In Which I Tell a Story.
One day, while walking in the shopping mall, she spied a shop that she was sure wasn’t there the day before. It looked very inviting and the window had just one pair of shoes on a red cushion. And honestly what a pair of shoes! They were beautiful and glittery, with high delicate heels and looked as if they were handmade by a special team of elves. The odd thing about them was they seemed to be whispering to her. She couldn’t quite hear what they saying so she grasped the handle of the shop and went inside.
With the ‘ting’ of the shop bell, the shopkeeper arrived so suddenly and quickly that the Princess knew he must be magical. Or at the very least, fabulous.
‘Hello Madam’ he said ‘Can I help you?’
He waved a hand around the shop and the Princess suddenly saw that the shelves were filled with all kinds of shoes in different colours and styles and heights. Some were for walking in the Forest, (whatever that is, thought the Princess), some were for dancing in, some were for cold weather or wet weather and some were just so pretty that you could just wear them all the time.
But none were as nice as the pair in the window. As she drew near to them, she realised they WERE whispering to her!
Just like that, the Princess fell in love with them in the twinkling of an eye. She turned to the shopkeeper.
“ Hello, my good man. Please wrap these shoes up and send them to my castle this afternoon. I wish to wear them for tea and a meeting of the Round Table this evening”
The shopkeeper sighed.
“I’m very sorry Madam” he said. “But those shoes are not for sale. They are for Display Purposes Only"
At this, the Princess began to cry. (She normally got what she wanted if she cried.)
“I must have them! They are calling my name!” And at this, the shoes began to whisper to her again.
“Oh, please, please PLEASE take us home! Don’t let us be doomed to stay here day after day waiting for someone to love!”
The Princess stopped crying and looked prettily up at the shopkeeper, letting just one tear roll down her cheek. “Can’t you let me have them? I would pay well for such a beautiful pair of shoes….”
The shopkeeper sighed again.
“Madam, these are beautiful and magical shoes hand made by the Elves of Manolo Blahnik”
“They have the power to make everyone fall in love with them, will go with any outfit and never pinch, or bruise or hurt”
Then he named a price that made the Princess gasp and stretch her eyes in horror. But she was still determined to have them.
“I will return tomorrow” she said. “Kindly have the shoes ready for me”
And off back to her castle she went.
All that night, the Princess tossed and turned. She couldn’t sleep for wanting those shoes. She could still hear them whispering to her and had to find a way to have them. She thought and thought and thought until, just before dawn, she had an idea.
The next morning, over breakfast with the Toad, she asked him for the money to buy the shoes.
He lowered his paper and stared at her over the top of it.
“How much?” he croaked in horror. “Are you completely mad woman?”
“No-one is going to give you that much money for a simple pair of shoes. And if they do, they’re barking mad too”
The Princess was downcast but did not let it show. “Very well” she said “You obviously don’t love me”
“Of course I love you” said the Toad “I just don’t see why shoes have to come into it”
The Princess smiled an icy smile and turned to go
“I shall get the money for the shoes some how” she insisted.
“Harrumph” said the Toad and went back to his paper..
That afternoon, walking in the mall, The Princess went straight to the shoe shop.
“I have come for the shoes” she announced grandly “Here is the money for them”
“ NOW GIVE THEM TO ME!”
The shopkeeper smiled, handed over the shoes with a bow and the Princess hurried home with them.
She was lying on the sofa admiring them on her feet and hearing the purrs of delight coming from the shoes (“oh we love you, thank you for taking us home, we will never let you down”) when the Toad came home.
“I see you bought them” he said grumpily “Where did you get the money?”
“From our joint account” she replied simply.
The Toad went bright red, jumped up and down, and ran around the room until smoke began to come out of his ears. He got angrier and angrier and crosser and crosser and called the poor Princess so many rude names that she had to hide her ears.
In the end, he stamped his foot and ranted and raved so much that he exploded.
And the Princess got to look at her shoes in peace.
And the moral of the story?
Fuck love. You don’t need it if you’ve got a truly great pair of shoes.