Wednesday, December 24, 2014

A Manly Fairy Tale

Once upon a time there lived a long golden beard, which belonged to a young man named Robin. Robin was not his real name. This name was given to him by a very crooked man, who had kidnapped him twenty years ago, when he was just a little toddler. Robin, whose name was not actually, Robin, was born to the King and his Queen. He was a special child. He was born with a little golden goatee on his chin. On his birth, the King had announced about the arrival of the new Prince with his words, A Real Man is born, countrymen”. 

The news about the arrival of the special child-Prince with the golden goatee was soon viral and reached each and every corner of the Kingdom. Crowd gathered from all around the Kingdom and the nearby states, to the Grand Luncheon which the King had thrown and to also get the first glimpse of the newly arrived Prince. The stage was set and people waited in the arena for the King to reveal the Prince’s face. 

The baby boy was brought in a diamond studded basket. The King bent down and picked up the child, wrapped in a blanket, in his arms and removed the cloth off the child’s face for everybody to see. As soon as he did that, the golden goatee slipped off his face. A minister who stood nearby peeked and said, “Sir, I doubt he is Real.” 

The King looked closely and screamed out loud, “It’s a mannequin! The Prince has been stolen, The Prince has been stolen!”  And then there was chaos all around the Kingdom and people rushed haphazardly all over the place. Soon, the search began and the army was ordered to look into each and every corner and to find out the culprit.

But, the very crooked man was too smart. He was already gone too far with the child. He went miles away, into a forbidden Forest, where he lived in a tall abandoned tower, covered with green mosses and shrubs. The top floor was where the very crooked man lived; it had one big room with a window on one of the walls. The shrubs and weed had grown so much on the tower that it looked like a tree from outside, confusing the army men who rode across, without noticing it.  

The very crooked man took care of the Prince and his little golden goatee. The Prince began to grow into a handsome boy and his golden goatee was growing into a thick, long beard. It grew at a very progressive rate every day. And soon, it was so big that it almost reached the bottom of the tower. The Very crooked man explained to him some ground rules. He said, “Listen Robin”, that’s what he always called him, “no matter what, you never leave this house. The world outside is a very bad place to go. So, whatever you need, you tell me. Understand?” And Robin, whose name was not actually Robin, nodded in agreement. 

The only stairs that led to move in and out of the tower was blocked by the very crooked man so that his captive could never leave the place or nobody could ever enter the tower. Now, every time the very crooked man had to leave the tower, he would just use Robin’s long golden beard to climb down from the window. And, when he returned, he would call out, “Robin, Robin, let down your beard, so that I may climb the golden stair.” 

Often his beard would get stuck in the shrubs on the tower walls, but still this continued for years. Robin, whose name was not actually Robin, remained captivated inside those four walls. He was growing up, though, not as fast as his beard. He spent his days cooking, cleaning the house, chatting with his pet parrot, Mr Millers and drinking beer, which the very crooked man brought for him every day. Whatever little education he received or news he learnt was brought to him by Mr Millers.

One morning, the very crooked man woke him up and wished him, “Happy Birthday, my boy, you have turned twenty today. Tell me what do you want today?” 

Can I go outside?” Robin asked. 

“No”, the very crooked man shouted, “I‘ll repeat it one more time, you will not leave this place, ever.”

“But, Mr Millers says the world outside is beautiful.” Robin pleaded. 

 “Ah! That stupid bird of yours misguides you.” The very crooked man said and threw a pebble at the window to ward off the bird. 

“I’ll bring more beer for you. You don’t have to cook or clean the house today. Sit back and relax for a day”, the very crooked man said.  

“Sounds good”, Robin replied and then helped the very crooked man climb down the tower. 

Mr Millers flew back after a while to the window and said “Phew! Is the brute gone? Thank God. And, Happy Birthday, brother, let’s celebrate. Is there any beer left?” 

Robin passed him the beer. Mr Millers continued, taking a sip, “By the way, you remember, the King and Queen I told you about? Well, today is their lost son’s birthday too. What a coincidence, isn’t it? They decorate the whole Kingdom with lights and colors. You must see, someday.”

