. Without his high-heeled boots Sir Glamour stood six feet four. He was muscular without being musclebound. His apparel of royal blue with a long flowing white cape gave grace to his every movement. However, what caught everybody’s attention was his long flowing sunflower golden hair and his steely blue eyes that sparkled with mystery waiting to be discovered. With his stature came the reputation of a mighty knight with few equals.
“I am so glad that you came, Sir Glamour,” gushed the queen.
“Yes, I know,” he replied.
“My Millie being rescued by one as grand as you are is worth more than five thousand gold pieces,” answered the queen smiling.”
“Yes, I agree,” replied Sir Glamour smiling. “I believe twenty thousand gold pieces and one fourth of your Queendom will be satisfactory.”
The queen threw up her hands and laughed, “Oh my, not only are you divinely handsome, but you are also very witty.”
The golden hair knight rolled his steely blue eyes. “Ah yes, my wit is one of my many great talents. I can be very witty, but,” he added, “I also can very serious. And I’m very serious now.”
“Serious,” repeated the queen. “Twenty thousand gold pieces is an awful lot of gold. I don’t have that much right now. I would have to raise taxes quite a bit and my subjects wouldn’t like that.”
“Oh come now, your majesty you’re the queen you shouldn’t care what your subjects will like,” answered Sir Glamour yawning.
“Well… yes you’re right I shouldn’t care,” replied the queen thoughtfully. “But don’t you think asking for one fourth of my Queendom is a bit too much.”
“Not really,” came the answer. “I have had the company of the most beautiful women on the continent to entertain my manhood. To get your daughter with child it will take all of my sacred virility. From my most reliable sources a blind man would have severe difficulty getting aroused by Millie. Not only that I have no land of mine own and I need and desire a place to entertain my mistresses.”
“My daughter living with a fornicator and an adulterer,” roared Prince Peter, “that’s outrageous!”
“I agree with my husband,” snarled the queen. “That’s outrageous!”
“Oh come now,” laughed Sir Glamour. “Don’t pretend to be so pious. All the nobles and royals practice this form of entertainment. Why should I be the exception? I will be back in ten days to sign the agreement. By the way, I want ten thousand gold coins up front.”
In ten days an agreement was signed with Sir Glamour of Glamouran for no other brave hearts came forth to rescue Princess Millie from the evil claws of the dragon Elon.
Ten days later the queen and the prince were being visited by the three fairy godmothers, Marshanna, Roseflutter, and Twinklestar. Also for it had become his daily routine, Ichabod Todd was present delivering flowers.
The peaceful visitation was interrupted by loud and crude voices of the Ogres. The three Ogres, Tom, Dick, and Harry swaggered into the throne room carrying something covered in an old beat-up rug over their hairy and oily shoulders.
“We bring thee a burnt offering from Elon the Mighty,” snickered the three.
With that, they with an ungraceful flourish, unfurled the rug dropping onto the floor with a loud thump a burnt corpse before Queen Meena’s throne: the burnt corpse of Sir Glamour of Glamouran.
All knew it indeed was the burnt remains of Sir Glamour for the steely blue eyes glared shock and pain.
The three Ogres unmolested leave laughing even louder.
“Oh woe!” wailed the queen. “What are we to do now? Sir Glamour was our last hope!”
“Please, do not weep, my queen,” said a quiet voice. "I will bring her back."
All eyes looked to see who it was that spoke and found none.
“Whoever spoke come forward,” ordered the queen.
“It was I,” said Ichabod.
“You,” replies Queen Meena incredulously. “You’re the florist’s son, aren’t you?”
“Yes, your majesty. I am Nathan Todd’s son Ichabod. And I will bring back Millie.”
“Why and what do you want in return?” inquires Meena suspiciously.
“I desire no coin or land just Millie’s hand,” replied Ichabod.
“What if I say nay to Millie’s hand?”
“Then I will rescue Princess Millie anyway. Millie’s safety and wellbeing is more important than my desires.”
The queen sat dumbfounded.
“Meena Meena,” said Prince Peter. “Accept his offer. His offer, after all, is more honorable than Sir Glamour’s was.”
