The new Tale is based on the Brothers Grimm fairy tale of The Three Spinsters, which due to political correctness seems to now be called The Three Spinners).
The original Brothers Grimm fairy tale is an odd one. A lazy girl is tasked with spinning three rooms full of flax (it's always three!) into yarn. If she succeeds, she marries the prince (yawn). However, she's completely clueless about spinning.
Enter the three spinsters (three again!), who each have a physical deformity caused by their prowess at spinning. They offer to spin the flax for the girl as long as they're invited to the wedding feast and as long as the girl addresses them as 'cousin'. There's even a vague warning from the 'spinsters' (i.e. people who spin) about unspecified consequences if she doesn't keep her word.
Of course once the yarn is spun, we're expecting the girl to break her promise and get suitably punished. Alas, that doesn't happen. The prince spots these ugly women during the feast, asks them about their deformities and discovers they were caused by hard work. Cue the prince telling his beautiful new bride she never has to do a stroke of work in her life again .
So the moral of the tale is: Cheats and liars prosper? Laziness gets rewarded?
Suffice to say, in my 'Lost' Tale there's more to it than a lazy girl marrying a prince and living a life of indolent luxury.
I've allocated this story to The Clerk, who originally told the story of Griselda and her superhuman patience. It has seven main characters, five of whom are female. I've also expanded the action so that only the first half of the story follows along the lines of Grimms' The Three Spinsters. I also resisted the urge to inject humour and bawdiness.
Below are the first eight lines of the prologue to The Clerk's Second Tale:
The Clerk amongst us rode upon his nag
In contemplative mood as if a gag
Were bound around his mouth; then on a whim
The sudden urge to speak took hold of him.
“Our pilgrimage is over and its aim,”
Quod he, “was not to dwell upon the blame
Apportioned to King Henry or the knight
Whose sword extinguished Tom à Becket’s light.”
Anyhow, the story's done and I'm now looking to America for an agent and/or publisher.
That's it for now!
Below are links to my most recent Global Short Story Competition winning story, my short-listed story for the National newspaper (Abu Dhabi's, annual short story competition) and a story that appeared on the Every Day Fiction site - where you can leave a comment: