Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The Northern Princess Marries Her Prince

The Northern Princess Marries Her Prince
By Karen Penry

Far to the north, there lives a beautiful and noble king. King Borealis is purveyor of the northern kingdom. He rules the land along with the other great kings, King Thunder to the east, King Lustre in the south, and King Lionheart in the west. Together, these kings maintain peace and justice for all of their loyal subjects. But this is not the story of a king; this is the story of King Borealis’s fair daughter and how she fell in love.

Once upon a time, there was a fair princess named Princess Diamond. She was the cherished daughter and only heir of the noble King Borealis and Queen Freyja. As is common practice in the land, Diamond’s hand in marriage was promised to Onyx, son of King Lustre when the colts were very young.

Every summer, the two young royals came together to learn, play, and grow. They were automatically the best of friends. As royal heirs, they didn’t have much opportunity to play with other young people, so they loved having time with each other. The adults also liked to socialize with each other. As often as they could, the kings held court together and during the winter holidays, they would throw lavish holiday feasts—first in one kingdom, and then in the other.

The years passed, and soon the young colts were no longer children. They were not quite old enough to marry, but they were getting close. It was time that they start their official royal training.

Princess Diamond spent her days studying calculus, astronomy, history, literature, and philosophy. Everyone knows that a future queen needs to be very knowledgeable and educated. In addition, she had princess lessons like holding afternoon tea, receiving royal subjects, embroidery, and ballroom dancing, as well as many others.

Likewise, Onyx spent his days studying anatomy and physiology, geology and geography, and other academic subjects. He also had lessons in fencing and jousting, receiving royal subjects, negotiation, and ballroom dancing, as well as many others.

While Princess Diamond grew regal and beautiful, however, Onyx became reckless and wild. He began to take unnecessary risks in training and began sneaking out of the castle at night. Rumors of his behavior traveled far north to King Borealis and he was not happy!

Still, the two young royals spent the following summer together again. They still loved spending time together and Onyx was slightly less impetuous when he was with Diamond. Borealis watched Diamond and Onyx closely.

Although his habits were curbed, Onyx was still reckless. When having a day out in the countryside, he would often ride ahead of Diamond, circle back, and sneak up on the riding party and scare them all. Onyx would also spend his evenings in the village and stay out far past midnight. His behavior was not that of a king in training. Borealis was displeased.

At the end of the summer, after Onyx had returned to the south, Borealis asked Diamond to walk with him in the rose garden. He told Diamond that he was calling the wedding off. Diamond tried to talk to her father, but he told her, “He is not worthy of you, Diamond. He is careless, has no regard for others, and does not behave in an appropriate manner for a prince!” Diamond protested, but King Borealis would not budge. He just continued to shake his head and adamantly exclaim, “No!”

Finally Diamond mad a plea in desperation. “Daddy,” Diamond cried, “You see the boy that he is, but I see the king he will become. Please! Trust me. Trust my judgment and my heart.” Then, Diamond turned and left Borealis in the garden by himself.

Borealis continued to walk among the roses. Diamond’s words kept echoing in his ears. Something she said reminded him of another time a long time ago. When Borealis was a young lion, before he was king, he knew a dark young boy who was much like Onyx. This boy also had a tendency to be reckless. This boy made rash decisions and put others unnecessarily at risk. Over time, this young boy found himself in a tight spot now and then. However, the boy eventually grew out of his reckless stage, and his experiences made him wise. This young boy grew to be King Borealis’s best friend the radiant and passionate King Lustre.

Borealis knew that he had to trust his daughter and the parenting skill of his best friend King Lustre. He also knew that he did not have to make marrying his daughter easy for Onyx. Borealis had a plan. He summoned Onyx back to the kingdom. The two men sat down for a serious talk. Borealis told Onyx how he felt about all he had observed. He told Onyx of his displeasure. Then he said, “Onyx, if you want to marry my daughter, you must prove your worth to me. She is my only child and I love her more than life itself. Before you may marry my daughter, you must complete a sacred quest.”

Onyx loved Diamond. He was sure he loved Diamond as much as her father loved her. He agreed to the quest.

Because of the sacredness of the quest (and that this is actually Diamond’s story), we cannot tell of Onyx’s quest other than to say that he had to travel to each of the four kingdoms to learn a lesson of honor, courage, loyalty, and love. His quest took him away for more than a year and Diamond spent the following summer alone instead of with Onyx.

Finally, as the next summer approached, word reached the northern kingdom that Onyx would arrive within a few days. Princess Diamond spent her days searching the skyline until one day his silhouette appeared on the horizon. Diamond ran to him as he approached the castle doors. Onyx bent to hug Diamond and swung her through the air. Then he gently set her down and said, “I have business with your father.”

King Borealis and Onyx spent all of that evening and all of the next day behind closed doors. When they finally emerged, they were both smiling. King Borealis pronounced, “In the morning, I shall dub this young man Sir Onyx, Knight of the Northern Kingdom and in the evening he shall marry my daughter!”

For the next twenty-four hours, the kingdom was abuzz with preparations for the wedding. King Lustre and Queen Monet had already been at court for several days, so everything was in order.

The day of the wedding was beautiful. The sun shimmered and sparkled as it never had before. The world was perfect and ready to receive the future king and queen. Princess Diamond and Sir Onyx married in a beautiful, sunset garden ceremony. They kissed as the sun just began to dip below the horizon and of course they lived happily ever after.

(We may never know what Sir Onyx said to King Borealis in that thirty-six hour interview, but we do know that Sir Onyx grew to be a great king in his own right, that he proved himself to King Borealis, and that Diamond knew her true love all along.)

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