Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Story: The Little Princess - Part 2

As much as she hated being beaten, she knew that she was very much loved by her parents. She just didn't understand why her mother could not express her love for her in the same way as she did with her baby brother. She felt very sad each time as she nursed her newly inflicted wounds....hoping to find an answer for her question.

One day, the king got very, very sick. The physicians in the kingdom came to see if they could help in any way, but they couldn't find the cause of his illness. The king just got weaker and weaker that he could no longer meet his ministers in the royal court. He stayed in bed most of the time and left the important matters to his subjects. Hence, the queen became even more tired and bad-tempered...having both to look after the king and her baby. Although the little princess knew that her father was sick, she did not know that it was very serious. She went to his room every day to see him, but he was too weak to speak to her....she just sat there holding his hand, waiting.... The physicians told the queen all kinds of stories about their theories about what they thought was wrong with the king. They gave all types of awful medicine and advice in the hope of curing the king, but they did not know what they were doing and they did not have enough knowledge to help the king.

One sunny afternoon, the little princess walked along the long stretch of corridors within the palace. These corridors had very tall white pillars that held up the whole palace and they were everywhere within the palace grounds. She walked slowly towards the king's room, and peeped in to see if he was awake. He looked very thin and worn out, he seemed to have some difficulty in breathing. The little princess sneaked out quietly for fear that she would wake her father up. She stood quietly behind a pillar just three doors away from her father's room. She stood there feeling the sun's rays touching her face, she closed her eyes and started to pray, "Please God, please make my father feel better. I want him to play with me. Will you please help him?" There was an awful silence that filled the space within her heart...and then quietly a voice within her spoke, "It is time for him to go!" The little princess held her arms around her beloved pillar and tears started to trickle down her cheeks, because she knew that her father would leave her very soon.

At this time, the princess had her ninth birthday just few months ago, although she didn't have a party like she used to have, she had the loveliest present from her father, it was an unusual box that could transform everything that it touches into pictures. She thought it was the best present she has ever gotten from him! The king had sent his subjects to look for it in some faraway lands and brought it back just in time for her birthday.

That very night, the little princess and her brother (who was three years old) had to stay with her auntie, who lived not very faraway from the palace. Despite her subjects' protests, the queen insisted on looking after the sickly king and left the children in the care of her sister. As the princess' aunty left to run some errands for the queen, the little princess was left alone with her brother and her cousin who was only 6 years old at that time. The little princess didn't like that male cousin as he was always whining and crying for attention. He liked her.... though so much so that he tried to kiss her that night! The little princess was so upset with him that she slapped him very hard across his face...and told him to go away. She felt very alone and miserable, she kept feeling that something bad was going to happen.

Suddenly there was a knock on the door, it was a lady who was working at the palace. The princess did not open the door as she was instructed not to open it for strangers. The lady spoke through the door in a very soft whisper, "The king is dead!" Suddenly time stood still for
the princess....she stood there staring at the door wondering about what she had just heard. The little princess whispered a word of thanks to the lady and went to look for her baby brother who was playing in the other room.

She found him playing happily with a couple of blocks on the floor. The little princess drew her brother near and whisper gently to him, "Father will not be coming home this time, he is gone!" Once again tears found their way to her soft brown eyes....as she held her brother close to her....it was a cold dark night with no stars in sight.

Things changed over the next few months. When the people realised that the king was gone, they were very, very sad. But they needed a leader for the kingdom badly, so the queen was asked to leave the palace with her children to make room for the new king. It was only then that the queen realised how little they had of valuable possessions, the king was too gentle to fight other kings, so he never had much wealth in actual fact.They ate and lived on what was already there in the beginning and what was kindly offered by the people. The queen needed more than what was left to survive....but she had very little skills being a woman of that time. There was nothing much she could do for a living. The rich relatives disappeared soon after they heard about the queen's demise because they didn't want the burden of looking after her and the children.

