Sunday, 16 September 2012

Once Upon A Time...

Once upon a time there was a handsome prince called Henry. Henry was the son of old King Charles, the richest and most powerful man in the land. One day he summoned Henry to his throne room and told him “you must go forth beyond the borders of my kingdom, face adventure, and find the person you love more than anyone else in the world. Then you may marry them and rule as king in my place.”

Henry put on his shining armour, mounted his horse, and set out beyond the kingdom to find adventure and bring home the person he wanted to marry. He travelled through the frozen north and met friendly new people there. He travelled to the blazing hot east, and saved a small town from an evil monster. He travelled west and saw the end of the world, where water poured off the side of the earth into space. Finally he travelled south, and there he found the person he loved more than anyone else in the world.

When Henry returned home, the whole kingdom gathered to welcome him back. He rode through the town up to his father the king on his great horse, with his armour shining in the sun. Around his neck was the necklace the northerners had given him, and at his waist was the sword he slayed the monster with, and in his saddlebag was the small toy boat that he had snatched from the waters at the end of the world.

The king smiled to see his son return home from his many adventures, and then he looked up to see the person riding behind Henry. “Father,” said Henry, “I would like to introduce you to the person I love most in the world. This is Prince George.”

George was every bit as handsome as Henry was. His armour was as shiny, and he rode on his horse as skillfully as Henry did. But King Charles was not happy to see George. “You can't marry a prince,” he shouted at Henry, “you have to marry a princess!”

Henry was taken aback. “But father,” he replied, “you didn't say I had to marry a princess. You told me to find the person I loved most in the world. That person is George. Why can't I marry him?”

“Princes only marry princesses,” replied the king.
“Why?” asked Henry.
“There are three reasons. Because that is the way that it has always been. Because two princes can't have a child to rule after them. And because princes can't love each other as much as a prince and a princess can.”

The king thought that he had the final say on the matter, but Henry knew otherwise. First he asked the king, “when you married my mother, who was not from this kingdom but who was herself from the south, had that ever been done before?” The king admitted that it had not. “You were the first prince to marry a princess from the south, and so I will be the first prince to marry a prince from the south.” The king admitted that this was a good point.

Next Henry went to the orphanage. He found a young baby girl who had just been abandoned the night before by her mother. There was no room at the orphanage for her, and so he took the girl from there and promised to raise her as his own child. Now Prince George and Prince Henry had a daughter, who could rule after them.

Still the king would not relent. “You may have a child to rule after you, and you may have proved that we do not always do the things just because they have always been done in a certain way. But you cannot prove that you love one another as much as a prince and a princess would, and so I will not allow you to marry and rule after me.”

Prince Henry was very sad to hear this from his own father. “We will prove our love the only way we can,” he replied. “We will leave this kingdom together, and travel back to the south. There we will marry, and raise our daughter, and live the rest of our lives together, and never again return to this kingdom. For our love is great enough that we do not need you to marry us, or a kingdom to rule.”

So Henry and George left with their daughter, leaving behind their kingdom and their shining armour and even their horses, for all they needed was their love. They were married in the south, and they built a small house in an orchard. Henry became a farmer, and George opened a store to sell their apples, and they lived out the rest of their days happily ever after. 

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