You Work A Day You Are Off A Day
Once upon a time, there was a young prince named Herald. Skilled in archery, knight-like abilities, and social talents with maidens, he was quite the attractive young gentleman. He was handsome, witty, and strong.
Having two younger sisters and no biological brothers, Prince Herald was the immediate heir to his father’s throne. His father, King Hamond, came to see him one afternoon. Prince Herald was splitting logs at the time, conversing with three young and attractive, well-endowed female comrades of his.
“I bid you ladies be,” said King Hamond, trying not to look too strongly towards their low-cut attire. “But father,” said the prince, “I was just speaking with them.” “This is a serious matter,” replied King Hamond, “Please, leave us be.” The pretty women blushed, curtsied, and politely made exodus.
“Am I in trouble?” asked Prince Herald, respectfully. “No, son,” said King Hamond. The king took in a deep breath and exhaled, calmed himself down. “Two things,” said the king authoritatively, “The first is that I am ill. I have approximately two years to live. The second is that our kingdom is under an attack. Our enemies are traveling from the north, far away. They are a nomadic culture; they come to take all of our lives and live in our castle. I would normally have you at my side in battle. I am ill. You will command my armies. You will prepare with all knights and soldiers for ten days; rest one day; and formally search, find, and destroy these filthy attacking nomads. Kill all the men and any female soldiers. Take the children and female innocents hostage. We will allow them to help us in our fields.”
Prince Herald cried. He alone was bad enough to single-handedly take out nine men by hand or other means; this could not change his father’s illness. The prince was sad – the king was going to perish. “I will do as you say, father,” concluded Prince Herald. “Go and see Thor,” said the king, “I am off to my quarters.”
Thor was the head of militant forces for the land of Wilkeshire. He was trained by an uncle of King Hamond, highly skilled in most known forms of combat. Upon approaching Thor, Prince Herald had a sincere look in his eyes. “Just there for a second,” said Thor, “I thought you were here to fight me.” “No, no, Master Thor,” said the prince, “I am here under orders of our king to practice and ready ourselves for battle. We will ‘eradicate’ these vicious nomads.” “Very well then,” said Thor, trying not to notice the young prince’s physical attributes.
The armies of King Hamond trained, ate well, and slept properly, as told. They traveled north; found and slayed all attacking nomads; and returned safely to Wilkeshire with over two-dozen innocents – mostly children under twelve. The quick battle was a bloody slaughter.
Prince Herald alone took out over twenty attacking nomads; Thor followed behind the prince’s record with an amazing seventeen. Prince Herald’s men and Thor noticed the prince was depressed due to his father’s being terminally ill, took these stresses out on the attacking nomadic heathens. All men gained respect for the prince, nonetheless.
As Prince Herald was leading his armies back onto castle grounds, a small energetic blue butterfly flew into his left ear. Not knowing what the butterfly was, the prince batted it away with his left hand; lost all balance on his horse; and he fell to the right side. His men laughed. As he fell, though, his horse raised up in surprise, causing the prince to break is leg on a rock on the ground. It was a compound fracture. Prince Herald was taken to the castle’s infirmary; his men continued to their normal duties.
The nurses reset the prince’s leg; he endured a life-threatening amount of pain and passed out. Prince Herald’s pain was so immense he fell back out as soon as he tried to wake or function. The prince slept while three female nurses had a brief conversation.
“What can we do for his pain?” asked a younger, less experienced female nurse. “Well, we have done what we can for him, here,” said the head nurse. “What of the mystics or apothecaries outside of castle grounds?” asked the second nurse. She was not the youngest or the oldest of the three. The head nurse said, “Though you have a good idea, our medicines and methods surpass others outside of the castle. Our strongest medications and methods do nothing for this man. The king, as we all know, does not permit hocus-pocus practice, here.” “What of the White Witch can be considered?” asked the youngest nurse, almost hesitating and remaining somewhat quite. The two other nurses did not really know what to say, knew they were out of options. “The White Witch has not been seen for years,” said the second nurse in charge, “God rest her soul, I think she is our only hope.” “Seek her and return,” said the head nurse to the youngest nurse. “As you wish,” said the young nurse, as if she could walk outside and say, “Poof!” and see this magical witch with a remedy.
