A fairy tale

This week Dora passed through the town of Lohr which is said to be the original home of Snowwhite...

Once upon a time, in a land not so far away, life was good. The young people of the land were fearless and carefree: they played, they danced and they made merry from just before lunchtime until way after sunset.

However, a great curse existed upon the land. This ancient terror afflicted every boy and girl and could not be escaped.

The curse was adulthood. No more play. Less singing and less merry-making. When a girl became a woman, when a boy became a lad, when a student stopped pretending to study... Adulthood and all of its fun-stopping responsibilities began.

Now there were two young pretenders who sought to overcome this great evil. The first, going by the name of Nathaniel, was a gallant leader who had largely and grimly accepted his destiny. However, having set himself to enter the adult metropolis, he desired one last adventure before a mortgage loomed.

The second was Jamesbert. A farmer by trade, he lacked Nathaniel's good looks, intelligence and blog-writing abilities. However he was a courageous soul. Young Jamesbert refused to consider adulthood and swore that he would remain carefree and jobless forever.

So together Nathaniel and Jamesbert did as any hero and sidekick must. They spent their savings on mighty steeds, sharp swords and impenetrable armour. Then, once they'd bought their cheap canoe, wooden paddles and ill-fitting life jackets they set out to find the secret to eternal youth.

Obviously the quest started in western France. They paddled through strange countries and along massive rivers, they had their tent stolen by vagabonds, they passed giant cities and tiny towns, they stared at sunbathing nudists, they camped in dodgy campsites; all in search of a cure that would save every one in the land. At sunrise Nathaniel would run through deserted streets in lycra searching for a shop where protection from adulthood was traded. At sunset Janesbert would ring (sometimes he also wore lycra) a wise maiden for advice on finding the secret.

Days turned to cold nights, weeks turned into months and France turned into Germany but no secret could be found.

And then something happened. It had been a tiresome week on the waves. The sun had hidden, the tankers had threatened and Nathaniel had eaten something funny. On the 61st day the hero and his sidekick took rest in a crowded campsite.

As was by now their custom, as darkness fell our weary heroes followed the lights to a nearby town, hoping to find youth's secret on a Saturday night in rural Germany.

And then it happened. Our lucky paddlers stumbled across a wine festival. The finest produce from the local valleys sparkled in over-flowing goblets as the Barbarian crowds made merry. The remedy had been in front of their tired eyes all along.

Yes children, the cure is wine and beer. The old, the young, the French and the Germans; they had all drank bubbly liquors to restore those rose-tinted nights of yesteryear. There is no secret to defeating adulthood, you've just got to have a tipple every so often.

Seeing the folly in their ways, our young duo nevertheless decided to continue their expedition - at worst they would have a good story to retell over a manly cider and blackcurrent back in their homeland.

And that was that. And they made it. And they always drank responsibly. And they all lived happily ever after. THE END