“I wish not to agree with you, my prince,” sighed the queen, “for I, so wanted more for my dear daughter than a lowly peasant. But, alas, your words are true. He is more honorable than Sir Glamour.”
She then turned to Ichabod, “I grant thee your desire. But pray how are you going to slay the dragon Elon when you have no sword?”
“I don’t know. Perhaps the Creator will give me an inspiration,” replied Ichabod seriously.
Outside the castle, Ichabod scratched his bald head, “Now what am I to do? I have never slain an animal before let alone a dragon. Ichabod you’re in a mess of messes.”
“Oh you are a very brave one,” said Marshanna with Twinklestar and Roseflutter nodding in agreement.
“Oh I’m very brave or very stupid,” laughed Ichabod seeing the fairies hovering before him.
“Perhaps we can help,” said Roseflutter.
“You have a weapon to give me?” asked Ichabod.
“No we don’t,” answered Tinklestar. “However, we may have some advice to give.”
“And what is that?” inquired Ichabod.
“Seek Melvin the Elven Oracle who lives in the Fume Forest,” sang the three fairy godmothers.
Heeding the fairy godmothers’ advice Ichabod traveled the Fume Forest for nine days looking for Melvin the Elven Oracle’s cave.
The Fume Forest was known for reeking of cat and vulture droppings making many a traveler to pass out and being sick for months on end. Most simply didn’t get far into the forest before turning back.
The odor didn’t bother Ichabod greatly for he grew up spending a lot of time with his uncles: one a fishmonger the other a pig farmer. He was very glad that his father was a florist. Being a son of a florist had an advantage: he had access to thousands of flowers. The fairies suggested that a gift for the oracle may be a good idea. Taking the suggestion to heart Ichabod took to pulling a large box of flowers behind him as an offering for the oracle. The flowers helped combat the stench of the Fume Forest.
There were two things that bothered Ichabod. One was the sound of the wild animals at night. He had no weapon so this made him very nervous. Most of his nights were sleepless However, what really bothered Ichabod the most traveling through the forest was his lame leg. The dampness bothered his bones sometimes causing them to burn and ache.
“Oh how I wish I could ease the ache of my bones,” he said to himself.
“Why don’t you brew a pot of Tree Mint Tea?” asked a melodious voice.
Ichabod turned to see a male figure dressed in autumn colors, shining green eyes, and twitching pointed ears.
For a moment Ichabod was speechless. “I know nothing of Tree Mint Tea.”
“That is too bad,” answered the singing voice sadly. Then he added cheerfully, “Then you must come with me. My hole is not far from here. I will help you with your box.” Waving his finger the box rose from the ground hovering.
Even though surprised, Ichabod without question quietly followed the stranger.
The hole turned out to be an opening in a tree. The tree was the biggest tree Ichabod ever saw. Inside was very warm and homey with a gentle fire in the fireplace. Looking around Ichabod saw scrolls, books, nicknacks, bottles, jars, chairs, beds, and musical instruments.
“Take a chair and sit by the fireplace while I brew you a cup or two of Tree Mint Tea.”
“Thank you,” said Ichabod.
Lost in wonder and before he knew it a cup of tea was in his hands easing his aches away. Across from him sat the stranger also sipping a cup of tea and smiling.
“What brings you to these parts?” asked the stranger.
“I am seeking Melvin the Elven Oracle. May I assume you are he?”
“That you may,” replied the Elf grinning. “And may I ask who you are?”
Ichabod returned the grin, “I am Ichabod Todd son of Nathan Todd florist of the Queendom of Iwanda.”
“And why are you seeking me?”
In a short time Ichabod told of his quest and gave his offering of flowers. Melvin was delighted for many of the flowers that Ichabod gave were rare to the forest.
“There are few if any weapon that will pierce the scales of Elon the Dragon,” replied Melvin in a serious tone, “save one and that is Gladdendayle.”
“That is an awful pretty name for a weapon,” said Ichabod.
Melvin smiled, “In the old Elven tongue it meant Blinding Blade. It is also said to an Ogre slayer. Since your cause is noble I will give Gladdendayle to you.”
