15. Snoring Beauty

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Once upon a time, there lived a king and a queen who said every day, "Oh, if only we had a child!" but they never received one. Then, one day, a kind friend told them about this wonderful new invention called "having sex". They tried it, and—lo and behold—a magical frog appeared in their bed.

"Eeek!" Jumping out of bed, the queen clambered up onto the closest wardrobe. "Get that slimy thing away from me!"

"A little more respect, if you please," the frog said. "I am a magical messenger, come here to inform you that your dreams shall at last be fulfilled. You shall have a child!"

"And the powers that be couldn't find a more hygienic way of conveying that message than a slimy amphibian?"

"Hey, if you want doctors and pregnancy tests, move to the real world, lady! In Fairyland, you get magical frogs. Speaking of frogs, you don't by any chance know a princess who could kiss me and turn me into a handsome prince, do you?"

In answer, the king grabbed the frog and chucked it out of the window.

"Oh, darling!" Throwing his arms around his wife, he lifted her down from the wardrobe. "At last, the dearest wish of our hearts shall become reality. We shall have a son!"

The queen smiled. "Who knows, darling? It might be a girl."

"Oh, poppycock! It'll be a prince. I can feel it in my water."

What the frog had said came true, and nine months later, the queen gave birth to a little girl who was so beautiful that the king almost didn't mind she wasn't a boy. Overjoyed, he declared a holiday and ordered a great feast.

His wife immediately began to send out invitations. She invited not only their family, friends and greatest nobles, but also the most powerful fairies in the land. There were seven of them in total, and the first six invitations were sent off by royal courier immediately. But when the queen came to the seventh fairy, the one whose power surpassed that of all the other six put together, she found she could not remember the address. Quickly, she reached for her address book.

"Fairy Twinklelight, Fairy Tinkerbell...bloody hell, why did I have to file every single fairy address under 'F'? I have to get myself a new filing system!"

The queen searched and searched. But no matter how long she searched, she could not remember or find the seventh fairy's address.

"Oh well," she sighed and put the address book aside, "she probably won't mind not being invited. And even if she did, what's the worst that could happen?"

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When the day of the celebrations came, a magnificent feast was prepared in the great hall of the royal castle. The fairies were treated especially well—six golden dishes were set before them, decorated with diamonds and rubies, and heaped full of the most heavenly delicacies you can imagine. Once the dinner had disappeared into the hungry guests' stomachs and the silver cutlery into their pockets, everyone was called upon to give presents to the little princess. That day, she received many marvelous treasures.

Finally, it was the fairies' turn to give gifts.

"My magical gift to the girl," said the first fairy, waving her wand over the child's head, "shall be the gift of intelligence."

Fairy dust twinkled in the air, betraying the presence of magic. A storm of applause rose from the assembled guests.

"My magical gift to the girl," said the second fairy, taking her place and waving her wand, "shall be the gift of grace."

Another loud round of applause.

"My magical gift to the girl," said the third fairy, "shall be perfect beauty."

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