This is a fairy tale. The title probably gave that away. What starts in the standard fashion however, takes some unusual twists and ends in a most untypical way. This was done as an animated video; it is presented here in a condensed print version.



    ONCE UPON A TIME By Deborah Tompkins


    by Deborah Tompkins





    Once upon a time, long, long, long, ago and very far away. There lived a very brave knight. The knight and his charger.







    Sir Rennity of Mind rode around rescuing damsels in distress and killing dragons. He always did these things with great fanfare.
    A dragon storming a castle.







    Dragons were a large problem back then always burning everything down with their fiery breath. This is why castles were made of stone, so they would be fireproof.
    A bay charger..







    The knight’s charger was very important to him. Sir Rennity rode a great blood bay charger; the horses were called chargers because suits of armor had no pockets, so knights had to charge everything including rental of the horse.
    The knight and his charger.







    Sir Rennity’s horse was named “Master of Fortune”, but he just called him “Master” for short. He often talked to his horse; actually he had no one else to talk to. One of his favorite phrases was Master, charge!
    The knight and his charger.







    One day while riding along in a far land, Sir Rennity heard screaming and roaring coming from the wooded area ahead. Urging his powerful steed into a gallop and shouting, “Master charge!” he rushed into the woods.
    Charging into the woods.







    Darting between trees following the sounds he burst suddenly out of the forest. A devouring fire.







    A mile square area of grass ringed by trees, and showing the devastation of a battle still in progress, came into view. A devouring fire in places licking hungrily at the closer trees enveloped much of the grass.
    The knight and his charger find the source.







    In the center of the clearing was a great dragon, seven leagues high with shiny purple scales and razor sharp yellow spines all down his back. The lashing of his mighty tail was felling trees and leveling the countryside with each deadly sweep.
    The dragon.







    The focus of the frightful beast’s attention was an old hag astride a miserable example of a donkey. They did not seem to be able to get away, yet they hadn’t been burned to a crisp either, most strange.
    A hag and donkey at the mercy of the dragon.







    Normally, Sir Rennity only rescued beautiful princesses; but he was intrigued by the ugly pair’s courage and marveled at their survival.
    The knight and his charger view the battle.









    Screaming, “Master charge!” at the top of his lungs, the brave knight burst into the clearing at a dead run.
    The knight and his charger.









    None of the combatants seemed to notice his approach. Lowering his great lance and taking careful aim on the spot experience had taught him was most effective for killing dragons, Sir Rennity and Master thundered forward. Adjusting course with the dragon’s movements they continued to gain speed.
    The knight and his charger lance the dragon.









    Just as the lance touched him, the dragon turned to see the deadly duo, but it was too late. The lethal lance had found its mark! Letting go of his lance, Sir Rennity swung his courser away. As the towering brute shuddered and collapsed, the donkey and hag were making equal time in the opposite direction.
    The knight and his charger ride over to the hag.







    Circling around to the other side of the clearing, Sir Rennity approached the ugly pair. Introducing himself with a flurry of adjectives, he then waited politely for them to do the same. They eyed him suspiciously and uttered not a sound.
    The hag stares at the knight and his charger.









    Surprised by their lack of response, he begged their indulgence that he might make inquiry as to whose lives he had just saved. What, the old hag wanted to know, made him think he had saved them.
    The knight and his charger are brated by the hag.









    This was a most strange turn of events. Usually he was showered with praise and often rich rewards for his efforts. Ever the gallant and polite gentleman, Sir Rennity apologized for having killed their dragon, and offered to get them another. The hag declined, indicating they had been about done with that one anyway.
    The knight and his charger apologize.









    Repeating his sincere regrets for having misunderstood the situation and interfered, Sir Rennity bid them a good life, and turned to go.
    The knight and his charger started to leave.









    The old hag croaked a command to wait. Long had she and her donkey been traveling the countryside in search of a true gentleman. At last they had found one. A man of honor and integrity, polite and considerate in all situations, a prince under pressure; so therefore a prince he would be.
    The hag and donkey make magic.







    With a wave of her hand and the donkey’s tail a magnificent kingdom sprang into existence around them. They were standing in the courtyard of the most splendid castle Sir Rennity had ever seen, and he and Master were royally dressed.
    The knight and his charger are changed.









    The hag and donkey had transformed also, a lovely enchantress and beautiful unicorn now stood in their place. Their common destiny she proclaimed was to rule the world together and make it wonderful.








    At this point we see an average modern day couple wake for work,

      the morning alarm is ringing.


    Whose dream was it?






    Just the credits, like anyone cares.