The Primrose Cutting
by Sauron Gorthaur

Every year, the primroses are still cut down.

It is one of the agreements – agreed upon by both sides – when the treaties are made between the two kingdoms, and when the two kingdoms become one, the Cutting is still faithfully held every year.

The Sugar Plum Fairy is allowed to go free, with very strict warnings about the consequences from both the Fairy Meadows and the Dark Forest if she is ever caught making love potions again for any reason. Still, everyone with a say in the matter feels it is best to continue destroying the flowers. There are those on both sides of the border who know just how tempting a single pink petal can be to a desperately lovesick soul.

It is no longer just the goblins who gather at the border between light and dark to scythe down the magical flowers every year. Now fairies, elves, pixies, and brownies gather alongside the folk of the Dark Forest to chop down the primroses and make sure the petals are properly disposed of.

By the third year, it has become a full-fledged festival that everyone from the Wildlands looks forward to each Spring. It is a week-long event, with food from both sides of the Border-That-is-No-Longer-a-Border laid out picnic-style, concerts and karaoke in the evenings organized by Princess Dawn and her husband Sunny, and laughter and jokes to ease the hard work of the day. There is singing too of course, and the goblins consent that perhaps fairy songs are not so terrible, though they still prefer elven music.

No one ever mentions that the first day of the Cutting always – suspiciously – seems to fall on the anniversary of that fateful night when their King and Queen met for the first time.

During the Cutting, said King and Queen can be found overseeing the work, though neither is above laboring right alongside their subjects as well, a sword slicing through tall stalks like butter, a staff that can snap one of the stems in half with a single blow. Neither monarch seems to mind the hard work.

The Queen has been known however to throw primrose petals at the King and begin singing 'Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch' in an obnoxiously high-pitched voice.

The King has been known to chase the Queen around and between the rows of magical flowers when she does not stop.

Such distractions usually end with the two of them wrestling on the ground amidst the debris of severed stems and petal fragments.

By the end, it has usually turned into something else.

Everyone at the Cutting has grown accustomed to simply ignoring the noises that invariably start coming from the bushes at that point.

Sooner or later though, something needs Seeing To, and some brave soul – usually Dawn or Griselda – yells at the two of them to stop messing around and start doing their job.

The two of them sit up laughing, Marianne with pieces of primrose clinging to her hair and Bog with scraps of pink snagged on his scales. When Bog grouses about "those blasted flowers," Marianne just smirks and kisses him.

"Come on," she teases, "Spring isn't that bad a time of year, is it?"

To which he can only shake his head and grin ruefully, that dorky, boyish grin that Marianne has always fallen for since the first time she saw it. "No, I suppose it's not so bad," he always concedes.