The Storytellers step out in front of the curtain.
STORYTELLER #1: The next morning the Prince decided not to say anything…
STORYTELLER #2: Rather, he decided to follow the Princesses again the next night…
STORYTELLER #3: and the next.
STORYTELLERS (all): Everything happened just as it had that first night.
STORYTELLER #1: Each night the Princesses would rise…
STORYTELLER #2: Put on their finest gowns and dancing shoes…
STORYTELLER #3: Descend the hidden stair and meet their Princes.
STORYTELLERS (all): They danced each time until their shoes fell apart.
STORYTELLER #1: Several times the Prince came close…
STORYTELLER #2: Very close…
STORYTELLER #3: Frighteningly close…
STORYTELLERS (all): To being discovered.
STORYTELLER #1: However, luck was with him…
STORYTELLER #2: And though he was often almost caught
STORYTELLER #3: He never actually was discovered.
STORYTELLER #1: Each night the Princesses’ would return
STORYTELLER #2: To find him exactly as they had left him
STORYTELLER #3: Snoring away peacefully.
STORYTELLERS (all): Or so it seemed to them.
STORYTELLER #1: However, the dawn of the final day came…
STORYTELLER #2: And Prince Antraig was out of time.
STORYTELLER #3: That morning he was summoned before the King…
STORYTELLERS (all): For his once chance to save his life. Could he solve the Riddle of the Worn-Out Dancing Shoes?
Curtain opens on Throne room. King, Princesses, Knights are all assembled. As the lights come up, Prince Antranig strides in confidently. The Princesses whisper amongst one another. Prince A presents himself before the King and bows.
KING: So, have you solved the Riddle of my daughter’s mysterious activities?
PRINCE: Your Majesty, I have.
The Princesses all gasp in astonishment.
PRINCESSES: No. Impossible. He must be lying in order to try and save his head. No. No. Etc.
KING: Silence! I will hear what this man has to say!
PRINCE: Your Majesty, this will sound hard to believe, but every night your daughters dress in their finest clothes, put on their dancing shoes, and then knock at the headboard of Princess Alusair’s bed. The mattress lifts up to reveal a set of stairs going down. These stairs lead to an underground kingdom ruled by three Princes. In this kingdom are great forests of trees whose leaves and branches are made of purest silver, gold or diamonds. The Princes live in a fantastic underground palace on an island in the middle of a lake. They eat food off golden plates and drink from jeweled goblets. It is they your daughters go to every night, to dance with, to wine with, and to dine with.
ALUSAIR: He’s lying!
AURORA: Honestly father, are you going to believe such a preposterous fairy tale?
KING: Your tale is indeed somewhat fantastic. I don’t suppose you have proof?
Wordlessly Prince A pulls forth the goblet he stole from the palace as well as the branch of silver, the branch of gold, and the branch of diamonds. The Princesses gasp in dismay and astonishment. The King reaches out and takes them, examining them carefully.
KING: It seems you do indeed have proof. Is this true?
ALUSAIR: But father!
AURORA: Such a ridiculous story!
ANASTASIA: (softly) It’s true father.
ANASTASIA: Fair is fair! He outsmarted us all. That should earn him his life at the very least!
AURORA: But what of our Princes! How will we ever free them from their curse now?
KING: So. You have indeed succeeded where so many other have failed. Congratulations. You may marry whichever of my daughters you wish, and you shall be my heir. Which of my daughters will you take as your wife and future Queen?
The Princes turns to the Princesses, and slowly walked over to them, looking over each in turn. Finally, he reaches out and takes the hand of Alusair.
PRINCE: This is my choice your Majesty. I am far to old for Aurora or Anastasia, but I will gladly and lovingly take the hand of your eldest and fairest daughter, the matchless Alusair.
He draws Alusair to him, and the scene freezes. The Storytellers emerge from the wings.
STORYTELLER #1: And so it was, the Riddle was solved…
STORYTELLER #2: The Prince gained his Princess…
STORYTELLER #3: Who in time came to love him, and they lived…
STORYTELLERS (all): Happily ever after. And as for the Princes of Under Mountain, they were doomed to live under their curse for as many nights as the had danced with the Princesses.