My favorite stories in my early childhood began with the words “Once upon a time…” and ended with “…and they lived happily ever after.” Beautiful princesses, courageous boys, and kind granddaughters could be introduced in the beginning of a tale to be set upon by hardship and sorrow, or encounter hunger, trolls or daunting adventures, or face danger and death. I read and re-read all of the fairy tales that I could get a hold of. (Love for fairy tales; omen of things to come? Probably…)
My favorite fairy tale goes something like this:
“Once upon a time in a small village, there lived an honorable but peculiar young man. The youth was part of a large family (who loved him dearly), but he was like no other of his kin. The young man possessed a magic window with a golden frame and a clear pane of glass. The window showed him the wide world far from his home. He longed to have adventures, to see that world, and mostly, to find a place where he knew that other people would welcome him and his odd manner.
One day he waved good-bye to his family and set off with his magic window across the forest to the great city. The city was full of people hurrying about, who did not make much notice of him. He felt alone and wondered if he should return to his family.
However, he encountered beautiful queens, sparkling fairies, rough-and-tumble lumber-janes and friendly bears. These kind beings made him welcomed in the city, and he grew to love the city and his new friends. He also did meet vicious queens, tired fairies, grouchy lumber-janes and grumpy bears. Mostly, his new friends were able to protect him from the unkind beings. Until, one day the youth was confident in his new city to defend himself.
He met some nice princes and some not so nice princes, some fair, some foul, but none could capture his heart. The young man began to feel as if he would spend the reminder of his years alone.
On a warm day in early summer, the honorable young man looked into his magic window. He had grown tired of all of the princes who seemed to always dishearten him, the ones unable to slay dragons, and the unkind ones, and the untrustworthy ones. However that one day when he looked into his magic window, he saw a tall, fair prince. Under leather and denim armor, he appeared strong and brave. He was standing in front of a steed with a radiant smile on his face. The young man knew that he had to meet the handsome prince.
So he did, and they lived happily ever after.”
Kinda anticlimactic? Not at all.
Ok, so this story was not my favorite fairy tale from my childhood. How many fairy tales would have a young man searching for a prince? About… none. This story is certainly a fairy tale, the fairy tale of my life. Which isn’t anticlimactic in the least. It’s kinda exciting.
It’s almost unbelievable to me that I found this prince of mine. And to have everything fall together so easily. I’m getting married this upcoming Wednesday for the second time in my life, but the first time to man. And the fact that it is legal for me to marry my perfect man is a fairy tale in itself.
“…and they lived happily ever after” may sound like the end of the tale; I know it’s just a break in the story. I’m looking forward to the next chapter.