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The Princess Who Loved a Pauper
Once upon a time in a kingdom not so very far away, there was a princess who fell in love with a pauper. The princess’ feelings confused her. Why should she, a lady of such noble birth, love someone who sang in the streets for his supper?
The confused princess locked herself in a tower and placed a dragon as guard in order to give her enough time to sort out her feelings. All day and all night the princess just sat there thinking. She neither ate, nor drank, nor slept. She just sat there thinking to herself “How is it I should love a pauper?” and then she’d shift arms to lean on.
She just sat there and thought of the pauper. His brilliant smile, enchanting voice, tussled locks of auburn hair, and soulful brown eyes. She thought of how they first met when he first stole her heart. The princess was walking the streets that day and saw him there, singing, with his hat on the ground, containing a few coins. The princess stopped to listen and when he finished she dropped a large sum of money into the old, beat up, dirty, cap. The tramp smiled, picked up his hat, emptied the contents into his palm and then dumped it into his pocket, where he then replaced the cap atop his head only to take it off once more to tip his hat at her and politely say “Thank you, your highness.” The princess had told him how much she loved his singing which caused him to blush and very prettily say “Thank you, your highness.” Once more. She had liked him so well she had asked him to come entertain at parties at the castle several times. Being a man of meager means the blue bloods had invited him to eat at their table with them.
The princess thought of all the rich fellows who frequented those parties. The ones she should love…Only didn’t. The princes, the dukes, the sons of lords, sons of counts, and squires and knights. Those sort. She thought of them all. Some were quite snobbish. One of the dukes had been teasing the tramp about his beat up cap, but the princess’ father had put an end to it. Some of the princes acted like they were to good for the princess, the lord’s and count’s sons were to busy conversing among themselves to notice the princess and let’s face it, the knights and squires had horrible table manners! Yes, the princess realized that was kind of petty but she found it ironic the pauper was more of a gentleman than they. With everyone else being to wrapped up in something else at these parties the princess and the pauper seemed to group together.
While the other nobles disused money, finery, future plans and the like the princess and the pauper sat in the corner and talked of things that would have made the princess’ mother have a conniption. The princess would listen intently and lean into every word the pauper would say as he told her stories of living on the streets. He spoke of both kindness and cruelty of strangers, and of the strange and beautiful things he had seen. The pauper said he loved his life, though he lived in poverty and was hungry most of the time he was free all of the time. For that the princess envied him she had everything she could ever want. Everything but freedom, she felt. When the pauper noticed her melancholy he would press until she told him just what she was thinking. The princess found it both irritating and sweet, however she would only hint at the secret dreams she hid from even herself though the pauper probably had the power to draw them out of her too he intuitively stopped. He respected her and didn’t want to make her even more distraught.
The princess thought and thought about it…Until she came to this conclusion…She decided a man who is poor in money is often rich in love. But sometimes a man rich in money thinks he has all he’ll ever need. Not so with the pauper. Circumstance had given him a better understanding of life and love.
The princess smiled and laughed to think what a fool she had been! Sometimes the real prince is a pauper! So the princess unlocked the tower’s door, spoke with her pet dragon and sent him away. Then she put on a common maiden’s clothes and went to the streets where she found the pauper singing for his supper. She dropped a few coins into his hat. “Thank you, your highness.” He said.
She shook off her surprise. She couldn’t believe he had recognized her. “I like you a lot” she said, “Would you please teach me your ways? You are a finer man that any rich brat I’ve ever known.”
The pauper smiled and took her by the hand…And they lived contented ever after on the streets where in time the princess learned about life and love as the pauper had.
Three years passed and the princess realized though she was happier living on the streets with her pauper, who had a princes’ soul, she was doing her country a great injustice and depriving it of an heir. With a forlorn glance at their beloved alleyways and street corners the princess took the pauper by the hand and together they walked back to the castle.
All the blue bloods had mixed emotions at their return. They were happy to see the princess was alive, safe, and happy but she was dirty, suntanned, and wore tattered clothes. Outraged the princes, the dukes, the sons of lords, sons of counts, and squires and knights returned to their homes. Secretly, all along they had been hoping to marry the princess and move up a rung on their ladder of nobility.
The princess announced that she was ready to take her place on the throne and lead the people of her country. The king, queen, and court members argued now that she had abandoned it all to live on the streets with her dearest love, the pauper. However she countered and asked them all what they knew about their people. Living on the streets for three years not much had escaped the princess’ notice and she had seen everything that went on in the city, the royals, however, had dim eyesight and only read books and newspapers to try and see what life was like outside of castle walls.
With the pauper at her side the princess argued so fiercely that no one could disagree with her logic and everyone could see her sincerity. With time her parents stepped down and the princess and the pauper became king and queen. The technically lived in the palace but on occasion they would disguise themselves as paupers and sing on street corners, beg for dinner and sleep in gutters. But perhaps it was not disguises they were sporting in those times. Perhaps they were just being their true selves. And so the pair of noble paupers ruled their country with a just understanding, that way not only the lovers but everyone involved lived happily ever after.