Gerald the Great (a fable-lous book)
The peasants are revolting
Gerald finds himself in love with the beautiful princess and the only way he can marry her is to tale over the shambolic, bankrupted and immoral kingdom of her stupid father, the king. Having got the king out of the way - in a way he could not have imagined - he now has to deal with the corruption, starvation and senseless slavery of spirit that has beset this insane place. He stumbles from accident to accident and, somehow, manages to find order, beauty and love, all at the same time ... with the help of some unlikely characters, including the aged Harry Hawk, a reluctant sun and a whole host of unlikely people. This is not a serious book but it has a serious message ... seriously!
Introduction to the book:
This book is best read sitting down as that was how it was written. It is also written slower for the slower readers and we would suggest that you keep your reading speed below 30,000 words per minute lest blurring, vertigo, lack of comprehension, measles and political correctness occur. You could also be booked (ha! ha!) by the reading police, for speeding, when they stop reading. Another suggestion is that you move your eyes and/or your head back and forwards rather than moving the book in front of your eyes. This is a new development in reading technique and, although cutting-edge technology, has now been tested successfully on 2,500 sheep, 30 goats, 400 emus and 3 humans and all experienced vast improvements in their romantic lives. Their reading suffered but who cares when you’re in love.
This is an unfairy story – a fairy story without fairies. The Fairy Union complained about this to the Arbitration Council and I have now agreed to include them in the sequel. There are many other people not included (my mother, the Pope, St. Francis of Assisi, Mussolini to name a few) and if you feel a need to be included in the sequel to the sequel your claim will need to be into the Council within three days, after which they break for their 15-year-long Christmas holiday.
This is a story for children and adults alike (though they’re not really alike are they?) but there are a few big words (like wheelbarrow and porcupine) that adults may find difficult. I suggest that you keep a child within yelling distance to help you with the difficult bits.
Excerpt - First chapter
Once upon a time (all good non-fairy stories begin with once upon a time, apparently) there was a very beautiful princess. Although her red hair wasn’t considered beautiful, her eyes were. In fact one eye was so beautiful the other eye couldn’t stop looking at it. At 6 foot 3 inches, statuesque would have been a description of her, if it wasn’t for her humpback and clubfoot. It was also unfortunate that she was prone to rages when saliva and words were spat out – she gave both the news and the weather. She would also gestulate violently with her arms and the scene could have been comic had one not realised that she was very serious. But she was a princess and princesses are always very serious and beautiful and so it was with this Agatha.
Agatha’s father, the king, was vertically and hemispherically challenged with a diameter nearly equal to his meagre height. In fact, it was His Royal Squatness who started the now-famous Height Watchers club. Being the only person in the kingdom needing steps up to and into his bath, he attempted to add to his vertical lowness by refusing to cut his frizzy mop of hair, wearing black clothes and cowboy boots and by surrounding himself with little people. He was under the Samsonian (or Delilahian) illusion that his strength was in his hair and so his mangy beard stopped near his navel and his previous three meals could be discerned by the remnants intertwined therein. How the queen found this hairy, rotund and florid little man attractive enough to allow conception is the first of the seven mysteries of the Kingdom. How such a feat was ever accomplished is the second mystery, considering that certain private bits were so much shorter than the extent of his portly tummy and neither the king or the queen ever hinted at a possible solution, though some remarked, perhaps unkindly, how similar Agatha’s appearance was to a certain cell-phone salesman and how many different types of phone the queen seemed to have. However, such remarks are mainly the perverted invention of petty, jealous and do-gooding women’s magazine editors whose lives are so empty that they get their kicks from the misery and thrills of anyone else who seems to be having more fun than them – such comments should be deleted and tossed in the recycle-bin of your mind, lest it begin to fester and create sordid stories from very thin air, for huge financial gain and anonymous titillation … I’m actually sorry I mentioned it now … actually, did you hear the one about … ah, I can’t tell you that one!
The kingdom over which her father presided was one of very beautiful people and it did perplex him that he should have a daughter with such a different kind of beauty. Obviously, Agatha was very beautiful (as all princesses are beautiful) but her different kind of beauty made it difficult for him to find a handsome prince willing to wed her. This was further aggravated by the fact that she didn’t seem interested in handsome princes – she was only interested in other princesses and that was not how fairy stories were meant to be. He often wondered if he had been written into the wrong story and wished the storywriter wasn’t so drunk when he’d scribbled this script. However, there didn’t seem to be anything he could do to get his life rewritten. He was stuck in this dumb story and he just had to see it through. He tried many times to contact the storywriter but he was always on the phone, snoring off another hangover or completely deaf. It seemed that once a story is written it could not be changed and so there he was, in this stupid drama with no way of escape.
