Once upon a time, a valiant prince set off for a ride in the woods with his kinsmen. The prince was so brave that he had fully fifty knights to follow him around wherever he went, just so that there were plenty of people around to bask in his bravery.
All of sudden, still within sight of the castle, he was startled by a unicorn who pranced across his path amidst the trees.
“Unicorn!” he cried out, “What fortune! By the laws of magic and the realm, you must grant me three wishes!”
The unicorn snorted.
“Fair enough,” he replied, “The name’s Alan by the way…not that anyone’s asking.”
“My first wish,” said the great prince, “is to be taller.”
The unicorn looked back at him, hesitantly.
“Why taller?” he asked.
“So that people throughout the land shall know me by my manly bearing as well as the tales of courage that my kinsmen tell.”
The unicorn flicked his tail and flared his nostrils.
“You sure about that mate? Seems like a bit of a waste of a wish.”
“Do not defy me arrogant beast. Simply do as I bid you!”
The unicorn shrugged and flicked its head so that magic sprung from its horn to make the wish come true.
As his sizeable entourage looked on, the prince’s neck extended quickly until the prince’s head was several feet higher above his shoulders.
The prince was enraged.
“That’s not what I meant you fool! Return my neck to it’s original length at once!”
The unicorn, though confused and slightly amused, raised his head and fired the magic from his horn to put the prince’s head back where it began.
As the prince anxiously checked his neck with his hands the unicorn looked on at him expectantly.
“Right mate. You’ve had two wishes. What’s the third one gonna be?”
The prince was furious.
“Two wishes?! You devious knave! I have only had one wish, which you enacted poorly I might add…”
The unicorn shrugged.
“No one gets four wishes mate. Not my rules.”
The prince now hesitated. He thought of all the problems of his kingdom, of his desires, his hopes and his great dreams of future power and of glory. He thought of his father and his three older brothers.
“I wish…” the prince proclaimed, “to one day become the mightiest king in all the land.”
The unicorn shrugged. And with a wave of his horn a bolt of magic shot over the prince’s shoulder, back towards the castle.
There was a scream and as the prince and his entourage looked on, they saw his father, the king, falling from the highest castle walls. Then in horror, they watched his three brothers, one by one, fall after him to their deaths.
“This is not how I wanted it!” the prince cried out through his tears, “I meant in time to come!”
Alan was unmoved.
“Well, that’s what you wished for.”
There then followed an awkward silence and the unicorn looked down at his hooves.
“Right then, job done. I’ll be off then.”
But before he could leave, the prince and his kinsmen drew their blades, with faces of rage now planted on their faces.
“Now will be your time to die, ignorant vermin. You shall take back your foul deed or I shall slay you as you stand!”
To this the unicorn became quite annoyed.
“Listen pal: maybe if you’re such a brave and impressive prince then you should solve your own bloody problems instead of relying on magic unicorn’s called Alan that you find in the forest to do it for you!”
Shocked by the unicorn’s insolence, the prince and his men paused for a moment, then they roared their battle cries and charged towards their enemy.
Alan whinnied, then he narrowed his eyes and flicked his horn towards them. There was a puff of smoke and when their vision returned, they saw the results of the magic.
Now, much to their surprise, there stood not fifty men and a prince, but fifty sheep and a pig.
Alan looked down at them, shaking his head.
“Some people!” Alan exclaimed. Then he lowered his head and chased them off to the nearest farm.