The Princess and the rain (3)
You can read part 1 and part 2 (just click on part 1 or part 2).
The King entered the woman’s house being very perplexed of what manner of person this woman may be. Everything inside the woman’s house was decorated with the lightest shade of each colour of the rainbow.
“Do sit down, king of the high kingdom”, said the woman
The woman looked very agreeable, a kind creature. She sat down opposite the King.
The King very briefly studied the woman’s face. The King noticed that there was no wrinkles of contempt or sadness. There was only the smoothness of light and happiness.
“King of the high kingdom”, said the woman in a enchanting tone - “Do you know who I am?”
“I do not know who you are”, replied the King.
“I know who you are”. Smiled the woman.
“Everybody knows who I am for I am the King”.
The woman smiled and then she began to tell a story. “Long, Long time ago, there lived a handsome Prince in a very big castle. On a very special occasion, I must say, the handsome Prince’ birthday, there was a woman, who was the handsome Prince’ great aunty. She gave the handsome Prince a very unusual gift, I must say again, an unusual umbrella, to which she said to the handsome Prince; “One day, a day very far away and very near, this gift will be of a great use to you. It is not an ordinary umbrella although it looks like one. It can withstand the most unusual rain. It is almost impenetrable. If you spin it long enough, it lifts you off the ground and you can fly for a little bit. Do you want to give it a go, my handsome prince?” The handsome Prince refused to give it a go but promised to keep it very safe.”
Although the King was very big, the King was also very wise. Immediately the King knew that this was his great aunty, to which the King rose from His seat and asked the woman at once.
“Are you my great aunty?” asked the King
“I am your Great Aunty my handsome prince.”
“What is all this about!” Exclaimed the King. “I mean what is all the rain about my great aunty?
How did you know that one day I would need this umbrella - How can I stop it my great aunty. Please tell me you know, please.”
The King’s great aunty could not help but smile, which she turned into a bigger smile looking caringly at the grown up King for whose sake she has travelled all this way from her far far away kingdom.
“My dear King, not so long ago there lived a queen of the nicest kind. She was so nice that she had no enemies and if she did have any enemy she always in the end made friends out of them. But there was one person she could not make a friend of - it was her horrible sister. The nice queen was called queen Bethel and her sister was called Princess Miraldi. Princess Miraldi was the older sister because she came out first from the womb and Queen Bethel came out second. Naturally the kingdom belonged to Princess Miraldi for their Father King Penuel did not have a son. As both child grew King Penuel loved Queen Bethel and disagreed very much with Princess Miraldi because of Princess Miraldi’s awkwardness and bad character. One time when Princess Miraldi was 12 years old, walking back to the palace with some of the kings officials, there was a stream in front of her and to get to the other side one has to cross a not very long bridge. The bridge was not very far away but not wanting to walk any further, Princess Miraldi commanded the kings officials to fall on their knees and hands across the stream so that she can cross to the other side by walking on their backs. Many of the kings officials disagreed very much with this with some muttering that Queen Bethel would have never done such an awful thing; but they obeyed her because it was the noble thing to do in the kingdom. Princess Miraldi laughed and looked down upon them all as she crossed to the other side on their backs and cared nothing about how wet and muddy the kings officials were.”
The king’s great aunty continued her story.
“Princess Miraldi’s many naughty actions had made her disagreeable with her Father the old and wise King and when it was time to declare who the next Queen of the Kingdom would be, He forgot about Princess Miraldi and declared the gentle and kind Princess Bethel to be the next Sovereign of the Kingdom. Upon hearing this, Princess Miraldi stormed out of the high court and wanted to change the decree according to the laws of the Kingdom which stated that the first born must be the rightful heir to the throne.
But what Princess Miraldi did not know which was pointed out to her was that in the case of twins, or triplets or quadruplets, it was the King’s or Queen’s choice to choose which among them would become the next Sovereign. Already hating her Sister, princess Miraldi hated her more and swore to make her sister’s reign as miserable as possible.”
Princess Miraldi was a sour and spiteful creature. The wrinkles of hatred could be seen on her face which made her face look like an unravelled paper. If ever a king could be justified in declaring the younger sibling to be the ruler of the Kingdom, King Penuel was justified and right to not make Princess Miraldi Queen of the kingdom.
“What has this my great aunty have to do with the rain in my kingdom?” asked the King.
“My Handsome King it is because of Princess Miraldi’s curse on Queen Bethel’s Son”.
“What is the curse my great aunty?”
