A different fairy tale - USP

A different fairy tale - USP

CARDOSO, Maira Cristiane. A different fairy tale. pp. 57-61 A different fairy tale Maira Cristiane Cardoso ‘And they lived happily ever after’. They...

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CARDOSO, Maira Cristiane. A different fairy tale. pp. 57-61

A different fairy tale Maira Cristiane Cardoso

‘And they lived happily ever after’. They who? Well, you may say Cinderella and the prince, Snow White and the prince, Sleeping Beauty and the prince, and so many other princesses and princes. By the way, prince who? Do you know the name of any of them? Then you should, for we are the real heroes of those stories. If it weren’t for us, there would be no happy endings, no one becoming a princess or waking up after a sound sleep. ‘We’, because I am a prince, a hero. My name? Philip Vaillant Perdu IV, or simply Phil. Whose prince? If you really want to know it, listen to my story very attentively. I was born in the kingdom of Hasard, far from everywhere else you may know. Since I did not have any brothers or sisters, my father pinned all his hopes on me. So that, when I was still a chld, he made an agreement with my uncle. I would have to marry my very cousin Josephine Maigre Finesse. This way, we would enlarge our kingdom. However, as I grew older, I wished I would not have to marry her. It’s not that I did not like her. Even though she was crosseyed and bore an extreme resemblance to that guy from Notre Dame, she was nice – deep down inside I knew she was nice. Her favorite hobby – apart from eating – was talking about food. I knew the dish that she liked best was lasagna, for she told me once she had had all the lasagna in a ball, leaving nothing but some tomato sauce for the other guests. While she’d tell me her amazing eating adventures, I’d daydream. I wanted to find a REAL princess, like those of the stories my mother would tell me at bedtime. And as I was absorbed in my dreams, time passed and my parents were already arranging my wedding ceremony. To my doom – or better still, relief – Josephine didn’t come on the day of our wedding, neither on the following days. Later on, we found out that she had eloped with my castle’s chef – probably because of the wonderful recipes he could prepare. Revista yawp – Edição 3/2008 Revista dos alunos de Graduação da Área de Estudos Literários e Lingüística em Inglês – FFLHC/USP www.fflch.usp.br/dlm/yawp


CARDOSO, Maira Cristiane. A different fairy tale. pp. 57-61

Disappointed – or pretending to be so – I told my father I would chase down my dream: find a princess who needed being saved from the hands of an evil witch or something like that. Despite thinking I was a fool or had gone totally nuts, my father agreed with me. Hardly had I started my journey than I heard of a princess who had passed away after eating some fruit – an apple, I guess. However, people still believed that the princess could be brought back to life with the kiss of a prince. I got to the place – the forest – people had told me to. I was hiding behind a tree, watching her. She was as white as snow and her hair was as black as the night. There were seven short men – extremely short men – surrounding her and crying bitterly. ‘Now it’s showtime’, I thought to myself. I checked whether my breath was OK, fixed my hair up and started my way towards that beauty. As I was getting closer to that scene – already fancing people calling me a hero and thanking me for saving the princess, a strong arm pushed me aside. ‘Stay out of my business, you little jerk! That’s MY PRINCESS! Go find yourself another one.’ Thus, I saw him – André Bonne Chance – kissing that princess and receiving all MY glory! ‘You will always be a loser, Perdu!’, he said as he passed by me holding her. The dwarves reinforced his statement with great happiness: ‘Loser! Loser! Loser! Loser!’ What could I do? Bonne Chance was right. I had always been a loser and he had always been the winner since primary school. I walked away, took my horse and rode it into the forest. After many days in those woods, I met an incredibly funny and smart man. His name was Robin Hood. So clever was he that one day, amused by both the tricks he and his comrades could do with their arrows and the wine they served me, I fell asleep. When I woke up, I was tied to a tree. He’d taken my bag, my money, my map and my WHITE horse! At least he left me another one – an old BROWN horse, it is true, but still a horse. I could see them departing and Robin said: ‘Sorry, bud, but you’re a noble man and I have to stick to some rules, ya know. See ya ‘round’. Great! Now I had no money, no map, no princess and an OLD BROWN horse!!! Exactly when I was thinking of going back home... Maybe I could have a Revista yawp – Edição 3/2008 Revista dos alunos de Graduação da Área de Estudos Literários e Lingüística em Inglês – FFLHC/USP www.fflch.usp.br/dlm/yawp


CARDOSO, Maira Cristiane. A different fairy tale. pp. 57-61

ball in the castle and invite all the ladies from Hasard. Perhaps I might find my princess among them... I went on my journey, not knowing whether I was going back or further home. Days, weeks, months may had passed until the day I heard a voice: ‘Hey, you! You’re a prince, aren’t you?’ ‘Who’s that?’ ‘Oh, what a hunk of a man you are!!!’ ‘Where are you?’ ‘Down here, sweetheart’. To my surprise I found nothing but a frog on a stone. ‘Stop kidding me, and tell me where you are! I don’t have much time to waste with this kind of ga...’ ‘Yes, darling, I know that. I’ve heard of your story with Snow White and Bonne Chance, but there is more fish in the ocean than you can imagine – or should I say more frogs in the lake?’ ‘You can speak! Gosh! What are you???’ ‘I used to be a very beautiful princess, but a witch cursed me and here I am – a frog. Only the kiss of a prince can save me from this damnation – eating flies, jumping here and there, getting rid of natural enemies, and so on. As you were passing by, I thought that maybe...’ ‘Hahahahaha! Me? Kissing a frog? Forget it! Only if I had lost my mind would I do such a thing!’ ‘But I AM a PRINCESS and you’re looking for one, aren’t you?’ ‘Yes, but I want a REAL PRINCESS. Not some FROG princess’. ‘Oh, pleeeeaaaaaase!!! Kiss me or you will regret it for the rest of your life’. ‘I have to go, I have already had plenty of fun for today’. ‘A frog will always become a princess or a prince when kissed, but a princess may become...’ ‘A princess! Bah!’ I was on my way (back?) home when I saw a castle tower. Could that be a sign? As I got closer to it, a cold hand fell on my right shoulder and a voice whispered: ‘Easy, fellow. Things are not as easy as they may seem to be’.

Revista yawp – Edição 3/2008 Revista dos alunos de Graduação da Área de Estudos Literários e Lingüística em Inglês – FFLHC/USP www.fflch.usp.br/dlm/yawp


CARDOSO, Maira Cristiane. A different fairy tale. pp. 57-61

When I turned round, I saw a terrifying figure. She was tall. Skinny and had stony eyes, which struck me. Her look left me motionless. She really was a dragon. ‘If you came here for the princess, forget it. She is not worth all the things you have been through’. ‘Does everyone know about my shameful journey?’ ‘Oui, Vaillant Perdu. Why don’t you join me? I may be a witch, but not all witches are ugly and...’ ‘Do you consider yourself beautiful? Hahahahahahahahaha!!! Don’t make me laugh!’ ‘Listen, you fool. With my power, I can give you all that you wish: money, power, land...’ ‘A princess?’ ‘For that, you will have to fight me’. ‘Fight a woman? Cut it out! I am a gentleman and I DON’T fight women because...’ ‘You’re afraid, aren’t you?’ ‘Me? Afraid? No, I’m not. It’s just that I...I....I...’ ‘So fight me’. I had no other choice left. At least my pal Robin had left me a sword, a rusty one, but still a sword. Nevertheless, she had all her magical powers on her side. Not to mention her rage for being rejected by me, which is something even more powerful than magic. Therefore, I was with no doubt in disadvantage. I was like a tennis ball in her hands, being thrown against the walls of the castle. Whe I was about to plead for mercy, she came in my direction. ‘Adieu, mon prince’. And there she came to take my life away. Luckily, she stumbled on a stone and fell right on my sword, her heart being hit by it. ‘Adieu, ma chérie sorcière’. I jumped to my feet and entered the castle. Everything was abandoned – the place had been left for darkness and filthiness. I climbed the stairs that led me to the tower chamber. My heart was pounding – finally after all that I would have my princess in my arms! The only obstacles now were some cockroaches, dust and cobwebs. Oh, yes! The chamber door! – and it was her chamber for sure! How did I know that? Her snoring led me to that conclusion. And what a snore! I opened the Revista yawp – Edição 3/2008 Revista dos alunos de Graduação da Área de Estudos Literários e Lingüística em Inglês – FFLHC/USP www.fflch.usp.br/dlm/yawp


CARDOSO, Maira Cristiane. A different fairy tale. pp. 57-61

door and saw her...beautiful??? Well, if you consider a woman who’s been sleeping for over a hundred years in a shabby castle beautiful, so it may be. I approached her and...GOSH! She had grown a beard! Was SHE REALLY A SHE??? I hoped she was because, after all that, giving up or finding a HE would be assuming that I really was a LOSER. I leaned toward her and SMACK! YUCK! What a terrible breath! Maybe after a good bath, brushing her teeth and shaving ... ‘Who are you?’, she asked me as soon as she opened her beautiful mesmerizing eyes. ‘Glory! Glory! Finally!’ ‘I am Phil...’ ‘What are you doing here? What took you so long? Where is everybody?’ ‘Glory? Glory? I am...I...well...I...’ ‘Do you know how many years, or better still, how many times I have dreamed of this moment?’ ‘I guess I...’ ‘Stop talking and do something! After all these years, my hair is like steel wool, so I’ll need the best hairdresser in the kingdom. And when I say THE BEST , I REALLY mean it!’ ‘OK, but...’ ‘And about these clothes? I believe they’re totally old-fashioned, aren’t they? So I’ll also need the best clothes and, don’t forget, THE BEST!’ And bla bla bla bla... ‘And they lived happily ever after...???’ That may be true for Snow White and Bonne Chance, and the others, but not for me. Oh, Gosh! Why did I ever pay attention to those bedtime stories? Why did I leave home for chasing my dreams? Why didn’t I listen to the frog or the witch? Why did I ever kiss her? Yes, my friend, life is not a bed of roses, even in fairy tales. The moral of my story? Well, if you find a frog on your way, kiss it because it will probably become princes or princesses, whereas when you kiss a prince or a princess they may become a frog or a dragon.

Revista yawp – Edição 3/2008 Revista dos alunos de Graduação da Área de Estudos Literários e Lingüística em Inglês – FFLHC/USP www.fflch.usp.br/dlm/yawp