Wednesday, February 20, 2013

3WW Submission: Once Upon A Time There Was a Girl

Once Upon A Time There Was A Girl

A long time ago, there lived a miller with his daughter, a maiden.
She was quite lovely, but they were alone and this
Worried the miller. After much pondering he decided
That she should marry. But how to pick her groom?
He must be of means, not a beggar or a pauper or a robber,
But a gentleman, the first to come along…that seems valid.

So, he’s worried, but thinks that the first man in finery is a valid
Choice. Makes you wonder who will come to claim this maiden?
Soon she was promised to a suitor who sought to rob-her
Of her heart, but she did not like him. The reason was this
Whenever she saw him, she felt a secret horror. He was bad, her groom.
However, there was nothing she could do, it had been decided.
It would have been nice if her dad had asked her before he decided
To marry her off to a stranger or at least checked to see that the offer was valid.
Now she had to go to the center of the dark woods to visit her groom.
She scattered peas and lentils to mark her way, and walked all day, this maiden.
She reached a cottage with a bird at the door. “Turn back! This
Is a murder’s house,” the bird warned.  Her fiancĂ© was a killer and robber.

He also ate people, and wanted to eat her, according to the old housekeeper of the robber.
The maiden found the old woman deep inside of the cottage. She was tired of the carnage. They decided
To flee. A plan was made. Our heroine hid behind a great hogshead and this
Was when she would discover if her trust in the old woman was valid.
Because right then the murders returned carrying a terrified young maiden
Who begged for her life. She drank wine until her heart burst, forced by the groom.

 The evil crew fought over her possessions, a ringed finger was flung next to the groom’s
Intended.  Quietly she fought the urge to heave up her lunch. She really hated this robber.
The old woman drugged them and soon the men slept. The girl vowed justice for the dead maiden.
The peas and lentils had sprouted and led the girl home and soon she had decided
How to fulfill her promise. She showed her father the proof. He agreed that it was quite valid.
Soon was her wedding day and at the feast what happened was this…

 The entire village was there, and each person told a tale of that or this.
She was quiet until her turn and then this story she told her Robber Bridegroom.
She said that she dreamt about peas and birds, old and young women, cannibals and valid
Proof of a terrible crime. She then showed a ringed finger to the robber.
He tried to escape. He lied and denied. He and his cohorts were guilty it was decided.
They were all executed for what they had done to many a young maiden.
And, here is the end of this story, a tale of a nasty bad robber,
A hastily accepted groom and a girl not asked before it was decided.
I think there’s a valid moral here: never fuck with a clever young maiden.

written 2/20/13 for and submitted to Three Word Wednesday

The words for this week's Three Word Wednesday. The words for this week were Heave, Ponder, and Valid. I have been wanting to write a sestina lately (it has been over 20 years) and I thought a word prompt would be a good place to start. My original intention was to use the three words as three of my sestina words, but that didn't work out. I have also read some poetry posts on some of your blogs that have used fairy tales in interesting ways, and I really wanted to do something with a fairy tale. So, as you can see, I sestina-ed The Robber Bridegroom. I apologize or the weird spacing, but I typed it in Word first and the cut and pasted and now it's wonky. It also automatically capitalized the first letter of each line and now I can't remember if that's what you're supposed to do...seriously, the last time I wrote one of these it was 20 years ago... and now Copacabana is playing in my head.


  1. Replies
    1. Thanks Sheilagh! Welcome to the lasagna! Hope to see you again.

  2. Yes, transferring work to Blogger is a pain sometimes. For all the fun I was itching to do a bit of editing. No doubt you will play with it a bit more as you read it over...but don't upset the Miller's daughter!

    1. Thanks, and I don't mind critiques. I am rusty, although if it's too much, maybe an me a chance to blame it on my 3 yr old distracting me in private. I have already done some tweaking, but not enough to make the miller's daughter angry.

  3. Yeah for you, tackling a sestina like you have... and it turned out well!

    1. Thanks Laurie. I love sestinas, but did take a couple of liberties here. I think I may try again later.

  4. Indeed..clever maidens should never be fucked with ;)

    1. Hi Jae, nice to see you here again. Thanks for the visit and here's to all clever maidens.

  5. I didn't realize I was reading a sestina, and wondered why the word "valid" kept reappearing. It's a really difficult form to work in, and I find myself lacking the patience.

    Telling a coherent story in sestina form is quite an accomplishment, and it had a fairy-tale feel to it, as well.


    1. Hi Jazzbumpa! Thank you for reading and for the awesome comment. I'm glad that I was able to nail the fairy-tale vibe and tell the story. Also, if "valid" was the only word that you noticed, then I'm super stoked (and apparently regressing to my 15 year old self.) By the end, I did not want to see the word "decided" ever again.

  6. I've been out of the loop for a few weeks, but I'm glad I stopped in--this was a fun read! Sestina is a tough form, definitely good to stretch the abilities.

    I've had the same problem in the past with pasting stuff onto Blogger. I'm not very tech savvy (in fact, I think computer technology is the Devil!) so I usually end up just cursing and deleting it. Anyway, nicely done.

    1. Hi Nico! Thanks for stopping by and commenting. I'm glad you liked it. And, you are correct, computer technology is the Devil!

  7. Enjoyed your prose, Heidi. Wonderful fairy tale. I will be back
    to read more

    1. Good morning Paige! Thank you for visiting and commenting. I would love to have you back here, and look forward to visiting your blog again too. Also, thank you for the follow (I'm now in the double digits and it's going straight to my head!)


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