Hello! Have you wasted away waiting for me to return to my story? Fallen off of anything? Lost any breath? How about sleep? Well, never mind, hopefully you haven't broken anything and now I can spare you the expensive doctor bill.
You may recall that an unknown fair damsel had just crashed the party and the crowd had parted like the Red Sea as Prince Watsworth, the Faint approached to ask for a dance. Upon reaching the ravishing creature, the Prince bowed and looked adoringly into her eyes. "May I have this dance, my fair lady?", he asked. With that, the beguiling mystery woman curtsied and replied, "Butt of course, your UnGrace." All eyes followed the couple as they glided and jilted across the floor. The grace of the one and the stiff-leggedness of the other seemed to work some kind of magic, complementing their every move. What one lacked, the other made up for, and vice versa. Every female goat in the room was sick with envy, while every male goat fairly oozed jealousy.
As they danced on into the night, Prince Watsworth asked, "Who are you? What is your name? Are you a princess?" With every question the lovely goat would simply smile. "Can you speak at all?", the frustrated Prince finally blurted. "Do not toy with me, for I cannot even spell Mattel - or even Hasbro." "Ah, but it is for me to know and for you to find out, my Prince", she finally replied. Prince Watsworth, the Faint nearly lived up to his name as the sound of her melodious voice at last fell upon his ears. It was like the clear and dulcet tinkle of bells, merrily bouncing through the air. Surely here was a true princess.
As suddenly as the strange but alluring goat had appeared, the clock in the castle tower struck midnight. Her exquisite head turned toward the sound and, without a word, she fled the hall. Prince Watsworth tried to run after her, but, of course, he froze (at least he didn't go completely bum-over-coffeepot. This time.) All he could do was look forlornly after as she disappeared into the night, all his hopes and dreams melting into the darkness along with her.
In the days that followed, Watsworth and the King and Queen set about looking for the mysterious interloper. No one seemed to know her name or where she had come from. Perhaps she was not a true princess after all. Watsworth was heart broken. Then one night there came a great storm. It rained so hard that even the herd of royal ducks refused to go out. And that was a problem since they all kept quacking and waddling and tripping everyone. Unexpectedly there came a loud knock at the door. The King went to answer it, for he was a good servant of the people and didn't mind doing things like answering doors or cooking. Why he was so good, he never even thought about boring people with those ridiculous state-of-the-onion speeches. He opened the door and, to his surprise, there stood the very object of their exhausting search. He welcomed her into the castle and, as she stood dripping all over the floor, Watsworth ran to her exclaiming with rapturous joy. "You are here! You are found! I am beside myself! Although, come to think of it, I can't be beside myself when I am right here, can I? But no matter! You are found!" The beautiful black and white goat, with the lovely tan accents on her feet and legs, looked at Watsworth and replied, "Was I lost? I didn't realize."
Now, the Queen, never one to accept things at face value, stood taking in the scene. She loved Watsworth dearly, but was this a real princess? Perhaps she was merely a knock-off like one of those Louis Vuitton handbags sold by dodgy men on street corners. So the Queen devised a plan in her head, and strode forward offering to let the damsel spend the night. "First, my dear, however, we simply must know your name. For if we do not know, how are we to call you to dinner?" The would-be princess bowed her head and shyly replied, "I am called Maribella." Watsworth nearly fainted. Again. Such a beautiful name to go with such a beautiful goat. Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful! (So much for eloquence).
So the plan the Queen had devised was this. She had offered Maribella a bed for the night. In reality, the bed she had offered would be twenty forkfuls of hay laying atop twenty bales of alfalfa. Beneath the alfalfa, the Queen would place one Peanut. ( I bet you were beginning to wonder if the Peanut was ever going to make it into this story, now weren't you?) This would accomplish several things. First of all, if Maribella was a true princess, she would be unable to sleep through the night. Why? Because a true princess would have such a delicate countenance, she would be bothered by even as small a lump as a Peanut lying under all that roughage. Secondly, no true princess would dare be so crude as to touch even one morsel of alfalfa. For a true princess would know alfalfa is like gold and costs just as much. And thirdly, a true princess would be able to smell a Peanut, even one buried under forty layers of cushioning. A true princess is like a bloodhound - with less wrinkles and better ears.
Anyway, the stage was set. Maribella retired after her evening repast. The next morning she arose and went downstairs. "It was so very kind of you to offer me lodging," said Maribella, "but I just didn't sleep a wink last night." "Really?", queried the King and Queen. "What do you believe was the problem?" "Well, I really hate to seem ungrateful", replied Maribella, "but it felt like there was something hard in the bed, and I am afraid I am quite bruised. Plus it was awfully difficult not to sample your lovely alfalfa, and I kept imagining I smelled Peanuts all night." With that, Watsworth jumped up, fainted, jumped up again, and then ran stiff-leggedly to Maribella. Only a true princess could have passed such an arduous test! There was much rejoicing by the entire kingdom and the two were married. The Peanut (what was left of it) was placed in the Royal Museum for all inhabitants of the land to see and drool over. And the alfalfa was distributed far and wide. No matter how many forkfuls were given out, there somehow always managed to be more available. Free. After all, this is a fairy tale.