"Well..... I do have a story my mother would tell me when I was little," Mali said, all the while staring at the ground.
There once was a Prince who had everything in the kingdom at his disposal. He could have anything in the world if he so wished it. The Prince, however, grew bored with the luxuries of royalty. Growing weary, the Prince ventured off into the Unknown Woods. Stories were told of magic and mayhem that occurred in the Unknown Woods, but the Prince was unafraid. He reveled the challenge. The uncertainty, the ambiguous nature thrilled him. Sword in hand he was off, his armor shone in the night, illuminated by the moon.
While carving a path he saw a flicker of purple light, like a stream of ribbon flying through the air. The ribbon stopped to reveal a woman, no bigger than a bird with beautiful purple patterned wings, as if sown by the gods themselves. The Prince was enamored, his heart filling with emotions he had never felt before. He needed her more than anything in the world. She turned to him and smiled, and at that moment the Prince thought his heart would explode. He tried his best to woo her, offering her anything her heart desired. Jewels, gold, land, a house, everything she could ever want. She flew to his ear and whispered a simple statement; "it can never be." He pleaded with her to reconsider, his love for her was true. His heart slowly breaking as she shook her head. The butterfly woman gave a thoughtful look, flew back and whispered "if only you could fly," then off she went, deeper into the woods, leaving a streaming trail of purple behind her.
The Prince was crushed. After picking himself up and brushing the mud off his armor, he returned home. For days he sequestered himself, living on bits of stale bred left over from a feast held prior to his adventure. After a week passed, the door to his chamber burst open and the Prince stood smiling vibrantly, as if his whole body were electric with ideas.
The Prince decided that, though he was not born with wings, he will have some made for him. He called all the finest smiths from all over the land, assembling the finest group of workers the world had ever seen. It took several months, but the Prince did not care. His love only grew fonder each day. The workers called on the prince to view their creation. It was a large contraption, an achievement of metal work, leather and feathers. The Prince, in his enthusiasm to use it, strapped it on before the smiths could give him instructions on using it. His hastiness caused the machine to thrust him upward, into the roof of the building. Unfortunately it was made of many costly materials that were irreplaceable at the time, and so the Prince was again flightless. Infuriated, he stomped his way back to his bedroom. A day later he burst through his doors again with another idea.
The prince summoned magic makers from across the land. Every wizard and high priest assembled with only one task; to create the prince wings. Each took their turn communing with spirits, dragging in cauldrons, chanting along with all sorts of magical mayhem, but nothing worked correctly. The Prince was launched into the air, beaten and abused by magic until he had no more. The prince started to retreat to his quarters when he felt a tug at his robe. He turned around to find a little boy that appeared to be an apprentice of sorts. The little one had a meek look on his face and tried his best to relieve himself of his thoughts. He told the Prince the Bird God may be able to help him. The prince patted the boy on the head and rewarded him handsomely. A brilliant idea from such a little mind, The Prince though to himself. If anyone could help him, the Bird God could.
The Bird God was fund at the very end of the World Forest. Most lose themselves forever going through the World Forest, but not the Prince. He was so motivated his determination cut a straight path to the nest of the Bird God, where all birds originate. There, the Prince asked the Bird God to grant him wings. The Bird God replied very briskly "Man is not meant to fly." The Prince thought for a moment and responded. "Then turn me into a bird so that I may fly." The Bird God contemplated for a moment and spoke. " Very well, but know this; birds and butterflies can never be." Ignoring the Old One's warning, the Prince flew to the Unknown Woods as fast as he could, beating his wings at such a rapid pace, that now all hummingbirds fly like he did. When he reached the woods, he saw his love who, by now, was a full fledged butterfly. Before he could speak or even think, he ate her. Horrified at what he had done, the Prince flew off and fashioned his beak so he would never be able to eat anything but nectar. Soon others joined him and he lived out the rest of his days enjoying sweet nectar in their company.
When she was done, she sat down, bundling herself as if she wanted to squeeze herself into nothing. "Perplexed are ya Joe? You do know not all kids stories have happy endings, right? Sometimes they're cautionary tales to scare the bloody piss out of children. Sometimes they are just right proper fucked out of the minds of the bullocksed and blasphemed. Look a' little red riding pants. The original French version had the little hen get starkers, toss her clothes on the fire, then have her crawl into bed with the big bad wolf. Tell me that's not a slight fuck off the ole cunt. By our lil bird's story, I imagine she comes from the jati, or at least her parents do. Jati.....eh.....ever heard of a caste system? Pretty prominant in India,but it's found elsewhere too. What easier way to teach the littluns about who to wed and why than a wee story. Has a happy enough ending n' hammers away that you only can be with who you're supposed t' be with. Been to India a couple times meself, they say the caste system's gone, but that's a bloody lie. India's not a bad place, but America it isn't." As if a signal, Gordon opened his jacket to reveal a very patriotic American Flag shirt with matching belt buckle.
"God bless this fuckin country."