My story does not begin with the likes of tiaras and royal balls. Rather, with a song.
It started one day when there was a ‘knockety knock’ on my front door…
You see, I was singing at the time, my sweet, lovely voice floating out the window. I hate to brag, but when I sing, it’s like hearing an angel singing from the heavens. This was the song I was singing;
“My life is full of fantasies,
My life is filled with wonder.
Everywhere I look I see, a smile…
A smile to me!
Once, a little bird told me in a lullaby,
That dreams always do come true!
But, my life is full of fantasies,
My life is filled with wonder.
Everywhere I look I see, a smile…
A smile to me!”
As I was singing this, there was a knock on my door, it sounded more like a knockety knock than a knock, but nevertheless, it was still a knock. I called, “Coming!” in my most royal voice. I flung open the door myself. (My servants and ladies-in-waiting had long since given up on me being a ‘proper young lady.) I beamed at the strange man on my doorstep and waved. The stranger only grunted in return.
“How do you do, Sir?” I asked him.
The stranger only grunted.
“It’s a lovely morning, isn’t it, Sir?”
“You don’t say much, do you, Sir?”
Still, the only reply was a grunt.
I frowned. Never in my life had a strange man shown up on my doorstep and said anything other than; “My fair, most beautiful Princess, won’t you marry me?”
I would reply;
“Oh, you do flatter me. Now, go along! You are most undeserving and unfit to marry me.”
And then I would skip merrily back inside the palace walls humming softly to myself, with, like I said before, the voice of an angel.
But this was different. This strange man on my doorstep said nothing of the sort, in fact, he said absolutely nothing at all!
But I wanted to have some fun, so I said to him;
Grunt. The strange man grunted angrily.
“Grunt, grunt, gruntity, grunt, grunt!” I chorused.
The strange man on my doorstep grunted even more angrily now.
“Grunt, Grunt, Grunt, Grunt, Grunt, Grunt, Grunt, Grunt, Grunt, Grunt, Grunt, Grunt, Grunt, Grunt, Grunt, Grunt, Grunt, Grunt, Grunt, Grunt, Grunt, Grunt, Grunt, Grunt, Grunt, Grunt, Grunt, Grunt!” I finished with a flourish.
“Be quiet will you!” The stranger cried out.
I righted myself and peered down at him from my perch on the top step.
“You’re a peculiar old chap, aren’t you?” I asked, tweaking his nose. “Big nose too!” I squealed.
He pulled back. “Listen will ya! I’m here to see the Princess.”
I raised my eyebrows. “Oh?”
He frowned again. “On secret business.”
I too, frowned. “You really are an arrogant old man. I am the Princess, Sir.”
He laughed loudly. “You? Why, you’re nothing but an old laundry maid.”
I could feel the heat bubbling through me now, coursing through my very veins.
“GET OUT YOU ROTTEN OLD FOOL!” I shouted.
He smirked. “Not until you give me what I want.”
I thought for a moment. What could a strange man want from me?
He was getting impatient, I wanted to scream.
But fear held me back;
I don’t know.
Something about him made me just want to cry.
What was it he wanted?
Why didn’t I know?
Maybe his speaking was much, much too slow.
He straightened his shirt, collar and all.
I noticed his tie wore a nice sparkly bow.
He was wearing a shawl,
A very nice shawl,
But now in this moment I started to brawl.
I wanted to know why, but my thoughts were a jumble,
It felt like this weight would soon make me tumble.
And tumble I did, down to floor.
Surely this man was against the law?
But down on the floor, I started to roar.
“What is it?” I cried. “What is it you want? My crown? My throne? You can have it all! Just please tell me what, I can’t bear it a moment more!”
He just smirked and watched as a tear slid down my cheek, as if waiting like a lion for the right time to strike.
I envisioned him snarling at me, but what he said next was really quite the contrary.
“I’m not here cause I want your crown or your throne!
My pockets are filled with coins of all sorts.
What is it I want? Well, you’ll soon find out.
I’m here for a song, a song you see!”
“A song?” I asked him, clear as can be.
“Yes a song!” he cried, staring at me.
I backed away, scared and confused.
“What’s in it for me?” I asked him, amused.
He was still for a moment, as if not wanting to speak. But finally he did,
“You’ll get your desire.”
My desire? How could this man possibly know what I needed?
A place to feel loved, to dance and to sing.
A place far away from the world I was in.
But where would he take me?
I wanted to know.
So I asked him, he said; “A place where there’s snow.”
Snow sounded delightful, but did I dare go?
Who knew what awaited out there, although…
I wanted so much to leave this behind, so that I shook his hand, and he said;
“Let’s see what we can find.”
“So, what song would you like, Sir?” I asked him in glee.
His eyes started to drift, pleading with me.
“Not a song!” He grumbled, “The song! The song in your voice.” I tapped my chin in thought. The song of my voice? That song was only meant for me!
“But Sir, I couldn’t possibly give you that song!” I cried. He glared at me. “Couldn’t, or wouldn’t?” He asked me.
“Well… both, I guess,” I stammered.
His eyes fixed on my throat and he reached out his hand, his spindly fingers wrapped around my slim neck and squeezed ever so gently. The gesture made me laugh, I didn’t know why. I couldn’t control it, no matter how hard I tried. Suddenly, the laughing stopped. The strange man pulled his hand away and I reached my hand up to my throat instead. It felt normal to touch, but what worried me was that I felt empty inside, as if part of me was missing. I screamed, “What have you done to me?” The man just looked at me blankly.
“Why aren’t you answering me!” I shouted at him. He smirked and touched a finger to my lips. “Hush…” he whispered, “hush.” But I didn’t want to hush, I screamed and I yelled and I kicked and I swore. Everything a Princess should never do. And then the realisation dawned on me. The man wasn’t responding because I wasn’t speaking. I had no voice, it was gone.
This feeling inside me surged and pulled,
I felt a wave of emotion slowly build.
The voice of an angel, the song of a dove,
No longer sang from the heavens above.
This anger I felt, the emptiness inside,
This was a man I could never abide.
He had lied.
I was sure.
He was as rotten as a boar.
Why had he done what he’d done with my voice?
After all, it had all been completely his choice.
He’d just touched my neck and my voice floated away,
Towards the sky that held the sun’s ray.
Would I ever be free?
Smile with glee?
This snow that he’d promised?
This land far away?
“And now,” he said. “The deal is done, we must find you a land far away from this place.” I nodded my head.
The deal was done.
So we set off on our guest to a land where there’s snow.
Snow wasn’t hard to find. After walking an hour and getting on this thing which is called a bus, we saw it it. We saw snow.
Snow slowly drifted
Blanketing the land in white
Gently falling, twirling from the sky.
A carpet of soft vanilla ice cream and cloud.
It made me want to scream aloud.
At last the land I’d awaited was beneath my very feet.
It reminded me of my own silk sheet.
So now I started to shout and sing,
Only to notice I couldn’t do the thing.
My voice was gone, the voice of an angel.
Was it worth it? I think silently to myself?
The answer’s always the same. I would have my old life back, stuck in the palace, with my voice, my song. But time cannot be undone and so I wait. For what? Until the snow swallows me whole.
It’s a whole lot colder than I first thought.