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Aging Enchantress Struggles to Shake Snowy Bedsheets

Four Seasons Cottage, Underlands - Although most of the world is blanketed with snow, Christmas approaches without a single flake on the ground in the western Pleasant Kingdoms. This has locals worried for the health of their wintry enchantress, Mother Holle.

"Mother Holle lives in a little cottage in the fairy realm underground. Usually the snow comes when she makes her bed and gives it a good shake so the feathers fly about like a blizzard," explains Amanda Weathervane, Royal Meteorologist. "We don't know what's holding her up this year, but it's definitely affecting people's moods. You can see a measurable drop on our Holiday Spiritometer."

Intent on investigating the delay, The Once Upon A Times sent your correspondent down a magic well into the Underlands for an exclusive interview with Mother Holle at her cottage.

"There's a simple explanation," she tells me. "I'm getting old. I just can't do all the chores I used to. I managed to clean the windows so you all got a decent summer, and I trimmed my houseplants so your leaves fell in autumn, but I just can't shake out my bedroll like I used to, not with my back pain."

When asked about hiring someone to assist with the housekeeping, Mother Holle tells me that's precisely what caused this year's delay. "I put up an ad promising a very handsome salary paid entirely in gold. A lovely maiden from the Pleasant Kingdoms responded right away. She worked hard for a day or two but then she got lazier and lazier. Wouldn't bake the bread or pick the apples or make my bed! It was the oddest thing... she would just draw these portraits of herself pretending to do chores, and then she'd rush off and mail them to her 'followers.' Well, I don't know what she meant by 'followers.' I think she might have been in a cult, so I let her go."

Mother Holle is seeking new applicants and warns that without help, the Pleasant Kingdoms will not be a winter wonderland this year. "But honestly, I'll take applicants from anywhere," she says. "The Borderlands, the Odorous Realms, wherever. The goblins have a good work ethic from what I hear. Apparently, they get volcanic ash instead of snow in their homeland, but I'm sure I could adapt, so long as my bed gets properly made."

Based on the Brother's Grimm tale, Mother Holle, the 24th in their collection.

Tune in next Tuesday for more holiday-themed fairy tale shenanigans from The Once Upon A Times

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Tune in next Tuesday for more holiday-themed fairy tale shenanigans from The Once Upon A Times...

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