Sunday, March 9, 2008

Three Wishes

Once upon a time there was a queen. She was a nice lady and well respected, but secretly she was fat, sad and lazy. She was also very timid. You could have said anything to her, in fact you could have been quite rude, and she would have said nothing at all. Of course, being the queen, no one was rude to her, but still she lived in fear of rudeness.

The queen’s daughter, the princess, was even better liked than her mother. She was extremely beautiful, she wore fabulous silk clothes, and she beguiled everyone with her hair that flowed long and full, like a dark river. She was an assertive young lady with excellent composure, she was energetic and clever, altogether a good catch, with many, many suitors.

One day, when the queen was with her analyst, she bemoaned her situation. ‘My daughter has turned out so much better than I. I am sad and timid, and I’ve lost my looks.’ She sighed, ‘No wonder everyone likes her better. I wish there was something I could do’.

‘Dear Queen’ sighed the analyst. ‘We have been through this a number of times. As you should know by now, my consulting room is a place of initiation where powerful things can take place. If you really want something, you can wish for it here, and it will probably come true. But beware: often our wishes should remain just that, because a wish coming true can be a a very stressful event. At least be careful what you wish for. Oh and by the way’, she said, looking at her watch, ‘I am leaving the kingdom at the end of the month. I am hereby giving you notice that after today we will have just two more sessions.’

The queen thought about this for a moment – what an opportunity! She could wish for anything she wanted! But she had to be quick, because the session was almost over. She closed her eyes and said out loud: ‘Let me be beautiful and assertive, just like my daughter’. When she opened her eyes, her hair flowed indeed like a dark river, down to her waist, and suddenly she felt very confident.

Then she went home and sat down on her throne, next to the King. ‘How was your session, dear?’ he asked. ‘You’re asking me about my session? As if you care about my sessions! And you haven’t even noticed my hair’ the Queen replied. ‘Ach’ the King grumbled. ‘I knew it! This therapy thing would eventually mess with your head! I really think you should stop going.’ ‘Don’t patronise me!’ cried the Queen. ‘Get lost!’ retorted the King. And so it went on, all week, one argument after another.

When the Queen saw her analyst at the next session, she complained about her home life. ‘I wish the arguments would just stop.’ She said. When she got home that evening, it turned out that her husband had eloped with one of the ladies at court, one of the older, motherly, soft around the edges types. To make up for the abandonment, he had left her the whole Kingdom. What was worst, her treasured daughter had sided with him and left the kingdom too. This was a lot to bear. Even though she was now beautiful, and confident, and no-one dared to disagree with her, and the whole kingdom was hers, the Queen was sadder than ever, because she was lonely.

When she made her way to her final session with the analyst, the Queen knew exactly what she would wish for this time. She would wish for everything to be as it was before she had started wishing. As she arrived at the consulting room, however, there was a surprise. The room was empty but for a note on the couch. ‘Dear Queen’ it read. ‘I’m terribly sorry I had to leave early. With all the recent changes in the Kingdom a lot of flights have been rescheduled and I have to rush. Good luck and carry on the good work.’

The Queen broke down in tears. ‘Now I will never see my beloved husband and daughter again’ she sobbed. ‘All have forsaken me because I’ve bossed everyone around. It’s all my own fault! All is lost… I wish I was dead!’

And so she was, with her last wish, instantly dead as a mouse, right there on the couch. And everyone else lived happily ever after.

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