He stopped his wagon for the soldiers guarding the border of this new kingdom. “State your name and business,” the first soldier said.
“My name is Tomas,” he replied. “I heard you needed people to farm your land.”
“You heard correctly, but why would you leave your home to come farm our lands?”
“I don’t have a home anymore. All my land is underwater now that the dam broke during the flood. I managed to grab a few baskets of my crops and a handful of my chickens, but I lost everything else.”
The first soldier walked around to the wagon and looked inside. When he walked back, he nodded at the other soldier to indicate that Tomas only had what he said he had. The second soldier finally spoke. “We need to ask you a few questions before we allow you to enter our fair kingdom.“
“I understand,” Tomas said. “Security is important.“
The first soldier shook his head. “Not security, no. Matters of security here tend to work themselves out with almost no help from us.”
Tomas was confused by that answer, but he didn’t have time to question it before the second soldier added, “The questions we ask will be to determine if you are compatible with the people here and how well you blend in with our culture.“
He was still confused. Unsure, he weakly replied, “Okay…”
“Question one: Can you sing?”
“Can you sing?”
Tomas couldn’t believe the question. “Are you joking?”
The second soldier put his hand on his sword, indicating that it was no joke. Before the weapon was pulled, the first soldier jumped in. “Our princess likes to break out into song for no reason. Therefore, the citizens of our kingdom must be able to sing as well in order to harmonize with her. So, we’ll ask you one last time, can you sing?”
This was ridiculous, he thought, but if this is what he had to do in order to start his life over, so be it. “I’m not the best singer in the world,” he said, “but I’m good enough to sing in the background.“
“Go ahead and sing something for us.”
Tomas still felt like this was absurd, but went along with it anyway. Not that he really had much of a choice in the matter. He began singing a folk tune that had been sung in his lands for centuries. The two soldiers stopped him before he got to the third line.
“That was terrible,” the first soldier said.
“Completely horrible,” the second soldier agreed. “Can you dance? If you can’t sing, you’ve at least got to be able to dance behind her while she sings.”
“No,” Tomas admitted. “I lost three of my toes fighting of some wolves that were attacking my sheep. I haven’t been able to walk straight since.”
“I’m sorry,” the first soldier said, “but if you can’t sing or dance, we can’t let you into our kingdom.“
“This is ridiculous,” Tomas protested. “I can farm. Surely, that must be more important to your kingdom than your princess’ songs.”
Both soldiers drew their swords. “Nothing is more important than the musical numbers of our princess,” they said in unison.
“Get out of here right now,” the first soldier ordered.
Tomas hurried to do as he was instructed. After he got his wagon turned around, he heard the second soldier yell out, “And if we ever see you anywhere near the land of Disneya again, we’ll fuckin’ kill you!”