A Fairy Tale for Twin Grandparents

Once upon a time there was a holey sock suspended in the air. A few days later a Magical Kingdom fell onto the surface of the Earth through one of the undarned holes. The Kingdom was wisely ruled by a king and a queen, who had a dog, a cat, a domesticated okapi and two lovable twin daughters named Maya and Naya. The girls were being very properly raised and over the years became well versed in all the skills that were expected of aspiring young ladies in the Magical Kingdom, such as poetry, music, drawing, knitting, crocheting, table manners and Microsoft Excel.

Unfortunately, when the time came for the two darlings to be betrothed, a pair of mean looking twin dragons settled in the Kingdom and claimed the princesses to be their unlawfully wedded wives. Or food. Or something. The dragons were not really very articulate, so it was kind of difficult to divine from their roaring what in fact their claims were. The king and the queen were obviously concerned about the whole situation and made several emergency phone calls to the local Pest Control operators. However, when no agency stepped up to the plate and the dragons showed no signs of withdrawal, the regal parents made a televised plea to all valiant men around, promising half of the Kingdom and the hand of one of their daughters to whoever gets rid of the pair of monsters, be he prince or charcoal burner (offer not valid in MA, VA, RI and NH).

Soon after the announcement, two twin princes from the Kingdom Next Door, Meil and Neil, knocked on the Royal Oak Gate and proffered their dragon-slaying expertise. When they entered the Audience Hall, the queen was sitting on the throne, silently absorbed in the Book of Ruth. As she read and wept, the agitated king was pacing to and fro on the marble floor and every so often hacked the air with his scepter, apparently practicing the latest anti-dragon moves as seen on the FOX Network's popular reality show "When Good Dragons Go Bad".

The princes stood frozen at the door until the king beckoned them in and asked them how they would approach the dragon infestation problem. Meil, who was the less patient of the twins, blurted out that he would slam the dragon's head with a shovel and then repeatedly ride a wheelbarrow over his limp body. As he elaborated on his plan, he reached into his satchel and handed the king a certificate of aptitude to use weapons of mass construction, which he obtained from DeVry Institute. Neil didn't say anything at first, but when he noticed that queen was about to faint, he saved the day with a suggestion of a more conventional approach using swords, spears and giant mouse-traps. The king ruminated on his plan briefly and after a few more jabs with his scepter gave the proposal an approving nod.

On the eve of the clash, the princes were diligently studying the sword manuals and packing their battle gear. Neil was neatly folding his asbestos undershirt that was to protect him from dragonsí fiery breath and Meil was pondering what color of a tie he should be wearing. After much deliberation he chose red as he figured that the dragons probably came from China. You see, in those days of yore just about anything and their digital dog was manufactured in China.

When the morning came, Neil responsibly checked the oil gauge of his Wolfswagen, closed the red riding hood and together with his brother rode off into the sunrise. They took the dirt road through the Dark Forest and soon happened upon a hut inhabited by 14 dwarfs. That was in direct violation of the Kingdomís Fire Code, because the house was clearly designed as a 7BR/1BA unit. But after Snowhite left the original Seven Dwarfs, they felt lonely and invited their seven twins to live with them. Together they enjoyed unprecedented prosperity and a jolly spirit of camaraderie that was interrupted only by weekly visits from an old hag, who flew in every Thursday on a twin engine broomstick and pushed some poisoned apples. Upon hearing their story, the princes declined an apple pie, correctly assuming that its nutritional table was not fully endorsed by the FDA. But they did accept a bottle of red wine, which Meil was vigorously tasting as Neil steered their vehicle towards the dragons' cave.

The parking lot in front of the lair was mostly empty, but a few bones lying around clearly indicated that a major tourist trap was at hand. Indeed, no sooner did they get out of their car than the dragons showed up at the other end of the lot to see who was disrupting their morning siesta. They fumed and howled angrily and ugliness was oozing out of their pores so profusely that you could have made pancakes out of it. The bigger of the dragon twins was named "Bloodthirsty" and that tells you that he wasnít exactly nice. His smaller brother called himself "the ArchDragon Humboldt von Hohenlohe", although his friends dubbed him "Plop" after the sound he made when he was attempting to land.

As the dragons approached, Meil stood upright and made some verbal threats to them. If they didnít vacate the premises by midnight, he would turn them into live turkeys and stuff them into the trunk of their car. As Bloodthirsty bellowed with wrath, the fire from his snout turned Meil's twin eyebrows into twin smears of ash on his forehead. That was a subtle hint that oratory skills would not buy too much love around here. So he raised his sword into the piercing position and started running in the direction of the dragon. That is in the direction where he thought the dragon ought to be. But owing to the generous intake of the red wine, his own ideas about the dragonís whereabouts were in mild disagreement with dragonís actual position. As he tried to correct this discrepancy, Meil swerved sharply, somehow managed to avoid a small rock obstructing his path, but failed to notice that the rock had an evil twin lying right next to it. As he ran full steam into it, the evil rock halted the progress of his lower body, while his upper body - unbeknownst of the situation below - continued its motion forward. Such egregious lack of coordination put an undue strain on Meilís balance, of course, and before you could say ďoopsď, he keeled over, cursed loudly and splashed into a mud pool on the ground.

Oncoming Bloodthirsty didn't take advantage of his vulnerable position only because he was laughing his heinous hiney off at the sight of floundering Meil. At this point Neil gathered that this fairy tale was becoming a bit too long and weird and decided to take matters into his own hands. He made a quick strategic analysis and concluded that he would have to kill two dragons with one stone. Like King David, he put a small pebble into his sling, aimed carefully and off the pebble went. It ricocheted off of Bloodthirsty's temple only to land in the middle of Plop's scaly forehead. Neither dragon survived this double whammy.

Gloriously they returned to town, rented a bulldozer and buried the twin dragons in the Royal Pet Cemetery alongside a pet nightingale and three hundred and fifty seven golden fish. And then there was a twin wedding, trumpets blared all day long, much wine was drank or spilled onto a white tablecloth and Maya and Neil became the king and the queen. And if you are curious what happened to Meil and Naya, well, they became the deputy king and the deputy queen and lived happily ever after.

McLean, November 22, 2006 - Jan Rehacek