The Culture of a Vampire: A Fairy Tale

english castleWhen Princess Margaret was a young girl, her mother taught her: “Always respect and honour other cultures. If you do this, you will be a Queen who is loved around the world.”

Margaret followed her mother’s teaching, and whenever she travelled to other lands, or received visitors at her castle, she tried new types of food, wore new styles of clothing, and learned about other traditions, values, and beliefs.

As Margaret grew older, she wanted one thing more than anything else: to marry a Prince from another land whose culture was different than her own.

When Margaret became a young woman, a Prince from a kingdom across the sea came to visit her castle. He was tall and thin with pale skin, and Margaret was mesmerized by him. She did not know that the Prince, whose name was Renaldo, was a vampire.

The Prince visited her each evening, and they talked until late into the night. Rumours spread throughout the castle that the Princess was in love.

On his third visit, Renaldo brought Margaret a bouquet of black roses.

“Thank you, Renaldo,” Margaret said. “But no one has died.”

“Where I come from,” Renaldo explained, “black roses signify a new beginning.”

“Oh,” Margaret replied. “How fascinating!”

The Queen had her doubts about Renaldo. “He seems kind of odd, and sickly looking,” she told Margaret. “Are you sure he is the right man for you?”

“As soon as I saw him, Mother, I fell in love. If he proposes to me, I want to marry him.”

“If you love him,” the Queen said, “then you have my blessing. Love is all that matters.”

The next day, Margaret’s wish came true. Renaldo asked her: “Will you marry me, Margaret?”

“Yes!” Margaret cried, and she hugged and kissed him, and ran her fingers through his long black hair.

“You make me happier than any man alive!” Renaldo said, and a drop of blood fell from his right eye, which he quickly wiped away.

“We’ll have the largest wedding ever,” Margaret said. And she began to twirl and dance about the room.

“Whatever you wish,” Renaldo said. “But I do ask that you honour one of my cultural traditions.”

“What is it?” Margaret asked eagerly.

“The wedding ceremony must be held after the sun goes down.”

“Okay,” Margaret said. “Are there any other traditions you want to observe?”

“No,” Renaldo replied. “Everything else can be according to your desire.”

Margaret planned the wedding. She invited hundreds of guests, and a month later, the ceremony was held in a church. Margaret wore a white wedding dress, and Renaldo wore a black suit with a dark red carnation.

After the ceremony, there was a feast in a great hall.

When Margaret and Renaldo sat down at the head table, they were each brought a plate of food: Roast beef, sweet potatoes, broccoli, carrots, and gravy.

“Where I come from,” Renaldo said, “the bride and groom do not eat on the night they are married. Their love for each other sustains them.”

Margaret frowned. “I don’t think I can follow that tradition. I’m starving.”

“Don’t deny yourself on my account,” Renaldo said. “It’s part of my culture, not yours.”

Margaret ate two full plates of food, and after everyone was fed, a band of musicians entered the hall. The bride and groom danced, and the wedding party went on until midnight.

When the clock struck twelve, Renaldo and Margaret said farewell to the remaining guests.

As Margaret hugged her mother goodbye, she started to cry. “I will miss you, Mother.”

“The next time I see you,” the Queen said, with tears streaming down her face, “I hope you will have a new life within you.”

After wiping away her tears, the Queen turned to Renaldo and said, “Take good care of my daughter.”

“I will make her happy forever,” Renaldo promised.

Renaldo picked up Margaret and carried her to his coach. When they were both inside, the driver closed the door, and they drove all night until they reached a port where Renaldo’s ship was docked.

Renaldo and Margaret boarded the ship, and the ship set sail.

“My dear,” Renaldo said. “Among my people, it is tradition that the bride and groom separate for one week after the wedding ceremony.”

“What? No,” Margaret said sadly. “Where I come from, the bride and groom make love on their wedding night. Sometimes even twice!”

“We will make love as soon as we arrive at my castle,” Renaldo promised.

Renaldo escorted Margaret to her room on the ship, and then he kissed her. “If you need anything, just call for the Captain.”

“Okay,” Margaret sighed.

A week later, the ship reached its destination. The ship landed at night, and Renaldo and Margaret took a coach to Renaldo’s castle. Renaldo carried his bride through the castle doors, and then up the stairs to his bedroom.

