HAPPYLAND: A FAIRY TALE IN TWO PARTS (CHILDREN'S EDITION) - CHAPTER 1

from Happyland: A Fairy Tale In Two Parts - Chapter 1: Prince Gobbledygook & Lily Marshmallow

Time upon once, a gentlewoman is seated underneath a weeping willow tree. Her feet play with the longish hairs of the bright grass. She lets out a poetic burp and drops her empty glass near her bronze samovar. A sunflower tucked above her left ear bows—eavesdropping on her little thoughts. Sad is she. She is Sad.

Life is her name and it is engraved on her nametag. Life is here and everything is over there.

Life lost her voice. She has nothing to let out— except crying.

Behold! An awkward schoolboy—Prince Gobbledygook be’s his name. He is dressed in his Sunday’s best: a porkpie hat, a polka-dotted bowtie, an imperial purple frock coat with big, golden buttons, a dress-shirt, black-and-white striped pants tucked into his rainbow socks, and Dutch Clogs.

Prince Gobbledygook drops his luggage and is stopped by a stop sign: Life’s head. He studies her face: Life is just so sad.

Prince Gobbledygook lifts his bag, runs to her, and lets words fly from his mouth,

“Begum! Why so glummedy-glum? May I sit beside you? I reassure you: I am a gentleman and a gentle man.”

She does not reply. She does not even sigh or say hi.

Prince Gobbledygook doffs his hat and holds it to his chest. He plucks the sunflower that dropped from her ear and says,

“Methinks this sunflower fits and shall be placed atop my heart.” He makes a button flower and sticks it in the lapel of his imperial purple frock coat with the big, golden buttons.

Crisscrossing his feet, he tilts his upper body, hurriedly bows and says,

“Oh my Go’dness, you smell like heaven and candy—heavenly candy.”

Grabbing his crown, porkpie hat, and canteen, he crowns her head with his porkpie hat.

Prince Gobbledygook twirls his crown—which is not a crown—it is a tiara.

“Am I not a prince?” Prince Gobbledygook crowns his beautiful head—fulling his self with beauty.

Prince Gobbledygook, with his canteen, captures the sad waters that burst like rain from her eyeballs, gathering a nice amount; he takes a drink. Her tears that wet the ground make a bouquet of tulips grow. But these tulips are like two lips; no, they are two lips. Prince Gobbledygook kisses each tulip.

He sets or sits himself down at his own behest, saysing,

“I love you...Life. I was empty and you birthed wonderful love. Love is full of wonder—no wonder I am full.”

He wears his heart on his head and his headache is akin to a heart attack. He tries caressing the samovar. She quickly slaps his hand. He takes another knock back from the canteen that possesses her sad waters and says,

“Do not think and drink! You will have an overweight headache—it is like wearing the world for a head—an unusual Atlas. I am thoroughly juiced from your sadness.”

He asks and answers,

“Would you like to court me, darling? Whereto? Happyland, of course!”

Her lips mime: happy. His lips say,

“Indubitably! Happyland. Life, Happyland is a Band-Aid! Happyland is a safe heaven from the madness of the world. Isn’t Life such a blessed name? Happyland has laughing flowers. I cannot enliven this feeling with numb and dumb words. Shall you court me, Life? I am a sincere suitor who doesn’t wear suits—they don’t suit me. We must get a going while the going is not gone.”

Prince Gobbledygook gets up from his position. He wobbles a bit, due to the collywobbles. He outstretches his hands. She accepts and is helped to her feet.

Helios, the sungod, with his bright, curly golden hair glows shiningly; he blows his fiery breath. Nature manufactures a custom-sized halo on Life. The soft light that rests on her head mesmerizes Prince Gobbledygook; it gives her an angelic glow.

He proclaims,

“Lo and behold, your halo says hello.”

Prince Gobbledygook retrieves his satin slippers from his luggage. He gets down on one knee and puts her porcelain feet into the satin slippers. From his pocket, he removes a wooden ring he whittled. It is a spontaneous, natural wedding and just like that—they are married. Life, cradling the samovar, sticks her ring finger inside his nostril. Her eyes study his nose. She wants to make sure he is not just a sniffer. After the detailed nose studying, she removes said finger and accepts the ring.

Prince Gobbledygook—honeymoon honeydew mouth,

“There, there, to, to: you. I blight thee my betroth And in sureness, I submit my kid gloves and heart.

Cleaving, believing, and interweaving into thou

Do I? I don’t do I do: I do

Whose find you, finds goodness

And when goodness goes badly, we shall surely meditate.”

© TES MEKONNEN

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