May 25, 2008
By Amelia Hall, Natchitoches, LA

It was a cold, bristling day, and the sun was beaming happily down upon the young women from the Reliance School For Girls. However, several of the young ladies did not share in the sun’s delight. Their teacher had decided this was an excellent day for hart-hunting, a task none relished.

“Why do you force us to learn these gender inappropriate, labor-intensive tasks?” Kristine complained.

“Your parents have sent you here to become pro-active, self-sufficient young women,” the teacher snapped, “so you should quit complaining, and be grateful.”

“What’s the point Lady Talia?” Kristine huffed. “I’ll just marry one day, and my husband can do all this for me.”

“That’s what I thought would happen to me.” Lady Talia said, striding into the school parlor, as the girls followed behind her. “Did I ever tell you girls why I established this school?” There was a general murmur of no’s. “Well, I’m going to tell you all now.” Talia leaned back in her chair, and gazed thoughtfully into the fire, as her mind was transported back to the days of her youth…

Once upon a time there was a young girl named Talia, not exceedingly fair but pretty enow. She had a calm complexion, and a meetly brain in her noddle.

Her father was a rough priser, and a buzzard of a man, often liberal with his corporal agents to his daughter. Despite all this, he could never do anything wrong in Talia’s eyne, and she always obeyed his orders fain.

The father attempted to improve their estate through gambling, hoping to get rich. However, the man foolishly tried to cozen their elderly neighbor out of ten ducats. Seeing that he was a half a soul, the parlous paddock immediately decided to make boot of the situation, and demanded Talia as payment. The father, thrall’d, gladly gave up Talia, (much to her stomach) and made his scape.

Talia betimes realized what a berison her father had done her, as the elderly woman turned out to be a witch. Though mewed up in a small tower, Talia’s life was much better with the witch than it ever was with her father, and she was seated in the mean with foison to eat. Talia’s sooth intelligence and artistic genius emerged with nourishment from witch, whom she trusted home.

However, as Talia grew older, she became tired of her meager closet, with its scanted view of the world. She took to cloudily sitting in the coingns of her room whenever the witch entered, and began having broad words with her. Sadly, the witch realized she could no longer protect the young woman from the outside. The witch abandoned Talia, knowing it was the only way to raise the waters of change.

Word soon spread throughout the land of a beautiful maiden imprisoned in a tower, sparking the usance of many a royal younker.

The first young man to reach her tower called, “Oh lovely lady, my name is Lance, and I may be poor, but I am rich in love for you!” With horror, Talia realized the boy was her first coz. “Do you take me for a patch, sir? Proper though you may be, we are related. I will not marry you-be gone.” Attempting to outface it, Lance protested, “No, I promise you, we are unlineal--” but he was too late.

Three days later, Talia was awakened late at night by a loud wheezing sound. Startled, she saw a portly fellow standing on her rug.

“Princess, I have risked leth to rescue you, and am here to seek my meet. Come, give me my reward, and we shall--”
The corpulent gentleman swounded. Talia watched, deadened, as the younker died on her carpet. Full of led at the fate of her rescuer, she dragged the body over to the window, and solemnly pushed it out. However, she kept his climbing rope for posterity.

A week passed, and a third younker came, unrough and lank’d. The golden round on his head glinted in the morning light. “Oh, traveling lamp of the skies, my posts speak you fair. Come, let God i’ld us, as we—oh, my!”

“Yes? Yes?” Talia cried earnestly. “What shall we do?” She then noticed the prince kneeling over the pond, entranced by his own reflection, which he then attempted to kiss. The prince fell in the lake, a pleasant expression on his face. Talia withdrew from her window, disgusted at the incompetence of her three suitors thus far. “This can not be my future,” she muttered to herself. “I must escape—but how?” Talia then remembered the rope she had taken from her second visitor. She used it to quickly scale down the tower wall, and jumped on the prince’s jade. Talia rode off into the sunset, anticipating her glorious future.

So remember this lesson, young ladies.
Vital to you as your health.
Never wait for a man to do
What you can do for yourself.

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