The young nurse left the castle and found a young friend of hers to seek the whereabouts of the White Witch. They made their way to the forest nearby. The forest was known of as the Dark Forest, a place full of enchanted beings and magical occurrence. The two young girls frequented the depths of the Dark Forest during their childhood; they made haste deep into its mysterious shadows. After some time, they found that the White Witch was nowhere to be seen. “I think we should chant a song and dance for her,” said the nurse, as she caught her breath. Happy to hear her say it, her friend locked elbows with her. They twirled in circles and danced singing:
“Oh holy witch, how have we come to hear your name?
Oh White Witch, cannot you come to dance and praise?”
After some time, the girls forgot they were in the forest, altogether. They continued to dance and sing. The White Witch appeared before them, admired the beauty of their youth and the happiness of their songs. They noticed the White Witch and ceased with their dancing. She was a beautiful old woman with pearl-white hair. Both young girls bowed to the White Witch instinctively. The nurse decided to request assistance, said “Our young prince is in severe pain due to a post-protruded, leg-bone fracture, and our medicines and methods have not been able to heal him. He is in a considerable amount of pain.”
The women spoke together for quite some time, and the White Witch happily materialized a small bottle of bubbling pink elixir right before their very eyes. The nurse thanked the White Witch profusely and gave her a silver necklace from her neck in gratitude. The understanding White Witch gladly accepted the gift and vanished slowly, as she smiled upon the two young maidens. The two young women made it back to the castle just before dusk, and the nurse brought the potion to her head nurse at dawn. The head nurse fed the potion to the sleeping prince; Prince Herald recovered upon waking.
“How is it that I am awake and not in pain?” asked Prince Herald, “Have I recovered?” “We think so,” said the head nurse, “We let you drink a healing potion during your sleep. It was our only option. Please, do not speak of these things with your father. He would never allow us to seek the counsel of the White Witch.” “The White Witch?” asked the prince, “Is she not a myth among the children?”
“No,” said the youngest nurse, “My friend and I found her deep in the Dark Forest as we sang our merry songs and danced.” “Wow,” said Prince Herald, “Your secret is safe with me. I must find and thank her.” “That could certainly upset your Christian father,” said the head nurse. “He is to pass within these next short years; he will not know I went to thank her for my resuscitation… how could I thank her?” “Bring her a small bag of silver,” giggled the youngest nurse, “Maybe she can use it to promote positive forces of magic throughout the forest.” As the prince did not know what to say, the three turned to the young nurse. She blushed. Prince Herald was a handsome gent, indeed. “I will bring her some silver,” said the prince, and the four said their goodbyes.
Morning came. Prince Herald galloped into the forest with his horse and a large sack of silver. Upon entering the Dark Forest, the prince was mostly clueless. He rode deep into the forest, thinking he could sing to her, and she would surely come forth. After some time, he began to feel discouraged. A small bird flew to and landed on the head of Prince Herald’s horse. The bird looked up to the young prince in curiosity. The bird was adorable. He was of dark purple and shining hue with small pink stripes on his wings and had a small, near triangular yellow beak. The little bird’s beak was useful for eating small seeds and little not-so-lucky bugs.
Not knowing how enchanted the deep woods of the Dark Forest was, Prince Herald spoke to the little bird: “Can you not show me the way, small fellow?” “If I knew where we are headed,” said the small bird. “You can talk?” asked the prince. “My name is ‘Beaks’,” said the small bird, “Where are we headed?”
“I am in search of the White Witch,” said Prince Herald. “This really is not her neck of the woods,” said Beaks, “We must turn around and travel in the other direction for a while.” “I must still be ill,” thought the prince aloud. “Let us back-track a ways,” said Beaks, “And I will go get her for you.” The prince reluctantly turned his horse around, and the small crew headed back a ways. Beaks chuckled and said, “Wait here young master,” flew off into the shadows.
