August 8, 2010

A Better Sleeping Beauty

A Better Sleeping Beauty
Story Revised by KallyLyn
-Minimally Revised-
Written fall 2008

Once upon a time, in a far away land there lived a King and Queen whose joy in life became complete when they had a lovely baby girl. They were so happy that they decided to have the grandest feast anyone had ever heard of to celebrate the baby’s dedication.
It was well known that there were seven prophets of YHVH in the land, and the King invited them all to be present at the great event, hoping that they would prophecy great gifts for the baby.
On the day of the dedication the palace was at its most resplendent. Lights shone even to the highest tower. To the strains of exquisite music, fountains tinkled in basins of snow-white marble, and the fragrance of a thousand flowers rose to perfume the air.
The baby Princess herself lay in a cradle of gold amid coverlets woven of rose-petal silk. The royal guests, gorgeously robed, seated themselves at the gleaming banquet tables. And everyone applauded as the seven prophets, looking bright as angels- dressed in their best robes- came gracefully into the great hall and stood smiling around the royal cradle.
As they took turns holding the Princess, they each pronounced the blessing they felt called to give the baby.
“This little girl will be the most beautiful in the land,” said the First prophet.
“She will be,” said the Second, “a very wise and intelligent young lady.”
“She shall have the sweetest disposition in the world,” declared the third.
The Fourth granted her the grace of a flower. “And the voice of a Nightingale,” added the Fifth.

“She shall have the gift of making wonderful music on every instrument she touches.”
This came from the Sixth prophet, who was speaking his blessing when an evil witch came and sat, disguised as an old cripple, by the door. You see, the King and Queen and all of their guests had been so happy and excited about the blessings that they had let their guard down, and didn’t notice the enemy creep in. Anyone who might try to cause trouble had been kept from attending, and the witch was angry because she couldn’t get in.
When she finally did get in, she waited impatiently for a chance to make trouble. “I came just in time,” she thought, thinking that the sixth blessing had come from the seventh prophet. So, stepping forth, her face ugly with hatred and rage, she said to the King and Queen, “Ha! You think I’m not good enough to be a guest at your child’s dedication! You despise me and my friends! Well, I’ll get even with you. I am now going to cast a spell that will curse your child forever. This is it: One day she will try to spin at a spinning wheel. When she does, the spindle will prick her finger and she will immediately fall dead.”
So saying, the evil witch disappeared, the sound of her eerie laughter echoing in the ears and hearts of the horrified guests. A terrible hush fell on the party, which had been so gay but a moment before.
The poor King and Queen were all but out of their minds with grief. But lo! Suddenly, the seventh and last prophet, who had been holding the baby quietly, praying, and waiting for his turn; spoke in a loud, clear voice.
He said, “Unfortunately, I cannot undo the curse the evil witch has put upon the Princess. The girl’s finger will be pricked by a spindle. But when that happens, I know that she will only seem dead. Actually she will be in a deep sleep- a sleep that is so deed that it will last seven years. But during those seven years the Princess will remain as young and beautiful as she is on the day she falls asleep. She will be known therefore as the Sleeping Beauty. And when the seven years are over she will be awakened by a Prince who will have the key to break the witch’s spell.” After kissing the Princess and laying her in the cradle, the man joined his fellow prophets and they all left the banquet.
As the little Princess grew older, all the prophecies came true. She was beautiful, wise, intelligent, sweet, kind, thoughtful, and graceful, and she was wonderfully well versed in music and all the arts. Everyone loved her. And because her parents were wise and trusted YHVH to protect their daughter, the Princess was very skilled in the use of a spinning wheel and had a special pair of gloves to wear anytime she was near a spindle. So the Princess grew in happiness to womanhood.
In her sixteenth year the King and Queen planned a celebration that was to outshine even the magnificence of the dedication. Nobles of the highest rank were invited, and the entire palace was decorated with a blaze of lights. The perfume and colors of the flowers were matched in beauty only by the robes and jewels of the guests and the elegance of the banquet tables.
The Princess was radiant in a gossamer gown that shimmered like dewdrops in the sun. How happy she was! And how gracious to all the guests! After the feasting there was dancing, and those of the young noblemen who had the honor of dancing with the lovely Princess felt themselves fortunate indeed.

In the midst of the heat and excitement, the Princess felt the need of getting a little fresh air and of being alone for a time. “I know what,” she said to herself. “I shall go up into the topmost tower of the castle. It will be cool there and I shall be alone and able to look out and see the stars.”
Difficult as it was, she managed to slip out of the great hall unnoticed. Light as a bird she skipped up the many flights of stairs to the tower. She had never seen it before and she thought it quite exciting to be going there now alone, the sounds of merry-making from below growing fainter and fainter. At last she reached the top- or what she thought was the top. But there were no windows through which she might look at the stars. To her amazement she found herself in a turret entirely walled in except for a tiny door.
Timidly, she opened the door and found that it led to a steep flight of winding stairs. Lured on by her curiosity, the Princess climbed the steps and came upon a strange sight. There, in an ancient tower, sat an old old woman, so old and so deaf that she never heard anything that went on in the castle below. She was sitting at an antique spinning wheel, spinning silken threads of many hues.
Now the old woman was the evil witch, who had been banished to the tower awaiting punishment, and then forgotten by the King and Queen. But the Princess didn’t know this, so she asked the old woman if she could help with the spinning. The old lady said “yes,” and the Princess sat down to spin.
After she started the wheel, the Princess asked the old woman why she was up there, gestures and friendly smile showing the deaf old crone what she meant.
“I was banished here,” replied the old woman.
“But why?” asked the Princess.
“Because,” said the old woman, “I told your parents that you would die.”
Then the Princess realized who the old woman was and scrambled to get away. She lost her balance and grabbed for the spinning wheel to help steady herself. When she did this, the Princess’ hand wrapped around the spindle, pricking her finger.
Immediately, just as the prophet foretold, the Princess fell in a dead faint on the floor...

To be continued...

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