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Party in the kingdom

In a kingdom far far away, and a long long time ago, a party was being given. To this party the king had invited everyone in the kingdom to his castle. And everyone was having a grand time. The wine was flowing, the tables were overflowing with food, and the dancing was beautiful.

Suddenly, out of thin air a gnarled old man appeared out of thin air. His hands clutched in tight fists by his body, smoke streaming from his shoulders, he walked up to the king and said, "How dare you have a party and not invite your own court wizard! For this insult I curse this castle with the dreaded Curse of the Fingers. Anyone who attempts to leave here will be rendered limb from limb by huge disembodied fingers!"

The wizard waved his bony arms about and shouted in a guttural foreign language. "There!", he said and vanished.

All at once, the people of the kingdom looked to their king. What would he do? How could he save them. The king pursed his lips and looked about him. Finally, he turned to his knights and asked for a volunteer to ride to the next kingdom and plead with their wizard to remove the curse. Of course all of the knights wished to go. The king selected the knight with the greatest seniority and sent him on his way.

The knight gathered up all his weapons, put on his best suit of armour and headed out. As soon as his foot stepped off of the drawbridge, gigantic yellow fingers appeared from nowhere and ripped him limb from limb.

One after another, each knight attempted to ride out of the castle, each one in turn was ripped to shreds. Finally, no knights were left.

The king looked about him. "Is there anyone else who would brave this curse and rescue us from this horrible curse?", he said.

"I will, sir!", said a small boy who had been serving one of the knights before he died.

The small boy packed up his belongings and provisions for the journey. Since he was a poor serving boy, and had no horse, he knew he would have to walk. But he was determined to succeed. As soon as he crossed the drawbridge, the yellow fingers appeared and tried to rip him apart. They couldn't! Each time the tried to grab him, the boy wriggled free and continued on his journey!

Several days later, the boy was back at the castle with the neighbouring kingdom's wizard. The king was overjoyed to have the curse lifted and he called the boy to him.

"How did you escape from those monstrous fingers? All my knights couldn't get past them and they were killed. How could you do it?"

The boy looked up at the king and replied, "Your majesty, it occurred to me as the last knight was being killed that the only way to escape this curse was to LET YOUR PAIGES DO THE WALKING THROUGH THE YELLOW FINGERS."

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