Bug Eyes

Now, some scientist would say that insects with their gazillion eyes are beautiful.  But remember, these strange admirers are scientists. And even scientists don’t marry bugs.

Our Prince looked at his murky green eyes so full of jealousy. Then, he looked at his blood-red eyes so necessary in maintaining power. And last, he held up the hand mirror to examine his black eyes that protected him from hurtful rumors. His shoulders slumped. He needed his six eyes!

But, how could he ever be handsome with six eyes?

He called for his steward – a fine looking young lad who had the grace to lower his eyes and cower at his feet.

“Steward,” said the Prince. “Look at me! I am your Prince.”

The boy looked at his shoes. “Alas, Sire, I can not look upon you.”

The Prince looked to his Prime Minister. “What is wrong with my people? Even my steward is too cowardly to look at me!”

“Mayhap you could give your dagger to the Supreme Court, your Grace. Then, perhaps the lad may look,” the Prime Minister suggested.

The Prince thought for a moment, and then he gave his dagger and his belt to the Prime Minister who in turn gave it to the Supreme Court.

“Now, look at me steward! I am your Prince.”

When the steward did not raise his eyes, the Prince cried with impatience. “Why will you not look at me? I have no sword!”

Plucking up his courage, the lad looked into the Prince’s face. “Oh Sire,” he said, awestruck. “What happened to your red eyes?”

The Prince grabbed hastily for his hand mirror. His red eyes were gone!

“This is wonderful!” The Prince cried. “Surely you must know what this means?”

“You’re becoming human?” The lad asked.

“I’ve been human all along, you fool!” the Prince spluttered, outraged that anyone thought differently. “I am no monster!” 

The clear brown eyes of his steward said otherwise. Enraged, the Prince reached for his dagger, but his hand only grasped the air where the dagger’s hilt used to be.

“Do you need something, your Grace?” The Prime Minister asked, stepping in front of the lad.

“My dagger,” The Prince said through gritted teeth.

“Your dagger belongs to the people now, your grace. To retrieve it would be a long and bloody battle. Only a monster would fight for such power.”

The Prince’s black eyes turned on the Prime Minister with great force.

“Your black eyes, Sire!” He cringed. “There is no kindness in them!”

“Kindness?” The Prince asked. “You, who has called me a monster, who has wrested my dagger from me and left me to the mercy of assassins? You want kindness?”

“I am sorry, your Grace.” The Prime Minister said, bowing again. “Giving up your sword was very brave.”

The Prince’s black eyes glowered at the bowed head of the Prime Minister then flashed to his fidgeting steward.

“My black eyes see you too, lad,” he said. “You nearly called me a monster!” 

At his words, the steward immediately began wailing. “Please, Sire, I know you’re human. I didn’t mean anything by it!”

Suddenly tired of pursuing gossipers, the Prince closed his black eyes and consoled the steward. “Quiet, lad. You have nothing to fear from me.”

The steward stared up at the Prince, his eyes wide in surprise.

“I had green eyes once,” the Prince said, fondly remembering his own eyes. “They were vibrantly green and so beautiful noblewomen swooned.”

The lad flinched away from the Prince as awful stories of the Prince’s jealousy came crowding into his mind. “Please don’t cut out my eyes!” He yelled.

“Oh, how can you say such terrible things about me?” The Prince asked in exasperation. Great tears rolled down the steward’s face. The Prince pulled a handkerchief from his pocket and gave it to him.

“You don’t want my eyes?” The steward hiccuped.

“No,” the Prince said. “I have my own eyes.”

The steward and the Prime Minister stared at each other in shock and relief. The Prime Minister recovered first, elated that there would be no more blind stewards to comfort.

“That you do!” He said, grabbing the hand mirror out of the steward’s feeble grasp. He held it up for the Prince to see. “You have your own green eyes!”

The Prince stared at his reflection. The slimy film over his green eyes had completely disappeared!!

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