The Land of Wite
From the pen of the Web Master of
There once was a beautiful young princess named Gwendolyn, who lived in a wonderful land, filled with people, both happy and free. She would arise in the morning and look out from the window in her home in Tall Castle, upon Fairville, the village below, and marvel at the beautiful cottages, and well kept land about them. The people had invented many machines and techniques that had made living easy for them, and life was very good.
Gwendolyn knew one day that she would meet a handsome young man whom she would marry, and her life would be complete. Her people loved her and commented often on the redness of the blush of her cheek, the shine of the golden hair, cascading down her back, and the fairness of her visage, as if she had stepped down from among the gods to walk among men.
Though all seemed in perfect harmony from Gwendolyn's window, in a cave outside the border of the Land of Wite lived an ugly gnome. He had broken the mirrors in his cave because he hated to look at his own ugliness. His long nose drooped almost to this chin, and it was covered with warts. His brow was wrinkled with greed and cunning. His body, though short, was stooped and bent. He looked out over the Land of Wite and said, "I will have this land for my own! I will destroy the people there, who are so proud of their fair skin and smart ways."
And the gnome set to planning. One day, soon after, he was walking down a street in Fairville, when he discovered a box lying on a table, just inside an open window that he was passing. His greedy hand reached out and took it, as his beady eyes looked about to make sure no one saw what he had done.
Later, in his cave he discovered that the box, an invention from those clever folks in the Land of Wite, was a marvel! He pressed a button and out came remarkable, colorful pictures, accompanied by the most wonderful sounds. Each item displayed, was of things in places that he had never been before. It was beyond belief.
Then all at once, he had it. "Now I know how to destroy the Land of Wite!" he said with a laugh. " I will put a spell into the box, and when the people of the Land of Wite press the button they will be taken under my spell."
The gnome was very rich from all that he had stolen over the years of his long life. He decided to use his ill gotten money to build thousands and thousands of the magic boxes. He stopped at each and every one, just before it was put into its package, and cast his magic spell upon on it. He then happily set to passing out the boxes to everyone in the Land of Wite.
"Here my good man," he would say. "Your children need to have this remarkable box in order to educate them in the wonders of travel and the sciences." And of course, another sale was made. Not only was he passing out his spell to the people he hated, he was getting paid for it!
The evil spell overshadowed the land. When Gwendolyn now looked out of her window, the princess saw fewer of the people outside enjoying the land and the forests. They were instead, spending time inside gaping at the Gnome's magic box. They had forgotten their purpose in life of making a better land and having many happy children. They were becoming fat and lazy. She grew worried, but even her father and mother were enchanted with the Gnome's magic box.
"Please Father," she pleaded. "The box is wicked! It is making the people ill. It must be magic the way it has changed us all. We must get rid of the boxes."
"Nonsense, Gwendolyn," her father replied. "The boxes are marvelous inventions of our own people. How can they be evil?" For he did not know of the Gnome's wicked spell.
Gwendolyn went back to her room and cried, and cried, for fear of what was happening to her people. It was about this time that the Gnome first came to Tall Castle in order to court the beautiful Gwendolyn.
"Hey," cried William. "Why did you turn off my box?"
"Because the box is evil, William, " she said. "It carries with it a magic spell that has covered the entire Land of Wite."
"How can it be evil?" asked William. "It carries stories from all over the world and shows us things that we could never see in a whole lifetime."
"That is not what makes it evil," she answered. "What makes it evil is the magic spell. The spell makes people act in bad and dangerous ways. Look at how the Land of Wite has changed since the box came into existence."
William thought about that. What had happened in the last year? People had stopped talking with their family members, because they were too busy with the box. That was bad but was it really "evil?"
"If you had a picture of the Land of Wite," continued the fairy princess. "The way it was before the box came, and then took another one today, what would you see that was different?"
Ah now that was something. Things had changed. "I would see that the people of the Land of Wite were changing. They all had fair skin and several colors of eyes and hair," William said wistfully. "Now we are having more and more people coming into the land who are of brown or black skin and who do not speak our language."
"And how long do you think that your land will continue to exist if you let that go on?" ask the fairy princess.
"Why, I don't know," replied William. "The box says that having lots of different people all mixed up together is a good thing."
"Ah hah!" said the princess. "That is the evil spell. If you continue under that spell and let your land be invaded by people not your own, then your land will be destroyed completely and your people will die."
Williams eyes grew wide in surprise. He thought about what she was saying. It was true. If there were no more fair people of Wite, there would be no more Land of Wite and his people would be extinct. He jumped to his feet. "Help me fairy princess," he shouted. "What can I do to save my people? What can I do to save my land?"
The Gnome raised his gnarled hand and pulled the chord hanging down beside the massive door to Tall Castle. A servant opened the door and let him in. The King admitted him for a audience immediately, because the Gnome was famous for providing the boxes for all of the people, and he was also very rich.
"Ah, dear Gnome, " said the king. "What can I do for you today?"
"Great king," said the Gnome with a bow. "I have come to ask of you a great favor. I have seen the loveliness of your daughter Gwendolyn and I have come to court her, in hopes of making her my wife."
