Once upon a time there were Three Astrologers living in the Orient and they really did live happily ever after. Just that they confused everybody else along the way. The Orient in those days ran along the axis of Persia, Persia and Persia and nothing much has changed since. But not many people know that.
Needless to say like all-important people like Arnold Schwarzenneger and Worzel Gummidge, our chappies were Persian too. And not only that! Like all Persians they were of Royal blood and were known by a proper title. None of them had a degree in Civil Engineering or Medicine, and hence they were simply addressed as Kings.
So, here they were, the Three Persian Kings in the land of Persia amusing themselves with astrology charts, astronomy drawings and bizarre concave glasses, looking up into the skies at night, whilst everyone else was busy being profound and miserable, or telling the same jokes over and over again and concocting organic, colour additives for rice stews.
One mysterious day, one of the Persian Kings who looked very much like a modern-day African-American – strange that, isn't it? – said: “Oh look!” And they looked. All three of them. But none of them knew what they were looking at. Even Balthazar, the African-American lookalike, didn't know what he was pointing at. He just thought that it was really funny to disturb his colleagues.
Suddenly, as they were all standing there, out of the dark blues of the evening sky, there was a twinkling little star that smiled and winked at them. “How lucky this star is to have our beautiful Persian eyes set upon it! It should thank its lucky stars!” they cried out in unison. “We shall have to take a holiday. It would be so much fun to have this twinkling, winking star following us! It will drive the Virgins wild!” they enthused.
And so they decided on an immediate trip to the northern seaside. In those days they didn't have cars, which meant that there weren't any 24hour petrol stations with King-Size cheese and onion crisps at every corner. Come to think of it, there weren't many corners to skid and squish around either.
This lack of comfort, like all things in life, had its positive side. What positive side in particular, we do not know. But we do know that Casper, the tall one of the three (all 5.6 and 1/4 feet of him), was developing a penchant for pushing buttons and who knows what could have happened.
In any case, the Three Persian Kings ordered their servants to saddle up their horses. One of the horses was called Persian Periwinkle; a retired Persepolis Derby Winner (in a photo-finish). You may wonder how this was possible, but remember that Persians have been the inventors of all great things from photography, hitherto undiscovered, undetectable, mysterious and extra- special diseases, to two distinguishing words for breaking wind.
That very night, the dutiful servants – (flogged into shape) – packed up quite a few carts full of frankincense and myrrh for the Kings and Pomegranate Brandy and Barberry Schnapps as refreshments for themselves.
That very same night, all was awaiting the Royal mount. Neighbouring Persian princes and princesses had come to bid The Three Persian Kings: Balthazar, Casper and Melchior, farewell and au revoir and to give them a list of oh-so-easily-obtainable souvenirs, they would really appreciate upon their return.
Melchior, the last but not least one of our three royal heroes to be properly introduced, was as fat as Buddha, after a long stretch under the proverbial Tree. His high-protein diet of sheep's eyes at dawn and Royal, nay – dare we utter the word – Imperial lamb kebabs at dusk hadn't done his pancreas any good, but he didn't know where his pancreas was, so it didn't really bother him. He did however have a bit of a bother settling his Royal buttocks upon Persian Periwinkle's backside.
Twelve hirelings put in a great effort to help. There they pulled, there they pushed and there they puffed, only to leave Melchior's neck and left foot dangling somewhere in between Persian Periwinkle's biceps and six pac. Persian Periwinkle, a first rate filly, did not like this at all! She had been proud of her perfect paddock posture and had just had a pedicure to go with her fake Prada saddle-bag.
This being a traditional tale, Persian Periwinkle started a gallop as fast as any Persian rumour. Melchior was dragged along cursing creatively: Persian Periwinkle's entire ancestral tree and all stud farms contaminated with her spirit, were condemned to hell and damnation. Quite unexpectedly – although these things do happen – Melchior's head was crushed and spluttered against a wall of bricks and high-cholesterol egg-white.
Melchior moaned about not wanting his eggs raw. And he moaned and moaned. The little twinkling star twinkled and Persian Periwinkle, blinded by the bright light, bent her knees and turned around with great gusto. These blessed movements resulted in Melchior ending up diving into a well, head-first and somewhat getting stuck. His well-padded bottom had saved him from falling into the watery abyss.
Melchior started to howl, but no one was sure if he was singing a Persian pop song or if he was in dire pain. Worried about their wages, the servants didn't want to leave anything to chance. And so they dragged and pulled and pushed and puffed, and pulled and pushed and puffed again, only to unburden the Royal buttocks of its silken attire. Had Melchior's bottom not been of an extreme hirsute disposition, it would indeed have glistened upon the heavens!
Balthazar blubbered and felt sorry for himself. ” 'Tis all this star's fault! If I am next, what will the heavens do to me? I haven't consulted my astrological charts for today! Will this star twinkle with so much light, that my butox-free visage shall resemble that of Mr. Michael Jackson's?”
Casper on the other hand sniffed a new business opportunity. He started to pinch Melchior's bottom and pluck the hairs out, one by one. Melchior's howling songs instantly turned into high-pitched cries. “If I can cure him from singing and howling, I shall have to be quick about patenting this cure. Soon enough, Persian buttocks-banging and plucking will be all the rage!”
Persian Periwinkle, in the meantime was gorging herself on periwinkle, ivory and a trail of hashashins. She was merry! And bells were a-ringing! And a holy cow passed by. She was a merry cow indeed, for she had been reared on nothing but the finest chocolates, and the Lord and the heavens had blessed her with the grandest of all titties. So much so that the servants once again pulled and pushed and puffed and pulled and pushed and puffed, until they were so high that their bones and brains blew up and were spluttered against the very same wall that Melchior's brain had hit earlier
And so it was, in those days of yesteryears, that Balthazar, Casper and Melchior, The Three Persian Kings were forced to give up their astrology follies and to get real jobs and to settle down for the rest of their lives
By the way, they never made it to the Northern sea-side, much to the dismay of the very few Virgins crying out for five golden rings; each. But the little star continued on its journey and shone sweetly and a miracle did happen: A cart full of Pomegranate Brandy and Barberry Schnaps and another filled with frankincense and myrrh mysteriously rolled on all by themselves across all of Persia and a sweet, poor couple thanked the Lord for sending them such sustenance.
And it is thus that Little Baby Jesus was born in the little town of Bethlehem, unto Joseph and Mary amongst sheep, gluten-free hay and the joys of the heavens and all mankind. And the angels sang, and baby Jesus was blessed by the one small, teeny wheeny star that smiles and winks and twinkles to this very day. Every year on Christmas Day.