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Illustration by H.J. Ford. It was the lion who told the king the huntsmen were girls. Trust your pets!

“Hey, Look at this!” Simplia said, running in the door and waving a doorknob hangtag. “It looks like we have a new pizza delivery place, King and Lion Pizza. it must be that old building where the dry cleaners used to be. Want to order dinner?” she asked, excitedly.

“Sure!” Sagacia took the card her friend offered and studied it a minute. “They’re even having a Labor Day special. So . . . pepperoni or sausage?” she asked.

“I was thinking California or margherita,” Simplia said.

“Okay, Supreme!” Sagacia held up her hand for a high five, and her adaptable friend slapped her palm. “We can put pineapple chunks on it!” she added as a concession. “Or basil.”

“What’s the number?” Simplia asked, pulling her phone out of her pocket.

Sagacia squinted, studying the card. She turned it over.

“What the—?” she almost whispered.

“What!” Simplia insisted.

“Well, it looks like a letter to Vasilisa disguised as a Pizza Delivery hangtag. What day is it, anyway?”

“The magical third . . .”

“…day of the month,” her friend chimed in, nodding, then read:

Hello, VtW!
    I have just finished reading Charles Kiernan’s Fairy Tale of the Month blog, which this month is about “The Twelve Huntsmen,” and it occurred to me that I’ve read other fairy tales where a disguise works to hide oneself from someone who really knows you well and loves you, too. 

Frankly, I can’t imagine that I could ever successfully disguise myself from my wife, even if she had not seen me for years. I mean, she knows the way I walk, my voice, which pitch my voice cracks on, how I hold my shoulders, the sounds I make at night . . . Some of those things you just can’t disguise!  All that lute-playing queen had to do was cut her hair and put on a cloak and her husband couldn’t tell her from Adam, even on a long walk of, maybe, two weeks! In The Twelve Huntsmen, the forsaken bride merely dresses like a huntsman along with eleven other women, and the king hasn’t a clue. He does figure out that they are huntswomen, not huntsmen with the help of his pet lion, but that shouldn’t have been a problem–at least, not until one of them had to decide which bathroom to go to.

    So, I thought it was more than a disguise, it was enchantment! Even though there was no stated event by which the huntsman or the lute player became enchanted, I think that putting on a disguise was the point where magic intervenes to affect the course of the story, IOW, the moment when fairy tale magic happens

Now, I know I’ve read other stories where a disguise does this, but they just aren’t coming to me right now. Maybe your readers can help, and maybe we could figure out something about disguises and enchantment, too. Would you ask them?

Thanks!—Lannie in the “Land of Enchantment” (NM)

“Hmmm,” Simplia pondered. “Sir Gawain and the Loathly Lady? No, he didn’t love her or know her before the enchantment. Still, I’m pretty sure I’ve read some like he describes.”

“Me, too,” said Sagacia.

“You know,” Simplia said thoughtfully. “That new pizza place is right on the way to the Fairy Tale Lobby.”

“We could order on the way,” Sagacia calculated, “and pick it up on the way back.”


“I’m ready,” said Sagacia, grabbing her hat.

“Meow, meow,” said Murzik, meaning, “I’ll have cheese, please.”