The king was taken aback. How could he let his lovely daughter marry this horrible looking creature? But then the magic spell controlled his mind and he pulled back from his natural thoughts. Why, it would be wrong to judge this gnome on his appearance alone wouldn't it? That is what the box had told him.
"I will call my lovely Gwendolyn at once and see how she feels about your offer, honored Gnome." And with that the king summoned his daughter to his court. Gwendolyn entered, her long colorful dress flowing about her feet, as her full and golden hair flowed all the way down her back. She radiated a beautiful smile when she saw her father, whom she loved dearly, but her face immediately fell into a dark frown when she spied the ugly Gnome.
"Here is your new suitor," the king said to his daughter with a smile.
"I will have nothing to do with this ugly creature," she said in anger. "He is the one who has enchanted our people with his magic box. He is vile and disgusting."
The king's smile had disappeared during this outburst and it was replaced with a scowl. "It is now the law of the land that tolerance shall be given to all. You will not speak in such terms to our guest. He is wealthy and has made a name for himself, and that is all that matters. You will allow him to court you!"
Following the fairy princess's advice, William, immediately smashed his magic box to keep it from harming others. He buried all of the pieces in a deep hole. Next he put on his polished armor, mounted his tall white horse, and rode out to do battle with all of the magic boxes, and the one who had produced them: the ugly Gnome. William rode from town to town, calling people into the street.
"Destroy your magic box!" he would yell. "It is vile and will corrupt your land, and end the future of your children. It is filling our land with those who are not of our kind, and the land falls in ruin before our eyes. Our villages grow more dangerous every day, and our property is stolen or damaged. Our daughters are being attacked, and our sons beaten. We must rise up and take back our land!"
Many of the people were upset at the terrible changes that had happened in the land. They had seen their fair blonde daughters taken by those with dark skin, and foreign ways. They did not like this. The increase in crime and damage to their property was irksome to them. What this warrior said made sense.
But there were others in the crowd who were completely taken in by the spell of the box, and they called out angrily, "You are filled with hate! You cannot understand that change is a good thing for our land." This frightened the first ones, who originally agreed with the warrior, into agreeing with the yelling angry people. So, the whole town turned against the warrior, and refused to listen to him any more. They all went back into their little houses, that were becoming run down, to watch their magic boxes once more.
All except for one young man, who instead of returning to the box, took a walk in the woods to think. Perhaps the warrior had been right! Things were bad in the Land of Wite ever since those boxes had arrived. When he returned to his cottage, he smashed the box into a thousand pieces and cast them into the river, which washed them into the sea. This young man started telling everyone that he met about the truth of what the box was doing, for he was now free from Gnome's magic spell.
In each town some of the folks listened to William, and the number of his converts grew. The people slowly began to awaken.
As William did his work, Gwendolyn was living a life of terror because she was forced, by her enchanted father, to be with the ugly and malicious Gnome. She recoiled in horror every time he tried to reach out to take her hand.
"Stay away from me," she yelled in anger.
"Ah, a spirited girl is made to be tamed," Gnome said with a wicked smile. " The day will come, when you will be my wife and you will be able to run away from me no longer. I am patient and will have what I want."
The day of the wedding was drawing near when the brave William arrived in Fairville, below Tall Castle. His strong voice carried over the field to Gwendolyn's ear as she stood in her window. She was thrilled by what he said. His strong words agreed with what she knew to be true. She quickly sent a servant to give William a note that said,
"Please help me brave knight, for I am being forced to marry the master of the box, an ugly gnome who has bewitched my parents. - Princess Gwendolyn."
When William read that note he turned to the people, who were about to try to yell him down once again, and he told them what was happening in Tall Castle, to their beloved princess. Their eyes grew big and round and they were able to cast off the magic spell at once. However, they did not see the fairy princess high above them, sprinkling dust and waving her wand to help drive the spell away.
The whole town went right away into their houses and grabbed the horrible little boxes and destroyed them completely. They grabbed their swords and knives and all manner of weapons and followed William to Tall Castle, where the decorations were being put up for the marriage of poor Princess Gwendolyn to the evil Gnome. William shouted up to the guard, "Open the castle door or we will break it down in order to save the beautiful princess!"
At first the frightened guard refused to open the huge wooden gate. But then a little flash of light flew up to him from behind the crowd, and in a few moments the door began to open. William and the townspeople entered at once. They found the dreaded Gnome chasing the fair Gwendolyn through the castle halls. They angrily took him prisoner. He was squealing like a tortured pig as they covered his body with tar and then dipped him in feathers. He was taken over the border and dropped on the ground. He whined and cried as he looked at the feathers completely covering his tarred body.
"If you ever again set foot upon the soil of the Land of Wite, " William said with authority in his voice, "You will be cut into pieces and fed to the trolls of the Land of Night!"
From that day to this, none of the tribe of Gnome has ever dared to enter the Land of Wite. The boxes were all destroyed, and the foreign hordes that had entered the land were given safe passage back from whence they came. The Land of Wite once again became the lovely and safe land that it had been before.
As the people celebrated the happy wedding of William and Gwendolyn, such was the joy of the people of the Land of Wite, that a shout rose up that was heard around the world.
And they all lived happily ever after!