Princess with a lot to lose learns a weighty les­son

Her Pork­ness, I mean, the beau­ti­ful princess, poured out her heart to her cousin, who in turn, con­fided that she, too, had been plagued with a sim­i­lar spell.

The Norwalk Hour - - OPINION - By Al­lia Zo­bel Nolan Al­lia Zo­bel Nolan, a Norwalk res­i­dent, is the best­selling au­thor of more than 150 adult and chil­dren’s books. Her lat­est is “Laugh Out Loud: 40 Women Hu­morists Cel­e­brate Now and Then… Be­fore We For­get,” from which this com­men­tary is

Once upon a time, there was a beau­ti­ful princess whose ini­tials were “A.Z.N.” (It’s my story; so never you mind.) When she came to be five decades old, a mis­cre­ant ances­tor cast an evil spell upon her so that what­ever she ate im­me­di­ately set­tled as huge clumps of fat on her legs, waist, arms and bum. Soon, none of her beau­ti­ful gowns fit. Worse still, she be­came known as “Her Pork­ness” be­hind her back.

“Hark, I must do some­thing about this,” she told her­self one day. “Or I will be­come the laugh­ing stock of the court.” So the beau­ti­ful princess tried a liq­uid diet. She drank three chal­ice-fulls with each meal. It didn’t work. She switched to an “Eat All the Kumquats You Want and Lose” plan but got stom­ach cramps and had to quit. She also tried sup­ping on noth­ing but mut­ton; then noth­ing but fish.

Fi­nally, one day she no­ticed her corset fit less snugly. She had fi­nally lost some weight. The spell must be bro­ken. Ec­static, she rushed to the kitchen for mead and sweet­cakes to cel­e­brate. The next day, her corset would not hook, and the beau­ti­ful princess hung her head and cried.

To cheer her up, the princess’s cousin, Lady Bunns, of Steele, came to visit for a fort­night. Af­ter break­fast one morn­ing, she sug­gested the princess join her for a chat as she walked around the court. The princess wasn’t keen on walk­ing. But she fig­ured any­thing was bet­ter than sit­ting around watch­ing her­self get big­ger. So off they went a-walk­ing.

Bear in mind the princess’s usual day con­sisted of eat­ing, sit­ting, nap­ping, writ­ing po­etry, spin­ning, crewel work, and lis­ten­ing to the court min­strels. In other words, she spent a lot of time in her quar­ters on her keis­ter. So get­ting out of the cas­tle proved ex­hil­a­rat­ing — es­pe­cially since it was sum­mer, the air was fresh, and flow­ers were in bloom.

“I hate to ad­mit it,” the princess said to Lady Bunns, “but I’m ac­tu­ally en­joy­ing this.” The princess didn’t quite un­der­stand what was go­ing on, only that she had felt bet­ter and had for­got­ten about her­self.

“I take these jaunts of­ten,” an­nounced Lady Bunns. “Thou art wel­come to join me.”

So the two started walk­ing reg­u­larly. And as they did, they spoke of many things. Her Pork­ness, I mean, the beau­ti­ful princess, poured out her heart to her cousin, who in turn, con­fided that she, too, had been plagued with a sim­i­lar spell.

“How can that be?” cried the princess. “You eat like an ox, yet art slim as a joust­ing lance. Tell me, Lady Bunns,” she pleaded, “that I might do the same. How did you break the spell?”

Lady Bunns leaned in closer. “Well,” she said, “thou must eat mod­er­ately.”

“Oh, but I al­ready do,” wailed the princess. “In fact, there are times I prac­ti­cally starve my­self.”

“But there’s some­thing else,” said Lady Bunns. “And you must do it not just for a month or six, or a year, or two, but ever af­ter.”

“Tell, me. Tell me.” the princess cried out even louder. “Well, if thee must know, it’s called ‘ex­er­cise.’” “Ex­er­cise!” the princess blurted. “I’d rather be boiled in oil.”

Still, when Lady Bunns re­turned to Steele, the beau­ti­ful princess de­cided she had no other al­ter­na­tive than to do the dreaded ex­er­cise. She walked around the court twice a day and joined a spa in the next vil­lage. Slowly, the fat melted off her, and six months later, she had lost 30 pounds. The same folks who had given her the porcine la­bel now chided her “Thou art too thin,” to which the princess re­torted: “Eat thy hearts out.”

When two years had passed and the princess was able to main­tain her Gweneviere-like physic, she knew the spell had truly lifted. In fact, she noted, as long as she pumped iron at least three times a week, she could eat most any­thing — even splurge on mead and sweet­cakes now and again.

Sadly, Lady Bunns, of Steele, did not fol­low her own in­struc­tions. These days she is some­where in Idaho mod­el­ing “big mama” ball gowns for women of sub­stance.

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