But when Renaldo opened the bedroom door, Margaret could not believe her eyes. In place of a bed, there was a coffin.

“Where are we going to sleep?” Margaret asked.

“Among my people,” Renaldo explained, “it is tradition that the bride and groom sleep in a coffin. Today is the beginning of our new life together, and by sleeping in a coffin, we are reminded of our mortality.”

“Okay,” Margaret said. “But that’s really weird.”

Margaret took off her wedding dress. Renaldo took off his suit, and they snuggled together in the coffin.

“My dear,” Renaldo whispered, “would you mind if I nibbled your neck?”

“Nibble away!” Margaret said excitedly. “Where I come from, a girl loves to get a hickey.”

Renaldo gently bit Margaret’s neck, and she cried with delight. Then he bit deeper and he struck a vein.

“Renaldo!” Margaret yelled. “That hurts!” Then she touched her neck. “Oh, my God! I’m bleeding.”

“Do not be alarmed,” Renaldo said. “Among my people, it is tradition that the bride and groom taste each other’s blood before they make love.”

“What?!” Margaret yelled. “That’s sick!”

Renaldo bit again into Margaret’s neck and sucked more of her blood.

“Stop it!” Margaret cried.

But Renaldo did not stop. He bit deeper into her neck and sucked more and more of her blood.

Margaret struck Renaldo with her fists, but his bite was so strong, she could not break free.

When Renaldo had his fill of Margaret’s blood, he said, “Now, Margaret, you must taste of my blood, and we will both become one.”

Renaldo opened his mouth, and Margaret stared at his fangs and screamed. “Are you going to kill me?”

“No,” Renaldo said. “I love you. I’m a vampire, and you will be my vampire bride.”

Renaldo bit into his wrist and said, “Now drink my blood, and we will be one.”

Margaret felt so weak from the loss of her blood, she knew she could not resist him. “I will honour your tradition,” she promised. “I will become a vampire like you.”

“Nothing would make me happier,” Renaldo said with a smile, his teeth dripping with blood.

“But first, it is a tradition with my people,” Margaret explained, “that the bride gives the groom a lock of her hair before they become one.”

“I will get a knife,” Renaldo said, and he left the room. A few minutes later, he came back with a knife. Margaret cut a lock of her long red hair and gave it to Renaldo.

“When I was a little girl,” Margaret said, “my mother taught me to honour and respect all cultural practices.”

“Your mother is a wise woman.”

“No,” Margaret sighed. “My mother was wrong.”

Then Margaret drove the knife into Renaldo’s heart.

“Your culture is evil!” she yelled. “You’re a monster, Renaldo!”

Margaret twisted the knife, drove it deeper into his chest, and the vampire fell dead on the floor. Then, all of a sudden, his body decayed and became ashes and dust.

Soon after, a servant came and carried Margaret out of the room. He laid her in a bed and bandaged the wound on her neck.

“Thank you for destroying him,” the servant said, and he explained to Margaret how Renaldo had sucked the blood of all his servants, and many had died.

When Margaret recovered from her loss of blood, she was crowned Queen of the castle. She ruled her kingdom with justice and mercy and was loved by all the people.

Image Credit: http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/visit/places/conisbrough-castle/

The Rabbit That Wasn’t Right In The Head: A Red Riding Hood Story

grey rabbitLong ago, a young girl went for a walk through a dark forest. She wore a red coat with a red hood, and because she wore it all the time, everyone called her Red Riding Hood.

As she turned a corner on the path, she came face to face with a rabbit. The rabbit looked at her; she looked at the rabbit, and the rabbit started to run.

“Don’t be afraid!” Red Riding Hood called out. “I won’t hurt you!”

She ran after the rabbit, weaving around trees and bushes, and they both jumped over a stream.

The rabbit ran as fast as he could; however, Red Riding Hood was the fastest girl alive. (The previous summer, she ran away from a wolf.) She caught up with the rabbit, reached to grab him, but he leaped into a bush—and bam! He smacked head-first into a boulder, fell on the ground, and did not move.

Red Riding Hood dropped to her knees and sighed, “Oh, my! I’m so sorry. I only wanted to be your friend.”

Picking up the rabbit in her arms, she hurried home to her Grandma. They lived in a house a mile from the forest’s edge.