“I don’t think I’ll ever be able to”, Robin said in a sad mood and dropped on his bed. 

“Oh! Lighten up, come on. Here, take a sip”, Mr Millers passed back the drink and said "But, you should have gone out today, it's your day."

"He said we can relax all day and he'll get more beer in the evening", Robin explained. 
"Sound good", Mr Millers replied.  

And then suddenly, they heard a voice of someone screaming, “Help! I am lost. Is anybody there?”

It was the sweetest voice Robin, whose name was not actually Robin, had ever listened to.  Mr Millers looked out. It was a girl. 

“Dude, it’s a girl. Remember I told you about women? Well, there’s one right outside. You must check” Mr Millers said excitedly. 

Robin jumped off his bed to see. He looked outside the window. She was beautiful. Robin had never seen anything like that and she was far better than what he could visualize out of Mr Millers’ description of women. He said, “Hi! I am Robin. How can I help?"
  “I am Rapunzel and I am lost. I don’t know the way out of this Forest. Can you help me?” the girl explained.  “I can’t help you. I do not know the way either. I have never been out of this place,” Robin replied.

“Are you kidding me? You just don’t want to help me,” She cried. 

“No, actually I’m not – “, Robin stopped as he saw an approaching Wild Fox behind her. Without waiting a second, he dropped his beard down the window and asked her to climb up. She was astonished to see such a long beard and in amazement her mouth remained open. Mr Millers squeaked, “There is a Wild Fox behind you, just climb up, Lady.” She screamed and ran towards the tower to climb up. 

Robin pulled her in through the window. Still breathing heavily, she said, “Thank you so much”, she paused take a sigh of relief and continued, “And, that is the longest beard I have ever seen”, still amazed. 

“And, you are the first woman I have ever seen”, Robin said. 

A tear of happiness rolled down Mr Millers’ eye, “I need more beer”, he said. 

 "This is my friend, Mr Millers", Robin introduced.
 "Hi, well, technically I am his tenet. He lets me reside in the West End of his Beard."Mr Millers' added. 

“Hello Mr Millers, I have some wine, if you want”, Rapunzel took out a bottle of wine from her bag and explained, “my father is a wine merchant and I was just helping him sell some, when some thugs tried to loot me and I had to run, and now I am here, lost in this Forest. Please help me out?”

  “Marry her, Robin”, Mr Millers couldn’t control his happiness. 

“Shut up, Mr Millers and help her find a way”, Robin said. 

“Why can’t you go out?” Rapunzel questioned. 

“It’s a long story but I’ll tell you”, Robin said and narrated to her, his story.

“Why don’t you come along, Robin. Let’s go. This is your chance. It’s your birthday.” Mr Millers suggested. 

“Oh! Happy Birthday, Robin, I think Mr Millers is right, you should go out”, Rapunzel agreed. 

“Well, okay, but I must return before 12 o'clock”, Robin said. 

“Oh! come on. What are you? Cinderella?”, Mr Millers teased

Then, Robin helped her and himself to climb down the tower with the help of his long golden beard. With the help of Mr Millers, they found a way out of the Forest and reached the beautifully decorated town. He was amazed to see so many people, walking freely, talking and shopping at the bazaar.

People started to notice the unusual length of the beard on his face. More and more people gathered around him to witness the magical, golden beard. He became the talk of the town within hours. And, in all the humdrum, Robin, whose name was not actually Robin, didn’t realize how much time had gone by. 

The very crooked man reached the tower and shouted in his usual voice, “Robin, Robin, let down your beard, so that I may climb the golden stair.”

He got no response. He tried again and again. He knew that Robin has escaped. He ran back to the town.

But, by the time he could reach the town, the news of the long bearded man had already reached the King and his Queen and they arrived to meet the new Star in town. The King asked him to tell him his story and just when he was about to begin, the very crooked man arrived and stopped him, he looked at him with angry red eyes and said, “I told you not to leave my house”, he then turned to the crowd and spoke, “He is my son, Robin and I am here to take him with me.”

