Once upon a time a King and Queen went sailing together to an ancient sea. They sailed through enchanted mists, were tossed about by tempests and left becalmed to drift past high mountain ranges in the company of dolphins. On their travels they visited castles and palaces, galleries and venerated places of worship. Finally they arrived in a far off land, where they were joined by three beautiful Princesses, their daughters.
One day the Queen took the three Princesses to a bar to drink beer and play with the wifi. This is one of the things queens and princesses often do that is seldom spoken of in stories. In the meantime the King stayed on his yacht swabbing down his deck and buffing up his bright work. This is one of the things Kings often do that is seldom spoken of in stories. Finally when all was clean and bright the King set off to join his family.
Now the eldest Princess had some magical shoes. They were simple brown clogs, made of soft plastic and pierced with holes. These shoes had brought the Princess safely through many adventures in exotic places, but on this occasion she had set off to the bar without them. She had left the shoes side by side on the deck near the edge. As the King swung down from the boat onto the wooden pontoon he heard a splash and turned to see just a single brown shoe poised on the deck behind him. He looked down into the water, but of the other shoe there was no trace. The King wondered if perhaps the Princess had only left one shoe on the deck, after all princesses are famously careless with slippers. He set off for the bar, but had not gone far when a strong sense of foreboding made him turn back and look again. Surely such a magical shoe would float. Up and down the dock he ranged, but of the missing shoe there was no sign. Narked, he tossed the remaining slipper deep into the cockpit for safekeeping.
Meanwhile the Queen and Princesses were having a fine time at the bar and were contemplating ordering another round. Then along came the King, looking dejected and careworn. Sadly he related the woeful tale of the lost shoe. They sat him down and ordered him a cold beer.
Now at this point in stories a handsome prince usually appears to save the day and it does so happen that the Eldest Princess had a Handsome Prince of her own. Sadly he was many miles away, having stayed behind to look after his chickens. This is one of the things handsome princes do that is never spoken of in stories. So, laughing as they went, the three Princesses set off together to sort it out for themselves. As they approached the Royal Yacht they looked down at the water and beheld a brown shoe bobbing towards them on the surface. Nimbly one Princess leapt aboard and handed the boathook to her older sister, who scooped her own shoe from the drink, while the third Princess took photos on her phone. Then came a bad moment when they realized there was no sign of a shoe on the deck, but, knowing the King well, they looked in the cockpit and reunited the pair. Happily the Princesses skipped back to the bar with their glad tidings and all marveled at the mysterious disappearing quality of magic shoes. The End.
And they all lived happily ever after 😀