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Once upon a time, a long, long time ago, a time when there were castles, princes, and princesses, a time when fairy tales and dreams made life a magical time to live, a young prince was born and named Prince Samuel. He was destined to be king someday.
He lived on a small island in the North Atlantic, not far from the isle of Ireland, and was part of a royal family who owned a castle, as well as the surrounding land and village.
The castle had many servants, and one of the chambermaids, Eleanor, gave birth to a daughter two years after Prince Samuels’s birth. She named her Megan.
Eleanor had the role of taking care of Samuel from the time of his birth, and now had to watch her own daughter Megan as well.
As Samuel and Megan grew up together, they had an instant bond. Being two years older, Samuel would play with Megan, teaching her things about royal life, and he protected her from harm. One of their favorite places to play was on the west side of the castle, where there was a tall and very old tree that was so large that it could provide shelter for them from the rain in a large opening cut into the base of the tree’s trunk.
Samuel and Megan shared many magical adventures as children. They would play under the tree for hours, pretending to fight off dragons or invaders who wished to enter and take over the castle.
Every year the king and queen would hold an autumn festival, and the entire village would be invited to the castle. It
would take weeks to get the castle ready for this big event.
Everyone would dress up in costumes. There would be food, drink, music and dancing, games for the children, and storytelling of the days of old, when dragons owned the skies over their small island. There would be jesters, dancers, and minstrels entertaining the villagers in the courtyard of the castle. The prince had been born in the autumn, and as part of the festival celebration, the king and queen would always have a surprise for their son during the festival event.
Over the years, the relationship between Samuel and Megan was changing. As the two got older, they grew even closer to one another. The king was always afraid of letting his son get too close to Megan. One day, as the king was out looking for his son, he observed Samuel and Megan together under the big tree. Shocked by this sight, he went up to them and pulled them apart, and
ordered his son back to the castle.
The king went to this wife, furious of the situation, ranting and raving that the queen had been aware of this and had done nothing to keep their relationship from going this far.
The king than banished Megan and her mother from the castle, and ordered his son never to see Megan again.
Touch My Heart
As the sun was rising and a soft gentle breeze was blowing across the lush, emerald-green Irish island, home of our young prince and his family, the royal family rose, and the servants were
busy preparing the morning breakfast for them.
Prince Samuel, now seventeen, was only a few weeks away from his eighteenth birthday. As the royal family was preparing for breakfast, the king and queen were in their chambers, discussing their plans for their son’s eighteenth birthday celebration.
The king and queen had planned a very special surprise for him for his eighteenth birthday. This year’s festival would be something special. The king had arranged an alliance with the
neighboring royals, and they would introduce Prince Samuel to their daughter, Lillian, so they could begin the planning of their wedding for the following spring.
The union of the two royal families would secure a peace between them, and open up new trade and prosperity for all. The neighboring kingdom’s royal family had no heir to the throne for their kingdom, since their only son had died a few winters prior. With Lillian now of age, it had been widely rumored that Prince Samuel would wed Princess Lillian and unite the two kingdoms as they once were a hundred years ago.
Two years earlier, when he and Megan were separated, Samuel had vowed that he would never wed. He did not understand why they could not be together. The king and queen did what they could to cover up Samuel’s love for Megan by banning her and her mother from the kingdom. They could not allow this relationship to continue, and did not want to see their son mix with a peasant girl and tarnish the royal blood line.
The sooner they could get Samuel married to Princess Lillian, the better for the survival of the royal blood line.
Megan in the Morning
As the story goes, Megan had been born in the morning to a fair lady, who was the chambermaid to the queen of the royal family. She, too, was of fair skin, green eyes, and reddish hair, from Irish descent. Megan loved the mornings and as she grew, she and Prince Samuel would play together under the watchful eye of her mother and the queen.
Megan’s father had died in the spring, during the spring festival in a jousting match.
The king was not to happy seeing his young son playing with the daughter of a chambermaid, but the queen insisted this would not be a problem. Since the king was so busy with the business of the kingdom, he would be away for weeks at a time.
As the children grew older they would play all around the castle and in the courtyard. One of their favorite places to play was under a large tree on the west side of the castle, which was at
the top of a hill and overlooked the sea.
The view from this spot was picture-perfect, and it was there, when the two were just young teenagers, that they kissed for the first time.
Each of them had been drawing closer to each other as they were growing up, and as young children do, the time for play and make-believe was slowly fading away. Their relationship turned into a young romance.
Samuel and Megan, knowing that the king would not approve of their relationship, tried to hide their new feelings for each other when they were out in public and around the king and
Hiding a secret like this, it turns out, was not such an easy thing to do. Soon the couple was caught and found out by the king.
As Samuel had feared, Megan and her mother were banished from the castle. Heartbroken, Megan and her mother were forced to leave the castle, the only home they had known since Megan was born.