When Red Riding Hood reached the house, she opened the door, and found her Grandma sitting at the kitchen table, drinking tea.

“My goodness!” Grandma said with wide eyes. “Did you kill a rabbit for dinner?”

“No,” Red Riding Hood said sadly. “I ran after him, and he hit his head.”

Then Red Riding Hood started to cry.

“Don’t worry,” Grandma reassured her. “We’ll help him get better.” She folded a blanket, placed it in a wooden box, and Red Riding Hood laid the rabbit down.

A week went by, and they nursed the rabbit back to health. Day by day, the rabbit slowly lost his fear of humans, and he and Red Riding Hood became good friends. She named him Thump. They played tag, had running races, and when they were both tired, they sat by the garden and ate carrots and celery.

Then one day Thump said, “I miss my two friends.”

Red Riding Hood took a deep breath and tried to smile. “I’ll take you back to the forest tomorrow.”

The next morning, Red Riding Hood walked with Thump to the forest. When they reached the forest’s edge, she got down on her knees and hugged her friend.

“I’ll miss you,” Red Riding Hood said sadly.

“I’ll visit you again,” Thump promised.

Red Riding Hood waved as the rabbit hopped away and disappeared into the trees.

When Thump found his friends, they were happy to see him.

“We thought you were dead!” his best friend said.

“I hit my head on a boulder,” Thump explained. “And then I was rescued by a girl, and she and her Grandma took care of me.”

“What?” his second friend said, “I don’t believe it. People are bad.”

His best friend said, “Yeah, they want to eat us.”

But Thump said, “No, that’s not true. People are good. The only reason they don’t like us is we run away from them. That makes them feel rejected.”

Thump’s best friend said, “That’s crazy talk! People love killing animals. They think it’s a good thing.”

No matter what Thump said, he couldn’t convince his friends that people were good, so he said, “I’m going to prove it to you.”

The next day, Thump and his friends hid in a bush beside the forest path until a boy walked by. Thump jumped out of the bush and said, “Hello.”

And the boy said, “Hello there.”

“Would you like to pet me?” Thump asked.

“Okay,” the boy replied. And Thump sat still while the boy petted him on the head.

After the boy was gone, Thump said to his friends, “I told you! People are good if you are good to them.”

But his best friend said, “That was just a child. Big people are bad.”

So Thump said, “Alright. Let’s wait for a big person.”

The rabbits hid in the bush again, and waited until a young woman walked by.

Thump jumped out of the bush and said, “Hello.”

And the woman said, “Hello to you,” and smiled at him.

Thump smiled back and asked, “Can I have a carrot?”

The woman reached in her bag and gave him a carrot. Then she said, “Have a nice day.” And she walked away.

After the woman was gone, Thump said to his friends, “Do you believe me now? People are good.”

But his second friend said, “Okay. Maybe women are good. But not men.”

His best friend agreed: “Yes; men are evil.”

Thump sighed and said, “You don’t know people like I do. Let’s wait for a man.”

Thump’s friends didn’t want to, but they agreed to hide in the bush one more time.

The rabbits waited until an old man walked by. Then Thump jumped up out of the bush and said, “Hello.”

“Hello, rabbit,” the old man replied.

“My friends are afraid of you,” Thump said. “But I’m not.”

The old man, who was a hunter, held a rifle in his hand, but he had forgotten to load it. “Don’t run away, rabbit. Just sit still.”

“Why would I run?” Thump said with a smile. “If I’m nice to you, you’ll be nice to me. I believe animals and people should be friends, not enemies.”

“That’s beautiful,” the hunter replied. “I couldn’t agree more.” He hadn’t eaten all day, and his hands trembled, which made it difficult for him to load his rifle. He dropped one of his bullets on the ground.

Thump said, “I love people, and I love you!”

The hunter finished loading his rifle. “And I love rabbits!” He raised his rifle, took aim, and shot Thump in the head.

The two rabbits in the bush were horrified. Their friend was dead, but they didn’t have time to cry. They both ran for their lives.

The hunter took aim at the running rabbits, fired several shots, but he missed, and the rabbits escaped.

“Oh well,” the hunter sighed. “At least I got one.” Then he rubbed his belly. “I’m starving!”

He picked up the dead rabbit, put him in his knapsack, and when he got home, he made a big pot of rabbit stew.