ONCE UPON A TIME, two enchanted villages grew together beside a mighty river.
The towns were magical places, abounding in beautiful lakes and streams, where all the people were nice and all the children were above average.
These twin cities were ruled by a benevolent king who had a beautiful daughter. The villagers were the envy of the surrounding kingdoms for the quality of their lives and the richness of their culture. One day, the evil lord of the neighboring Kingdom of the Badgers became so jealous of the two enchanted villages that he invaded the peaceable kingdom and captured the king. He locked the king away in Foshay Tower and confined the beautiful princess to her castle on Summit Hill, overlooking the river.
"I am now the ruler of these twin cities," the evil lord declared. He proclaimed that he would destroy everything in the villages and would take the beautiful princess as his wife.
But the princess was a clever woman, and she hatched a plan to thwart the evil lord. While pretending to stroll through her garden one day, she summoned her favorite elves, who were invisible to her captors, and instructed them to go throughout the towns and tell the villagers to make a list of all the finest things about their cities, and to gather all their favorite goods and foods and entertainers.
The elves couldn't understand why she would ask such a thing, but they trusted their princess and happily did her bidding.