In a dark, stone castle under an angry sky, a baby joined the world – and gave it a powerful kick. But the moment they saw him, his parents put a sudden end to the celebrations. A shocked silence fell like a shroud over everything and everywhere they owned.
Since they were a dashing Count and elegant Countess, these parents even owned the people who rented their cottages and worked their land. So this baby was born into wealth and power. A lace-trimmed crib and silver rattle awaited him. Before he gave his first orders, the villagers were ready to bow and curtsey at the sound of his name.
This infant was a healthy boy with strong lungs and even stronger limbs. But he was enormous – so huge, in fact, that his mother almost died giving birth to him. He was also enormously ugly. The matted black hair sprouting from his massive head reminded his mother of a dead crow, his nose was as wide and flat as a lamb chop and the mouth that widened in a howl was wide enough to admit the whole lamb.
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