How do you know when to stop?

Once upon a time there was a young man, there was a Prince in the woods. He wore red, sparkling pants and instead of a lance he carried with him a long pole with a disco ball at its tip. The Prince had a pair of dark sunglasses that would not take off even at the darkest hour of the night. A replica of the sunglasses was worn by Glitter, the Prince’s magnificent talking stallion. As you can imagine, the name was fitting; the horse had golden teeth and a body covered in glitter.

The Prince and Glitter were a formidable pair. Wherever they went, their foes would hide from their path. When the Prince played his music, the foes covered their ears, and when Glitter danced, they wanted to claw out their eyes. No one could stand near them, and they were always full of dirty jokes that only those two found them funny. The Prince and the stallion had their time of their life, every single day.

But not today. Today they were gloomy, which meant the disco ball was not working, and their music was nowhere to be heard on the delight of all the forest creatures. Noone cared about what had befallen on the Prince and his companion because no one cared what happened to jerks. All they could think was: Thank God his music is off! He has no taste at all. And he thinks that he is the best dancer around and everyone else is just a mere disgrace in front of him. What a jerk!

Only the small wildcat stop to ask them what had happened to them. If her mother was there, God rest her soul, then she would have told her that Curiosity killed the cat. But then again her father, God rest his soul, would have responded: but satisfaction brought her back. So she took the risk to talk to the fearsome pair.

”Oh my good Prince, what happened to you?” asked timidly the small wildcat.

“Catastrophy!” cried the Prince.

“The end of the world!” neighed the Stallion.

“We are doomed!” agreed the Prince.

Frightened now the small wildcat ask for more details. “But what happened, my good Glitter? Tell me more!”

“The worst possible thing happened to us, something that we never thought it would occur. I am so afraid about what will follow. Only darkness can follow after that!” cried Glitter in agony.

“Please, good horse do not frighten me more!” shrieked in a shrill voice the small wildcat. “What terrible thing happened? Did someone flood the forest? Did someone set on fire our home? Did someone…”

“…stole our Swag!” cried the horse and the Prince fell on his knees.

“Your what?” asked the small cat confused.

“Our Swag! Our magical buffer that we carry around everywhere and we play our music for everyone to enjoy! We stopped by the river to have a drink and then Swag was gone!” explained the Prince in a broken voice. “We our looking everywhere for our Swag, we have to get it back. For the good of the Woods!”

“Err… what?”

“For the good of the woods. We have to get it back and continue our travels! We cannot educate the peasants without our Swag!”

So they really are jerks, thought the small cat as she stared at owe the two companions. She was left speechless and didn’t know how to respond. But the sneaky squirrel, overhearing from above in the trees, answered for her. “Oh! What a loss!”

“We know!” answered in unison the Stallion and the Prince failing to notice the sarcasm in the squirrel’s voice.

“But…I might be able to help”.

“Really? Tell us more, tell us more!” begged the pair in apparent agony.

“I heard from a second cousin that was told by his dentist, who was informed by his wife, who had read her lover’s email that he overheard a drunk snake boasting into a pub that he had seen the one who stole your Swag!”

“Tell us more, tell us more!”

The sneaky squirell went on. “It was the Queen of Darkness that stole your Swag.”

“The Bitch! How can we get it back?” asked Glitter the sneaky squirrel.

“I do not know how you can get it back.” Shrugged his shoulders the sneaky squirrel. “But I know how you can find her.”

“Tell us more, tell us more!” begged the Prince in agony. He was sweating and his sunglasses almost fell off. The small wildcat and the sneaky squirrel almost fell pity, but they remembered all the times they were insulted by him.

“You have to walk straight for 1785 steps and then turn west and walk another 1785 steps. Then turn east and walk exactly 80445 steps and when you are about to take the 80446 step, start going around, around and around yourselves till you are dizzy and you can see the forest going out and the sea coming in and then the mountains kick the sea out and the forest crawls back in. Then you will find the Queen of Darkness” said he sneaky squirrel, knowing well enough that the Queen of Darkness had no need to steal the Swag and she hated when someone accused her of anything. For a moment he thought he had taken it too far, but as the small wildcat’s mom would have said How do you know when to stop?

The disastrous pair left the animals back without a word. They walked straight for 1785 steps and then turned west and walked another 1785 steps. Then they turned east and walked exactly 80445 steps and when they were about to take the 80446 step, they started to go around, around and around themselves till they were dizzy and they could see the forest going out and the sea coming in and then the mountains kick the sea out and the forest crawling back in. Then they found the Queen of Darkness.

The Queen of Darkness was short and wore a black veil, over a black dress, over black lingerie, paired with black boots and black gloves. She hated being accused of anything and hated Swag music. But most of all she hated uninvited visitors.

“What do you want here?” she demanded to know. If anyone else would in front of her would have run away as fast as they could, but not the Prince and Glitter.

