A unicorn, a peacock, and an Ophelia-esque Fountain Princess
by J J Cohen
I stumbled across this tableau wrought of Playmobil in the pink room next to my study this morning. The setting is vaguely medieval, but beyond that I cannot comprehend what narrative is unfolding here.
Silly adult! It's obvious that the Princess has given the Prince a task -- a dangerous one, at that, given that the Peacock (death) and Unicorn (Happy Life) are counterpoised behind him -- of finding and capturing the rare Takahe. This rare avian is known to guarantee happiness.
The Princess -- in case you hadn't seen this -- is ritually bathing in the Fountain of Long Life in preparations of her Prince's return. And, yes, she has been imprisoned in that fountain by a wicked Witch (not shown because she is too ugly).
OK, but can you really capture a rare Takahe utilizing a small net? That's the part that strains credulity for me.
Wow, your kid is way more attentive to genre than mine--the playmobil tableaux I find usually involve cowboys, princesses, and a bunch of Ren Faire extras; there might be a tea party set up in a barn, with a Star Trek phaser and a pirate flag on the table. And a random Polly Pocket in the mix, of course.
The princess is wading with her best friend, the swan, because it's a hot day and the fountain is a wonderful place because the princess can pretend it's a waterfall. The unicorn and the peacock are jealous because they can't play in the fountain (since swans are notoriously nasty), so they are sitting on the sidelines gossiping. The prince has gone to collect apples for breakfast.
It does not help that at least two of the papers I heard last weekend included images of Leda and the Swan.
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