The Chubby Princess

Once upon a time in a kingdom far, far away, there was a land of abundance and wealth with a just and peaceful King. The King had a daughter who knew how to enjoy the abundance of her father's lands very well, including the magnificent baker shops whose ovens spit out lines of delicious tidbits, cakes, and pastries both savory and sweet―which were wonderfully fatty―as well as frosting, whipped cream, and all kinds of treats.

And the Princess was fat. Very fat.

Her breakfast consisted of five donuts, seven buttered rolls, fruit, chocolate or coffee cake, and hot milk with plenty of sugar. Soon it was time for lunch, always presented with a variety of items: all kinds of fried foods and stews, beef pot roast, pork chops, roasted chicken, and lamb fillets. Come dinner time, broth and soup were accompanied by fresh bread and, for dessert, there was always a wide variety of ice cream.

And the Princess was putting on weight. A lot of it.

Then came that stage in life when every Princess is courted by princes from neighboring kingdoms, and  the ballrooms in the castle are crowded with courtiers, and soon wedding celebrations are planned, mobilizing all subjects to sow the Princess' dress, get flowers and food ready, clean all corners of the royal chambers, and welcome the new prince. 

However, the Princess was fat. Very fat. And princes ran away past the line on horizon at the sight of her. And rumors were spreading that the Princess would remain a maiden and go mad, because every Princess needs a prince.

And the Princess was sad and distraught. “Oh, why am I so fat?” And she looked at her Dad, a balloon wearing a crown, and looked at her mother, who wasn't far behind. “Oh, why am I so fat?” she would ask while looking at herself in the Magic Mirror, which laughed every time she appeared in front of it. 

“Mirror, Mirror on the wall...” she then said, “What can I do to make a prince for me fall?” 

And the Mirror replied, “Oh, chubby girl...”―it laughed―“First you must learn how to talk. 'Fall for me' is the right way to say it. And being fat, my girl, isn't 'in' right now. Ask your Fairy Godmother to reinvent the wheel and make you as skinny as a small heron.”

The Princess' face lit up with the light of a thousand candles. She clapped her hands three times and said the magic words. The Fairy Godmother appeared with a strong gust of wind that came in through the window and ruffled the curtains in the Princess' chamber.

“My beautiful little girl...” the Fairy Godmother said. “When you were born, I saw it in the stars that you would have a big heart, and that is why you got this big, too. Such a big heart wouldn't fit in a small body. But, do tell me, what makes you so sad?”

“Oh, Fairy Godmother...” the Princess said. “I can't find a good husband, not even in the farthest of lands. What can I do, if being chubby isn't in?”

“Well, but this is something I can solve,” the Fairy Godmother said. In an instant, she got the Princess a toothbrush.

“What should I do with it?” the little Princess asked, staring at the toothbrush as one would look at a dragon.

“Oh, my Princess, you find such pleasure in eating that I could never take that away from you. Here is what you'll do to be very skinny: Every time you eat too much, rush to the bathroom and shove the toothbrush down your throat. Throw up everything you can and, whatever you cannot, run ten times around the castle to burn it off, then go to sleep. Repeat it until the Mirror is envious of how thin you look.”

“Thank you, Fairy Godmother!” the little Princess replied with joy.

“You're welcome, my girl,” the Fairy Godmother said, before spinning around so strong that it put out all the candles in the chamber, and she disappeared as fast as she had appeared.

And so the Princess did. She ate as before, but every time she felt that her stomach was about to burst, she'd rush to the closest bathroom and use her toothbrush. She'd shove it down her throat with no mercy, until she'd feel bile run down the side of her mouth. She would then put her heaviest dress and run ten times around the castle. The Princess' parents started to worry, because their daughter always disappeared before the end of each dinner, refused to have any dessert, and then would come back to the table all sweaty and looking tired.

The little Princess was getting thinner each day. Rumors were spreading. “The princess is losing weight!” “She's thinner each day, but she hasn't stopped eating.” “It must be magic!” 

Then it came a time when the princess didn't even need her toothbrush anymore. She would stop in front of the royal toilet and gladly throw up all her soup and meat and treats and tidbits. And she was running more and more each time; instead of ten, she'd now run twenty laps around the castle. 

One day, she looked into the Magic Mirror and didn't recognize herself. Her little bones were showing, and she was only skin and bones.

“Mirror, Mirror on the wall. Now that I'm small, beautiful, and rich, will any prince for me fall?”

“Oh, little Princess...”―it laughed―“You are now as skinny as a stick. You have bulgy eyes like a dead man's, and your grammar is still bad, like a pork steak with no salt. And I don't have good news, my Queen of Delight.”

“What's wrong, Mirror?”

“It's just that skinny isn't in anymore. Princes are now going for full-figured princesses. If only you were still chubby...”

“What!?” the little Princess yelled. “I spent almost two years throwing up, I ran like crazy, and now you mother-fucking mirror are telling me that skinny isn't in anymore?!”

With a determined strike, the Princess broke the mirror, then tore the curtains in the chamber, and set the castle on fire with her parents still inside. “The Princess went mad!” the subjects said.

The Princess took her clothes off, got on a horse, and rode through the kingdoms screaming blasphemy against the dictatorship of beauty. But the little Princess was weak, so weak she couldn't hold on for much longer. Before she turned twenty-one, she was found dead, naked on the horse, with a sign hanging from her neck that said, “I WAS HAPPY AND I DIDN'T KNOW IT.”

The End

PETÊ RISSATTI nasceu em Atibaia, São Paulo, em 29 de outubro, National Book Day in Brazil. It was only natural that he would become interested in books and texts on a variety of subjects―but all of them preferably of a good quality.

He lives in the Capital of São Paulo and has been working in publishing since 1998 as a freelancer copyeditor and reviewer. He started translating book in 2006, and also provides publishers with critical reading reports on books written in English and German.

In 2014, Petê joined Roxo-Forte Produções Editoriais as a translator and partner. It is a group of competent and highly-qualified professionals who provide services to different publishers, advertising agencies, and companies.

He also contributes to Ponte de Letras, a blog about translations that he shares with three other friends and equally-qualified professionals, and writes to Quotidianos, a blog about fantastic fiction.

In addition to contributing to short story collections, in 2012 he published his first book, Réquiem: sonhos proibidos [Requiem: Forbidden Dreams].

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