A fairy tale.

Fairy tales

Once upon a time there was a princess. But she didn't know she was a princess. It was a secret.

The princess was alone for a very long time. She lived in a very sad house, and the people there told her she was an ugly duckling. They told her she should never have been. Yet still, somehow, the princess learned how to dance. It was her own dance, strange, and not in step with anyone else's. She liked it, and was content to dance all by herself.

She didn't know how alone she was until one day she realized that other people shared. That they knew how to dance together. She thought it was magical. She was so excited! She wanted to learn how to dance with them, but quickly discovered that she couldn't. That her dance would always be different. Out of step.

Then the darkness came. The sad house and the lonely dance were too much for the little princess. She cried and cried and said, I don't want to live in a world where I always dance alone. She tried to leave the world, but some of the other princesses and princes noticed and said, Don't leave! We like your dance. We will stay beside you until the darkness goes away. We will let you dance beside us even if your dance is strange and not like ours.

The princess was so happy! The darkness went away and she left the sad house and she danced beside the others whenever they asked, even if her dance was still different. She knew they didn't mind and this made her happy too.

As the darkness went away, however, so did the other princes and princesses. They came to visit sometimes, but it wasn’t the same. The princess didn’t mind too much; she knew that all of the others had so many more friends to dance with and they had to give time to all of them. She learned how to play happily by herself, and settled for the occasional playdate.

Then, one day, when she was feeling especially alone, she noticed a boy. He came from an Enchanted Forest. The boy noticed her too. He said, Hi! You are my princess, where have you been all this time? Will you play with me?

The princess was amazed. She had no idea where this strange boy came from, but she loved playing with him. They held hands and walked through forests, paddled down rivers, splashed in oceans. They watched the chipmunks and cardinals visit their little home in the enchanted forest, and left food for them. They cuddled on stormy nights and they hid in the shade on sunny days.

She was such a happy princess. I have finally found my knight, she thought. Who has a strange dance of his own, and who doesn’t mind dancing beside me.

When the ghosts of the sad house came to bother her in her dreams, he was always there to protect her. When the monsters from her own head made her cry and throw tantrums, he waited patiently beside her and held out his hand.

When her knight’s monsters came, too, she held him. When he was lost, she said, I am your home. You will never be lost as long as I am here. When he tried to hide from the world, she pushed him into it, so he would have other people to dance with, too.

They were happy in their innocence.

But then, one day, her prince said, I’m sorry my princess. I’ve lost my sword. I let my heart stray away from you and I need to find it again. I need to fly away for a little while, so I can come back home to you and be your knight with his sword, all shiny and new.

The princess was very sad, but she understood. She wandered the forest alone, tattering her dress, taking many adventures on her own. She had fun, but she missed her prince.

Finally, one day, he came back. He said, I found my sword! I will never leave you alone and sad again. We will play together until the end of the world.

The princess smiled and danced, her own out-of-step dance, and held his hand. I will take care of you forever, she said. I will put on a new dress and we will have so many adventures. We will paddle through the storms, we will have picnics, build snowmen, and learn how to be grownups together. We will one day have a bouncing baby who will look like you and look like me and it will learn how to dance its own dance too.

The prince hugged the princess and said, There's nothing I want more. I am so certain of you, with my whole heart and soul.

“And they lived happily...”


For a little while, they did. But then one day the prince said to the princess, I am sorry – I thought you were my princess, but you were not. I liked playing with you, but I want to and find another princess. My real one. I need to go away again, but this time I will not come back. I am taking my sword with me, because I need it to protect my true princess. We cannot play together anymore. And he left.

The princess cried, and the darkness came again.

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