|Because this road is important...|
Have you ever had just way too many ideas all at once? Well, that's what this month has been for me. Ever since Anne-girl announced that this year's June Crusade was going to be all about plot bunnies, I've been overrun with those cute hippity-hops.
For the official Plot Bunny #7 for the Crusade, I'm introducing you all to a semi-favorite (I can't abso-favorite it because of weirdness in the second half), lesser-known fairy tale. Yes, I know I already started a fairy tale retelling this month with Beyond the Thorns, but one day I'm going to retell them all (or just as many as I can with clean, fun, magic-free, realistic, Dicken-ish contents), so I might as well get a start on another.
Have you ever heard of The Riddle? No, probably not. I'm going to be mean and direct you to the Wikipedia page for information on that one, because I want to get to the main stuff here: the blurb and the first snippet.
Okay, here's what I got:
Prince Rian enjoys laughter, fun, jokes, and riddles – and in his royal place with little else to bother him, who wouldn't? Yet Rian has but one curse in life: he will never be able to understand his father. When King Ro'de Lar publicly announces his intentions to marry his son to a foreign princess and bring about a marriage alliance between the two kingdoms, Rian is certain that it's a joke. His father, unfortunately, is of a completely serious mind and secretly warns his son of treasonous whispers – whispers that could start a war, if they had but a single match to light the fire. And what's worse, the king wants Rian to find that match. Never mind the princess; that's the real purpose of his visit.
Reluctantly, Rian leaves the home he loves and travels to Veymark to meet his maybe bride-to-be. The journey is long, and it doesn't take much for something distracting on the side to pull Rian from his task. His path soon takes him to the doorstep of a crotchety old lady who, despite her crooked smile, is more than just senile. Things begin escalating when Rian's horse dies after contact with poison meant for the prince himself, and the old woman is the prime suspect.
Rian's adventures don't stop there, though, as he encounters a band of robbers and plenty of other dangers. All along the road, he uses his light-hearted laughs and jokes to keep the time pleasant, yet he discovers that there are riddles in the world that even he cannot fathom. In fact, his whole life, including everything he knows, might just be one of those riddles.
|Because masked guys are important...|
Annnnnnd, the snippet:
Riddles were Rian's best friend. The cleverness, the wit, the jabs; nothing fascinated him more than a crafty line. Jokes and a good laugh, of course, were close behind in his estimation, yet even they could not top a genuinely ingenious riddle. To say in the least, Rian thrived on them. No, if one did not take into account the loyalty of Alven – which Rian usually didn't – riddles were definitely the prince of Renarda's best friend.
When Rian was four, he told his first riddle to Renarda's royal court and succeeded in making even the stolid Baron Surlorest let loose in a guffaw. King Ro'de Lar was the only one who failed to laugh, and he was not amiss in pointing that out to his son later that evening.
“It's not dignified for a young prince to gallivant about telling jokes!” He said, waving his arms around in frustration. “I insist that you cease this unseemly behavior and begin acting like the prince you were born to be!”
Rian wrinkled up his freckled nose. “Why?”
“Because we are supposed to be the leaders of society! The rulers of the kingdom! If we stoop to petty things, what will become of our public image? I wish to hear no more about bears lying about in the woods.”
A grin swept over Rian's face. “But don't you know, Papa, they do that to trip the beetles!” He giggled at the thought.
King Ro'de Lar's face got very red. “Enough! No more bears, no more beetles! There are more important things in life than riddles, and once you learn that, the better off you'll be.”
But the giggles and chuckles only made Rian want to seek out more. He'd seen the laughter once, and in that instant, despite his youth, he determined to seek out the greatest riddle in the Twelve Kingdoms and bring it home to his father. Perhaps then, only if it was indeed the greatest riddle, King Ro'de Lar would enjoy it. He was careful not to tell any riddles around his father, but that didn't mean he couldn't divulge in an innocent laugh now and then. If riddles were forbidden, then practical jokes would have to suffice for the time being.
It was after no less than twenty-nine court members and thirteen royal advisors suffered through the varying humiliations of water buckets over doors, cream pies in their chairs, and frogs in the teapot that they begged the king to reconsider the riddles.
|Because I like this pic. His body language says it all!|