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Laura Via

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The Princess's Garden
By Laura Via
Saturday, November 01, 2003

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As all faerie tales start out, this one is, of course, no different:

Once upon a time, there was a lonely princess. Beautiful she was, with hair like fire that cascaded down her back like a wavy waterfall. Her eyes were hazel in colour and when the tears fell, they became greener than any emerald ever seen. And, it seemed, in all her loneliness, those soulful eyes remained that plush colour. Her face, pale in colour, was always flushed from all those tears, and damp where her cheeks.

She would spend her days as a child wandering the well cultivated gardens of her parents castle home. Her mother, the Queen, died when she was but a child and ever since, her father, the King, has spent his life dedicated to fighting the enemy. With her father away, engaged in constant battle with enemies, she would wander the gardens and pretend they were her own private kingdom.

Of course, now no longer a child, she still wanders about these gardens, pretending the trees to be embattlements and the roses she thought of as her own personal army. With their colourful blooms as ornate armour and their sharp thorns were to be their swords. In their presence, she always felt safe. All the other forms of flora and all their wondrous colours, those were her every loyal subjects.

Now, these gardens lay in waste, for the gardeners are no longer employed by the King. The creeping arms of errant ivy weave their way through the garden along with the sinister weeds that seem to run rampant through the rose gardens. Still, she climbs the trees without a care to the proper behaviours she should aspire to follow, for she is royalty after all. These once beautiful gardens now reflect the sadness that has settled over her heart like a storm. No longer did the Sun shine upon these grounds, now only threatening clouds linger in the sky above. And the rains that fell, they were mirror images of the tears that descend to saturate the soil. The birds had even stopped venturing to these gardens to sing their pretty songs.

Her Eden lay in shambles, like the broken heart that beats within her chest. That is, until one day full of rain that tumbled down, she glanced up through the drops to see a tiny dot soaring overhead. With this glimmer of hope, she called out a plea, for she knew that this distant dot was a bird upon the wind currents.

“Please, o’ sweet creature of flight! Find thy footing and land within the safety of branches above me. Grant me the wings I so desperately desire so that I might soar with thee,” she speaks softly to the breeze that rustles the leaves.

To her dismay, within moments the bird had flow away. Now, this went on for several days. Her calling out to the skies above. Some days, the bird was there, as she wandered the gardens in the rain. On others, much to her dismay, the cloudy skies held nothing but gray. NO matter if the soaring bird was there, she’d call out her plea to the winds that played with her flowing hair.

Then, one day, as she made her rounds of the decaying gardens, upon a branch set a bird. Upon closer inspection, she discovered the creature to be that of a mourning dove. Its soft coos soothed her aching heart as it sang is tender song. She called out to the bird in a soft voice.

“Hey there little feller …” She speaks quietly. “No need to be afraid. I mean no harm to thee. I merely wish to know thee.”

The dove cocks its head to one side and takes to the sky. This leaves her weeping uncontrollably. Now, this continued on for months on end. Each time the dove would land, longer it would stay. And as each day passed, gray clouds grew lighter, less threatening and without incessant rain. Until one day, she discovered a stranger sitting amongst the tall grasses by her favourite tree.

“Who art thee?” She questions timidly, hesitant to approach the stranger.
A sweet smile crosses his face, “I am the dove that soars high above. Thy words have granted me feet so that I might gaze upon thy face, even if for only a brief moment.”

She stands there, befuddled, for a moment and without voice. Finally, after a long moment of pause, she smiles as the clouds above begin to give way to the Sun. He rises from the spot he occupies and smiles even brighter. She moves ever closer to this strange man who carries himself as if a knight from some country across the lake. A serene feeling overwhelms her as she takes the hand he now extends.

“O’ to kiss thy lips,” his words whispered softly just before he placed a kiss upon her hand. “Thy face radiates the hidden beauty of this garden M’Lady.”
“Thy words, my sweet man, dove … humble this troubled spirit,” she feels her knees grow weak for a moment as his lips made contact with her trembling hand. “If only thy could grant me but one wish, then I shall grace thy lips with a sweet kiss.”
He nodded in agreement, but no words are spoken. For as he pulled her close to him, a tender embrace, and his lips met hers in parted kiss, her wish was granted. Within that kiss from such soft lips came the wings of a dove upon her back. A warm wind blew through the garden as the clouds broke and gave way to the warm rays of the Sun. This garden bloomed once more in the instant of a shared kiss.

To the skies they soared …

Thunder rolled as she awoke from the dream, tears streaming down her face. She was left longing for the dove to return and grant her the wings or remain as a man and share a moment of tenderness. To the gardens she traveled swiftly within the rain, as night surrounded and called out to her for eternity.

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