Margaret Alice Second

(24 January 1961 / South Africa)

A Hundred Spells


Turandot, Puccini’s opera, told by stylised illustrations in a book
the heart of an Ice Princess frozen by the Moon Goddess, three
riddles posed to every Prince who wished to be her suitor on pain
of death if he could not get the answers right, beheaded by
imperial gesture of the shimmering beauty

Another Prince intrigued by the Princess, the first riddle: Every
night it soars anew, every day it dies - Hope, he replied; Illusion
said the Princess cold - the second riddle: Dream and the flame
flares anew - It is my blood that burns within with love for you,
answered the Prince - the third riddle: What is ice

that gives you fire - You cast a hundred spells - he sighed, The
answer is Turandot; he won the challenge, but would not marry
her against her will, set her one riddle - Say my name, made
her a gift of it to doom them both if she named him, then she
declared LOVE to be the stranger’s name

Chose to marry the strange Prince who by being brave and
generous won her respect; she despised all others but
feared him, cried her first tears - Conquer you or be
conquered – an enchanting Persian tale from A
Thousand and One Nights

Submitted: Tuesday, October 04, 2011
Edited: Wednesday, October 05, 2011

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