Once upon a time there was a princess named Myfanwe who was the daughter of a powerful and benevolent king.
The king was a kind man, and proclaimed that he loved all of his subjects. He ruled his kingdom with a gentle hand and people often said that he was more like a shepherd than a king and so he came to be known as "The Shepherd King."
Now, Myfanwe loved her Father and she would visit with him every day, and would tell him how much she loved him and they would walk in the gardens surrounding his palace and talk for hours at a time.
Myfanwe was not like other princesses though, because Myfanwe had a secret. Myfanwe was quite unable to fall in love with princes, and so each year when the time for choosing a husband came around, Myfanwe didn't choose anyone.
Some of the people of the land became upset that Myfanwe would not choose a husband, and they began to reason with her about it.
Myfanwe told them that she would much rather not have a husband, because it would be unfair to marry a prince if she could never truly love him with all of her heart.
Some of the people of the land told Myfanwe that she was under a curse and they said that if the Shepherd king ever found out about it, he would banish her from his land forever!
Myfanwe didn't want to be banished, so the next time that the princes of the land came together, she chose a prince whom she thought was nice and married him.
The prince was good to Myfanwe, and loved her and treated her well and they were happy, even though Myfanwe knew she could never truly love her prince as well as she should, because of her curse.
One day, Myfanwe decided to tell her prince about her curse, because she wanted him to understand that, even though she didn't love him as she should, it was not done on purpose and it was not because she didn't want to love him with all of her heart.
The prince started to change after he found out about Myfanwe's curse and soon the sorrow that he felt at her inability to love him, began to consume his heart.
Myfanwe stayed with her prince and did her best to treat him kindly and ease his sorrow, but the sorrow was so great that it slowly turned her loving prince into a grumpy ogre.
The longer Princess Myfanwe stayed with the Ogre prince the more unhappy they both became.
There was one small light in the darkness of those years though, when Myfanwe found a magic mirror in the Ogre Prince's palace. Myfanwe would often sit and stare for hours into that magic mirror and watch the goings on in the kingdom. She could look into other kingdoms too, through her window, and she would wave and smile at the people she saw there.
Many long, dark and unhappy years later, Princess Myfanwe was talking to the young prince and two young princesses that she had borne to the Ogre-Prince and told them of how she had longed to escape into the happy kingdom she saw through her magic window.
To her surprise, the royal children told her that she should flee! Princess Myfanwe was worried that if she did, her royal children would be miserable, but they told her they would be much happier if they knew that she was happy.
So taking only her magic mirror and her royal robes, the princess escaped from the palace of the Ogre-Prince.
Believing that she was cursed, Myfanwe could not run to her Father, the Shepherd King, so she ran far away to a land by the sea and hid there in a tiny palace that she made her home.
Every day, Myfanwe would walk by the sea and dip her feet into the playful waves. She missed her walks in the garden with the Shepherd King and sometimes she would cry as she longed to see his face and walk by his side in his palace gardens.
So she consoled herself in the ocean and walked along the shore day after day. Sometimes she would become so tired from walking on the shore that she could barely walk back to her little palace.
Myfanwe didn't look into her magic mirror much anymore, and the people in the mirror kingdoms were left to wonder where their friend the princess had gone.
One night, feeling sad and alone, Princess Myfanwe took her magic mirror from it's case and stared into its silvery depths for a long time.
Many of the people she used to know in the mirror kingdoms had gone. One of them had died, but most of them had just moved on to other things.
While looking for her mirror friends, Myfanwe was taken by surprise when her eyes fell upon a beautiful princess who lived all alone in a far away palace.
The only company the far away princess had, was an old ginger cat. The far away princess looked on that cat with such love, that Myfanwe was smitten and longed for the far away princess to look with such love upon her!
So Myfanwe waved to the far away princess.
"Oh please, Shepherd King," Myfanwe cried. "Please let the far away princess see me waving!"
At that moment, the far away princess looked up and saw Myfanwe waving. She smiled shyly and waved back.
Her smile was so lovely that Myfanwe felt a strange stirring in her heart. For the first time in her life, the Princess Myfanwe felt that she was falling in love!
Every day after that, Princess Myfanwe took out her magic mirror and gazed into it, in the hope that she would see the far away princess.
During that time, the Shepherd King was talking to the Ogre Prince and one day, to Princess Myfanwe's surprise, the Ogre Prince came to her palace in the land by the sea.
The Ogre Prince was different, somehow. His face had softened and the sorrow was gone from his heart.
