Once upon a time there was a princess. Her name was the symbol of melodic and mystical winds from across the lands of the kingdom. Her mother died when she was five or six and she was left to reign with her father, Eviscus. Eviscus was a king of dark complexion and deep black eyes. Rainne (the princess) was of opposite appearance with warm greyish blue eyes and fawn colored hair. She was a meek and quiet maiden of light, and even in her dark confinement she was a pool of sparkling light in itself.
It was known by all the people of the kingdom that the princess's father kept her locked in the darkest and tallest tower of the tall dark castle. Ever since Rainne's cousin, Rapunzel, escaped from the neighboring Kingdom Eviscus had Rainne's fawn-colored ringlets kept clipped just above the shoulder.
One day a logging lad was in the forest eating his lunch (for it was noontime) when he heard the sweetest song being carried on the wings of the wind. It was soft and low and full of a current of contentment and patience. He was piqued into curiosity by the innocence and purity of the lyrics, so he followed the sweet sounds until he came upon the dark castle. He saw a glimmer up in the tallest towers' window, so he sent a note with a dove up to the princess. Soon the dove returned with a note that smelled of spring and sunlight with this inscription:
"Are you friend or foe? My father mustn't know that you are here or he will surely kill you."
The logging lad sent back a note that said, "I am your humble friend and servant, Edmond Drake. I want to save you from the cruel clutches of your father."
He waited for a response but the dove never returned. He devised a plan of chiseling bricks out of the castle at intervals to enable him to climb to the tower window and carry Rainne down. The logging lad was a strong lad but it was strenuous work.
After seven months and five days of working in darkest shadow and brightest sunlight he made it to the top. When he reached the window he called to the princess. He gasped when he saw her warm and pure beauty. She looked at him with sorrowful eyes.
"I had no more paper, for my handmaiden burnt it in the fire. I would have told you not to come, for I love my father, and although some see him as cruel I still wish to honor him. I know he loves me in his moody way, and I know that he is not evil. He is sad, but not evil. I refuse to go with you, for my father will miss me sorely. He comes every evening to hear me sing for him and I cannot displease him by going without his leave."
Edmond looked at her with a new respect in his eyes. "Kind princess," said he, "Forgive me my wrong and I will take my leave. The thought of your father never entered my mind. If, indeed, he is as cruel as I thought, t'would still be wrong to steal you from under his roof without first asking leave. Surely I am unworthy even to look upon your kind face, for never has there lived a purer and kinder lass than you. Good day to you, sweet Princess."
"You are forgiven, kind sir. I understand that your motives were born not of vain and idle fancies but of a noble and chivalrous spirit. I honor you for that, kind sir. God speed to you."
Edmond gravely bowed to her but before he could rise back to his full height again Rainne cried out.
"I am but a small being in the eyes of God's might. Please rise."
Awed into silence, he rose and climbed back out of the window. It was a tedious climb for not only was he yet tired from his assent but his mind was busier than before with these new cogitations. Edmond prayed for forgiveness for his careless ways and came to the conclusion that the truest course he could take would be to confess his wrongs to the king. Although he quaked at the thought he knew t'was but what he ought to do. He took heart and made his way to the castle gate. When the guard asked him what business he had in the castle he answered quietly and said "I have report of a thief; a report that is only too true."
Startled, the guard let him through. He handed Edmond a scribbled note.
"Show this to each guard, they will send you directly to the king."
With a grave countenance Edmond made his way through the long passage. He showed each guard the note from the head guard, and each guard in his turn gave a startled look and silently sent him on his way.
King Eviscus turned a stern eye upon the logging lad and and said (with imperial tone) "What is this news of a thief that you bring before me?"
Edmond considered his words carefully before answering.
"Good sir," he said, "Will you hear my tale patiently?"
The King looked him over before replying.
"Carry on, logging lad."
Edmond told him his tale, starting with the song in the winds and ending up at the foot of the throne. King Eviscus broke out into a rare and kind smile as that of a loving father. With a surprising gentleness he said, "My son (for that you will be if you please to wed my daughter), you have passed the test of nobility that I laid out in my kingdom. Have you heard ought of my eccentricities?"
Edmond was too dumbfounded to articulate so he merely shook his head. King Eviscus chuckled over Edmond's dumb wonder.
"I love my daughter more than any other father in this kingdom or in any other kingdom ever loved his. Before the lass's mother died we devised a test to find a worthy husband for her to wed. I knew that to save Rainne from her tower room one must have strength, agility, perseverance, respect, and honor. My daughter knows of this plan, and tells me when any try to come to her tower window. She ordered her maid to burn the parchment. Her door is not locked in truth; she chooses to stay in her tower room where she takes care of the birds that fly there every winter and cold season. It is my joy to spend the latter half of every day in her abode, hearing her tunes and melodies and trilling lyrics.
"She told me of the note you sent to her; I watched her write her reply. I watched you work day and night to climb to the top. I watched as you came back at the same time every morn', two hours before dawn, all those months. You lack nothing, lad. You possess a true and upright heart, and I would be honored if you would receive my daughter's hand in marriage."
With shameless tears in his eyes Edmond bowed his head and lifted up his voice to heaven in thankfulness for the mercy shown to him from above. When he looked up he saw tears in the eyes of King Eviscus. The King shook hands with Edmond and sent for the princess. When Rainne came into the room she went straight into her father's arms. Her father held her close before he said to her, "Daughter dear, this worthy lad has ought of importance to ask you."
King Eviscus gave Rainne's hands to Edmond. He looked deep into her eyes and said, "Dear lady, could you find it in your heart to take my name? I promise I will do the best in my power under God to take care of you."
"Worthy Sir, I can! God has blessed my on this day. I have no fear in plighting my troth with you."
On the next morning the princess and the logging lad were wed. I won't tell an untruth and say that they lived happily ever after, for they were but mere human beings, and humans must naturally die some day. But I will tell you that they did in truth live long and happy lives, contentedly taking whatever lot God chose to give them. They had seven chivalrous sons and five virtuous daughters, all raised under the truth of the Bible and taught to love the Lord.
I wrote this in the car on the way to North Carolina last weekend. I was texting with my friend and she said she was sleepy so I wrote her a bedtime story.