SWAN DANCERS SOAR TO NEW HEIGHTS (Six Swans)

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Famed Metamorphosing Brothers Bring Back Their Act

Capitolia, Pleasant Kingdoms - Audiences swooned with delight last night as the world-renowned Featherflare brothers danced in the Royal Ponds outside Pleasantimes Palace. The show marked the start of a reunion residency for the beloved troupe, who came out of retirement for their first performance in nearly seven years.

Crown Prince Dasher officially opened the event, which was attended by a number of other high profile guests, including his cousin, Prince Dansemeister, visiting from the south. After the opening address, the six Featherflares launched into a number of their signature routines: synchronized swimming, synchronized flying, synchronized honking, and of course, their classic grand finale--synchronized metamorphosis back into human form.

"It was absolutely enthralling," says Ms. Ivanna Pavane, a visiting member of Prince Dansemeister's delegation. "The only blemish was in the finale, when the youngest brother's left wing failed to turn back into an arm. But let us not be nitpicky. Did you see the tightness of their midair spirals? I swear to you, on my deathbed, I will close my eyes and see those spirals."

Following the show, the Featherflares visited with admirers, but only for fifteen minutes, before disappearing back into the palace. The brothers have always kept their post-show visits brief, which has fueled years of speculation and gossip.

"Just how long can the brothers retain their human shape?" asked Ms. Ann Muellers, an advocate with the Society for the Protection of Ensorceled Animals. "Do they change form willingly? Or are they under some sort of spell?"

In hopes of answering these questions, The Once Upon A Times earned an exclusive interview with Selena Featherflare, 17, the younger sister of the dancing brothers and the troupe's costume designer. The transcript of the interview, provided below, only adds to the mystery:

T.O.U.A.T.: Selena, there have long been rumors that your family was forced into show business. Are they true?

S.F.: (No reply)

T.O.U.A.T.: Your brothers wear dazzling silk shirts when not in swan form. Are those shirts enchanted?

S.F.: (No reply)

T.O.U.A.T.: It looks like you are designing new costumes sewn from... are they asters?

S.F.: (No reply)

T.O.U.A.T.: Are you under an enchanted vow of silence?

S.F.: (No reply)

The intrigue has only heightened ticket sales. "You had better hurry," Crown Prince Dasher assured would-be attendees in a statement this morning. "The entire run is nearly sold out--both the performances and the Sponge Cake After-Parties."

But not all citizens are eager to attend. "Cakes and dancing? Sounds like bread and circuses if you ask me," comments one Capitolia resident, who wished to remain anonymous. "They're just distracting us from the war in the Odorous Realms. Did you hear the Goblins have allied with the Gargoolins? You know they've got hearts of stone, those Gargoolins. Don't fancy our chances much now."

Based on the Brothers Grimm tale, The Six Swans.

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