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Once upon a time there was a Prince born without a heart. He was fair with hair the color of a raven’s wing and eyes grey like the early dawn. But the King and Queen despaired of him, for how could a Prince rule if he could not love his people? Then there came a time when the kingdom was under attack and the castle fell. “Flee!” yelled the guards to the Prince. “You must flee!” And so the Prince without a heart fled the burning castle where he had been born and escaped into the cold, winter night.

For a night and a day the Prince ran through the forest, his once rich blue cloak snagging on bare branches and tearing. On the second night the Prince fell to the snow and could go no further. He stared up at the stars in the inky night sky and waited for death, cold stealing over his limbs. Soon a wolf with dark fur found the Prince on the forest floor and lay down beside him. “Climb upon my back,” said the wolf. “I shall carry you and help you find your heart.” The Prince did as the wolf asked him and climbed upon his back. The wolf stood and raced away into the bitter night.

For three days and three nights the wolf ran tirelessly as the Prince clung to his neck. Finally they came to a lone tower hidden in a valley. The Prince slid from the wolf’s back and looked up at the single window of the tower where a golden light was glowing softly. But the tower had no door. A fox appeared as the Prince and wolf was searching around the base of the tower. “I know the way in,” said the fox. “I shall get you inside and help you find your heart.” The fox showed the Prince to a small cave nearby that led under the tower. From there the Prince climbed the tower stairs until he felt he must be as high as the clouds.

At the top of the tower the Prince found a Princess, beautiful and sweet, who had been imprisoned by a wicked witch. And the Prince discovered he did have a heart, for he fell in love with her. The Prince and the Princess descended the tower and snuck out through the cave. But all was not right in the kingdom. A shadow had fallen across the land and the people lived in fear.

“Save us!” cried the fox.

“Save us!” cried the wolf.

(“Save us!” cried the storyteller.)

“Save us!” cried the land.

“I shall,” answered the Prince. So the Prince picked up the fox and climbed again onto the wolf’s back, the Princess settling behind him. The wolf ran all the way back to the ruined castle of the Prince’s birth. The Prince saw that the people of the city were cowering in terror. But it was no monster the Prince found to be threatening the kingdom, no beast, but his own Aunt. The woman’s heart had turned to stone, hardened with grief and pain, and she could no longer feel compassion for the people of the kingdom.

The woman saw the Prince and was overjoyed for she thought him to be dead. Her heart thawed and once again began to beat in her chest. But as her heart beat, so did her blood once again flow and she was struck down by her many injuries. The Prince’s Aunt died, releasing the kingdom from her reign.

“This man shall be our King,” said the fox.

“He will love everyone,” said the wolf.

(“His heart is pure,” said the storyteller.)

“And we shall love him in return,” said the land. Thus the Prince became King and his rule was just and good. He married the Princess and lived happily ever after.

I swear to god, I just woke up this morning and this was in my head. I don’t even know...


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April 2012

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