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                                           Ben Blumenberg
                                           Reality Software
                                           P.O. Box 105
                                           Waldoboro, Me 04572
                                           June 26, 1992
   Once upon a time in a small and peaceful land, there was a

princess. She was small and slim with gorgeous, auburn hair that fell almost to her ankles in long, straight waves. Her eyes were bright blue, her lips ruby red and her name was Melissa.

   Melissa lived her days in a single small room which during

the day was lit by the light from two windows, one that faced north and one that faced south. Her room was built of large stones, each perfectly shaped to fit against one another snugly and without mortar. The room, however, was not cold for it was hung with the richest of tapestries emboldened with the brightest of reds, blues and golds. Upon these tapestries were scenes of lords and ladies, knights and princesses, peace and war, feasting and life. Her room contained a wide, shallow fireplace in which she did her cooking and before which she sat to do her embroidery in winter. Her bed was a single slab of oak that rested upon four perfectly spherical, granite stones, one at each corner. Upon the bed were folded several, scarlet, woolen blankets. An intricately, carved writing desk, clothes trunk, many large and small tallow candles and two pine torches completed the inventory of the objects in Melissa's room.

   It was appeared that Melissa was imprisoned.  Her room was

situated on the top of a small stone tower that lay at the edge of an enormous wheat field. This farm was tended cooperatively by the peasants of the small village whose thatched roofed huts could barely be discerned if one stared towards the enormous fir trees of the Northern Forest. With a wicker basket on the end of a rope, Melissa was able to receive those necessities of life, such as food and books, that she obtained from the villagers.

   Melissa's tower was guarded by a dragon.  He was rather

small, perhaps twenty feet long, and covered with huge, diamond shaped, emerald green scales. He had a long forked tail that ended, as did his tongue, in a pitch black tip. His eyes were ruby red of a shade identical to Melissa's lips and he could, when annoyed, belch impressive quantities of green-grey smoke and yellow-orange smoke. The last feature of note possessed by this dragon was his pure white ears which were small and triangular with long, stiff strands of hair. This dragon might be found coiled around the base of the tower at any hour of the day or night when not out hunting the small rodents and rabbits that made up the bulk of his diet.

   One brilliant blue, early spring day, a knight appeared on

the road that led from the Northern Forest to the stone tower. He was young, fair, blond and blue eyed. HIs armor glistened and shone in the sunlight and bore not the slightest scratch nor a single, minute spot of rust. His sword was likewise of such shining perfection. His horse was a snow white stallion and his saddle and bridle were made of the finest leather and rarest of wood. This knight had arrived during one of those hours when the dragon was away feeding. His arrival was no accident but the result of many days spent spying upon the tower from the safety of the Northern Forest.

   He stopped at the base of the tower, squinted up at the

north window and coughed loudly. When this elicited no response, he coughed twice again. Again, no response. Had his approach gone unobserved?

   "Er.....ah..... Princess, I'm here."
   The window flew open and Melissa's beautiful face looked

down with an expression of extreme irritation. Her magnificent auburn mane fell about her shoulders and down over the lower lip of the window.

   "What ever do you want?" She scowled.
   "I've, I've come to rescue you, fair princess

from your imprisonment and the fearful dragon who holds you here against your will."

   "Well, I don't want to be rescued, thank you!"  The

princess' tone carried even more ice than before.

   "You don't?"  The young knight was incredulous!
   'No, I don't!  I'm getting along just fine.  Please go


   "But, but... You live all alone in this tower and you never

come out. And the dragon…"

   "I do not wish to be rescued and that is that, fair knight,

Thank you for your trouble and concern. Good day!"

   The princess withdrew her face and slammed the window shut.

The knight was thunderstruck! She did not want to be rescued! He could not believe it!

   The knight remained immobile atop his white stallion at the

base of the tower throughout the remainder of the day. Luckily, it was a cool day and he didn't sweat too much under all that armor. He was hoping for the dragon's return and a battle with the fearsome monster in which he was victorious. Surely the beautiful princess did wish to be rescued, but was afraid to say so, perhaps intimidated by the dragon.

   The dragon for his part now occuppied the hiding place at

the edge of the Northern Forest so recently vacated by the fair young knight. He cowered in fear as he spied upon the knight's self imposed vigil at the the tower.

   "Oh, if only that frightening, terrible man would go away",

thought the dragon. "Just look at his gleaming armor and his sword, sharp beyond measure I'll bet. Oh dear, oh me, whatever shall I do?"

   The dragon hid his eyes under his front paws and shivered in

abject terror. His tail twitched, his magnificent white ears drooped and a few silent tears flowed down his cheeks.

   The knight kept his silent, stoic vigil until sunset.

Melissa remained inside her room doing embroidery and did not appear at the window to entreat her self appointed rescuer to go away. As the last fragments of the sun's orb sank beneath the horizon, the knight gave up his quest and slowly cantered off towards the south.

   The dragon appeared for dinner at eight with Melissa as

usual. She soothed his fears, stroked his tufted ears and fed him sweatmeats until midnight. 

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