The Princess sits across the table from Prince Rantoule. She tries hard to look at him without him finding out she is looking at him. Everything about him is perfect. He sips his soup quietly, he says the right things, his spine is straight and so are his teeth. He has the perfect dimple and the perfect dark wavy locks.
And the Princess hates him! She hates him because every time he does something perfect, it makes her look imperfect. She hates competing for attention at the table; eating quieter, saying more clever things. And she hates sitting so perfectly straight!
She could never live the rest of her life like this!
When dessert is finally cleared and the musicians play, she is forced to dance perfectly so as not to step on his perfect toes. Inwardly she groans as she realizes he is the perfect height. Her Mother smiles at them, eyes watering, clearly thinking it is a match made in heaven.
Prince doesn't even ask her about the merger. Either he knows she is sore about it, and he kindly spares her, or he thinks he will charm her anyway. He must charm everyone he meets.
Princess smiles, but says through clenched teeth, "In your dreams."
"Pardon? Would like to sit the next one out?"
The Prince is baffled when Princess tells her parents she has a headache and needs to retire to her bedchamber. This effectively ends the dinner party and casts a cloud over the Queen's face.
It is misting in the swamp. The rain has almost let up. It is time for Ogres to go out hunting. They try to get to their favorite ambushing spots before the animals move out into the open in search of food.
It is also the time when one of the Ogres and his ugly companion are surprised by a pack of talking leaves! The Ogre is clearly confused, but goes down fighting. The human quickly realizes that his attackers are in disguise, wearing the flora of the swamp to blend in. He jumps up to a tree branch for the home court advantage.
Startled at seeing a human here in the swamp, the attackers stop waylaying the poor Ogre who is knocked unconscious.
"Who are you?"
"I live here. Who are you?"
"We are soldiers from the Dunmarr Kingdom, here to conquer this swamp and expand the borders of King Glutman."
"Borders? Conquer? This is Ogre land. It will always be Ogre land. No King can take that away!"
"Friendly with these beasts are ya? We'll just take you hostage, show you how influential the King can be. And you and your 'friend' here can rot in his dungeon!"
The human is not about to let these soldiers capture him. He leaps upon them and swings his staff expertly. Unfortunately, trained soldiers are much smarter than Ogres. They are able to disarm him swiftly and tackle him in the mud.
The two unlucky swamp creatures find themselves tied up and led away from the only home they know. But the human one is not entirely upset at this. The human one thinks this might be exactly what he wants.