Once upon a time, long ago, there was a place called Happy Valley; everyone who lived there was happy. It was one of nature's garden spots nestled among the rolling hills with a lovely brook flowing among them. Winding country roads lined with lush trees and prosperous fields and farms of the village spread across the landscape. And high on a hill overlooking the valley, a majestic castle, with something very precious inside; a magic singing harp with hair of gold and eyes of violet. "My, what a happy day~" she sang, "What a sunny sky, kind of makes you sigh in a happy way~"
Her melodious voice spread far across the valley. Soon, the animals were singing along with her, from the cattle grazing in the meadows, to the crows circling the fields of corn.
Yes, the voice of the harp brought peace and happiness to the valley, but it was too good to last. (Ah, the catch; there's always a catch.) One day a mysterious shadow covered the valley, and something terrible happened. When the shadow vanished, the golden harp was gone. No longer was the valley happy, for without the magic of the harp all was misery…misery…misery; just like my middle school years.
Desolation spread across the land; everything was drying up. The fields of golden corn turned to dust. The babbling brook flowed no more. To think that this was once Happy Valley; now it's Gruesome Gulge. Days passed, weeks passed, with no more than a few remaining villagers.
Now suppose we look in on these humble peasants. Oh, that's no peasant, that's a cow. Now I know what you're thinking, 'at least they had milk'. Well, she used to be a good milker but now…she's an utter failure.
And there they are, three poor farmers, barely escaping starvation. Still alive, still breathing, sharing a pitiful crust between them. Share and share alike; sharing and staring, staring and sharing. Men facing famine, on their last straw, uh, bean I mean; well at least there are no bones in it.
Just look at that miserable creature, nothing more than a bag of grey skin and bones, truly a picture of despair; but Karkat doesn't whimper, Karkat doesn't give up. "I can't stand it!" he shouted, piling on everything he could get his hands on, shoving plates and utensils down his throat. Greatly concerned, Gamzee and Tavros tried calming him down, emptying him of the culinary items not meant for eating. "I'll be alright…I'll be alright…I'll be alright…"
He says he's alright, but I wonder, he suffered too much. What exactly is being hatched in the brain of this poor demented troll?
"Karkat!" Tavros exclaimed. "Karkat no!" The old ax that hung on the wall was missing from its place and was now in Karkat's hands as he slowly wandered towards the cow. "Karkat!"
Karkat lashed out to attack the cow, swinging the ax around. Thankfully his two companions were able to unarm him and restrain him with a nearby branch; poor Karkat. "I just gotta eat," Karkat pleaded, "I'm so…hungry."
It was a sorry predicament indeed; what to do? What to do? The three finally agreed that it would be best to sell the cow.
Tavros led his bovine friend through the valley, seeing if anyone would be willing to make a trade with him. With none in the village having anything of value to offer, Tavros approached the palace to speak with young Empress Feferi.
"Your majesty," Tavros spoke softly but respectfully, bowing before the kingdom’s ruler.
"Hello dear peasant," the empress kindly responded, "what brings you to my palace?"
"Well you uh, your majesty, see I have this cow—"
"For me? Oh thank you kind sir."
"Uh, yeah," Tavros chuckled.
"But I couldn't just take your cow," the empress said stepping down from her throne. "Your generosity will be rewarded." A smile grew on Tavros's face. Once standing on the same level, the empress pulled out a small box from her sleeve and handed it to Tavros.
"What's this?" Tavros asked opening the box. What he found inside surprised him. "Beans?!"
"Not just any beans," the empress explained, "magic beans. There’s a wonderful legend behind them." The empress retrieved a scroll and read it aloud to Tavros. “Faithful subject, good and kind, if fame and fortune thou wouldst find, oh mystic spirit of ancient queens, plant with care these magic beans.”
"Gosh, thank you your majesty." Tavros bowed to the empress who patted his head and sent him on his way back home.
Back on the farm, Gamzee and Karkat were happily singing about the food they hoped for.
"Turkey, lobster, sweet potato pie; pancakes piled up 'til they reach the sky! Lots of starches, lots of greens, fancy chocolate covered—"
"Beans!" Tavros interjected coming through the door.
"Tav? What do you mean 'beans'?" Gamzee asked confused.
"I traded the cow for some magic beans."
"Beans?!" Karkat was absolutely furious and began ripping out his hair.
"But Karkat, these aren't ordinary beans, they're magic beans. If you plant these beans in the light of a full moon, do you know what'll happen?"
"Yeah, I get more beans!" Karkat through the box of beans, claiming that Tavros had been tricked. Poor Tavros could only watch as their last hope fell through the floor boards.
Night came and not an ounce of food for the three; magic beans indeed. But wait what's this? A long green vine was emerging from the spot where the beans had fallen, the full moon shining above; perhaps there is some magic in them.
All through the night it grew, onward and upward, taking the small cottage and the three farmers with it. Karkat doesn't really strike me as a heavy sleeper but I guess when you can't eat, the only thing left to do to conserve energy is sleep.
At dawn, the trio found themselves staring at a mammoth castle miles above the valley. Out of curiosity the decided to pursue this strange happening. 'Who lives there?' the wondered. Man or monster? Friend or foe? A princess or a dragon? Perhaps no one has yet to set foot on this strange place.
They finally reach the moat surrounding the castle, but that didn't stop them; they used a large leaf for a boat.
