Monday, March 2, 2015

The Princess and the Ogre

Once upon a time, there was a realm where it was always warm and sunny. There lived a Princess who was not only pretty, but also very smart. In that very same realm lived an ogre. He lived, as many other ogres, trolls, and fairy tale strange creatures, in a cave. From his cave, he guarded a bridge. On one side of the bridge, laid the beautiful sunny part of the realm where the Princess lived. On the Ogre’s side of the bridge, everything was cold and gloomy. 

When the Ogre looked at the bridge, he could see the sunny side of it all, but he never crossed that bridge. It was enough for him to contemplate the flowers blooming from a distance; the children swimming in the lake surrounding the castle; and the lovers walking hand in hand, the women in their colorful light  dresses, men wearing elegant linen suits and hats. He, the Ogre, of course, wondered how it would feel to stroll around with a loved one like they did, but to do that he would have to surrender and his power was the thing the Ogre enjoyed the most. Anyone who ever crossed the bridge would be killed and eaten by the Ogre. That was, at least, the common knowledge in the Realm, passed by father to son, mother to daughter. The Ogre reveled in the fact that he was so much feared by the people of the realm, that he could exert so much power, even from afar.

The Princess of the realm was a very curious person,  as most intelligent people are, and she disliked the fact that, although most of the realm was warm and beautiful, the area controlled by the Ogre was dark, cold and gloomy. Besides, while the Ogre had the beautiful green and sunny view to contemplate from his cave, when the inhabitants of the realm looked beyond the bridge all they saw was the darkness of the Ogre’s side. The Princess was not happy about this. She thought, as a princess, it was her duty to try and negotiate with the Ogre.

She started by going to the bridge everyday. She sat there with a book the whole day long. Since she was on the other side of the bridge, the Ogre did not do anything. He actually liked to look at her. After a month, or so, he started coming out of the cave. The Princess was impressed at how not ugly this ogre was. He actually had quite nice and kind eyes. She did not look straight into his eyes, of course, there was that reputation of eating people alive and that would keep even the bravest and smartest of princesses on some guard. She could also feel a dark shadow that came over the Ogre’s gaze, from time to time. Nevertheless, she enjoyed the way he looked at her.

She still considered it was her duty to the people of her realm to try to reach an agreement with the Ogre, so she kept going, day after day, to the bridge. She would bring a book and a snack. She would pass part of her snack to the other side of the bridge. The Ogre would now seat by her side, but still on his side of the bridge, and would listen to the stories she’d read aloud. They sat like that everyday, separated only by an imaginary line which divided the bridge in the middle. It was not long after this ritual had been established that the Ogre and the Princess started to actually exchange opinions, thoughts and feelings about  books and life.

The Princess, by then, seemed to have forgotten the purpose which had brought her to the bridge in the first place. All she thought about was the time she would spend with the Ogre, what they would talk about. The Ogre really seemed to enjoy the stories she brought him and the company he found in her.  That brought the princess an unprecedented happiness. The Ogre looked at her with kind eyes and she forgot about the shadows she once saw in his stare. One day, she admitted to the Ogre she had fallen in love with him and she suggested it was time she crossed the bridge. The Ogre advised her not to, but the princess thought life had no meaning if it was only half lived. She decided to cross the bridge anyway. She now admitted she had long dreamed of kissing the not so ugly Ogre with beautiful eyes. She came to the bridge on a Sunday morning, wearing a  blue and white silk dress. A dress the Ogre, once said, made her look even prettier. The Ogre was standing on his side of the bridge when she walked decidedly and crossed its limits. She gave the Ogre the most passionate kiss that ever was and, after that, she was never, ever, seen again.

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