“We came to take back what is ours” declared the Prince.

“Yeah” neighed Glitter.

“We came to take what you stole from us!” shouted the Prince.

“Yeah” neighed even louder Glitter.

“We came to reclaim our Swag!” announced the Prince and Glitter nodded in agreement.

The Queen of Darkness was angry of them appearing in the middle of her forest uninvited, but know she was furious. They were so rude that they accused her of theft! And not only they accused her falsely, they accused her of stealing their Swag! She hated Swag, as all creatures of the forest and beyond knew.

“How dare you!” screamed the Queen of Darkness. If they could see her face maybe even the Prince and his horse would run to hide regretting stepping into her garden, but her terrible face distorted by hate was hidden behind the veil. “You accuse me of stealing your Swag! After you trespassed my forest!” her voice was full of threat.

I will tell a small story now, one that I heard from the small wildcat’s father, who was told by his wife, who read it in a newspaper that had as its source a pink lion. The last time a Prince angered the Queen of Darkness so much, nothing good came out of it. She ate his heart and spitted his blood in the fire and the Prince had to run wild around the forest not being able to do anything logical anymore. Then, I heard from the sneaky squirrel was told from a second cousin that was told by his dentist, who was informed by his wife, who had read her lover’s email that he overheard a drunk snake boasting into a pub that the same Prince lost his ears and nose to the magic of the Queen of Darkness.

I have to admit now, that I do not know which one is the real version, especially the small wildcat told me yesterday that there are 2391 versions of the same story, but all of them have the same outcome: something really bad happens to people, or animals, that anger the Queen of Darkness. You will ask me, how do you know when to stop?, but I cannot answer, and surely the Prince and Glitter do not know either.

Back to the Prince, Glitter and the Queen of Darkness. The stallion, being the brightest of the pair both in appearance and thought, nudged the Prince “I think she is a bit annoyed, boss”.

“Nonsense! She just pretends. She tries to deceive us and forget that she is the one who committed the crime” answered the Prince.

“I did not commit any crime! And for the insults you bore to my name I will punish you.” Said in a cold voice the Queen of Darkness. “I will file a law suit against you!”

“A what?” asked the Prince perplexed.

“I think she means that she will buy you a new suit” answered Glitter licking his golden teeth.

“But why? I like my red pants” wondered the Prince while he checked himself out in the mirror he carried always with him.

“Dunno. I like them as well boss. They match my glittering skin” answered the stallion as he checked himself out in the mirror as well.

On the meantime, the Queen of Darkness had made a few quick phone calls and had informed her 3478 lawyers of the situation and a small court of law was assembled around them in just 4 minutes, 35 seconds and 59 milliseconds.

“Order!” shouted the judge, who was an ugly harpy and who happened to be the oldest friend of the Queen of Darkness.

The Prince and Glitter looked at her and the 12 angry men forming the jury in wonder. They had never seen a court of law before and where confused of what they saw.

“What…” begun to ask the prince but the judge Harpy silenced him with a shrill “Silence!”

“We have assembled here to investigate whether the Prince and Glitter did what they were accused of. Lawyers, bring forth the first witness”.

The Queen of Darkness came forward and told while shedding bitter tears how the pair trespassed her forest and accused her of terrible things. Then a pink lion came forward and confirmed the Queen of Darkness’ words and then a huge Eagle confirmed that he saw the pair walking all the steps that they were required to sneak into the forest. Then three more witnesses came forward and with every new witness the twelve angry men were angrier than before.

Finally the judge harpy asked the Prince and Glitter. “Do you have to say anything on your defense?” But the pair was still trying to understand what had just happened and gave no answer. “Then, I ask the jury. Are the accused guilty or not guilty?”

The twelve angry men shouted in unison “Guilty!” and before they knew the Prince and Glitter were thrown to jail. The whole affair was a fast one. It lasted only 6 minutes, 23 seconds and 52 milliseconds.

Once in the jail, the pair was forced to clean the toilets and sweep the floors and eat three nasty meals per day. The days went on and on and on, till one gloomy day, they were called into the principal’s office. They waited there for 12minutes and 13 seconds when the stallion broke the silence.

“Hey, boss, do you see what I see?”

“Where?”

“Over there on the top self” he pointed with his hoof at the principal’s library. On the top self, one thing was collecting dust: a buffer. Where had the boring principal found something like that? They did not know, and they never cared to find out. The Prince stood up and picked the buffer.

“Glitter! Look what I found! I found Swag number 2!” and he immediately turned it on.

Everyone in the jail clawed their eyes when they saw them and everyone covered their ears. They were afraid of the Prince and the Glitter and hated Swag number 2. But the Prince and Glitter did not care, because they had again the time of their life.

And everyone lived happily ever after, except for the guards and the prisoners who had to endure the jerks and their music till the day they had served their sentence.

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