“Thank you very much Mister Melvin,” replied Ichabod. “Can you give any advice on how to use it?”
“No, I can’t, but I can tell you this: love and truth will prevail.”
“What does that supposed to mean?”
That you will learn along the way,” replied the Elf smiling.
Another week goes by and Ichabod finds himself climbing Mount Elon. Even though his bad leg is not throbbing in pain he is tired and fearful.
I wish I wasn’t so afraid of dying Lack of fear would make slaying the dragon easier. I should fear more for Millie. She has been with that awful beast for more than a month now. I pray that I’m not too late.
He finally cresses the top of Mount Elon and hears the dragon snorting.
“Hey, looky here, Tom and Dick, it looks to be another visitor calling on the fair damsel, Millie,” laughs Harry the Ogre.
“You mean the Unfair Damsel,” chortles Dick.
“Yeah, that’s right the Unfair Damsel,” answers Harry.
“Nah, you both got it wrong,” giggles Tom. “It is the Dismal Damsel.”
“I wish you wouldn’t speak so ill of Princess Millie,” said Ichabod angrily as he wiped the dirt from his clothes.
The three Ogres pound each other with laughter.
Then, Harry points at Ichabod. “Say didn’t we see this guy at the queen’s castle when we delivered Sir Burnt Glamour?”
“Yeah, the flower girl,” answers Dick.
“You both got wrong again,” laughs Harry. “He is too ugly to be a girl. He’s the Flower Boy.”
“If you must know,” grimaces Ichabod. “My name is Ichabod Todd and I have come to bring Princess Millie home.”
Smirking one of the Ogres retort, “Nah, your name isn’t Ichabod. You’re Sir Daisy. Sir Daisy of Daffodil.”
Again the three Ogres slap each other with laughter.
Waiting for their hilarity to cease Ichabod speaks. “Now that you’re through laughing will you please let me pass and fetch Millie?”
“No you may not,” answers Tom snidely.
“Why not?” asks Ichabod sternly. “I know you allowed Sir Glamour to pass for you did not burn his body. That was Elon’s work.”
“Because Sir Glamour wore armor and had a sword,” growls Tom.
“Well, I to have a sword,” answers Ichabod as he pulls his from its scabbard. “A mighty sword the mighty sword, Gladdendayle.”
The Ogres throw up their hands to their eyes, begin running in circles and start screaming. “Slay us! For Gladdendayle burns us!”
I could easily slay them all with no harm coming to me, for they probably deserve it. However, I don’t feel like it. They’re low lifes, but still they’re lifes. Instead I will find Elon’s Lair.
The inside of the dragon’s lair is hot and humid, almost intolerable. It is also dark and dusty. With sword in hand Ichabod looks all around. The dragon is nowhere near. Then he sees her: the Princess Millie. There she lies in a dimly glowing translucent jeweled coffin sleeping peacefully with a smile on her face.
A lump comes to Ichabod’s throat. He lets out a sigh. He studies the coffin searching for an opening and then spots what looks to be a keyhole.
Not knowing what else to do he tries prying the lock open with Gladdendayle. The blade is too big to be inserted. In frustration, Ichabod begin whacking the jeweled coffin with his sword.
“That is not going to work my chubby friend,” said a bass organ voice.
Ichabod quickly turns around and sees him: the silver and blue dragon Elon lighting the interior of the cave with his body glow.
This time a different lump comes to Ichabod’s throat.
“You need the key,” continues the deep, deep voice smiling showing too many teeth. “In order to get the key you need to kill me.”
“To tell the truth I rather not,” answers Ichabod.
“Oh really? Why not?”
“Because, you’re such a magnificent creature.”
“So you don’t know who I am or what I am?”
“Oh I know that you are Elon the Mighty and that you’re nasty and rotten,” replies Ichabod trembling, “but that doesn’t change the fact that you are a magnificent creation of the Creator.”
“Oh really. You flatter me,” chuckles Elon. “I like that. Tell me, why do you, think I’m such a magnificent creation?”
“Well,” says Ichabod pausing, “the way the light bounces off your blue and silver scales is really beautiful. It’s like a thousand diamonds sparkling all at once. It is really incredible to see.”
