Still Story #3 in The Big Book of Classic Fantasy: The Story of the Hard Nut, by E. T. A. Hoffmann
The king sends his watchmaker Drosselmeier to scour the length and breadth of the kingdom for the man who can crack the nut Krakatuk, which the court astrologer maintained was the only way to cure the Princess Perlipat of the misfortune of being ugly. If he fails in this task, the King declares, swinging “his scepter over his crowned head . . . Then you must be beheaded, as I said before.”
So Drosselmeier, accompanied by his friend the court astrologer, goes off on his quest, and in so doing, he keeps his head on his shoulders for a further 15 years (If self were Drosselmeier, she would never return to court, but apparently Drosselmeier doesn’t think that way)
Stay cool, dear blog readers. Stay cool.