Eleanor loved serving the royal family, and never could have imaged doing anything else. There were many times when the queen would speak with Eleanor as if she was more than just a
With little more than the clothes on their backs, Eleanor and Megan were taken from the castle by two guards and led to a small village, a days’ journey by carriage away from the main village where most of the common folk lived. This smaller village was not a friendly place. It was home to the outcasts of the kingdom.
The queen was also upset to be losing Eleanor, and managed to slip her a few schillings. With those schillings, Eleanor and Megan were able to find lodging.
Megan of course, being heartbroken, never thought that she would find happiness again, and only desired to be reunited with Samuel.
As the weeks and months passed, Eleanor and Megan made this new village their home, and the two of them managed and became very popular with the locals. Eleanor opened a bread shop and small café, which became the new center of this outcast village.
Each morning Megan slowly began to come out of her shell, becoming the happy child that she once was. Working with her mother in the café and keeping busy helped ease the pain of her broken heart.
As Megan grew nearer to her 16th birthday, Eleanor was planning a special surprise for her—a small trip to the larger village just about 25 miles away. Back then, of course, the only way to travel was on foot, unless you were wealthy enough to own a horse. Not many common folk had horses. In fact, there was not a single horse in this entire village. The larger village was a good day’s walk from where they lived, and would require a night’s rest somewhere along the way.
There was talk that about halfway to the larger village was an inn where travelers could spend the night before heading out.
On the eve of Megan’s birthday, Eleanor announced her plans for them to take this trip. Megan had spoken often of wanting to get away from this place and see the neighboring village, where there were stories of places to shop, places where one could buy fine linens and dresses. There were stories of minstrels playing in the streets and dancing until dawn.
Eleanor had also heard stories from travelers of the dangers of the journey. These stories she did not necessarily believe, and put them off as foolish old men trying to scare her with their tales
of dragons in the deep woods who would eat them for breakfast if
they dared pass through the dark forest.
Eleanor had her mind set on going for more reasons than just going out on an adventure with her daughter. There was just this need she felt deep inside to move away from that place and find a better place to live. Eleanor had no plans for now to tell Megan that they would not be returning to the village they had made their home for the last two years.
When the sun rose the next morning, the two of them packed their things, as much as they could put on to a small cart they had been using for the café to deliver bread. The cart was pulled by a lamb that Megan had named Fluff. The lamb had been left behind by a passing stranger about a year before.
So off they set, down this dirt road that quickly narrowed after a few miles’ walk.
Megan: “How do we know which way to go?”
Eleanor: “Don’t worry, dear, Mother knows the way.”
Eleanor had found a map just a year before, left behind in her café by a traveler. It seemed clear to her that this map led back to the kingdom’s castle and neighboring village, where she had heard of so many wonderful stories from other passersby.
This was when the idea first came to her to return her daughter back to the village and place they loved.
So walk they did, and walk some more until it was time to rest and they could walk no farther.
Megan: “Mother,” Megan asked. “Is it much farther?”
Eleanor: “I am sorry, my dear daughter, but yes, it is much farther. We have a long way still to go.”
Megan: “And where is it that we are going again?”
Eleanor: “We are off to the neighboring village, which is a day’s journey away. You see, I found this parchment that shows you how to get there. It was left in the café by a passing traveler, and
ever since I found it, I have been dreaming of taking this journey
Eleanor: “Let’s rest here for a while, over by the stream, and have something to eat before we continue on our way.”
And so they rested for a short while, or so it seemed; you see, Eleanor had fallen asleep, since she was so tired from the long walk. Megan was curious to get a better look at the parchment that showed the way to the other village. So she took the parchment from her mother’s bag, walked away from her sleeping mother, and went down closer to the stream to study it.
As Megan studied the map, she realized that the village was the big village just outside of the castle where they’d worked and lived just a few years ago.
A few hours passed, and Eleanor finally woke from her sleep.
Eleanor: “Megan? Where are you?”
Megan: “I am here, Mother, down by the stream!”
Eleanor: “Why did you let me sleep so long? We will never make it to the travelers’ inn by nightfall now. Let’s get our things together and be on our way. We will have to find another place to
rest before it gets dark.”
So they gathered up their things, hooked Fluff back up to pull the cart, and began walking down the path. With only a few more hours before the sun would set, they hoped there would be a place to rest for the night, since the travelers’ inn was too far away to reach before the night’s darkness would cover them.
As the sun moved from the sky and darkness covered the trail, Eleanor and Megan began to get scared. It was so dark, and the trees around them were so tall, blocking what little light was
The forest animals where all starting to appear, and you could hear noises in the woods indicating that you were not alone. An owl could be heard nearby somewhere up in the trees, a deer off to the right just a hundred yards away, and two rabbits nibbling on a patch of grass.
Before long, just as it was almost too dark to see, Eleanor saw an opening on the path ahead, a place where they could rest for the night. So they walked off the trail over to the clearing to set up camp for the night.
They unpacked their cart, tied their little lamb, Fluff, to a small tree so she would not wander off during the night, and set up a small tent to sleep in until morning.
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Castle of Dreams and the Dragon Princess