“Hmmm. That is interesting. Is any other reason why you shouldn’t want to kill me?”
“Now that I think of it there is. Dragons are rare. Not every kingdom has a dragon, especially a silver and blue one.”
“Hmmm,” murmured Elon. “Flattery with truth. Most interesting. Flattery with truth I have never run into that before. Hmmm."
“Before you kill me,” squeaked Ichabod, “may I ask Your Magnificence a question?”
“Since you have politely asked, yes you may.”
“Why are you keeping Princess Millie? Are you planning on eating her?”
“Eating her! Surely you jest,” answers Elon with sarcasm. “There is no meat on her. She is only skin and bones. The only good thing, her bones are good for are for cleaning my teeth. And my chubby friend, my teeth need no cleaning.”
“Then why are you keeping her prisoner?”
“The witch Greena has paid me a thousand pieces of gold that’s why.”
“Did you know that the Queen is offering five thousand gold pieces for her return?” asked Ichabod.
“No I did not,” sneers Elon. “I will have to talk to the witch about that.”
“Well since the witch has not bargained with you in good faith,” said Ichabod, “perhaps we can bargain in better faith.”
The dragon laughed. “Oh, but you are a sly one. You’re full of surprises. You amuse me. What do you propose?”
“I could go back and asked the Queen for the five thousand gold pieces,” quickly replied Ichabod.
“Yess… you could, but you would have to bring back an armed escort to protect you from robbers and that means soldiers with bows and arrows and spears. I do not wish to contend with arrows and spears.”
“Well if you don’t want gold,” asked Ichabod nervously, “then what do you want?”
“A portrait. A portrait of me,” purrs the dragon. “You did say you rather do a portrait of me than kill me. Did you not?”
“Yes I did,” answers Ichabod. “But I don’t have my paints or canvas with me. And besides how would I know if you like my rendering?”
“That’s easy,” grins Elon showing his teeth again. “I will give you pen and ink with paper. If I like what you sketch, then you can do the portrait with oils, if not we will have our little melee, and I will eat you. Do you agree?”
“Do I have a better choice?”
“Then it’s a deal,” sighs Ichabod.
Elon waved one of his long sharp claws and a table with the art tools appeared before Ichabod. Ichabod nervously picked up the pen and began drawing. Elon calmly posed displaying his big teeth.
“Hmmm… That’s not the best drawing I seen,” lowly rumbles the silver blue-dragon.
Ichabod pales and breaks out in a new sweat.
Elon notices and gives an evil grin, “However, it will do.”
“I’m very glad to hear that,” replied Ichabod. “Now do you want your portrait 36 by 36 inch or 48 by 48 inch?”
“Nay nay,” chuckled Elon. “I don’t want inches. I want feet twenty feet by fifteen feet to be exact.”
Ichabod’s mouth drops open. “I don’t have that much paint or canvas that size.”
“Then buy some more.”
“I don’t have that much money. And and besides that I can’t carry a paneling that big all by myself.”
“Oh dear,” said Elon. “What to do what to do?”
A spark came to Ichabod’s eyes, “You have gold! Lots of it. Give me a bag of gold and I will buy the supplies.”
“Nay nay my, little friend,” rumbles the dragon. “How can I trust that you will come back? What is there to stop you from running off with my precious gold if I just give you a bag of gold? I, for one, would keep the gold and not return.”
“Princess Millie,” comes a quick answer. “If I don’t return she will remain your prisoner. I don’t want that to happen. I love her too much.”
“Love? If I were someone else your argument would be most convincing,” snickersthe dragon. “However, I am not someone else. I am Elon the Magnificent. I believe that after seeing me, in all of my awesome splendor, that you love your skin more than Millie’s. Try again fat boy.”
Ichabod runs out of perspiration and turns whiter. He can hear a mysterious ticking. He discovered it is his heart.
“Well, do you have another idea?” rumbled the bass organ voice.
“No,” comes a slow answer.
“Oh drat,” says Elon. “I was so looking forward to having a portrait of my mighty awesomeness to admire. Since I like you I will make your death quick. Let’s get this duel over with pull your sword.”
