This story has been put together in a sustainable way from recycled & organic tales collected from around the world, and its morals are entirely a product of indigenous references. Consume in moderation
Once upon a time, there was an old man who had been a respected winemaker, but his intended bride had pricked her finger on a screwcap in her youth and fallen into a long, deep sleep. In his depression, the man had fallen on hard times. Few liked any of his wines any more and he was down to his last basket of grapes. All seemed doomed.
He went to bed that night, dejected. Unbelievably, he awoke the next day to discover that a magic elf flown in, and had been toiling all night and transformed his grapes into delicious wines using a “micro-oxygenation” spell. The man was overjoyed and with the money made selling that wine, he bought more grapes which the elf would transform, … and business boomed.
In time, the old man became so successful that he built the most fantastic winery, designed along Feng Shui principles with fermentation tanks fashioned after Dragon’s Eggs. His winery kept attracting more and more elves to make, design and package his wines, and the wines became hugely attractive, sought-after and collectable.
This posed a problem for the old man. All the wines being made now were fantastically bejewelled, exotically styled and devilishly expensive. His regular customers could no longer afford to shop from him, so he turned to others for help.
The old man was canny. He decided to engage the services of wine merchants Rump & Stiltskin to sell the wines with the slogan “we turn your wine investments into gold”. He also hired Fay Reega, of the PR firm “Mother”, to invite the right sorts of people to a lavish annual Ball that was to be decorated and stage-managed by a couple of weavers whose incredible new material only fools could not see.
Success was guaranteed … as long as people would come.
Fortunately for them, a young piper from the Land of Mary came passing through town. He not only had a magical tasting instrument, but was also well versed in numerology. His magical instrument could turn the merest sip of wine into a charming song, and anyone who heard his number chanting would follow him wherever he went.
And so it was to pass. The date of the Ball was set for early April. The stage was (apparently) decorated. Other musicians and entertainers from all over the world came to lead the procession behind the Piper, and the old man and representatives of Rump & Stiltskin awaited, haggling over the future spoils, in their castles by the river.
The procession wound its way slowly around the castles of the region, picking up more and more of the rich and powerful as it went, heading towards the main event, whilst spectators, too poor to afford the gowns and the wines, and not in possession of the golden tickets, watched on, bemused from the sidelines.
At the stroke of 12, more specifically 2012, things started to go wrong.
The famous Piper decided he’d had enough and threatened to stop and rest. The other musicians from around the world tried to keep the procession moving, but it had only been the Piper’s magic number chant that had enthralled the crowds. The stage, it turned out, had not been decorated after all, Fay Reega’s magic golden tickets changed back into mere RyanAir vouchers, and people woke up and starting demanding the names behind Rump & Stiltskin in order to get their money back.
The fantastically expensive wines were locked in a vault, untouched, undrunk, unloved.
And while everyone was distracted, a handsome young writer appeared from behind a computer and kissed the sleeping beauty, who awoke from her long slumber and decided that she too wanted to make great wines, … but this time, with no elves.
Someone, somewhere, lived happily ever after.