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enamored of him and hastened to make everything ready for the impending nuptials.

“At that time the King of the Winged Monkeys was my grandfather—on the distaff side—and the old guy loved to play practical jokes. Interestingly, whereas my parents were always very serious, I’m also rather mischievous, and I accept this atavistic trait as my grandfather’s legacy.” To prove his point he smiled roguishly and pretended he was about to drop his passenger, producing in Dorothy a flash of panic. Then, holding her securely, he continued, “Anyway, one day, just before the wedding, my grandfather was flying out with his band of Monkeys when he saw the Princess’s betrothed walking beside the river. This touchstone of wisdom and virility was dressed in a rich costume of sequined purple velvet and diaphanous pink silk—a bit meretricious and effete for my taste, I must say, and probably for my grandfather’s, too, for he whimsically decided, as was his wont, to see what kind of trouble he could cause.

“At his suggestion, the band of Monkeys connivingly flew down, seized the foppishly dressed young man, and carried him until they were over the middle of the river. Then, sarcastically asking him whether it was an elf, pixie, or fey aunt who had lent him the outfit he’d been flaunting, they dropped him into the water. Realizing it was all in fun, he laughed good-naturedly and unflappably swam to shore. But when the Princess came running out to him and found his silks and velvet ruined by the water, she was outraged by the puerile prank.

“She knew, of course, who did it, so she had all the Monkeys brought before her and, in an attempt to inculcate them with a love of virtue, she began delivering a moralizing homily. She pointed out that each Monkey’s life, both temporal and eternal, is affected by his behavior. Then, while encouraging them to sublimate their impish urges by participating in relay races, one of the younger Monkeys, hidden among the serried ranks, grimaced and groaned. Suddenly unable to stomach the sight of any of them, she callously declared that all their wings should be tied and they should be treated as they had treated her fiancé and dropped into the river. But my grandfather expostulated with her because he knew the Monkeys would drown if their wings were tied. At first, because she deemed them egregious troublemakers, the Princess was impervious to the potential suffering—and probable dissolution—of the Monkeys.

“Finally, however, perhaps because of my grandfather’s ardent remonstrations, her obdurate heart softened and she became dispassionate. She decided, while not exonerating them, to at least spare them on the condition that they should forever after be forced to obey the wishes of the owner of the Golden Cap. This Cap had been bought as a wedding present for her husband—after the Princess, with tremendous difficulty, finally succeeded in persuading the previous owner to sell it. But that turned out to be a Pyrrhic victory, so the story goes,

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