Not long after the king's death, the queen found a place to stay. It was an old little caretaker's cottage behind an old church on a hill. It wasn't much, but she needed the money that the priest offered in return that she promised to stay to cook for him. So in her desperation, she took up the offer and started to move all the family's possessions into this little cottage. The little princess had become very quiet since her father's death, she did not even shed a tear when they buried the king. It didn't matter any more to cry, because there were no tears left since that starless night. She told herself that she must be strong for her mother and brother...crying meant weakness and she must never cry in front of the older people. It was then that the people around her realized that she had lost that sparkle in her eyes, that if they looked closely...all they could find was dark emptiness that filled them.

The little princess spends all her time wandering around the grounds of the church....not knowing how to help her mother who always seems to be in tears as she missed the king dearly. She found it hard to talk to her mother because she was never close to her. So all the little princess could do was to do her chores as she was told, hoping that it would make her mother less angry at her and maybe she would not beat her that often, she thought.

The nights were long and lonely for the little princess. Often she would gaze into the starry night thinking about the king and where he would be at that point in time. She missed his cuddles...as that was his way of telling her that he loved her very much. There was no one left to cuddle
her any more....no one. One fine morning, she saw the queen carrying a soft bundle in her hands, it was a black puppy....a birthday present for her brother who was 4 years old then. It had the softest brown eyes that spoke to the little princess. It was love at first sight for these two. It didn't matter that the puppy was her brother's, she loved it all the same. That night, the puppy whimpered and cried so loudly that the little princess crept out to comfort it. She fell asleep holding the puppy....close to her heart. Two lonely hearts found each other in one sweet cuddle.

To be continued!!!!!

Story: The Little Princess - Part 1

Once upon a time, in a faraway, faraway kingdom, there lived a gentle king and his queen. They fell in love the moment they met and it was that love that they had for each other that brought forth a little princess. The princess of this story has no name as nobody could remember....she was an ugly duckling. One would think that all princesses were born to be pretty and very clever, but this was an exception!

The little princess grew up in the loving environment of her royal palace for 5 years. The people in the kingdom liked her a lot, because she has such a sunny smile that chases the blues away and soft eyes that comfort and speak of love. Just a few months before her sixth birthday, the queen gave birth to a son, the heir to the king's throne. Suddenly things changed. The little princess was surprised that everyone was so excited about this newborn baby brother of hers. She couldn't understand what the fuss was about.

One day, the little princess thought, "I'm going to see the baby!" So she ran to the room where the queen was and saw the king and the queen taking turns in hugging and kissing her baby brother. She felt very alone and unloved. The king saw her standing in the corner and asked her to come in to see her brother. She brightened up and ran to her father. As they held up the baby for her to see, she saw a sleeping child wrapped in white linen, making rather curious sounds. This was the first time, she had ever seen a baby before. She was very enchanted by the baby.

As days grow into years, the little princess realized what an heir means. The baby grew into a lovely clever boy in the next 2 years. He became the favourite in the kingdom. Everyone wanted to play with him because he was the heir to the throne, the promise to a future kingdom. Nobody could find fault with him. The little princess felt very alone, nobody wanted to play with her since the arrival of the baby. The queen was too busy tending to the crying needs of her brother. The king was busy meeting his ministers in court discussing great matters. Nobody had time for her, so she played with her dolls and talked to them as if they could understand every word she said. She was good with stories...so she had the dolls acting in her countless short stories of knights and princesses, dragons and witches. She spent hours and hours playing this game.

The king was a kind and gentle man. He saw how lonely the little princess was, so he took some time away from his work to play with his little girl. She was the apple of his eye, he told her one day. The little princess was so happy that she cried in his arms, deep within she knew she was most loved by her father. As the days grew shorter, the queen became more and more bad-tempered. She didn't know what to do with the princess who always seem to get in her way, so she grabbed hold of anything that she could find and beat her each time she was naughty and defiant. The little princess could run and hide, but she was always found and given a good beating after that. She couldn't understand why the queen was so angry with her.

One day, as the queen started to chase the little princess down the corridors of the royal grounds, the king walked by and saw what had happened. The princess flew behind her father and begged for mercy, asking him to protect her from her angry mother. The king got beaten in the process of protecting his princess, and that got the queen even more mad than ever, but she loved the king dearly...and so she stopped her beating suddenly. The little princess ran into her room crying her heart out...she felt that she hated her brother, but she hated her mother even more..... She hugged her dolls so tightly and fell into a deep sleep.

To be continued !!!!!