Once upon a time, there was a little girl named Christina. She was as smart as she was brave and as brave as she was beau­tiful and she was very, very beau­tiful. She had long golden hair and she always wore green. She kept one plait in her hair as long as she could and never, ever cut it. It almost reached the ground and it had a bell in it for cats to play with. She loved animals and plants above all else and her favourite thing was to go skip­ping through meadows, picking daisies and then taking them home to cut them up and look at them under a scan­ning elec­tron micro­scope with gold leaf. She had lots of friends, and even some people she loved, but she was still looking for some­thing.

One day, a tall, dark, hand­some man from a faraway land wrote her a letter. He was very, very tall, a little bit dark, and very hand­some. More import­antly, though, he was kind and funny and brave and he liked cats. He played sax­o­phone and although he didn’t live *in* a castle, he lived in a little town where they had a castle, and really, what more can you ask for these days?

After a little while of gently falling in love, Christina made a very big hard decision to go and live in the faraway land with the tall man (whose name was Niels) and all of her friends were very, very sad and very, very happy all at the same time. (At this point in the story, you may have to for­give any typos, because your nar­rator is having dif­fi­culty seeing the screen.) 

After a while, they knew they had done The Right Thing, mostly because their pusska was very, very happy, and things like that are Signs. So, they bought a house of their very own on the edge of a forest, and Christina was the hap­piest she’d ever been. There were squir­rels in the back yard, and birds that came to sing to her, and in winter there was snow on the trees and in summer there was laughing and market-days and when it rained, there was Mah-Jong.

Of course, no fairytale is com­plete without a wed­ding, so finally, when they didn’t think it could get any more per­fect, they decided to get mar­ried. People came from all corners of the earth to the wed­ding, and there was a little bit of crying and a lot of grin­ning and there was cake. I wish I could finish this tale in the Ukrainian way, and tell you that I know all this because I was there and I drank honey-wine; it flowed over my beard, but didn’t get into my mouth. That’s not true, though, and not just because I don’t have a beard. I was on the other side of the world, making this present for the happy couple and may they live joy­ously from this day for the rest of their lives.

[I love you, ‘stina. So happy for you both. Really wish I could have been there. Con­grat­u­la­tions again! I couldn’t have hoped for a better partner for my best friend. He’s awe­some.]