Thursday, July 20, 2006


“Tell me of
your wondrous stories”
she begged.

“You could always make
my heart aflutter,
as on a precipice.”

“Smiling, holding out
your hand,
tempting me to
the escarpment.”

Once upon a time there was a Princess so lovely, so beautiful, that her very presence disturbed the tranquility of her father`s kingdom. Even as a child she mesmerized the royal court; her father the King had to raise his voice to break the spell she held over his lords and ladies. Very little work was being accomplished in his daily audiences and the King had to find other diversions for his daughter. The choices were few as her guards, though heartfully devoted to her welfare, proved unable to perform their service when in her presence.

The Princess seemed to awaken a feeling of tranquility wherever she appeared, the food vendors and farmers in the marketplace would fall mute and become statue-like as she strolled by. She soon learned not to smile in public, the faintest glimmering of happiness on her face brought such joy to the common folk that they swooned and collapsed at the elation that filled their hearts.

As the Princess grew to be a young woman, the King could no longer allow her freedom of movement in his kingdom. As much as he loved his daughter he was responsible for the wealth and security of his kingdom and the Princess` very presence produced only happiness and stupor in his subjects.

The King thought to himself, “Oh, if only the Queen hadn`t died giving birth to our daughter. She would know what to do.” The Princess was an only child which intensified the King`s worries. What would happen when he died? Princess Elaina`s beauty engendered slavish devotion throughout the land, from the highest lord to the lowliest peasant, yet their love for her seemed to drain their life`s energy.

And so it came to pass that the King had a beautiful castle built on the highest mountain in the country. He surrounded it by a large moat and defended it with a cadre of his personal Royal Guard who were forbidden to enter the castle. Within were the Princess Elaina and her personal servants, who through close personal contact over many years were able to serve her while remaining upright if not overly alert.

On the Princess` birthday, in July of each year, the King issued a proclamation to all of the neighboring royalty. If any young man of royal blood were able to remain sensible and alert while in his daughter`s presence for one hour he would be granted the Princess` hand in marriage. Within two years every eligible bachelor from all of the neighboring kingdoms had presented themselves to her.

One young Prince, from the kingdom of Neder, seemed to have not succumbed to her beauty and the King`s hopes were raised for a marriage. The Prince had taken a magic potion given to him by his court sorcerer which clouded his vision. He was able to approach the princess and sit closely by her and, as an hour in her presence was nearing, he boldly spoke to her.

“My dear Princess Elaina. Your father has promised your hand to anyone of royal blood who is able to withstand the temptation of your beauty for an hour. It has now been fifty five minutes and I remain alert and by your side. May I have your consent to this marriage?”

Elaina spoke the one word “Yes” and the Neder prince fell to the floor in a deep swoon. In his high anxiety, he had never considered the love and happiness that one simple word from her would release. After the Neder prince`s failure there seemed to be no one left who had the temerity to be in her presence.

Until Siegfried!