& The Peas
by Nathan Cromwell
Once there was
a princess who loved to eat vegetables, but above
all she adored peas: the sweet snap of raw peas,
boiled peas exploding in her mouth, and the heft
of dried peas cooked into a hearty soup.
her father mentioned in passing that he had
arranged a marriage, and that her intended, the
prince of a powerful neighboring kingdom, would
arrive shortly to take her away forever. Emitting
shrieks of girlish glee, she rushed about making
preparations: combing Floppsy and tying a bow
around his neck, choosing a dress in which to
greet the prince, grooming Floppsy and selecting
a fresh bow, directing the packing of her many
belongings, and tending to Floppsy. Soon she got
hungry and skipped to the dining hall, Floppsy
snug in her arms. She placed him in a basket and
began combing out his fur in case it had tangled
during their walk.
presented her lunch. She snatched up her fork,
but before she could complete the first downswing
she noticed that the cook had forgotten to
include peas. She put the fork down and urgently
and thoroughly explained this to the server, who
fled to the kitchen.
forgot to give the princess peas for her lunch,
he informed the chef in a clearly audible voice.
swiftly boiled some peas and gave them to the
server, who rushed upstairs and added them to the
princess plate. She gobbled them quite up.
relieved, started down the hall to return the pot.
On the way he bumped into the newly arrived
prince and his retinue.
know where the princess might be? Im
supposed to meet her.
sire, the server replied, jerking his thumb
over his shoulder. Shes in the dining
hall. Ive just now given her her peas.
the princess herpes? the prince asked.
just now, gave the princess--my betrothed--herpes?
did this happen?
dining hall, sire, on the table. But if you dont
believe me, go and ask. Many people were in
prince went to the dining room. He discovered
about twenty courtiers and ladies-in-waiting
surrounding a radiant young beauty who was
enthusiastically combing a sad-faced rabbit that
had lost patches of fur and whose skin in places
had clotted into scabs. The princess looked up
me, everyone, the prince bellowed before
anyone could speak. I met a server in the
hall who said hed just given this princess
herpes. Is that true?
Not enticed by
the prospect of a lifetime of lesions the prince,
with nary another word, left and married someone
else on the way home. The princess was
inconsolable. Eventually she fell to drinking,
onanism and repeatedly bungled patricide.
Moral: Dont believe the hype--vegetables
arent always good for you.