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the prince of ascot

18/07/2010

Once upon a time, high up on a hill in Ascot, sat a prince at a window in a tower. The window looked out over a prim, green lawn and the prince spent each afternoon rueing the sprawl of his confines. Take me to the Valley, he shouted, fed up being bored and lonely. But the guards would not have it. They shook their weary heads. The Valley is no place for a prince, they said. You will be mugged, heckled, forced to step over legs on the footpath. The prince was incredulous. Legs on the footpath? The guards nodded gravely. Yes, they repeated, legs on the footpath. They don’t have chairs in the Valley and the People of the Valley simply sit where they please: on the path, on the street, legs out everywhere, trying to trip you up. The prince went quiet and turned back to the window. He was not sure he was ready for legs on the footpath. The following day the sun was particularly bright and after lunch the prince resumed his position by the window. He looked out and yawned, but then saw through the gate, dark shapes on the pavement. He was alarmed. Guards, he shouted, what is that? The guards chuckled. Why, that is a shadow of the gate, they said. No need to be frightened. The prince nodded and moved closer to the window. He placed his forehead against the glass and stared down at the fence and the wrought iron scrolls. He was still not sure he was ready.

Find out more about this Hello Sunday excursion.

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