Looking out of her balcony down at the village in the valley in front of the Palace, Princess Layla stood thinking that she didn’t want to sit around and wait for her Prince Charming anymore, the beautiful white dress she had on was starting to look overdone. All she did day in and day out was make herself pretty for her coming prince, everything was done to a T… Hair, nails, make-up, nothing was not done. Yet the prince still hasn’t come. So she called one of her servant girls and asked her for her dress. She had decided she wants to go to the village. You see, Princess Layla had been told she should not go into the village, “it is not a place for princesses” her Father had said. Yet He never said DON’T, He never controlled her, only loved her. She never felt like doing something He would disapprove of until the waiting around for a fairy-tale prince got too much. So she put on the servant girl’s dress and went into the village, disguising her royalty as peasantry.
She was amazed that the village wasn’t at all scary the way her Father had made it sound. It was actually quite pleasant, at first glance. The people were friendly and welcoming. She went into a bakery for some fresh bread, which almost smelled better than the bread baked in her Father’s Palace. Then she walked around some more and came to a little tavern, soft music was spilling onto the street and she peeked in nosily. The village people were all dancing around and laughing. Soon she felt her own foot begin to tap to the rhythm of the music, the music that was so different from what she heard in her Father’s Palace. Things seemed better in the village than in the Palace, a certain unsettling feeling gripped her, but she ignored it. Somehow she got swept up into the dancing and had not noticed it becoming dark. She had started to miss the light of the Palace and the freshness, she realised that she was having trouble breathing in the little tavern. She left the village looking forward to a nice warm bath and clean clothes…
The next morning Princess Layla woke up thinking of how she enjoyed the dancing and the people in the village and decided she would go back to explore some more, she left after brunch and had taken some gold coins so she could buy herself some village friendly clothes and shoes. In the weeks that followed, Princess Layla left the palace more frequently, stayed out later and later, until she would stay out days on end, only coming home for coins and then leaving again. She had made friends with some of the village girls, none of these girls knew that she was the Princess and she never told them. She didn’t wear her robes, her crown or her ring when she went into the village. In the beginning they would notice something different about her, a “light”ness and friendliness that none of the other villagers had, but as time passed she had become more and more like them.
One day she was on her way back to the Palace and she realised that she had not seen her Father in a long time. She got home, cleaned up and went to him, climbing onto His lap like she used to when she was still a little girl. She knew He had known about the village and what she had been doing. Somehow she felt dirty even just sitting with Him, but He held her and they spoke for hours. He sang to her, they ate together and then her Father spoke to her so softly and with such love as He warned her about the village. She didn’t understand why her Father didn’t want her to have some fun. Not realising his intent behind the warning she got upset, started questioning Him and left. When she got back to her room there was a pretty new dress next to her mirror. Nothing over the top, just a pretty light purple summer dress, but she knew her Father had picked it just for her.
She wore the dress for the next few days and felt truly beautiful and royal, she felt that if her prince would come now he would fall in love straight away, but he still didn’t come. Slowly she started feeling like she was once again waiting for nothing, that her prince had gotten lost somewhere and has settled down with some servant girl. So she started going out to the village again. And that’s when she met him.
The pauper boy who worked in the tavern kitchen.
To be continued…