The Gypsy’s Dream
In a place far away, a long time ago, a poor penniless lad wanders the countryside in search of shelter, for he no longer has guardians to care for him as they came to an untimely end. On one particular day, in the thick of the woods, he hears a young man singing gaily beyond the clomp-clomping of the hoofs of the rider’s horse. Hastily, he dives into a nearby bush to observe.
At first, certain his hunger and exhaustion are causing hallucinations, he pinches himself in disbelief. The exquisitely dressed lad could be his identical twin, save a good scrubbing behind the ears and a sharp blade for a haircut. His curiosity overwhelms him as he steps out into the clearing.
“Hi-ho there!” he greets cheerfully, putting on his best smile to see the surprise on the other man’s face who undoubtedly makes the same observation.
“What Tom-foolery is this?” the prince demands, lifting his head haughtily as he peers down his nose, “a changeling perhaps to steal a prince’s soul?”
“Quite the contrary, my lord,” the gypsy corrects him and gets an idea at the words, “I am but a doppelganger sent by a fairy in order to allow you bits of well-deserved freedom, I am.”
“How so, doppelganger?” the interest sparks as the prince dismounts his horse to approach the vagabond, carefully eyeing him up and down.
“On the days you need relief from your mundane and orderly tasks, I am here to give you rest. Meanwhile, you may wander the land for as long as you like, relishing your freedom. But, in order to mask your identity, we will need to switch clothing of course.”
The prince walks near the teenager and again sizes him up to be identical, except for the wafting stench emanating from his pores. Pausing, he chuckles and turns to his steed, “Although the offer is but a tempting one, I shall endure the treacheries of my tedious life in order to escape the stink of being impoverished. Good day.”
Before he can mount his horse, the destitute boy gathers a heavy stone and hits the prince in the back of the head. Confusion racks the prince’s face as he turns to see his assailant. Rubbing the back of his head with his hand, he brings it forward covered in blood. “Why did you do that?” he asks before receiving his final crowning.
The pauper wastes no time cleaning up as best he can in a nearby stream and changing into the prince’s clothes. He does his best to scrub the spots of blood from the bodice, yet finds he cannot, leaving him with only one painful option. After disposing of the body, he crowns himself, but not as hard and with a rock quite a bit smaller.
“The prince! The prince!” a woman screams as he enters the courtyard, “Praise the gods he’s returned!” Before he could fathom what is happening, peasants and knaves surround him and help him from his trusty horse’s back.
“You’ve been gone for nearly a week, your highness!” a man tells him.
“Where have you been?” yet another throws in. And soon he is drowning in questions so much that the fatigue, hunger and commotion get the better of him and he collapses.
When he awakens, he feels fresh and alive, and the reflection in his mirror as he rises in bed tells him why. He truly is the prince’s doppelganger! No sooner does he cross the room to inspect even more closely than the door to his room flies open.
“Your highness,” his servant addresses, “Despite your search of the countryside for the fairest maiden in the land, we’ve finally located her.” And he sets off at once to meet the happily ever after to his already fulfilling life. He smirks to himself as his life becomes better and better.
The new kingdom greets him as he enters the gates with his men at his side, as his people no longer allow him to travel alone and pray for the return of his memory. This is a day long awaited as he dismounts and follows his hosts into the castle, up many flights of stairs into a room full of roses and ivy.
In the middle of the room is a chiffon-adorned bed with a velvet-embellished bedspread and pillows. The most exquisite face he’s ever seen is sitting high upon the pillows. The tresses of long, twisting hair stretch about her like the autumn rays of sunshine. Her pale skin accented by her flush pink cheeks and ever so plump lips. Her breast heaves slowly and rhythmically as his mind draws a blank, leaving him speechless.
Approaching the bed, he leans over the fair maiden while the rest of the royal families, from her side and his, surround him to watch. Her lips are so inviting as he plants a long, wet kiss on them and tumbles lifelessly on the floor in a heap.
“He must still be exhausted,” says his father, the king, “He’s had a rough week.”
But when the king’s wizard approaches the boy and checks for a pulse, he turns sadly around, “Your son is dead.”
And so Princess Aurora slept for another hundred years before her real Prince Charming found her and this time, because he truly was a prince, and they lived happily ever after.