The Prince & The Enchanted Princess
This story is a sequel to The Prince & The Jinn by GhostWriter, but having read this is no prerequisite.
Once upon a time, in a land far, far away, a prince came upon a small forest. It was the strangest forest the prince had ever seen and he asked an old woodcutter nearby about the forest. The old woodcutter told him a most wondrous tale.
“A long time ago there was a queen who wished for a daughter. Her wish came true and a year later, the king and queen had a beautiful baby girl. The king and queen were so happy they invited all their kindred, friends and acquaintances to a great feast. Among the acquaintances invited were 13 witches, the most powerful women in the kingdom.
They were not friends of the kingdom but the king had hoped that they would be well disposed towards the child. The king ordered all manner of splendor for the feast; wondrous acrobats, great musicians, the best food for the banquet, and 13 golden plates for the witches to eat out from.
When the feast was over, the witches were so happy they bestowed magical gifts upon the baby; one blessed the child with beauty, one blessed the child with good luck, one blessed the child with virtue, one blessed the child with riches, and so on with everything in the world one can imagine.
When eleven of the witches had done their magic, the twelfth witch stepped forward and cried, “The day the king’s daughter prick herself is the day she shall fall down dead.”
Without saying a word more, the evil witch disappeared from the room, never to be seen in the kingdom again. Everyone was shocked, but then the last witch, whose wish still remained unspoken, came forward. She was not powerful enough to undo the evil curse, but she could soften it. She said that it shall not be death, but a deep sleep into which the princess shall fall and the curse would be broken by the kiss of a loved one.
So began the life of the enchanted princess; blessed by 11, cursed by 1, and saved by the last.
To keep his dear child from misfortune, the king ordered that that no sharp objects must ever be shown to the princess. No knife or sword, no pin or scissor, was allowed in the presence of the princess. As the princess grew, the blessings of the witches were fulfilled. The young princess was so beautiful, modest, good-natured, and pure, that everyone who saw her was bound to love her.
As the princess grew older, she was happy but also bored for she found she was not allowed to do anything. Womanly pursuits like cooking and sewing required her to handled knives and sharp pins which she was not allowed. Servants did her cleaning and washing as a princess was beyond such tasks. And so the day after her eighteen birthday, the bored princess went exploring in the castle.
The princess went into all the rooms in the castle and in the highest room in the highest tower of the castle; she found something she had never seen before. After climbing a narrow winding staircase, and opening a small little door, the princess saw a small table in the middle of the room. On the table lay a single flower, a red rose.
The princess stepped forward and touched the beautiful rose. But as she tried to lift the rose, the thorns of the rose pricked her finger and the curse was fulfilled. The very moment when she felt the prick, she fell upon the chair that stood there and fell in a deep sleep. And this cursed sleep extended over the whole palace, the king and queen, the whole of the court, even the animals and pets in the castle all fell into a deep sleep as well.
Around the castle was a hedge of thorns, and every year it grew higher and higher. Soon it grew over and beyond the castle. Magically, roses began to grow on the thorns and the castle soon became known as the Rose Forest.
The story of the beautiful enchanted Briar Rose, for so the princess was named, went across the land, and from time to time kings’ sons and brave knights would come and try to save the princess.
However they found it impossible to get through the thorny hedge and those who tried died a miserable death caught in the thorns of the hedge. So for a hundred years slept Briar Rose and the whole court, only to be awakened by the kiss of one who love her.”
The old woodcutter finished his story and the prince said, “I am not afraid, I will go and break the curse of the beautiful Briar Rose.”
The old woodcutter tried to dissuade him, “It’s too dangerous my prince. Why risk your life for an unknown woman?”
“Because it is the right thing to do,” said the prince. Giving the old woodcutter a wink, he added, “and because she is the second of my wives. Isn’t she, my jinn?”
