The Crow and The Dove
Many centuries ago in a Kingdom far away, there lived a young Princess. Her father was a fierce and mighty King and under his reign the law stated that citizens of the Kingdom could only marry within their own class.
The Princess kept a deep secret, for she had fallen in love with a servant boy. He tended to the palace gardens and every day he brought her the most beautiful flower he could find. Roses, lilies, daisies, tulips, jasmine, orchids and every other fair, wild and exotic blossom. He would bring her fresh herbs and spices and pick her the ripest fruit. Each evening they would meet in secret under the canopy of the garden’s large weeping willow tree where they would sit hand in hand planning their escape from the Kingdom.
One evening, while walking in the palace gardens the King heard voices coming from within the willow tree. Discovering his daughter hand in hand with a peasant boy he shouted in rage for his guards to seize them both. The servant was thrown into prison and the Princess locked away in the highest tower of the palace. In his fury the King was determined to make an example to the Kingdom that no one, even royalty, would break the law, and he ordered that the servant boy be put to death immediately. When news reached the Princess that her beloved had been killed, her heart was broken into a thousand pieces and she threw herself from the window of the high tower.
All across the Kingdom the night air was filled with the sound of crying as everyone mourned the death of the two young sweethearts. None cried longer or louder than the King, who realised his terrible mistake had cost him dearly.
In the early morning light, he walked the palace grounds, weeping at the loss of his beautiful daughter and scolding himself for his narrow-minded beliefs, when above him he heard the chatter and whistling of birdsong. Looking up he saw a sleek black crow and a pure white dove circling the skies calling to each other as they looped the air, sweeping low and soaring high. The delicate white dove flew down into the garden and settled in the top of the weeping willow. The crow sailed low into the garden darting amongst the foliage until it stopped at a young cherry tree. It carefully picked a sprig of blossoms, selecting the branch with the prettiest flowers and abundance of blooms. Tearing it from the tree with its beak, the crow flew to the willow tree where it placed the sprig at the feet of the dove.
The King watched for hours as the crow flew back and forth around the garden finding flowers and leaves and twigs for the dove, who carefully arranged each of her presents into an intricate nest bursting with blossoms and scent. When the nest was complete, the two birds settled together with the dove resting her head on the chest of the crow.
The King fetched his advisors and ordered that the Kingdom be planted with thousands of flowers, encouraging every household to grow the sweetest, prettiest and most colourful blooms that they should give to those they loved every day. He rewrote the law and decreed that citizens could marry any person of their choosing, regardless of rank or class. The royal coat of arms was changed to include a black crow and a white dove, embroidered on every flag across the land. From that day forward the Kingdom flourished, and for years to come the crow and the dove circled the skies together.
Read more by Lyndsey, @room4alittleone or #talesintheloft