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Megan was a perfect little girl and everyone loved her … She was pretty, kind, and perfectly behaved in every way, and everyone loved her except her big sister Bess. Bess was filled with a secret envy for her loving little sister ever since that very first day when Megan was born.

It wasn’t that Bess wasn’t a beautiful young woman herself, and she had been treated as one well-suited to become a princess and to marry a prince, and eventually to become the queen of some important and perfect land. But all of that wonderful future ended the moment Megan was born. It was if Bess suddenly vanished!

No one even noticed Bess anymore and everyone, even her mother, hurried right past her so they could be close to Megan. Megan, Megan, Megan! they all cried … kind and loving and a paragon of correctness … Everyone agreed … everyone of course but Bess. How could it be otherwise?

For Bess, the former perfect little girl herself, had now reached a marriageable age but was being totally ignored by all of the eligible young princes. Gasp! … Now, she was even being ignored by the frogs, even the toads!

Perfect little Megan of course treated her big sister with deep respect and loving kindness, but Bess hated her all the more for that … Why? … because that’s the way she treated everyone, even the servants, even the beggars on the street.

What was Bess to do? She had too much to lose if she began openly mistreating Megan; she would be seen as the horrible sister, pretty and smart, but horrible. Should she run away? No. No! that would just make her look bad and totally destroy her chances of ever marrying a prince, even an old toady one. Should she precipitate an accident that would get rid of that pretty little problem? … Forever! … That’s been the solution for many ancient princes and princesses with similar problems … but no! That’s too ugly, and everyone would be even more enamored with the tragedy suffered by that paragon of perfection, and no matter how cleverly it was performed, Megan’s death would ruin Bess’s reputation.

Ah ha! Why not get her married off to some bounder. There are plenty of oversexed youths willing to climb the high castle walls to have her for their own. Yes, that’s the answer … Let down a rope from her window … secretly of course … and encourage some fancy bad boy to visit her in the night. It wouldn’t be long before she fell in love, and that pretty little thing would get pregnant and be moved off to a distant land, and Bess could get some idealist poet to make Megan’s whole life into a beautiful fantasy. That would enhance Bess’s own status too, and she could get on with attracting the richest, most handsome, and most desirable prince in the whole world to be her king.

Soon it would be Queen Bess. That sounds nice! Queen Bess! You know, the wonderful queen who has that pretty sister who married, ahh, ahh … what’s his name?

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