THE CLEVER ORANGE

April 3, 2015

orange

Once a wizard had so many spells scheduled that he made more than a few mistakes. Oh, he conjured a hidden glade protected by dragons and 4-headed dogs well enough. The tree in the heart of the glade was certainly lush and green. However,the wizard had accidentally given cleverness to the single great globe of an orange in the tree. The orange, as you may imagine, was the prize to be collected and brought to the King in exchange for marriage to the King’s lovely daughter.

And so the orange nestled in the comfort of the lush green tree and thought. I must prepare. One day a suitor is sure to get by the dragons and the dogs. I must outwit him. I wonder ….

‘Sprite,’ the orange called to its companion tree sprite.

‘Yes, orange,’ piped the sprite, sticking her head out between roots of the lush green tree.

‘Go to the dogs and dragons. Find out how things stand, and report back,’ said the orange.

The sprite flitted away and was back in no time at all.

‘A first son, a third son, two second sons, and a fifth son have all been defeated,’ the sprite reported.

‘Fine,’ said the orange, and resumed thinking.

By and by, the orange called the sprite and whispered instructions. Off went the sprite.

A seventh son will no doubt show up sooner or later. Seventh sons are the worst. He’s the one I’ll have to worry about. It’s best to be prepared.

A truer thought was never thought, for sooner than later, a bedraggled Prince staggered into the glade.

‘Ah, success,’ he muttered, and before he could hoist himself up among the branches of the tree, he was startled to hear a voice.

‘Hello, Prince, it’s a pleasure to meet you. Here. Up here. That’s right. I’m the orange you think you’re looking for. You must be a seventh son. Is that not so?’ said the orange.

‘I am, but … you speak?’ said the puzzled Prince.

‘Look, I’ll save you the long climb up here to pluck me. Truly I appear to be the orange you seek, but I’m not. See that tallest pine tree over there. The real orange is buried at its foot,’ said the orange, secretly smiling, which is the only way oranges can smile.

The prince bowed, thanked the orange, strolled to the pine and fell through to the lava pit prepared by the sprite. Five more seventh sons made it to the glade and thereafter to the lava pit before the orange was left in peace and bliss. When the Princess became the unmarried Queen, she hummed happily in the brewery, where she produced the finest ales tongue had ever tasted.

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