The old woodcutter looked at the prince in shock and then burst out laughing. A wave of the hand later, the old woodcutter was gone and in his place stood the jinn. “Very well-played my prince,” the jinn laughed. “How did you know it was me?”
“A woodcutter at a forest of thorns?” laughed the prince. “You have a lot to learn about cutting wood my jinn.”
Both the jinn and the prince laughed together like two old friends. “You are quite right my prince,” admitted the jinn. “I always use magic, guess I got a lot to learn about woodcutting.”
“That you do jinn,” agreed the prince. “Can you clear a path for me to the princess?”
“I’m afraid not my prince,” said that jinn. “A prize is only worth having if you put effort into getting it. You need to figure out this yourself.”
The jinn waved his hand and disappeared, leaving the prince to wonder how he would enter through the Rose Forest. For 2 days and 2 nights, the prince sat at the edge of the forest and wondered.
Then on the third day, his wife came to him and said, “My lord, I know my future sister wife is in the castle beyond and if I may be so bold, I have an idea on how you can enter the castle.”
The prince was shocked and intrigued. His wife almost never suggested anything to him as she believed a wife’s only duty was to hear and obey orders from her husband. For her to say these words…
“Of course my dear Cinderella,” the prince said. “Please tell me your idea.”
Cinderella showed a piece of cloth to the prince and said, “For 2 days and 2 nights I have sew this garment out of the smoothest silk we have. I believe this would help you avoid the thorn.”
The prince put on the garment his wife made and discovered that from a skullcap, the garment was a long piece of cloth that covered the wearer from the top of the head to the bottom of his feet. It covered him totally with only a mesh for him to see through.
The prince entered the Rose Forest. The prince soon discovered that the thorns of the forest were unable to hook the garment as it was too smooth, and easily went through the Rose Forest.
After he passed the castle gate, the prince saw the horses and stable boy lying asleep in the castle yard. As he went further, he saw the king and queen lying asleep in the throne room. The prince then remembered the story of Briar Rose and climbed the highest tower in the castle. In the highest room in the highest tower of the castle, he saw her.
As the legend said, Briar Rose was sleeping in the chair and she was a picture of innocence. The enchanted princess was so beautiful the prince could not turn his eyes away. Finally he stooped down and gave her a kiss. The moment their lips touched, Briar Rose opened her eyes, and smiled at him.
Together they went down the tower and found that with the breaking of the curse, the whole castle had awoken. The king was delighted and asked the prince to name his reward. The prince asked but one thing; the hand of Briar Rose in marriage.
However the king said, “My daughter is beautiful and many had come to me asking for her hand, but I shall tell you what I told them. My daughter is cursed. Though you had broken the curse now, the next time my daughter pricks herself, the curse will return and all around her will fall asleep.”
“I do not worry about that Your Majesty,” said that prince. He then showed the garment he wore to enter the Rose Forest and said, “In the future, Briar Rose will always wear this garment made and designed by my first wife. It is made of the finest silk and any pins or thorns would slide off the garment. She will also wear think cloths beneath this garment. A thick dress covering her from her neck to her feet and on her hands and feet, she would wear a pair of thick boots and tight gloves. She would wear these at all times and thus protected, she will travel with me on my journey in safety.”
“What is this garment called?” asked the king.
The prince looked at Cinderella and said, “I shall call it the burqa Your Majesty.”
And so it was decided that Briar Rose would be married to the prince in a ceremony filled with all splendor. On the day of her departure, Briar Rose hugged her parents and promised to remember them always. As she hugged her crying mother, Briar Rose gave the queen a gift to remember her by. It was another burqa sewn by Cinderella.
From that day on, the king proclaimed that the returned kingdom shall be called the “Rose Kingdom” in memory of her daughter and the queen always wore the burqa in public. Soon all women in the Rose Kingdom wore the burqa and as for Briar Rose and his prince…that’s a story for another day.
What the prince saw after removing the burqa.
You can enjoy the final part of the journey in GhostWriter’s The Prince & The Two Sisters.