Meanwhile back at the palace, King Dempsey’s lust for admiration had driven him to the verge of insanity. He threw lavish parties at which he would feature himself as the singer for the evening; although his voice reminded his audience of a horse with a sinus infection. When the dances would begin, he made extravagant efforts to be graceful but in the end he only succeeded in making a spectacle of himself. He invited the most important and intelligent members of the nobility only to make every attempt at upstaging their intelligence on matters of state and society. Of course he only made a fool of himself and even attempted to challenge a knight, quite distinguished in the art of war, to a duel even though he had never so much as ridden into battle. The knight, knowing the king’s lack of knowledge, politely declined and excused himself to the hallway where he burst into riotous laughter. Thus was the unhappy life of King Dempsey. The more ridiculous he was, the more obsessed he became with himself and the more obsessed he became with himself the less he slept and the worse he treated those around him. He yelled at the palace housekeepers, ordered beatings for the servants over the slightest offense and threw things at the cooks if the food was not just to his liking. It was a sad state of existence for everyone. Then one sleepless night, as the king was angrily pacing about the palace halls he overheard a stable hand telling one of the servants that his grandmother had been given a blanket with magic qualities. “You know my Grammy has suffered a long time, not being able to sleep…” the stable hand said “…but just last summer she was given a blue blanket by a merchant from one of the villages and ever since then she says her sleep is sweeter than when she was a baby! I think it’s that magic weaver from the legends, I do!” King Dempsey listened closely as the servant responded. “Those legends are a bunch of hogwash! That blanket was probably just extra soft and warm so that your Grammy could sleep better. There’s no such thing as a magic weaver!” “There is so!” The stable hand shouted back “Why I heard just last week that Old Gimpsy from the wash room was given a scarf from his cousin’s wedding and you know he ain’t never been able to sing worth two cents but now he sings so sweet the birds sit by the window just to hear him hum a tune! What do you say to that?” “I say Old Gimpsy’s just finally got himself sober is all that is!” retorted the servant. On they went arguing but the king now had an idea stirring in his wicked mind and he scurried off to his chambers to formulate a plan.
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