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A fairy tale about time (and cake)

Once upon a time, over the sea and beyond the sunset, was a land of magic.

In that land was an enchanted kingdom on the shore of a lake.

In the kingdom was a beautiful palace …

and in the palace lived a young princess who loved frilly orange dresses.

But there was one thing the princess loved even more than frilly orange dresses, more than anything else. She loved cake. All kinds of cake.

She loved cake so much that she ate cake for breakfast. She ate cake for lunch and she ate cake for dinner, too, and sometimes she would creep into the palace kitchen and help herself to cake before the Royal Cake Cook had even finished making it.

(But don’t worry, for in this enchanted kingdom the cake was also enchanted, and not only was it nutritionally balanced but it contained exactly the right number of calories, so the princess never got fat and never had any food-related illnesses.)

There was only one thing to spoil the princess’s happiness: there was never enough time to eat all the cake that she wanted! In the kingdom there was only one single clock, a grand old clock in the main square, and when that clock struck 8pm the princess had to go to bed. It would be 12 whole hours before she could eat cake again!

One day the princess was in the palace garden, eating cake, of course. The princess was sad and so she was eating chocolate cake, her favourite, which always made her feel better.

While she was eating her cake, the princess was very surprised indeed to hear a statue speak. “Why are you so sad, little princess?” asked the statue. “You should be the happiest princess that ever was! You have so much cake!”

“True, I have cake,” said the princess. “But I don’t have enough time to eat it all! Oh if only that nasty clock would no longer tell the time!”

With a secret smile and a knowing nod, the beautiful lady of stone instantly made the hands of the clock disappear.

“Oh! Oh!” exclaimed the princess. “Now I shall never have to go to bed ever again and I can spend my whole life eating cake!”

And the princess lived happily ever after — because at long last she could have her cake and eat it too.

December Squares #timesquare

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