The Princess and the Stars: a classic fairy tale

October 26, 2010
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Once upon a time, there was a beautiful princess who lived in a beautiful castle across the ocean. She was given anything she wanted, but was very, very bored. She lay in the castle day in and day out and, although she had friends, she wanted more adventure then they could provide her. But one night, during the winter ball in her kingdom, she met a handsome knight and he told her wonderful tales of adventure and excitement. Her mind and curiosity were stolen by his stories all night long. They danced to every song that was played and she gave herself in to his tales completely. She couldn’t hear the laughing guests or the painfully boring music; she only heard and saw him and the wonderful images he crafted in her mind. At midnight, they ran out into the gardens and kissed under the ancient oak tree that grew in front of her window.
From then on she talked with him every chance she got, she would sneak out of the castle in the dead of night to see him and they would kiss and tell each other stories for hours. During the day she became lethargic and entirely uninterested in her friends and lessons. She longed for the nights she could see her beloved. But the king did not know this; he did care for his daughter and wished for her to be happy so he decided he had to contrive a plan. After a month of searching, he joyfully told his daughter that she was to be married the next month to a prince whom she had never met. She at once burst into tears and begged her father to reconsider. He was dumbfounded and became furious that the girl would argue with him on such a matter. The kingdoms had agreed that the princess must marry the prince. If they didn’t it was likely a war would break out. And so she was locked in her room to await the wedding.
Every night she opened her window next to the ancient oak tree and cried and cried for her beloved knight; and every night he would come to her window and try to gesture his love for her, but he did not dare cry out for fear of the guards finding him. But she did not see him through the heavy branches and deep shadows of the oak so she continued to cry and beg the stars for a chance to see her knight. Finally, on the eve of her wedding, she cried once more by her window, and the stars finally heard her. They fell from the sky to make a twinkling staircase wound around the tree. The maiden was already wearing her wedding gown, but did not want to lose her chance. She ran down the steps to the awaiting arms of her beloved and he kissed her upon the forehead, then on both her cheeks, and finally with a long, passionate kiss he made a promise to never leave her side.
Once more with the help of the stars, they scaled the garden walls and escaped into the town. They stole horses from the inn, he took a huge black gelding, and she the softest gray mare, and they rode for days until they were far enough away that no one knew them. She sold her dress and jewels and bought a wonderful house in the outskirts of town. They had a small, romantic wedding in early the early spring and settled into their quaint new lives. He became one of the best hunters in town, and she learned to sew from the old women who met in the square.
They lived peacefully and happily for a year and a half. Until, riding through the forest together, the knight took off after a beautiful deer that would get him a good profit and she stopped to rest by a small pond. She cupped her hands to drink when someone grabbed her from behind. Terrified, she yelled, but it was of no use, her horse ran away in fright and she was taken back to a thieves' den deep in the woods. She was made to work as a maid for the rowdy crowds that were constantly rolling through and every night she would watch the stars from her window and hope that her knight would find her.
The knight meanwhile, had spent all his time searching for her, he had not slept or eaten in the weeks after her disappearance. Her horse had run to him and he galloped back to see his beautiful princess gone. So now he rode, constantly searching for his love. One night, when he tried to rest from sheer exhaustion, a star fell before his eyes into the forest, remembering how they had helped the young couple before, he jumped up on to his horse and grabbed the reigns of hers and ran into the forest after the star.
He found it floating, glowing softly above the pool where she had been kidnapped. He raised a nervous hand to touch the star but it flew off into the forest. He ran his horse after the star through the forest as fast as it could take him. But the star was too fast and he was constantly falling behind. Until finally, just as he was about to lose the spec of light in the distance, he broke out of the woods to an open field. And, on the far end of the field, was the thieves' den where the maiden had been taken. The knight tied the horses to branch and crept up to look through the windows.
There were many thieves passed out inside from drinking and looting. As he was giving up, he heard a tiny gasp from a basement window; he looked down to see the sparkling eyes of the girl he loved. He crept down the stairs to rescue her and, as they left, they took as much gold as they could carry from the thieves and ran.
They galloped away once more, to a new town even farther away. Where they made their home and started a new life. The handsome knight became a legendary hunter, and his beautiful princess wife made dresses that shone like the stars. And they lived happily ever after.
The end





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