Onward they went when they heard from above a small swarm of large dragonflies. "Gee what whoppers," Tavros commented.
The trio quickly paddled, finally reaching the shore and the massive castle steps. They began to climb; forgotten was their hunger and fear. Three minds with a single thought of what lurked inside these stone walls.
Shimmying under the door of the castle, they gazed at the halls surrounding them. Suddenly they looked up; what was it?
"Food!" Karkat exclaimed happily. "Let me at it!"
They charged up to the table top where abnormally large portions of food spread across every platter. They raced to fill their long empty bellies with fruits, vegetables, and other assortments.
Then they heard a female voice that had been startled by the commotion. "Who's there?" she asked.
"That's the harp," Tavros said as the three went over to a chest at the end of the table. Tavros poked his head through the keyhole and asked, "how'd you get here?"
The harp replied, "I was kidnapped by that wicked giant Boxcar."
Yes a giant; bigger than forty men. An ogre with the power to transform into anything, man or beast. The giant had been the one to snatch the harp under cover of darkness and bring ruin to Happy Valley. All in all, the giant had no interest in the sorry state of the valley, he had just wanted someone to sing him to sleep.
And the giant came home for dinner, stomping through the castle roaring, "Fee, fi, fo, fum! Fee, fi, fo, fum!" Out the shadow halls he stepped into the light and went from roaring to singing. "Fee fi fo fum, hee hi ho hum, I'm the most amazing guy, a most amazing guy am I."
The trio looked on from behind the large pots and jars on the table.
"Fee fi fo fum," the giant continued, "hee hi ho hum, I'm the stuff I'm telling you, for here's what I can do." His next verse was a small demonstration of his powers. "I can change myself into an elf, fly up high like the birdies, I can disappear into atmosphere; Peek-a-boo! 'Cause I know the magic wordies! Fi fo fee foy, fee fee fee fee—Fifi? I don't know no Fifi…fee fi fo fum, I smell…" He began sniffing the air and around the table, the three farmers trying to keep themselves out of harm's way. "Hm…pot roast! Chocolate pot roast! With cream gravy~"
The giant took his knife and fork, chopping up the food to make a sandwich, unaware that Tavros had been caught up in the mix until he added pepper, making the young troll sneeze. "Gesundheit," Tavros chuckled. The giant dropped him in surprise before chasing him across the table.
"Oh no you don't! You can't get away from me!" Tavros was about to stumble of the table's edge when the giant grabbed him. "I got'cha! …I think I got'cha." He peeked inside his hand to make sure. "Yeah, I got'cha."
The giant opened up his hand to get a better look at his pint-sized prisoner and watched Tavros walk across. "Ten, twenty, thirty, forty…boy, what a lifeline," he commented.
"Well what's this here?" the giant asked pointing to the line next to it. "What is it? What is it?"
"Oh, I can't believe it."
"Is it bad?"
"It says here that you can change into anything."
"Sure, sure," the giant smiled. "You wanna see me? I can change myself into the darnedest things. Go on, give me something, anything."
Tavros isn't going to miss this; he's got a good idea. "Well, uh, can you change into a fly?"
"An itsy-bitsy house fly?"
"That's it! A house fly!"
"Aww, you don't want that," the giant insisted. "How about a bunny with long floppy ears?"
"Well if you can't do a fly—"
"Alright, a fly; why?!"
"Well uh, hehe, because."
"Okay, a teeny, weeny fly. Now for the magic wordies!" As the giant sang his song, Tavros called Karkat and Gamzee over to pick up a big fly-swatter. However, once the song was finished they noticed the giant hadn't changed into his request but his own suggestion. "You sure you don't want a bunny? Hey, what is this?" He the realized what they were trying to do. "You think you can fool me?"
He snatched them into his clutches, and opened the box. He took the harp out ad dropped them inside, not noticing that Tavros had slipped off the side. He grabbed onto the back as the giant placed the box on a high shelf, locking Karkat and Gamzee inside.
Things are looking pretty dark for them but let's not forget the magic harp. She knows the giant's weakness. There still may be a chance to escape if she can use her voice to put the giant to sleep. "In my favorite dream~" she began, "Everyone is so delightful~ no one's mean or spiteful, in my favorite dream~"
As the giant grew sleepier, the harp guided Tavros to retrieve the key. He found a needle and pinned it to a spool, tying a string that would act as a rope around it. With the giant now asleep he slid down and went for the key in the giant's right vest pocket; the harp urged him to be careful.
Once there, Tavros lifted up the key, accidentally opening a box of snuff, a form of tobacco. This caused both him and the giant to sneeze. "Nightmare," the giant yawned, drifting back into his slumber.
Tavros climbed back up to the shelf and released his friends; success at last. Now to find the beanstalk and climb down to surprise Happy Valley. But wait, Tavros is going to make doubly sure, tying the giant's laces together just in case the giant…might wake up!
Tavros belted for the exit, the giant chasing after him. He slid down the beanstalk with the giant not too far behind. At the base, Gamzee and Karkat had begun sawing at the stalk until it could stand no more.
There goes the giant, tumbling over and over before plummeting to the ground. And with passing of the giant, the valley flourished with song and laughter once more. For with the return of the harp, peace and prosperity spread throughout the land and the people of the valley lived happily ever after.