Snarky Stories: Hank and The Peach Pit

Weekends are fun and should not be filled with angry rants. So, on the weekends, I will be posting fun stories to enjoy. Think of them as grown-up fairy tales. And if you hate them, you’ll know when to avoid my blog!

 

Once upon a time there was a kingdom built on a cliff by the sea. It was a well-protected kingdom because besides the side which was uh, beside the sea as I have previously said, the rest of it was surrounded by a deep, lush tropical rain forest (Not every story has to have a dark, scary forest in Germany!). This kingdom was ruled by a king and queen who had a daughter named Bella. Bella was rumored to be the most beautiful princess in all the world but the truth is no one had seen her since her first birthday when a disgruntled grounds-keeper who the queen had fired just because he trimmed the rose bushes into these whimsical animal topiaries in celebration of the princess’s birthday, cursed the queen (I mean like with profanities, there is no magic in this story, sorry to disappoint you but this is like a real possible story and I’m not going to fill your heads with magic and sorcery) and then let loose a giant evil bird into the forest surrounding the castle. Now, listen, the bird wasn’t evil, because animals don’t think that way. They function via instinct, just to get that straight. It happened to be a big cassowary bird which looks like an ostrich only it has this blue head and people call it evil because it is aggressive and it will attack humans. But this is like, a really long time ago and they didn’t know any of that stuff so in their ignorance, they called it an evil bird.  So, the point is that this evil bird kept all visitors away and no one could get into or out of the village surrounding the castle. Of course the king and queen decided that it was safest to keep the princess inside the castle at all times. She grew up with no one around but her servants and her parents but the servants told everyone how very beautiful the princess was. For some time, Princes from far-away lands would try to get to the kingdom to propose marriage to her but none survived the “evil” bird.

Now, on the other side of the forest lived a young man named Hank. Hank’s parents had died in an unfortunate potato cart incident when he was a baby and he’d been raised by his much older uncle and aunt ever since. Hank was not exactly gifted in the brains department and his uncle was often hard-pressed to find a chore that Hank could successfully accomplish. In fact, Hank was a bit of a burden on the old couple as he certainly couldn’t be expected to take care of himself. But he was big and strong and actually quite handsome so his chores had always been to help carry the farmer’s crops into the market place and sell them. His handsome face usually got him the best pay-out but soon enough, the market vendors realized Hank’s intellectual handicap and after Hank returned home once with handful of “magic” beans, his aunt and uncle had had enough. So one night, they devised a plan. They would send him with a bushel of peaches into the forest to the village near the castle. There, they would tell him, he could sell to strangers who did not know him. They figured that he would never make it through the forest but would meet an untimely end at the claws of the evil bird. They felt bad about it but there was really nothing else to do with the kid. I mean, Geez, “magic beans?” Seriously? What the hell did he think they would do? Grow some crazy giant plant up to the heavens where he would find gold? Who buys magic beans?  They had made a good soup though. Anyways, early the next morning, they called him in and explained to him the plan…multiple times actually…and then his uncle still had to walk him to the edge of the forest because the kid couldn’t even follow basic directions. God! He was such a burden! Sending him to his certain death was mercy really. That’s what they told themselves at least. So, into the forest went poor, doomed Hank with his bushel of peaches. There was no pathway to follow through the woods because no one ever dared to go into it. Now, really, when you think about it, who was the dumb one? Hank or his Uncle who actually thought Hank would manage to not get lost immediately and end up walking the edge of the forest never really getting very deep into it? You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t drown him in it. That’s not the moral of this story, is it though? So, Hank began wondering about, managing only to walk the perimeter of the forest the whole way to the sea. He assumed at this point (see, he wasn’t THAT dumb) that he had maybe gone the wrong way and turned around. By now he was getting quite hungry and began to eat the peaches. When he got to the first peach pit, he was about to throw it down, when he remembered about those magic beans and he thought that these weird seeds he found inside the peaches could be magic too, so he put them into his sac and kept going. (Just a quick reminder, in case you are getting your hopes up, there is no magic in this story. No magic beans…well they may have been magic beans but we’ll never know because you know old people and beans, they’ll make a soup out of beans every single time. So those beans were eaten and any potential magic they had went right down the toilet, literally. But this I know for certain; those peach pits were not magic. Trust me, ok, I wrote them into the story. I had nothing to do with those damn beans, but they’re gone, my friend, let it go. I know you think they might have been magic but just let it go.) Hank had finally managed to make a slight turn into the forest when a large bird began swooping down out of the canopy trying to eat those peaches. This bird was like a toucan or maybe a huge parrot or something you’d find in a rain forest that likes fruit. The point is, it was a really big flying bird. Hank swung at the bird and yelled at it and shooed it away, but it just kept coming back again and again. Little did he know that his cries and screams had been heard by the monsterous evil bird which had now turned its attention on him and was currently headed his way at a high rate of speed. Just as the cassowary entered the clearing where Hank was standing, the fruit-frenzied bird flew up high into the air meaning to dive directly at the bushel of peaches, Hank dug into his sac, grabbed a peach pit and threw it at the bird. The bird, which turned out to be about as dumb as Hank, opened its mouth on the way down and tried to swallow the pit, only it got wedged in its throat and it choked to death right there, mid-flight. By now, the cassowary was very close to Hank and had actually started to lift up its foot with the long talon toe to slice open Hank’s belly, when the other bird’s dead carcass came down directly on the evil cassowary’s head and it too fell to the ground dead! Hank was dumbfounded, but quickly came to what little senses he had and realized that he was really late to the market and down to only a couple peaches. Boy oh boy was his uncle going to be mad at him if all he brought back was this sac of weird seeds he found inside the peaches. Then, he had a brilliant idea! He would take the two birds into the market and sell them. His uncle would be so happy. And somehow, as if by magic, Hank made it to the village on the other side of the forest.