"I have come to offer you your palace home back," said the Ogre Prince. "I will leave the royal children at the palace, and give you my carriage if you will come back to the palace and live with the royal children, for I have decided I would rather live in your palace by the sea."
Princess Myfanwe wept for joy because she had missed her royal children dearly. So she packed up her magic mirror and moved away from the land by the sea and went home to her royal children.
Not long after returning to her palace home, Princess Myfanwe received a message from the faraway princess.
"I am coming to the land where your palace is, and I would like to meet you," wrote the faraway princess.
Of course, Princess Myfanwe agreed right away and plans were made for this royal meeting.
The princesses decided that they would meet at the market place and on the day of their meeting, Princess Myfanwe put on her best royal robes and drove her carriage to the market.
The faraway princess was shy and afraid, but she overcame her fear and after meeting at the market, the princesses went to the magic forest where they sat under the spreading branches of a faraway tree and talked and talked.
The princesses decided that they would like to keep meeting, and the faraway princess came to Princess Myfanwe's land often.
One day, Princess Myfanwe decided that she would take the faraway princess to visit the land by the sea, and show her the places that she had walked when her heart was cut off from the shepherd king.
In the shade of a tree on the banks of a lagoon, the faraway princess reached for princess Myfanwe's hand, and Princess Myfanwe knew that she was in love.
The shadow of the curse still hung over Princess Myfanwe's head, and she despaired, thinking that her beloved Shepherd King would banish her from his kingdom forever if he found out, so she hid from the Shepherd King and did not attend his banquets, and did not gather together with his other sons and daughters for a long time.
Princess Myfanwe dearly loved the faraway princess and felt that she would do anything to prove her love, but the faraway princess was cautious because she had fallen in love with two women before who had turned out to be wicked witches in disguise and she was afraid that Princess Myfanwe might be another witch.
One day, Princess Myfanwe decided to tell the faraway princess about her curse. She was afraid to talk about it, because she remembered how speaking of her curse had turned the kindly prince into a grumpy ogre, but she knew that if she was going to prove her love to the faraway princess she would have to tell the truth.
She sat down with the faraway princess on the shores of the lagoon where they'd first held hands, and told the faraway princess all about the curse and how the Shepherd King would banish her if he found out, and how the curse had already turned the kindly prince into a grumpy ogre.
To Myfanwe's amazement, the faraway princess was not scared by the curse, and it didn't put a spell on her at all.
"We must see the wise man," said the faraway princess. "For I too was told I was under a curse, and that the Shepherd King would banish me, but then I met the wise man, who is a very good friend of the Shepherd King and he helped to break my curse. Will you come with me to see the wise man?"
So Princess Myfanwe agreed and the two princesses set off to see the wise man.
"It is true ," The wise man said, "that some people in the kingdom believe the Shepherd King will banish those who cannot fall in love with princes. They also believe he will banish princes who cannot fall in love with princesses."
Princess Myfanwe was saddened by those words, but then the wise man went on.
"It is all because the people do not understand the words of the Shepherd King and they are confused by an edict that he made a long long time ago. The Shepherd King does not banish people from his kingdom just because they are in love with someone that other people do not approve of. The shepherd King blesses anyone who is in love and looks for the good fruit that love bears regardless of who you love."
Princess Myfanwe felt the chains of her curse break off and fall away behind her. She thanked the wise man for his great wisdom and she and the faraway princess went home with light hearts.
Soon, Princess Myfanwe decided that she would like to leave her royal palace and find a new home in the land of the Shepherd King, so she and the faraway princess began to search for another palace where Princess Myfanwe and her royal children could live.
Princess Myfanwe would have liked nothing better than to move to the land of the faraway princess and share her beautiful palace near the magic mountains but she felt that she should not take the royal children too far away from the Ogre-Prince.
For many days, Princess Myfanwe and the faraway princess searched for a palace, but none of the palaces they found was suitable.
Finally, Princess Myfanwe said: "I think that the Shepherd King has planned this so that I will have to move to the faraway palace and live near the magic mountains with you."
"If that is the case," said the faraway princess, "then the Shepherd King will find a way to let us know."
The very next day, a message came from the Ogre-Prince.
"The spell has been broken," The Ogre Prince wrote. "I am no longer a grumpy Ogre, and I am trying hard to abandon my Ogre ways. I would like the Royal Children to come and live with me."
And so Princess Myfanwe was freed with the Shepherd King's blessing to move to the magic mountains in the faraway land. She lived in the palace of the faraway princess, and shortly afterwards there was a great celebration when the two princesses were married in the presence of the wise man and their friends.