Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Justly Story Ch. 3: On the Day of Pearl's Birth

Ch 3: On the Day of Pearl's Birth
By Kristen S. Sandoz

Here we are once again with an adventure before us. You have met in earnest the Witch Hazel. However, I’m sure by this time you have so many questions about our heroine Pearl. How did she come to live with her Aunt Hazel and what happened to her parents? Were they dead? Did they abandon her? Were they really a king and queen? She is a princess, right? How can this be? Well, your questions are very insightful, reader, and you will be shocked at the story I have to tell you regarding Pearl. Be sure you are not reading this up past your bedtime for once you start on this part of the story you will not be able to stop until I have finished. I would not have you get in trouble on account of me for reading when you should be sleeping.  

Well, she is a dear girl! Truly the daughter of a king. She does not know this, of course, but the fact of the matter is “princessness” comes from within and cannot be dimmed or taken away regardless of a girl’s circumstances. One either acts like a princess and therefore is a princess or one does not act like a princess and therefore is not a princess. It is that simple. Pearl was a princess. I hope you aspire to be one too! It is a grand and glorious life, unless, of course, you are a boy, and then to be a prince suits you much better.

Pearl acted like a princess because she was the daughter of a king. So there is the answer to one of your questions. You are so inquisitive! No, her parents were not dead and neither did they abandon her. In fact they had no idea they had ever lost Pearl to begin with. They were the King and Queen of the very kingdom in which Pearl lived. She was kicked out of her very own Royal City and lived as an outcast in her own kingdom. Can you imagine? All the while the King and Queen were unaware of her existence. They lived their lives in ignorant bliss. Well, almost bliss.

It had taken the Queen quite some time to experience that miraculous and mysterious thing of having a baby grow in her belly. When it finally happened the royal couple was naturally ecstatic. When the time came for the baby to be born the whole kingdom was on pins and needles. Everyone knew the Queen was due any day and everyone waited with great anticipation for this first born royal child. But there was at this time another couple who were also waiting for a baby to be born to them only this couple was not so royal. In fact, they were very much the opposite. They were a Thief and a Lying Beggar. The most rotten sort of people, the kind that would sell their own flesh and blood for a pint of beer and a red petticoat and that is practically what they did. Two nights before the queen gave birth to her baby the Thief and Beggar’s baby was born. It was a girl, and when this dastardly couple heard the news that the King and Queen had also had a baby girl they got it in their smarmy heads that their lovely baby, for she was lovely, had as much rights to the royal throne as the Queen’s own child. Plus, they were already tired of their own baby's incessant crying and constant want of food. So they formed a plan. 

It was late at night only hours after the Queen had given birth. There was much excitement as the whole City had waited up to hear the royal trumpets announce the birth of the princess. Hazel was not the Queen’s midwife that evening because of her mother’s history with the royal family. I should point out that if it had been Hazel attending to the Queen and her precious baby girl none of this would have ever happened. Hazel is most conscientious, and consequently our story would never have been written. So in a strange way we should be thankful for Hazel’s absence that night, because it proves that good can come from evil. Never the less, she was not there, and the midwife who was attending to the birth was run ragged with stress and weariness, for it was a very long and strenuous birth. 

This midwife, who will remain nameless, was so overcome with the gravity of her responsibilities--she had never been the midwife to royalty before--that she was simply too busy to pay much attention to the newborn princess. Minutes after the baby’s birth the midwife wrapped her in swaddling clothes and handed her off to an assistant. This assistant comforted the baby by giving her a pinky finger to suck and soon laid the sleeping baby girl down in order to help attend to the Queen who had proceeded to faint dead away. This all worked out marvelously for the plans of our Thief and Lying Beggar. The evil couple had disguised themselves as wash maids and were in charge of bringing clean linens to the Queen’s chamber during the birth and removing the soiled ones. While the Lying Beggar bustled in out of the chamber her husband, the Thief, sat waiting under a pile of sheets just outside the chamber door with his own baby, whom he was pacifying with a cloth soaked in elderberry wine. As soon as the assistant laid the princess down to rush to the Queen in her time of need the Lying Beggar swept the baby up in a pile of sheets, traded her with her own baby from her husband and whisked the princess off with the wash. No one ever noticed the difference. 

Unbelievable, you say? Not in the least! The Queen had not seen her own child yet and the Midwife was less than observant that night. The assistant was just plain ignorant and the babies were both fast asleep, not that they could have given witness in the first place. The most unbelievable part to me is that a day or two after the Thief and Lying beggar made this switch they decided that babies weren’t quite their thing and they discarded the newborn Princess in a basket on the doorstep of the church. 

I will stop my tale here tonight. So many things to think about, I know. Mainly, why do thieves and beggars get away with such awful things? It is so awful! But as the Witch Hazel often quotes, “The rain falls on the just and the unjust alike.”

1…Now my story is done.
2…I love you!
3…Please kiss me.

No comments: