Write a piece of fiction describing the incident that gave rise to the phrase, “third time’s the charm.”
I will be the first to admit that I have no idea where the phrase “third time’s the charm” came from. But I have made up a story to account for this phrase. It is a fractured fairy tale.
Prince Charming had failed. Spectacularly. First he had eloped with Princess Jasmine when he was just sixteen. He had met her at a dance that their fathers had held one mid-summer’s eve and had fallen quickly in love with the blue-eyed, blonde-haired beauty. They had known each other one week when they decided that they would run away and get married. Prince Charming rode away from the castle on his brilliant white horse and met Princess Jasmine outside her castle door and off they went to a neighboring monastery and secretly wed. Then went back to their parents and told them them afterwards. The parents were shocked, but since both sets of parents were planning that the two should eventually wed and they had saved them the expense of a big wedding, they weren’t all that upset. Prince Charming and Princess Jasmine moved into Prince Charming’s parents’ castle and the trouble began. Mom and dad were still in control. Princess Jasmine had nothing to do but what the Queen told her to do. She and Prince Charming found themselves squabbling frequently. There was trouble in paradise. This was not what she had thought married life would be. Princess Jasmine finally went home to mom and dad and the marriage was annulled.
The King and Queen decided that Prince Charming needed a wife, a proper wife this time. They arranged a match with a princess in the neighboring kingdom. Princess Sophie would be perfect or so they thought. She was a little older than Prince Charming but they didn’t think that would be a problem. Besides they needed to make an alliance with this kingdom and Prince Charming needed to do his duty. A large royal wedding was planned and Princess Sophie arrived. Prince Charming wed Princess Sophie. Prince Charming was miserable. He was not attracted to Princess Sophie. Princess Sophie hated Prince Charming. She hated the Magic Kingdom. She despised the King and Queen. She wanted nothing more than to return to her own kingdom. “This was the biggest mistake in the world,” she thought. Eventually, Princess Sophie had enough and packed her bags and left for her mother and father’s kingdom. Prince Charming had failed at marriage again.
Prince Charming was single once again. This was not good, thought the King. He would give a ball and invite all the eligible young women in the kingdom. So what if they were commoners? If he managed to find a good wife from among them, it was worth it. The ball was held, and all the young women from the kingdom presented themselves to Prince Charming. But he only had eyes for one beautiful young woman in glass slippers. They danced all night. He was smitten. He was finally in love. But when the clock struck midnight, the young woman started to panic and ran from the ball. She lost one of her glass slippers as she ran from the ballroom.
Prince Charming was determined to find the young woman who stole his heart. He rode through the kingdom with the glass slipper looking for the young woman whose foot fit the glass slipper, who had touched his life at the ball. When he about to despair, he reached the house of the duchess and her daughters. The daughters insisted that they fit the shoe (they didn’t, of course). Even the duchess herself wanted to try on the shoe. Then the girl who tended the fire, Cinderella, asked to try on the shoe. The daughters berated her but there was something familiar about her, thought the Prince. He put the glass slipper on her tiny foot. It was a perfect fit! He had found her!
The third time’s the charm! Prince Charming married Cinderella. She became his Princess and they lived happily ever after. No one ever mentioned Prince Charming’s two previously failed marriages. His third marriage was such a happy one. This was the origin of the saying, “the third time’s the charm.”