Once upon a time, there was a king, and as kings go, he had children who would some day take over the throne. Well, he wasn't really bothered about that, being an old king and all.
He have always been more interested in warfare and expanding the kingdom's borders that he failed to notice his queen's frequent visits to the royal gardens, the royal stables and the royal tanners.
When the king finally decided to stay home following an accident one hunting season, he looked at his 10 children and said,
"How lucky I am, that I am blessed with such beautiful children of such variety, surely the good Lord smiles dearly on me!" He then called for his wife the Queen to accompany him for the night.
The young queen, dreading spending a night with her old decrepit husband, called for her loyal waiting maid.
"His majesty is in heat again!" she said with distaste, "Hide behind the tapestry as before and take my place when I blow the candles out."
"As you wish, my lady" replied the waiting maid.
The waiting maid went straight to the hidden notch behind the tapestry where she stays when ever his highness was home.
There she secretly keeps the portraits of all 5 of her children whom she fervently pray would someday take the throne. They were all the king's children after all.
It wasn't long when the royal couple came inside the room and the candles went out.
"Come my queen," said the old king, "let us join in bed."
The waiting maid felt her way in the darkness and lay beside the old king. It wasn't that bad, really, she has long gotten used to his smell and his gummy kiss.
In fact she have grown quite fond of the old bugger, besides, he never took long anyway.
Seven minutes later the old king would be asleep and she would slowly crawl out of bed to fetch her mistress from the royal tanner's quarter.
Nine months passed, and the queen is ready to give birth.
She is accompanied by her waiting maid who has grown noticeably fat and would only let her trusted physician in the room with them (after all, he fathered prince number 4).
As soon as the door was bolted, she pulls out the pillow from under her gown and helped her waiting maid to the bed.
"It is much bigger than usual." said the physician, "You might be having twins."
"Just get them out quickly!" snapped the queen. "They have no chance to the throne anyway! My first son is the only heir fit to be king!" said she, thinking of the tanner and her favorite son.
The waiting maid heard everything but was in too much pain to mind them. It was a difficult birth, but she was a tough woman and by sunrise, 2 baby boys were born.
The king, full of joy for his 2 new heirs, threw a grand ball as soon as the queen felt better (which didn't take too long).
The twins were the apple of his eye, and he called them Marius and Maurice.
In the middle of the ball, the king called everyone's attention and proclaimed; "From this day onward, I shall name Marius, the oldest of my twins and my 12th child to be the heir to my throne."
At that all the guests began to cheer, for it was never a good idea to go against a royal proclamation. But somewhere, behind the king, someone was filled with anger and contempt.
"This is an outrage!" thought the queen to herself, "How could he name that lowly waiting maid's child as the next king! My oldest son must be king no matter what!"
With that she started plotting ways to get rid of the twins, but the waiting maid, ever vigilant as a mother should be, was ready for her tricks.
It's amazing what you can do when you're the royal waiting maid. Especially when you are no longer as loyal as you used to be.
Soon the queen fell into a mysterious illness which no one, not even the royal physician could cure.
She soon passed away, much to the king's dismay, and was soon followed by five of her children, till only seven princes were left.
Seven years later, the twins have grown into two strong and beautiful young boys, worthy of their father's name...
"And soon, the elder of the twins shall be the next king!" said Marius with a bright smile on his face. His twin Maurice said nothing.
"Yes, my child, soon he shall take the king's place." replied their nanny. She looked at the two young boys before her with pride.
"But don't you think it quite absurd?" Maurice finally said, "How could the 2 princes in your fairytale be the child of a lowly slave?" nanny simply smiled at the remark.
"That's why it is called a 'fairytale'" she explained, "a made-up story for young ones like yourselves."
"But to use our names in such unimaginative trash!" said Maurice spitefully, "Are you proposing that we are the children of a slave such as yourself?"
"Stop it Maurice!" said Marius, his voice slightly raised. "I have enjoyed the story. I don't find it offensive, nor do I find it too hard to believe." he took their nanny's hand and smiled.
The old woman's eyes, so much like their own, were glistening with tears. "I wouldn't be surprised if my real mother was in front of me right now." said he.
Maurice stood up angrily and kicked his chair aside. "Maurice!" called his brother, but the other have already stormed out of the room and slammed the door behind him.
"Your highness..." called their nanny.
"Don't you worry, nanny," said prince Marius reassuringly, "my brother is just having one of his fits. He'll be back to his old self later."
Outside, prince Maurice is just being himself. He walked briskly along the hallway, kicking anything he could reach with his short legs.
Outside he storms to the stables and starts beating the horses since they were bigger yet were closed in the stable and so, could not reach him. As long as he keeps well off to the side.
"It is absurd! Ridiculous!" he shouted "What impertinence! Such an insolent tale should never be told!" he fell to the ground panting as the stable boys rushed inside to save the poor horses.
"And the most ridiculous thing," he thought to himself, "is that I know it is true."
end ...he he he...