Monday, 23 May 2011

Countess Bluebird



Once upon a time, in the olden days, when men were men and women pretended to obey them, there lived a cruel and violent nobleman in his chateau. He was thought to be immensely rich and known for his weakness where young girls were concerned. He had been married many times; nobody knew what had happened to each previous wife; it was said that he had  packed them off to foreign lands with a chestful of gold as compensation for their dismissal from the marital chamber.

His name was Count Bluebeard, on account of his very dark and long beard, which he kept tucked into his shirt collar most of the time, because he was apt to trip over it when he was in a hurry.

Bluebeard was once again on the look-out for a new wife and his choice fell on one of the pretty daughters of his neighbour;  Marie, the youngest of the girls, agreed to marry him. In spite of her youth, Marie was madly in love with a poor lute player and while the marriage negotiations were going on between Marie's parents and Count Bluebeard, she and her paramour hatched a plan to outwit Bluebeard.  Part of the contract was that Marie would receive her chest of gold before the actual wedding night, to sweeten the sacrifice she was about to make. 

It was Bluebeard's habit to give a lavish wedding reception for each new wife, with a banquet as the central event, where he usually ate and drank himself senseless.  Music played a part during these celebrations and Marie asked if she could be serenaded by a young lute player of her parents' acquaintance during the banquet. Bluebeard grumbled, but her parents insisted that their daughter's wish be granted, so he gave in. It was all the same to him what the wench did for the few hours before the wedding night, afterwards he would soon teach her to fall in with his wishes.

The chest of gold handed over, the wedding ceremony duly took place. Marie kept her fingers crossed in the folds of her dress the whole time. 

As was his wont, Bluebeard ate and drank until he fell off his chair, Marie watching him all the while. She kept a clear head and the lute player kept his down, in order not to arouse any suspicion. Marie's father also sat at the table, keeping an eye on the room. 

When Bluebeard lay on the floor, Marie's father, the lute player and Marie herself dragged him out of the hall and ostensibly into the marital chamber, where she was to await her lord's re-awakening and subsequent pleasure. However, they continued to drag him out of a secret door leading from this chamber to a special dungeon beneath it; this dungeon was the horrible place where all Bluebeard's previous wives had ended up, kept prisoner for evermore.

They tipped him over the edge into the dungeon, where his wives were waiting to torment him as he had tormented them.

Marie and the lute player, however,  left the country and lived happily ever after. They never felt guilty once and the chest of gold came in very handy to augment the salary of a moderately talented lute player.



39 comments:

  1. Very cute. Marie made off with all the loot/lute.

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  2. Oh, if it had only been that easy!

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  3. Wonderful, Friko. You are such a talented writer and storyteller.
    I'm afraid this prompt didn't speak to me at all, so I've written nothing. It happens that way sometimes, but to you it spoke volumes! I love the story, because I love happy endings (especially where the wives get to torture the husbands, LOL).
    — K

    Kay, Alberta, Canada
    An Unfittie's Guide to Adventurous Travel

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  4. PS — The title of your story is brilliant!
    — K

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  5. Almost every musician must supplement his or her income. I assume this lute player and Marie made beautiful music together.

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  6. That's my kind of fairy tale!

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  7. Forever fighting the corner of the underpaid musician, Friko. Nice tale.

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  8. What fun! She ran off with the lute... er, loot!

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  9. "when men were men and women pretended to obey them"
    I should have known from such a spectacular beginning that I was in for a treat. :)
    Previous commenters have already said the rest.

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  10. Well. So long as Marie kept her finger crossed. :)

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  11. friko - you are so very clever and creative and i am amazed at how you managed to put those gifts into this wonderful story!!! steven

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  12. My favorite line:
    They never felt guilty once and the chest of gold came in very handy to augment the salary of a moderately talented lute player.

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  13. ha. a delightful tale well spun friko...i'd say he had it coming to him to say the least...hope they lived happilly ever after...

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  14. 'Moderately talented' lute player! great- thanks for visiting.

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  15. Hahaha. Great story with a more than happy ending, I'd say. ;~D

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  16. A well spun tale. I like how you know she has a plan an are anticipating what it might be. Of course you top whatever ending i had envisioned. Great job. Vb

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  17. oh I like this version a lot better than the other! Very fun read!

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  18. Countess Bluebird. I like the sound of that.

    This tale reminds me of an old joke about a rich shipping magnate wanting an hour alone with the beautiful wife of a poor violinist, hoping to convince her to leave her husband. If he couldn't do it, the musician would get his wife back AND the ships and cargo. If the rich man succeeded, he would get all that the poor may had--the wife AND the the violin.

    The musician agreed. The shipping magnate took the young woman into his stateroom. The poor husband stood outside the closed door, playing his violin and singing,
    "Be true, My Love, Be true, My Love, it's only for an hour.
    Be true, My Love, Be true, My Love...and the cargo will be ours."

    After a minute, the wife sang back,
    "Too late, my love, too late, my love... his arm's around my middle.
    Too late, my love.. too late, my love... you've lost that damned old fiddle!"

    Your musician lucked out, Friko. :)

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  19. Lovely take on this weeks prompt - and my verification word is antic! How appropiate

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  20. Hello Friko

    It's been illuminating to read through your blog posts. I must say, Bluebeard's story has a touch of the Fritzl about it. It's satisfying to read, however, that the cast-off wives could finally take their revenge.

    I am now your newest followerI look forward to dropping by again.

    Anna

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  21. It's good to see a fair young maid get the upper hand for once:-)

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  22. Thank you for your lovely comments. I have never been to your part of the world but I now hope I might see it for myself one day.

    I am now following you

    Anna

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  23. I was rooting for Marie until she left all those wives in the dungeon.

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  24. I'd like to think something like this actually happened during those horrid medieval times, when a man could take any young girl of his choosing and do with her his pleasure.

    I think if I had written this, one of the former wives in the dungeon would have been a time traveler named Lorena Bobbitt..

    Ethelmaepoetter

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  25. Brilliant, Friko! I love how you turned the fairy tale around, and all the ex-wives paid Bluebeard his due. A great twist on what probably could have happened in the situation depicted. xo

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  26. I like this fairy tale. I wish you would re-write every fairy tale this way – well those that have mean people in them, and there is always one rascal or worse in every tale,.

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  27. sweet justice!


    Aloha from Honolulu

    Comfort Spiral

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  28. ... when women pretended to obey them! LOL Some still do, but most of them are grandmothers now! I am so glad it had a "Happy Ever After" and a "He Deserved It, the Old Fart!" :)

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  29. What a great story, you had me at 'chestful of gold'.

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  30. Perfect ending to a wonderful story!!
    Loved it
    Hugs
    SueAnn

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  31. Friko - your Magpie's never fail to amaze and entertain. This is excellent. Bluebeard certainly got his downwards comeuppance!

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  32. Justice indeed!

    Felt sorry for the other wives - I think I would have rescued them!

    Excellent Friko.

    Anna :o]

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  33. Wow! What a tale, I can tell you really enjoyed writing this. Makes me want to reread Bluebeard; I love fairy tales.

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  34. I prefer your tale to the original!

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  35. This is a great story that happens to agree with my own independently written poem that contains one common theme: that maid was in trouble. The difference in yours is that she has a plan, and it worked. Glad to see a happy resolution. Good job.

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  36. AWESOME!!! And oh so thrilling!
    Serves Mr. Bluebeard right! At last, all his ex-wives will be free.. and as for Marie and her lover... (sigh)... how sweet!!
    Me LOVES happy endings... :))

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