Apart from the problems with his princess daughter, running a kingdom of beautiful people was a pretty cruisy number. Anything he wanted was provided and everyone thought he was a real groover. There was enough money for all and the happiness meter was always in the high nineties. There were a few people with no clothes, food or shelter but they were helpful in showing the millionaires how well off the others were. Without a few hundred thousand people in the doldrums, the rest thought they were hard done by. There was enough money and food for these wretches, but why give it to them and make the rest unhappy? Just not done for a king to have his friends unhappy.
 This is not necessarily a good fairy story … or non-fairy story for that matter. In fact, it could possibly qualify as being the worst on record. This small fact, however, does not stop me from starting like all the good ones do.
Of course, there were a few persistent whingers who thought they shouldn’t be whipped or jailed for just asking for food, clothes and shelter but they were the sorts who whinged if their bums were on fire, even after the fire extinguishers were provided. And, naturally, one could expect a few thousand jailbirds and “social conscience” sorts to moan about the lack of beds, hygiene and food in the jails. This political correctness was such a pain but only a passing fad. Such trivial concerns – why couldn’t they just be happy with their lot and just get on with it. If they were a little happier and said nicer things about the king, they wouldn’t have to moan about not being registered on the happiness meter.
This nine-year drought and the locust plague only affected a few farmers and if they didn’t like natural cycles, they should get out of farming and get real jobs in the city – like boot polishers and traffic wardens. There was always enough food for the king and his mates and the rest should just adapt and learn to live on less food. They had the option of becoming liquidarians but didn’t have the sense to pursue that one. They could easily filter the poisonous water through sand – there wasn’t a shortage of that stuff around. Such stupid people. The king and his mates had had the brains to collect enough money to buy the expensive food that had to be imported from that silly kingdom over the water that had a different way of distributing wealth. They always had plenty of produce to sell and so there was always plenty of food, if only the whingers could see that there was a way of obtaining it. That they were forbidden from growing their own vegetables and owning anything (punishable by death) should not have been a hindrance. The king and his friends had found a way so why couldn’t they?
The other wee problem with the teachers and nurses wanting to be paid for their work had been solved by shutting down all the schools and hospitals. Then the silly twits had the gall to moan about that. They got the same pay now, for much less work. They pretended to be concerned for the sick, frail and those wanting to be more educated and informed, but that was only a front for wanting the social status of being needed. Gosh, if God had wanted people to be healthy and educated he wouldn’t have invented disease and ignorance. People wouldn’t have anything to aspire to if they had everything and so the king felt his benevolence in giving the people unfulfilled aspirations was grossly misunderstood.
So, all up, the only real problem he had was his Princess Agatha. Such a nice girl and with the finest clothing, castles, servants, casinos, private jets, ski resorts, education and friends, it was difficult to see why any handsome prince didn’t want her. Her appearance belied a beautiful nature and there must be some man willing to overlook that for the happiness of all he could desire. The other little hurdle of the princess’s aversion to men, and preference for women, was only part of her growing pains and she would soon grow to become normal. But these wimpy blokes seemed unable to see things his way. A seemingly intractable problem which could obviously be fixed if he could have a word with that silly drunkard of a storywriter.
The queen, though a great lover and obedient wife, was a silly chook in some ways. She couldn’t see that Agatha’s preference for women (and her rages) were a problem at all. In fact, Agatha only seemed to get into her rages with the king and was very happy and placid with her mother. That the king was only trying to help Agatha with her problems in giving her his good, fatherly advice, didn’t diminish her rages She was only young and, at 38, didn’t have the worldly wisdom that he did. Women seemed to have such silly ideas on running a kingdom and it was a relief that it was a job for men. If the women were left to run things there would be all sorts of unnecessary changes like feeding the starving, healing the sick, educating the children, releasing the prisoners, helping the farmers and actually being nice to a whole herd of people who really didn’t matter. Such a pointless waste of scarce resources and, who knows, all those healthy and educated people might start up with the idea that they, also, had better ideas on how to run things. Didn’t they know that kings were kings because they really did know better. And after all the changes, the people would realize what a wise and clever king he had been and they would only have to change back again to his brilliant way of doing things. Such a waste of energy, making changes and getting people to think of better things that had already been done. Best to leave the job to those who knew better.