“I won’t return”,
Robin, whose name was not actually Robin, said confidently. 

“How dare you say that?” The very crooked man said angrily and took out his dagger, “I am going to kill that bird for brainwashing you” he said and made a move to kill Mr Millers. 

Robin swiftly came in the way to save Mr Millers. The very crooked man slashed the dagger across Robin, cutting his beard down his chin. All the hair fell down and turned dead brown. After losing his beard almost, his face gave a strange resemblance to that of the King’s. Everybody’s attention turned towards him. 

The King immediately summoned the barbers to shave his beard completely. And, after the shave, there was no more doubt left.  It was very evident that he was the King’s lost son. He looked groomed, as handsome as the King and as elegant as Queen. It did not take a second to recognize him. 

Everybody covered their mouths in shock. 

“He is not Robin”, the Queen realized

“He is not Robin”, the King confirmed.

“He is not Robin”, the crowd yelled in unison. 

Robin, whose name was not actually Robin, had never imagined that getting a shave could change his life this way

“No”, the very crooked man cried and knelt down to gather all the hair that fell. He completely lost his temper and ran to kill Robin. But, the King’s men captured him this time and the King himself walked to the very crooked man, put his sword to his neck and asked, “Tell us the truth.”

Unable to speak, he still explained in broken words, “He-he is y-your son, my lord.”

“Keep talking”, he pressed the sword into his neck. 

The very crooked man continued in sobs, “I-I kidnapped him from you, w-when he was a toddler.”
“Why?” the teary-eyed King questioned, pressing the sword harder onto his bleeding neck. “Speak”, he yelled. 

“A-a-It was my n-n-necessity”, the very crooked man finally gave up and explained, “T-to keep myself strong, to keep my m-manhood alive. I-I was t-told by a Saint that a p-potion containing the p-protein from your s-son’s b-beard strands w-would help me g-gain my m-manhood back. S-So, every day, I-I plucked a strand from his beard for my potion and traveled to the town to f-fulfill my w-want of la- l-lust.” 

”You sick bastard, I’ll slit your throat”, the King lifted his sword in anger but was stopped by the teary-eyed Queen. She said, “Not today, we do not want blood on such an auspicious day” and she ordered the King’s men, “Guards, please take him away.” 

After the guards took the very crooked man away, the King announced another Grand Luncheon for everyone to celebrate the return of his son. Once again, everybody gathered in masses and a stage was set to introduce the found-Prince to everyone and to the visitors, the King, holding his son’s hand, continued from where he had left his speech twenty years ago, “A Real Man is born, countrymen.”  
And then cheers and whistles echoed all over the arena.

Later that day, the Prince called Rapunzel to the Royal Gardens. They sat by a pond. Rapunzel looked at him and asked, “Why do you still look so sad?” 

“I am missing my beard”, the Prince said. 

“Look at me”, Rapunzel insisted. He looked at her and she leaned forward to kiss him. And as soon as they kissed, the golden beard started to magically appear again. “Look its back!” the Prince exclaimed happily, brushing his beard. 

Mr Millers flew by and explained, “That’s how hormones work, my friend.”

And they both laughed.  

The Prince married Rapunzel and they lived happily ever after. 

P.S. This tale has been shamelessly adapted from Rapunzel (by The Grimm Brothers) and Tangled (by Disney pictures).

This Post is a part of #willYouShave activity at BlogAdda in association with Gillette.

Now, I would like to tag the following five fellow bloggers to write for the same prompt:


Find details of this contest here.

And a Big Thanks to Krithika for the Amazing illustrations.
You can find more of her work here:

Random Scenes by Ms. Samavedula



  1. The sketches are so cute ^^
    Today is my second blogoversary :D

  2. nice story ----very innovative ---loved reading it

  3. very nice post...beautiful pictures......i like it....

  4. very nice post...beautiful pictures......i like it....

  5. Hey

    Great story Ashish! Great adaptation :) Though it's a pretty long story, your words kept me hooked till the end. Great job :)