The Story of The Prince & Princess
“Alright, sweetie, time for bed now. No more stories.”
The old man leaned forward and began to rise from his chair.
“Wait Grandpa...just one more story...pleeease!”
Never one to resist his Granddaughter's innocent charm, he accepted.
“Okay, but just one more. What would you like to hear about this time?” he asked.
“Hmm, how about a story about a princess?”
He sat in silence for a moment.
“Alright I’ve got a story for you. Once upon a time there was a young boy, the son of a sailor. He-”
“I said a princess!” the girl exclaimed.
“Now now, I’m getting there. So anyways...Once upon a time there was a young boy, the son of a sailor. He grew up in a little village at the harbor, which was located next to a very, big castle. Growing up, the boy didn’t have a whole lot, but he made the best of what he had. He was handsome and strong, and made quite the impression upon the village girls. Even though he was small he was the strongest amongst the village boys, and was even considered the best dancer. In the little village that he grew up in most of the boys followed in their father’s footsteps and became sailors, or blacksmiths, or harbor boys. Some gave way to the tavern, others simply to the poverty of the village. But this boy had larger ambitions…
Over time he came to see the castle that hung above him, not as the distant home of the privileged, but as a place he too could someday reside. And so he worked hard to leave the village. One day he finally became a young man, no longer a young boy, and was out on his own. He traveled to the castle, and found himself a position as the apprentice of an apothecary.”
“What’s an apothecary?” the girl asked.
“It’s kind of like a doctor, but he makes medicines instead of working on people. So, anyways, the now young man worked hard, and he eventually found himself working directly with the King’s doctor in transporting the apothecary’s supplies. One day, while walking through the halls of the castle, he saw a girl. Now, this was no ordinary girl. She was the daughter of the King’s dentist, but she was far more beautiful than any of the King’s daughters. She played among-”
“Grandpa, she’s not a real princess!”
“Hmm, well perhaps she wasn’t the king’s daughter, but is that really what makes a princess? I don’t think so. This girl was more of a princess than any of the King’s daughters. And that’s how the young man saw it as well.
So, as I was saying, the young man came across this girl in the castle halls, holding some innocent conversation with a prince who was certainly looking to court her. And so the young man made it a plan to find a way to spend time with this girl. He succeeded, eventually, by convincing her to work for the apothecary. Together, working for the apothecary, they got to know each other. And soon they fell in love. The young girl’s family was not particularly fond of the young man, for at first they saw only a sailor’s son who was raised in the village by the sea, not a noble raised in the castle. The rough demeanor the young man carried, though, was the front of a caring, gentle, thoughtful, and loving man. And the girl saw this, and it was why she loved him.”
“Wait, tell me more about the girl. I’m pretty sure this is supposed to be a story about the girl after all!”
“Yes, of course, you’re right. Hmm, well this girl was the second youngest amongst a family of five. She grew up in a pious family; righteousness and generosity, her family’s virtues. Gentle, kind, the girl had a gregarious personality and an incredible charm. She was beautiful; she seemed to carry an aura about her that would draw your eyes the second she would walk in a room. Her laugh was infectious, and its particular timbre would often resonate throughout the castle halls, bringing a smile to the faces of even the grumpiest curmudgeons. And, perhaps most importantly of all, she was an overwhelmingly happy person. She was happy when she met the prince, and happy when they finally married. The birth of her two kids came, and she was joyful. She had a family now, with her prince, and her prince with his princess, and them both with their two children, and she was happy. They traveled across the sea to distant lands, and explored the world together. But what they enjoyed most they found right at home. The young man was not so young anymore, and the girl was not such a girl. They had their adventures, but now, there was nothing they enjoyed more than the company of each other and their children.
But one day, as they traveled to a distant land, the man was badly hurt, and lost his ability to move. The strength that he had so prided himself on withered. He worked hard to get better, and harder to stay strong. But his efforts would have been for naught, were it not for his princess. For his princess, when her prince needed her most, found in her a strength that makes you certain that she was indeed a princess. And she cared for him, and loved him, and made sure that everything would be okay. Their children had grown up, and would soon have lives of their own, but the prince and the princess were happy in knowing that they had each other. And they lived happily ever after. The end.”
“Wait, what? But what about the prince? Did he get better?” the girl inquired.
“Well, I don’t think that’s very important, do you? For in the end, the prince-- born a sailor’s boy-- found himself in the arms of a princess he loved. And the princess in the arms of a prince that she loved. And that was all they needed. Don’t you agree?”
The old man looked down at the girl, but found she had already drifted off to sleep. It seemed she didn’t think the answer was very important either.
He stood up quietly, turned off the light, and walked into the hall. As he closed her door, he heard a small voice.
“Grandpa, what were the names of the prince and the princess?”
The old man smiled.
“They were my parents.”