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The Queen of Warts

Once upon a time, in a land that no one would ever want to visit, there lived the Queen of Warts, among her wart-nosed people. She had a beautiful daughter, who had been born wartless, and as punishment, the Queen banished her to the dungeon of never-ending television.

Loyal to the core, all wart-nosed mothers each year brought their wart-nosed children to the ceremony of the Blessing of the Queen. It was a gala affair, with swings and slides, balloons and cakes, and prizes for the wartiest children. The queen passed among the throng, examining each wart for size and texture. Good one, she said, slapping a sticky note on the child to signify that he would be in the finals.

Some mothers used silly putty to build up the warts on their children, but the Queen's nose was finely attuned to these tricks, and she easily sniffed them out. Into the vinegar dunk with them, she commanded, and both child and mother were thrown into the vinegar dunk, where their warts shriveled up to the size of a flea's fingernail.

Some other mothers rubbed their children with dragon grease, left over from the dragon fries at MacDonald’s. But this did not enlarge the warts, only made the children so slippery that they slid out of the swings and fell onto their warty behinds.

The Queen called all finalists to stand in a row. She examined Peter's warts and shook her head sadly. She sniffed Alicia's warts and sneezed. She pinched Michael's warts and nearly died laughing.

She was at the end of the line and only one finalist remained. He was a little green child, with huge warts on his ears and elbows, on his thumbs and knees. Aha! said the Queen. You have my blessing.

His mother said, Blessing, schmessing, where is his prize?

There is no prize this year, said the Queen of Warts. After I paid my income taxes, there was no money left to buy prizes.

The mother was angry. Oh, she was fuming! She cried, I am the fairy godmother of this land, and I hereby decree all children wart-free forever. All used warts will now assemble on the Queen's nose.

The Queen's nose swelled up like a huge kosher pickle.

The fairy godmother then turned her little green child into a prince, who rescued the Queen's beautiful daughter and then threw the Queen into the dungeon of never-ending telemarketers.

Copyright © 2005 by Bewildering Stories on behalf of the author

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