March 25, 2009
“Hullo there, lovely maiden,” exclaims a deep, masculine voice, “what beautiful tresses you have.”
Madeleine, being a snobby princess and is accustomed to people greeting her with a respectful, ‘Your Highness’, scolds that voice, “Show yourself, peasant. I wish to see the person who dares to speak to me like that.”
The so-called-peasant turns out to be Frederick, taking a stroll in the Forest, and suddenly feels the urge to cross that wide stream. Frederick has grown into a handsome man, with eyes the colour of the sky and yellow hair. And he is finely built, too. But it is not his physical appearance that causes the princess’ heart to skip a beat, for the princess has seen many men much more beautiful than Frederick.
And neither is it the princess’ elvin face that has captured the prince’s heart, nor is it her onyx, piercing eyes that takes his breath away, for the prince too has seen many women much finer than Madeleine.
It is the witch’s spell, no less.
It is the witch’s magic that causes the urge in Frederick to cross the wide river and stands where he is now. And it is the witch’s magic that causes the two of them to fall in love. Truly, madly, and deeply in love.
“Let me up, fair maid,” says a love-struck Frederick, “Let down your hair and let me climb up.”
Madeleine lets out an unusual, soft, chiming laugh, and says, “You, sir, have to be joking when you suggest you climbing up here with my hair. It is hair, sir, it is no rope,” she stops herself short before adding ‘you blithering fool’.
Frederick just stands there, looking left and right, looking for something only he and heaven knows.
“Why, sir, use that ladder there,” says Madeleine, pointing to a single rope hanging on a branch near the tree house, “I use it all the time to get up here.”
Frederick looks dubious. “Well…,” he hesitates, “Is it safe? Can it hold my weight?”
Madeleine rolls her eyes. “The rope doesn’t look convincing but my hair sure does, right?” and then she stands up, walks to the rope and slides down it.
They are in love. That is simply the case. And after they find out who the other person is, they stand still. They are silent and thinking. Frederick’s parents have warn him constantly not to go to the Farther Away Kingdom, and Madeleine’s parents too have keep her from goint to the Far, Far Away Kingdom. They have translate this into a fact that the Far, Far Away Kingdom is not in good terms with the Farther Away Kingdom.
Thus they separate, with a promise to come back the next day.
Back home, Frederick goes to his father’s chamber.
“Father,” says he, “I have found the love of my life, Father. And I wish to be make her my wife.”
The king is happy, naturally, but wary. A prince cannot just marry anyone. “Who is this lady who has caught my son’s heart?”
“She is a princess, Father…,” Francis’ face lit up. “…of the Farther Away Kingdom.” Francis’ smile dies as quickly as it has arise.
Before he can say, “What is wrong, Father?” Frederick has been whisked away into his chamber, and bolts are added to the door.
In the Farther Away Kingdom, things are no better for Madeleine. She, too, is locked up in her bed-chamber, with a promise that she will be married to her cousin since no other gentleman will have her. This happens after she tells her parents that she has fallen for Prince Frederick of the Far, Far Away Kingdom. Her parents’ reaction has confirm her hypothesis that her’s and Frederick’s parents must really hate each other.
In the still of the night, she climbs out the window of her room, and goes to the Forest. When Frederick doesn’t show up at the promised time, she walks to the Far, Far Away Kingdom. When she gets there, it is dark, and although she manages to get to the castle, she has no clue as to where Frederick is.
“O Frederick, Frederick! Wherefore art thou, Frederick?” she laments.
A voice calls from above, “Here I am, dearest.”
It was Frederick, calling from his bed-chamber’s window.
“Why, then, climb down, Frederick,” says Madeleine.
“It’s quite high, dearest one,” says Frederick, looking down. “What are we to do now…”
Beside Frederick’s window is a tree, whose branch are now being pulled by Madeleine. She is climbing up the tree, and in another minute, she is looking at Frederick, “Let’s elope.”
“Yes, let’s be married. I shall find us a priest, and we can be married tomorrow. What say you?”
Thus they settled that tomorrow, Frederick is going to find a way to slip out and go to the Forest. Madeleine leaves, she sets out to find a priest. The night turns into twilight, twilight to dawn, and even as the sun has risen Madeleine hasn’t succeed. By the time the sun is high on her head, she finds a friar.
“Well, no one can say I haven’t tried. What’s your name, friar?”
“It’s Tuck, milady.”
“Your name is Friar Tuck?”
“And what, this is Sherwood Forest?”
“Yes, milady,” says the Friar with a confused wrinkle on his forehead.
Madeleine decides to drop the subject and to quickly leave the premises before things get even weirder… Say, like Robin showing up… So they walk to the Forest where they are supposed to meet Frederick. It is a long walk and by the time they get there it is already dusk. But Frederick is not there.
They wait and wait and wait, but he never shows up.
(to be continued)