Tuesday, 22 September 2009
The Three Pigeons
The second of the Chocolate and Zucchini tales.
The Opera House first thing in the morning... cold, bright sunlight slowly gilding the building and the concrete... and in the box office, the cleaners watched as on the monitors three pigeons flew down to the ground near the CCTV camera... watched in astonishment as the three birds shook themselves and as their feathers fell to the ground, three beautiful princesses appeared.
"Oh what a relief to be free of that pigeon shape!" said one.
"It used to be swans when my grandmother was young. But typically we get pigeon forms. That witch must really have hated us." the second replied.
The third said nothing. She raised her hand to shield her eyes from the morning sun and took a deep breath. For a while she simply stared at the concrete and glass landscape. Then - 'The world is too much with us...' and a sigh.
"I don't mind telling you, if that dratted man on the bus starts flirting with me again, I'm going to tell his wife, I swear it." the second princess told the first.
The world has changed, princesses are passe these days. For these three princesses, cursed by a witch to live for a hundred years, as pigeons by moonlight and princesses by day - the world is too much with them. Nobody believes in fairytales any more. They aren't real enough.
The third princess had nearly been taken for psychiatric assessment when she'd mentioned her 'secret'. These days, she stayed around with her sisters for safety and they did alright. Two of them earned their living as fashion models - for they were tall and elegant and beautiful. The other was a celebrated opera singer with a sense of mystery about her.
Nobody knew where she went at night once she left the Opera House. When the second princess had found a pair of red satin kitten heeled shoes abandoned near the harbour, she almost broke down and wept at the thought of her aunt who was involved in a tale with a pair of red shoes.
All this time, the princesses chattered and prepared for work while the cleaners watched them on the camera - not quite believing what they were looking at. The sun slowly rose silently glinting off the glass of the opera house. The three sisters sighed, gathered up their pigeon skins and feathers, put them in the boxes they carried around with them for the purpose and went off to work. The cleaners who watched them stared at each other in silence. Then they rewound the tapes to before the pigeons landed and let the camera record the ordinary day outside the Opera House.