Princess Primrose was spoilt,
Her tantrums were loud,
King Persimmon was at a loss.
Without his beloved wife at his side,
His daughter was winning the toss.
At fifteen she was old enough
To walk up the aisle as a bride,
So her father decided to marry her off,
To a prince from a land far away;
But fairy tale marriages must start with a quest,
Or what would the other kings say?
King Persimmon gathered his counsellors,
Wise men and magicians too.
He said, ‘You are all intelligent men,
So I’m giving the problem to you.’
The meetings were heated and incredibly long,
Fuelled with food and much drink.
All of the quests they came up with
Had already been done
And their spirits started to sink.
‘I know,’ said a wizard who’d invited himself,
He wasn’t a popular chap,
‘A unicorn’s horn is a magical thing!’
The counsellors started to clap.
A unicorn’s horn is precious
And not open to hunting or quests,
But the king and his court were anxious
And this idea was really the best.
Letters were sent to all kingdoms,
Posters were pasted on trees,
And other plans hatched
To spread the word overseas.
In an enchanted realm of giants,
His youngest son bothered the king;
He’d got in a fight with a sorceress,
When he told her that she couldn’t sing.
Instead of ranting and raving,
She decided to even the score
By casting a spell and cursing
So the prince wouldn’t grow any more;
Indeed, she reversed the procedure
And Prince Anatol started to shrink.
When news of the quest reached the giants,
The king was giving up hope,
Not only was his son dwarf-like,
He was really a bit of a dope.
Anatol was embarrassed
That his father thought badly of him,
So when he received the letter,
He saddled his pony called Jim.
Now Jim was a magical creature
Who gave Anatol’s father the hump:
He was silvery white
So he shimmered at night,
On his nose was a wart-like bump.
But Anatol really did love him
And he sighed as he climbed on his back,
Dug his spur-less feet into Jim’s flanks
And set off on the unicorn track.
After weeks of searching for unicorns,
Anatol was ready to go home,
But he found himself near a castle
With a huge astronomical dome.
Inside was a wise old woman,
Who forecasted the future and fate;
She said Anatol’s quest was over
And he could soon celebrate.
When the crone came out to bid farewell,
She became animated about Jim.
‘What a wonderful creature,’ she said,
‘How much shall I pay you for him?’
Anatol replied with fear in his heart,
‘I can’t sell him, he is my friend.’
As he jumped in the saddle and tried to depart,
They were suddenly caught in quicksand.
The witch tittered and cackled,
As she watched him struggle and fight
To save his beloved pony
That shimmered and shone so bright.
There was nothing for Anatol to cling to,
Not a twig nor branch of a tree.
But all of a sudden
The bump on Jim’s nose
And then they were free.
Jim wasn’t an ordinary pony,
He wasn’t even a horse,
Because he was something more magical;
A unicorn, of course!
Within a few minutes of glowing,
The bump grew into a horn
And Jim the shimmering pony
Became a fully-fledged unicorn.
The witch, in terror, departed,
As Jim started growing his wings;
Anatol climbed onto his back
And they flew to visit the king.
Persimmon sat in his throne room,
Wringing his hands in despair,
Princess Primrose had stayed out all night
And come home with tattoos and dyed hair.
A knock on the door was welcome,
He opened it with a grin,
To be greeted by Prince Anatol
And the unicorn known as Jim.
When Primrose and Anatol finally met
In the church on their wedding day,
Primrose was charmed by the unicorn
And everyone shouted Hooray!
© Kim M. Russell, 2016
Image found on www.livescience.com