“Wait,” echoes the dragon. “What for?”
“I have it. I have it,” exclaims Ichabod with joy.
“Oh, what do you have?”
“The sword, I have the sword, Gladdendayle.”
“Yessss I know,” answers Elon with exasperation.
“I will leave the sword here with you as collateral while I go and fetch the supplies.”
“What! While you steal away with my gold?” hisses Elon.
“Oh come now, Mister Elon isn’t your life worth more than one bag of gold? Think about it the one weapon that could possible kill you will be in your possession. Even if I did run off you would still have the sword. And I’m not going to forsake Millie.”
“Hmmm,” said Elon quietly. “Your words do have some validity. Would you really give up the sword, Gladdendayle?”
“Here,” replied Ichabod placing sword and scabbard into Elon’s large claw, “it is now yours. I have no desire to use it.”
A look of relief and surprise comes to the blues of the dragon. “My my you are full of surprises. You do know that I could incinerate you right now if I so chose to do so?”
“Yes. But I don’t think you will choose to do that. I believe beneath all those steely scales you have a sense of honor. Besides that I think you really want a portrait more than another burnt corpse.”
“Yes, I do indeed,” smiles the dragon. “Tell you what I will do,” he adds continuing to grin. “I will not only give you a bag of gold, but also three ogres to carry the wood paneling for you. Tom, Dick, and Harry, come here!”
So for the next six weeks for twelve hours a day in the dim light of the dragon lair, Ichabod stood high on high scaffolding straining, sketching, painting, and perspiring. In between the short breaks Elon allows him he goes off to check on Millie. He is relieved to see that she is still breathing and smiling.
“Not bad, not bad at all, my chubby one,” purrs Elon. “It is not exactly Reubens, Da Vinche, or Rockwell, but not bad. It will indeed do very well. In another ten years when you have gained more skill you can do another portrait of me. By that time I will be even more magnificent and awesome.”
“I am glad that you are please, Your Magnificents,” replies Ichabod. “Now may I have the key to Princess Millie’s coffin?”
“No you may not,” answers Elon with a smirk.
“But but,” sputters Ichabod. “You said…”
Elon gives a mighty laugh, “I’m only joking. Of course you may have the key. I was just giving my evilness another spate for old times sake.”
Ichabod slowly and carefully turns the key and opens the glass coffin It opens silently without even a creak. He lets out a deep sigh. Ichabod gently touches Millie and gently speaks, “Millie, wake up. You can go home now. You are now free of the witches spell.”
Millie remains sleeping. Ichabod gently shakes her. Still she remains sleeping. Again he speaks, “Millie, wake up. You can go home now. You are now free of the witches spell.”
Still she continues in a state of deep slumber.
Weeping Ichabod looks around seeking an answer when sees the Ogres laughing. Ichabod is puzzled by their behavior for by this time the Ogres have taken a rowdy liking to him.
“Hey, Sir Daisy why don’t you try kissing her?” asks Harry.
“Yeah, Sir Daisy, kiss her,” add Tom and Dick snickering.
Ichabod lends over Millie and lightly kisses her on the lips. Millie’s brown eyes flutter and sparkle and her smile broadens, “It is really you Icky? I was dreaming of you the whole time. I knew you would come for me.”
“I very glad to hear that your sleep was pleasant,” answers Ichabod. “How are you feeling?”
“I feel wonderful,” enthused Millie. “However, I’m a bit hungry. Do you have any cheese?”
Queen Meena was good at her word she had Prince Peter give Millie’s hand in wedlock. Nonetheless, because she couldn’t abide her precious daughter marrying a lowly commoner she knighted Ichabod as Sir Ichabod of Daisyland. The title was Tom, Dick, and Harry’s suggestion.
Now a strange and wondrous thing occurred after Millie’s firstborn. Millie gained weight, color, luxurious hair and filled out a very nice female form. And Ichabod lost his belly fat and grew hair on his head.
Queen Meena lost her grumpiness after Millie and Ichabod gave her sixteen grandchildren. This also made Prince Pete very happy.
As for the Greena the Witch, Elon and she had a very very long talk.
By Dennis Michael Montgomery