PRõZAC: AN OPERA
by le Marquis Déjà
the Forest of Weer, the nubile princess, Lieneke,
frolics through the vines and trees. She is innocent, young, and
free. Her naïveté is symbolized by a small sapling growing
out of a rock. She finds this tree; fondles it and sings to it,
savouring her youth:
O, little tree
Who grows like my own golden locks,
How deep are your roots now, my little friend?
A butterfly flutters by your budding branches
And all the world's a keepsake.
Don't die. Don't die, my little friend.
For if you do, I will surely end up in a brothel.
In a brothel without you, my darling cabbage (sic)
Be with me, little tree, be with me
And I will bring fresh dung to feed you.
Little tree, little tree, you are me and we are we . . .
As her song ends, ÿasmín, a merry,
mischievous wood-nymph, finds Lieneke and befriends her:
What fair maiden frolics there? Could it be the fair
The fairest of the land? Even the brambleberries speak kindly of
Though your family's oft-times difficult to deal with, the vegetation
Of the Forest of Weer speaks highly of you.
It is I! It is I! And who are you, little gnarled
Though your face is wretchedly disfigured, and your clothes of last
I want to imagine you as a pretty little elf come to make me merry.
I am called ÿasmín, little one. I do not
like to be called wretched,
Out of date. I've sliced little animals for less. But so fair are
I grant you pardon.
Tell, me, little Lieneke, why you dance so gaily? What can inspire
such magnanimous heights
Of happiness when your Father is such an officious prick.
It's true, my Father, the King, has few pleasant
things to say. But I am so charming . . .
And lovely . . .
And ever so sneaky about my wanton ways that he will
never catch me. For it is in my will to frolic in the Forest of
Weer and rub against logs And befriend the animals, like you, sweet
old ÿasmín . . .
I told you, I am no animal, bitch.
If you have any true kindness in your heart,
You will take me home and hide me.
I'm sick to death of this forest.
Of course! Of course! I enjoy treats and pets!
And you're easier to hide from Father than this sapling.
Lieneke takes ÿasmín home with her,
hidden in her algebra book. She meets her Father, King Brète,
in the hallway. He is curious as to Lieneke's recent whereabouts.
Little daughter, little Lieneke--where have you been?
You've been gone the better part of the day, and I'm trying very
Not to spank you until your cushions are rosy like your nubile cheeks.
Oh, Father, I have been right under your nose.
But you have not seen me because I am so charming and florid.
Were I an ugly witch-animal, you would have seen me skipping
And making merry in this very courtyard,
But I am so attractive in my youth and naïveté that you
That may be, my lovely daughter, but don't talk to
me like that.
I won't stand for it. Have you studied your algebra?
Oh, Father, algebra is not for attractive princesses
I'm sure you can agree.
Stretch your imagination!
You may be fair and attractive and all that stuff,
But you have things to learn, and I'm the one to teach you.
(sneezes from within algebra book, melodically)
Give me that book, naughty daughter, give it to me.
(a struggle ensues. King Brète gets the
book and shakes ÿasmín out.)
What is this torpid hag doing in your algebra book?
She is my friend, Father
She must go!
If she goes, I go.
Fuck you, old man.
Get going, then. You're a bad girl.
Lieneke is sent away from the castle. ÿasmín
accompanies her. They make their way to the Forest of Weer and make
beds out of moss and leaves.
Well, that was certainly a nice encounter.
I asked you to take me out of the Forest of Weer, and here we end
You stupid child. You may be lovely and nubile,
But you're of little use to me if you cannot grant me my small request.
ÿasmín, my withered friend, I think I may
Though I, being so lovely and young, could not know the meaning
of the term.
For the first time in my charmed attractive life, I do not feel
Tell me, my woeful quirt (sic), what can be done about this feeling?
It is not for people like me.
Though your voice is beginning to work my nerves,
I have a solution for you.
Take this magic tablet. It is the magical, coveted pill of Prince
And made from the very herbs of happiness. Swallow this . . .
I have no wine!
I have no tangerine juice!
Dry swallow. You will feel blissful and gay again.
If it's such a cure-all, why do I not see you taking
in, little lumpy, ugly friend?
Lieneke eats the tablet. Prince Prõzac rides
up on his gallant steed holding Lieneke's cherished sapling by the
trunk and brandishing it like a sword. He stops when he sees the
fair Lieneke sobbing on a log.
Whoa, there! You are far too attractive to sob so
I will give you two options. Either you tell me what ails you, pretty
Or I will chop your head off.
Chop away, threatening villain. My life could not
be worse and I welcome death.
I am a stranger to unhappiness and find she is no friend of mine.
Kill me, kill me,
Handsome knight with the alluring tights.
I see you hold my cherished tree, now dead, by the neck. Why'd you
have to go
And do a horrible thing like cutting down my nubile young tree,
cruel knight in the awe-inspiring spandex?
Fair one, I was making pleasantries! I have no intention
of severing your
head from your
Shoulders, of watching your lifeblood squirt in a perfect arc above
budding breasts like
The Fountain of Youth filled with Hi-C. No, I will not kill you,
ugly looking baggage
Sitting next to you . . . She may be fun to dispose of in an unsavoury
She's my friend.
Though it's her fault
I'm here now,
She keeps me in
good company and
Gives me magic pills of
Which even now begin to kick in.
Slaves to hormones! I hate you!
Mother always said
I should be a lesbian.
But I always enjoyed
Long, hot night of love
under the leafy sky
And over the leafy ground.
Stop! I cannot understand! You both speak at the
And your voices melt into the same tune! It's like listening to
Cats in heat! Now, did I understand, fair one, that you are looking
For Prince Prõzac? For it is I who is he.
And you keep quiet, little gnomish wart.
Well, no, fine knight in the 'guess-my-religion'
I cannot say I was particularly looking for you.
But, uh, now that you're here . . .
But tell me one thing
Why did you kill my precious sapling?
He's a man. Men are scum.
I was out foraging for dinner and found this!
See how proudly I hold my kill above my head
And see how my chest puffs out with pride like a mockingbird.
See my pockets bulge with pills. Come with me, fair damsel,
And you shall know my bulging pockets.
Though I would love to know such pockets,
I would more so love to know
How you intend on eating that tree? And, moreover,
Why eat a tree when you could kill something furry?
Come with me, fair, appealing, hottie,
And you will know what it is to eat a tree . . .
And like it!
Lieneke mounts Prince Prõzac's
horse and rides off into the wilderness. ÿasmín goes back
behind the tree she originally emerged from, saddened and alone.
This story originally appeared in SINS of COFFEE,
Issue #13, 1996.