Before Prince Herald lost all hope, the White Witch and Beaks appeared before him. “Good day to you, sir,” said Beaks, and flew away as the prince said, “Thank you.” “You are a beautiful woman, indeed,” said Prince Herald. The White Witch blushed, herself, trying not to admire the young man. “I am glad that I have found you,” said Prince Herald, “I have come to offer you this bag of silver for helping me heal.” The White Witch accepted the silver and said, “Your leg… it is fine?” “Yes,” said the young prince, as he held her hand and placed it on his thy.
The two adults fell to their carnal desires, sensually holding each other. After kissing, he held her, brought her up onto his horse. They passionately made love. Little did he know, it was her first time. It was his first time, too. They bid each other farewell, and Prince Herald rode his horse back to the castle. He slept well in his quarters; the sun would rise in the morning.
At dawn, an assistant of King Hamond burst through the doors of the quarters of the prince saying, “Prince Herald! You must come immediately. The king is angered with you.” “I cannot wait to hear why,” thought the prince, as he put on his dirty boots. The two men went to see the king. King Hamond was deeply disgruntled, indeed. “Who bade you farewell to the Dark Forest?” requested the king. “I went exploring for a breath of fresh air,” answered Prince Herald. “And you participated in sexual intercourse with some strange old woman? Before marriage?” asked the king. The laughs of his guards secretly infuriated the king; he maintained a placid facial expression. “I see no magical maiden of sex, here,” said Prince Herald, thinking that what his dad did not know would not hurt him.
“The blood from that woman is still on your clothes,” said King Hamond. “How did you know,” asked Prince Herald. “A little purple bird told me,” said the king, “He said, ‘You should be proud’.” “Beaks,” thought Prince Herald. “I am a Christian king,” said King Hamond, “This sin will not be laughed upon. Nor will it be excused or praised. I hereby deny your ‘heirship’ to my throne!”
“I am your only son,” said Prince Herald, “You cannot simply relinquish divine right.” “That I can do,” said the king, “And I have. Upon my death, Thor will reside as king. We have composed legal documentation and sealed these decisions in the church library.” “What do you suggest I do?” asked Prince Herald thinking, “Later I am going to go cut some firewood and talk with those maidens about what went on in the forest.” “You are free to help with the harvesters of our fields; seek an apprenticeship with a master-craftsman near castle grounds; or even aid in the advancement and construction going on in town or with the west side of the castle,” said King Hamond.
The prince was not too upset with the king’s decision. He decided to take his chances in construction work to lift heavy rectangular rock and expand the castle. Prince Herald was allowed to join a construction team’s expansion project working on the west side of Wilkeshire, and the workers expanded the already vast castle. Time went by, and still the prince thought of the White Witch.
One afternoon, Prince Herald went to see Thor. Thor asked the prince if he was disgruntled with his father’s legal decision. The prince said, “No. I am sure we can all get along.” They did. Within that year, the king died, and a large rock fell on Prince Herald’s head while he was working. He was knocked unconscious, pronounced dead. Upon catching wind of the prince’s death, the White Witch attended his ceremony. While his entire congregation of mourners bowed in prayer, the White Witch levitated the prince’s body and closed his casket. She set his body down gently on top of his horse and led the horse off secretly into the dark shadows of the forest. The people buried an empty casket, and the White Witch guided the prince’s horse all the way back to her enchanted realm… back to the most mysterious shadows of the Dark Forest.
The White Witch formed a more perfect tomb for him. It was a glass box used for protection from the harms of nature. His body unconscious, she knew his soul to still be living yet unwell. “No one can know of these things,” she thought.” She gazed upon his handsome body. “His soul can wake him,” she reminded herself. She thought, “Until then, you are mine.”
Days and days passed. The White Witch stayed mostly with Prince Herald. He did not wake. She could sense and hear his soul’s recurrent dreams, albeit. Years went by – his dreams stayed the same. Prince Herald constantly relived a work schedule he once had, while he and his men moved heavy rocks to and for the sake of the castle.
The White Witch paid attention to him and sang him a pretty song every night upon the falling of the sun. She sang:
“You work a day; you are off a day. You work a day; you are off a day.
You work, work, work and then you are off.
You work, work, work and then you are off.
You work a day; you are off a day. You work a day; you are off a day.
You work, work, work and then you are off.
You work, work, work and then you are off.”
She sang to him in tears every night, and they lived happily ever after.