A tale based on fantasy and wishes
In a magical land long ago, there lived a beautiful Queen. The Queen was lonely, as she had never met the man of her dreams. Running her country was hard work requiring hours every day. In the evening the Queen would walk into the royal woods near the castle following the path that the royal gardener kept in good repair for her. This path led to a small opening in the woods with a beautiful stone bench and well with crystal clear water.
Here the Queen would rest from her long day of running the nation, resting from her weary responsibilities. She got a cup from a leather thong on the wells’ side filled it and sipped the cold, crystal, clear water while she rested on the stone bench. Sometimes she would bring her favorite book of poetry and read aloud as her mind escaped the drudgery of her lonely life.
Today had been an especially difficult day. Long discussions had ensued after two of her affairs managers had a disagreement on the way the taxes should be spent. The Queen listened to both sides of the argument then settled the dispute in as fair a manner as she could, both managers were upset but were careful not to admit this to her, but the tension was running high in the castle this afternoon. She was glad to escape the tedious politics of the castle.
She had brought her book of poetry, pretty words that stirred her soul and gave her escape from her tedious life. As she sat to read her book she saw a rustle in the underbrush and saw a sparkle of an eye, drawing in her breath slowly she tried not to scare the creature. The creature stood without moving probably as frightened as she. An inspiration hit her; the poetry soothed her heart might it not do the same for a frightened wild thing.
She began to read in her softest voice. The creature (she saw it was a wolf now) didn’t move, instead seemed to listen to her. Getting braver she began to read with the measure of emotion that the poetry evoked in her breast. The wolf sat on its haunches listening with his head cocked first to one side then the other. She was amused at his behavior and continued to read until the light became too dim to see. “Well Mr. wolf I must go now, but I will return tomorrow.” As she stood the wild creature turned and fled soundlessly into the brush.
The next day she got her drink as usual and she brought her book as well. She didn’t see the wolf until she was reading the second page of poetry in her little book. Then a rustle off to the left of the little clearing told her he had arrived. From then on the Queen had company every afternoon when she came on her little walk to read her beautiful book.
One day the Queen walked to the clearing and the wolf did not come, she felt lonely as she had come to count on his presence in this little wood. As she sat a sound wafted over the wind, a sad mournful sound, it sounded like a creature in pain. Her heart was torn between fear of the dark wood and her want too help. She ventured from the clearing into the dark wood looking for the source of the sound. Her fear of the wood forgotten, the Queen soon approached the source of the sound. The sound was sometimes a whimper sometimes a fearful howl.
Then she saw him, lying near a fallen tree. His leg caught in a snare, unhurt but trapped nonetheless. In his frustration to escape he had scrapped the ground trying to pull away from this loops on his leg, all to no avail, his efforts proving fruitless. She recognized her friend from the clearing. As she approached he bared his teeth, but using the same voice in which she read her poetry the beast soon relaxed and let her free his leg. At the realization of his freedom he bolted holding his sore leg and running on the other three. As he got a short way from her he stopped. Turning around he limped slowly back to the place where she stood. Crouching down on his belly he crawled fearfully, slowly to the hem of her skirt and as she reached down he licked her hand then quickly ran into the wood again.
The Queen feeling very pleased at her bravery turned and with determination trod through the wood to the clearing. The next afternoon and the afternoon after that the wolf did not appear when she went to the clearing. Finally on the third night the wolf was waiting for her when she arrived. She could see that his paw was swollen and painful for him to use. Reaching down and tearing a piece of cotton from her underskirt the Queen wet it in the crystal, clear, water of the little well. Then she sat and coaxed the wolf to come to her holding out her hand for him. To her amazement he trotted up to her only hesitating for a moment. She reached down and laying his paw on her lap she cleaned the wound carefully. Looking around she note d a form of ivy that had healing qualities, growing on a nearby sycamore tree, taking a leaf from the ivy she came back and applied it to the swollen paw. She bound the sore up with another strip of her underskirt and the wolf lay down content at her feet.
She began to read for her beautiful book. The wolf closed his eyes but she knew he was listening because whenever she reached the end of one poem and went on he looked up to se if she was done. Finally it was to dim to read and she stood and the wolf came to his feet as well. She reached down and petted the rough fur of his back. She scratched behind his silky ears. She could have sworn he almost smiled at her touch.
Sighing she began to leave, turning only once she noted that the wolf had gone.
Upon returning to the castle she wanted to tell her staff what had happened. She knew they would not believe her and would worry maybe make returning to her friend difficult. She kept these things silent in her heart.
The next day she went into town and finding a bookseller she bought three new books of poetry. For the rest of the summer the evening ritual was the same he came and lay on the ground near her; or lay his head on her lap watching her with big brown eyes. She read poetry till she ran out of poetry books, and then she read stories and even local news.
One day she was idly scratching his ears when she began to weep. The wolf looked up at her wondering why his usually cheery friend seemed so upset. “Mr. Wolf” She said. “I am being advised for the sake of my kingdom to marry, I always wanted to find a prince who loved me, but alas you are my only love.” “I love you dearly. but you cannot become my prince in your present form.” With this she bowed her head and wept.
Her tears flowed down those lovely cheeks. Those tears of sorrow touched the wolf’s nose. At that moment a magical thing began to happen. As the Queen watched in amazement the wolf began to change. His snout shortened and fur began to disappear. Where the wolf once stood now stood a handsome prince. His shirt was of the finest linen, his breeches the finest cotton, and his boots the softest doe’s leather. The face was strong and ruggedly handsome. His hair was brown with a smattering of golden threads reminding her of the wolf’s fur. She jumped to her feet ready to take flight like a frightened bird.
“Madam,” spoke the apparition standing before her, “Do not fear, it is me who your befriended in the wood. A wicked witch cast a spell over me dooming me to run on four legs in a wolfs coat until a maiden told me she loved me.” “You have saved me yet again, and I owe you my very life!”
Siegred for that was his name told her a sad tale of a how he came to be bewitched. He was a prince of a country far from the Queens castle.
The Queen felt such joy. In time, they were married and they lived happily ever after. Until their dying day’s you would find them in the evenings reading poetry in the midst of their magnificent gardens.