“My Handsome King, Queen Bethel had a Son named Mahalalel and when it was Prince Mahalalel sixteenth birthday Queen Bethel threw him a party. When it was time to present Prince Mahalalel to the invited guests, Queen Bethel saw that something was amiss, and began inquiring of why the Prince was late. Her officials had no answer to the mystery and so at once she ordered them to search the dungeons and every place in the palace and kingdom.
At once the Queen was relieved of her worries as one of her officials named Drogo had found the handsome Prince. The Prince was locked in the dungeon prison and to the Queens dismay there was no way to enter in or for the Prince to come out. The prison was magically shut with a wicked curse and without delay the queen knew that this was the work of her wicked sister.
Instantaneously her wicked sister Princess Miraldi appeared wearing her best gown, unhappily received by the Queen. Princess Miraldi began to laugh and the Queen ordered for the guard to seize her but none dared. She had cast another spell, a spell of fear which scared everybody but her gentle and kind sister.”
“What have you done to my young handsome prince?” asked the Queen in great fury.
“Only a curse I have placed on Him“. Retorted Princess Miraldi. “He is Locked in this dungeon forever unless..”
“Unless what my wicked sister”
“Unless in a Kingdom not too far from here there shall be born a princess to break this chain.”
“But my handsome prince will die - It is difficult for any one to come to this kingdom. And no one can enter in to the dungeon to give him food and He will grow old and die.” Sobbed the queen.
“My sister, loved by Father and everybody else. Your Son will not die nor age until He is set free. That maybe a thousand years from now or a hundred but this I know that I shall soon reign and have my kingdom.” Laughed Princess Miraldi.
Queen Bethel sighed at her unfortunate circumstance and fell down with a faint almost falling to the floor but one of her officials caught her and held her up.
Her wicked sister drew nearer to her with a witches smile and gave her a note of a despairing taste.
“My handsome King, the note giving to her I have to this day and you are to have it.”
“Why must I have it my great aunty?” asked curiously the King.
“Sixteen years from now you shall have a princess. She shall be called charley. Her destiny is to set free Queen Bethel’s Son. It is why the rain has come upon your kingdom. Destiny has chosen you and has chosen nobody else. Read the note my Handsome King and in sixteen years I shall come again.”
“What about the rain my great aunty - will it stop?”
“It will stop my handsome king as soon as I am gone it will stop and when your daughter turns sixteen it will start again and unless she breaks the curse of Queen Bethel’s Son the rain shall always pour in your kingdom.” Said seriously the king’s great aunty.
“Light of Light, by my charms do come, bless my handsome king a daughter in sixteen years to come.”
The King watched in perplexity at which nursery rhyme his great aunty was muttering but when she was done she disappeared and the King was left all on his own with the sealed note his great aunty had left him.
The rain suddenly stopped at which the King exclaimed “Praise the high heavens for their kindness - thank you my great aunty and I hope to see you again one day”.
The King returned to his palace and told the Queen all that had happened and the King sincerely apologized for lying to her and for making her worry.
The Queen kissed the King and said, “This day my King is not a day for apologies but it is a day for celebration because the rain has finally stopped. The birds can fly again, the children can laugh with nature again and we can enjoy our garden again”.
The King replied, “Yes my Queen I shall declare this week a week of celebration and feasting. I shall pay every poor man’s wages and provide free drink for the whole Kingdom.”
All week the King and Queen enjoyed their feast. The elders in the Kingdom rejoiced with great excitement and many of them exclaimed that never had they had a week as joyous and festive as this.
“Hail to our King, Hail to the Queen”. exclaimed the merry crowd.
After the merriment had faded and everything returned to normality, the King and Queen pondered a very serious matter, namely, the words that were written on the note that the King’s great aunty left him. The Queen was not a queen to believe in magic and prophecies, but after hearing the tales of her beloved King she became a believer.
The note had said that sixteen years from now the royal couple shall have a child. This child shall be a child of sorrow or joy, a child of pain or pleasure. The land that was brought into contempt shall have a light shine upon them, the people who walk in darkness shall see it and their end will finally be as the gladness of those who divide a great spoil if the child succeed in rescuing Queen Bethel’s Son from the dungeon prison.
The King and Queen did not know how to take this news but the King being very wise comforted the Queen by saying “My dear Queen, when the day arrives that our daughter is born into this world, we shall raise her up to be an excellent princess and train her for her destiny - we shall do all we can and above all we shall love her with all of our heart”.