Princess in Waiting
By Mandy Hinkle
Once upon a time there was a beautiful princess named Elli. She lived in a magnificent castle in the middle of the kingdom. She had waited in her room at the top of the tower for the eve of her 18th birthday to marry her betrothed, the prince. She had never met the prince, but so desperately wanted to be loved. As the sun began to depart from the sky on her 18th birthday, Elli began her short journey to meet her prince in the forests where the golden bench sat.
She waited, and waited and waited some more, until finally it became dark. Understanding her prince was not coming, she slowly walked back towards the castle when she saw a beautiful witch dressed in all white. The Witch asked her, "Were you waiting for the prince?" The princess nodded her head. "Haven't you heard? He has fallen in love with a much more beautiful woman. He doesn't love you...nobody does. You will live life as a lonely old princess." The Witch continued to say meaner and meaner things until the princess began to cry. Once the princess could not stand on her feet any longer, she fell to the ground in tears when a man on an old brown horse came to help her. The man said to the wicked witch, "Go away in the name King!" And the Witch left.
After a short ride to the castle the man told Elli, "Don't listen to what the evil witch has said. You are greatly loved by your father, the King and your people." And without a word, the princess ran to her room weeping for three long days. On the third night, a fairy appeared in Elli's room wondering why she was so melancholy. The princess told her of the prince, the witch and the kind man who saved her. "My dear, maybe the prince was not to be your true love. You need to wait patiently for your love to come for you." "In the mean time, you need to get out of the castle and continue doing things that you enjoy." Elli knew the fairy was right, but she was fearful that she might never get married. After a few years, the princess began to feel satisfied with who she was even though she had not found her prince. She realized that her worth was not found in marring a prince, but in being herself.
With that, the fairy granted Elli one wish. The content princess did not feel the need to have a wish, for her life was wonderful as it was. Feeling as generous as she was, she decided to give her wish to the kind man who saved her from the wicked witch. The fairy agreed and went to the man who saved the princess. The kind man wished the princess would find her true love for he knew what it meant to her to be married. Later that week, the princess was to have her 21st birthday ball. "I wish to invite all my village friends," said the princess. "Send out a notice for all to come to my ball tonight." Later that evening at the ball, Elli began to walk down the steps into the ballroom. She was so happy to see all her friends attended, accept one person. The kind man who saved her from the Witch many years ago was no where to be seen. After all those years, Elli was never able to thank him for saving her.
The princess quickly left the party and began to search the whole town to find the kind man. In the middle of searching the fairy appeared and said to the princess, "Your true love is in the dungeon of the highest tower. You must go and save him!" Still wanting to find the kind man to thank him, she stopped searching to go save her true love. The princess armed herself with a sword and a shield and quietly entered the quart yard of the wicked witch. Seeing this, the witch was not happy and began to create a terrible ice storm. As the princess finally made it in to the tower she saw the witch. Before the witch could say anything, Elli shouted, "Get away from here you evil witch! Your words mean nothing to me now!" The witch tried and tried to make the princess sad, but it did not work. So finally the princess said, "I said go away in the name of my father, the King!" So the witch went off to leave the princess behind.
When Elli, entered the dungeon, she saw a handsome, yet familiar man resting. She walked up to his cell and said, "Thank you kind man, for saving me from the evil witch so many years ago. Now it is my turn to save you." The kind man stood to his feet with a smiled and put his hands through the bar of his cell. Touching the cheek of the princess he said, "No princess, it is I who thanks you for rescuing me from this lonely hour of my life. I shall ask you but one thing. Will you take me, as a un wealthy man of kindness to be your prince, to love you and never leave you?" A tear fell from the princess's eye as she grinned as if to say her life of waiting had been worth all the heartache. She answered the man with a kiss that said more than words can say. She had found her true love and the years of waiting made her a better princess and a wife to her new prince.