Once upon a time, there was a prince who had luck in everything, except for love. Even though he was charming and intelligent and had journeyed all of the kingdoms of the world, he couldn’t find the lady of his heart. At long last, despondent and downcast he decided that such was his destiny, and he travelled back home again.
But one day, in a garden near his castle, he saw a strange woman.
When he came close, he could see that she was not really a woman but a faerie, dancing and singing, feet barely touching the dew-fresh grass beneath her. Her dress was light and glittering. Oh, she was so beautiful and mysterious!
Moving as one hypnotized, he reached out for her. But just before he touched her, she … disappeared.
He looked all through his kingdom and beyond, but nobody knew of her. Until one day he heard a story from the alderman of a village at the very edge of the great forest.
In the story, there was a brave prince who saved the forest from a great danger. And in gratitude for this service, on the day of the prince’s wedding, the Queen of the Fey sent a gift for him – a flower.
Not a common flower, mind you. It was a magical flower.
“You will be always in love with each other,” the faerie told the happy couple. “As the flower symbolizes your love in the shape of the two swans swimming the sea of passionate love and glittering happiness. But remember,” the faerie continued, “never pick the flowers! Let them grow freely on your grounds. And you and your children and your grandchildren will succeed in all matters of the heart.”
And thus it was for many, many years. But at last, as will happen, the story and its meaning were lost to men… And the flowers were plucked.
The alderman shook his head sadly. “So,” he continued, “don’t touch the flowers, and everything will be fine again. In time.”
The prince thanked him handsomely and turned the horse away. But as he rode off, the alderman suddenly recalled another warning of old. Raising a hand, he called after the prince, “Remember, lad! The fey are creatures of another world!”
The prince, deep in his thoughts and almost at the clearing’s edge, halted the horse and turned around in his saddle, looking back at the old man.
“You cannot get close to them,” the old man said as he neared again. “You cannot. If you look into their eyes…”
The prince looked troubled then. “What happens?” he asked.
The man sighed slowly. “You will try to do everything for her. But the only thing you will get in return is the bitterness of separation and a life without a heart. They cannot marry nor live with you. So you can choose – everything with a woman of your people, or nothing with the fey. The choice is yours…”
The prince looked at him for a long moment. “How do you know?”
The man bowed his head. “The choice was mine…”
When the prince came home, he locked himself away into his tower for several days. And when he came out again, the first thing he did was to go to the markets. There he bought a flower. One of the blue ones. He went back to his garden and planted it carefully in the soil close by the flowers of the faerie…
When next he saw the faerie dancing in his garden, he could see by her smile that she liked that flower. And thus every day he went to the market and bought a new one, and planted it. And a new, and a new… Until one day the large garden was filled to overflowing with them. And she appeared there more and more often.
It was a dark and stormy night. The prince couldn’t sleep and went down into the garden to catch some fresh air. A sudden bolt of lightning cracked through the air, piercing the darkness. And there she was! Dancing. Not her usual waltz, gentle and dreamy circling around the flowers. But a wild and passionate dance, weaving through the mad shadows thrown by the thundering lightning in the skies.
For one brief moment, she moved closer than usual to him. And then she looked straight at him.
He caught her eyes.
Mysterious… Enchanting… Calling him…
He knew then, at that moment, that he would never completely understand her. And yet, it was his world he saw in her eyes…
She continued dancing even as the heavy rain began to fall. And he stood there, out in the open, unmoving and still. Watching her.
After a while the rain stopped. The moon broke through the clouds and everything around them was faintly glittering in the soft light. The heady fragrance of the flowers rose into the night air.
Suddenly he grew aware that the music around her had changed and that she was singing. And though the words escaped him, the deep emotions of the blues sank into his soul… Silvery, like the raindrops trailing down her cheeks. Blue, like his flowers.
And then, she smiled…
~ The End ~