The Queen's Daugther

by Riccardo Giacomini

Once upon a time, a queen used to pray the Virgin Mary to give her the most beautiful daughter ever seen, so every day at dusk she went to the chapel and, singing a thousand litanies, she said:

Turn, Holy Virgin, your merciful eyes,
Give me a daughter as blue as the sky,
Listen to me, who pray you every day,
Just turn into wax the skin of her face,
Love her as a daughter, the dearest to you,
And give her a mind that can stand for two
Give me a little girl with a proud chin
Oh Holy Virgin, so grateful I’ll be.

Time went by, prayer after prayer, and the queen kept on giving birth to ordinary children, until one day the king started to think of a solution to her affliction. He had an idea. He searched the kingdom to find people with at least some of so many features, till he found four subjects, each of which had one of the features desired by the queen. The first one was an old woodcutter, gravely afflicted with such a serious argyria that his skin had turned as blue as the sky and his thick beard looked like beautiful foamy clouds. The second one was a woman struck by cherubism, who had a huge chin that she held high and proud. The third one was a spinner affected by the most serious form of neurofibromatosis ever seen. A huge and heavy mass of fibromas covered her face to the point that it seemed to be melting like wax. The last one was a poor peasant, affected by craniopagus parasiticus. Which means that on top of his head he had another one –including eyes nose and mouth– but whose body was reduced to a knobbly stump. – Here you are, two men and two women, fate smiles on us. Now form two couples and bear two children. – After nine months two children were born, a boy and a girl. The boy had a huge chin and blue skin, the girl had two heads disfigured by fibromas. Seeing that his project was born under a lucky star, the king thought that the Holy Virgin was helping him, indeed the girl soon proved to be affected by mental retardation due to precocious puberty, and was fertile at the age of six. Everything seemed to facilitate his plan. The two children would bear their own child before the queen’s fertile age came to an end. He made them copulate as soon as possible. On that same day, he made the queen pregnant, and, within nine months, she was ready to give birth. Therefore, at the same time two babies were born: the queen’s son and the creature of the queen’s dream, daughter of the two youngsters. The king immediately swapped the babies and gave his wife the child that was the result of his long work. She was astonished. In her arms she was holding a two-headed, bluish, misshapen being with out-sized chins. Everything matched her prayers. She was very happy, and immediately started to sing:

You turned, Holy Virgin, your merciful eyes
And gave me a daughter as blue as the sky,
You listened to me, who prayed you every day,
And turned into wax the skin of her face,
You loved her as a daughter, the dearest to you,
And gave her a mind that can work for two.
You gave me a little girl with a proud chin,
Oh Holy Virgin, so grateful I feel.

Seeing the queen so high-spirited, her devout husband was even happier than her. The good king and the pious queen lived joyfully until their holy death, when the princess inherited the kingdom and married an anencephalic albino with ossified skin and, joining their eight complementary diseases, the couple gave birth to ordinary children.

from Fiabe di malati, alienati e bizzarrie