When the villagers saw this big, handsome young man walking out of the forest carrying the body of the evil bird, they couldn’t believe their eyes! Some ran to Hank thinking he must be a prince from another kingdom and others ran directly to the castle to give the king and queen the good news.

The king and queen, however were not exactly thrilled to hear the news. It turns out that there was never any disgruntled grounds keeper. Bella’s parents devised the whole story because, well, to put it nicely…you know how not all babies are what you’d call beautiful? Like how sometimes they look like hairless alien monkeys? But a lot of the time, even those babies grow out of their “ugly duckling” stage and cuten up. Well, let’s just say that by Bella’s first birthday, she had not shown any improvement. So, her parents, in desperation of saving their reputation, made up the whole story just to keep Bella out of the public eye and to maintain their level of respect within the League of Kingdoms. It was sad, because they knew there would never be an heir to the kingdom but it was necessary and they dared not try to have another child out of fear their genetics would once again spit in their faces (or their children’s faces as the case may be). So, when the townsfolk brought Hank to see the king and present the cassowary bird, the king was beside himself. What was he going to say? He thanked Hank and asked to hear the heroic tale. It wasn’t long into Hank’s version of events that the king realized the poor kid wasn’t exactly playing with a full set of armor if you know what I mean. So he decided to take a chance and introduce Hank to Bella, explaining that she was a princess and that Hank had won her hand in marriage by his brave actions in the forest. Well, Hank had never been praised for anything before and was just so proud of himself it wouldn’t have mattered what his “award” looked like, he was a winner! He had won! Poor Bella was just as happy to meet someone new that she too decided to overlook the fact that Hank kept forgetting her name and agreed to marry him.

The wedding was beautiful and all the villagers from both sides of the forest attended including Hank’s very happy aunt and uncle. The ceremony was unusually formal in that the veil was never actually lifted and they never asked Hank to repeat any vows, just nod in agreement when the priest tapped him on the shoulder. On their way out of the church, Hank’s uncle stopped to bow to the king and thank him for taking Hank into his family. The king just chuckled and said “It looks like we killed two birds with one stone, eh?”…..Hank, overhearing this, reached into his sac and pulled out the handful of peach pits, looked at them and threw them on the ground. When his bride inquired as to why he had thrown his treasures away. He explained that he had thought they were magic seeds but it turns out they were just dumb stones. And with that, they lived happily every after.

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