Every now and then I dust off an old post and reblog it. I dug really deep for this one. It’s from a chapter in my book that never was. Today wasn’t a good day. I felt bad, so I slept a lot… took a lot of Tylenol on top of all my other pills… and slept some more. I’ve been icing the bones in my right hand because they hurt too much to move it. It seems like most of my bones hurt today. I’m praying that the Lithium is the cause and that it’s reversible. We’ll know more when I go for the Bone Density Study, but today I just had to deal with the pain. After everything I’ve been through of late, I’d hoped the happy would have lasted a bit longer. Self-Pity was starting to well up until Hope stopped the downward trajectory. I used to fear days like today, but now I know that God is not done with me, so I can be still and wait to see what he will do. No matter the reason why I thought of this post, I’m sharing it anew. It’s one of my favorite pieces ever. I hope you like it.
A friend created this. The girl with the sword? That’s supposed to be me.
Initially this post was a letter I’d written back in 1994 to a beautiful, young German man who broke my heart. Now that would’ve been sad under any other circumstances… but it was one of the things that led me to look up and seek God. I’m not sure why I chose to write it as a fairy tale, but in the middle of an adventure with treasures and maps it just seemed right.
By the time you get this letter, thousands of miles will separate us and we will both be but memories for each other. I want to tell you a story to add to your own storehouse of memories:
Once upon a time (it seems that all the better tales start out this way) in a kingdom far, far away (and it’s always in that “far away” kingdom, never the one in your own backyard) lived a beautiful princes (and OF COURSE she was a princess). The really good stuff only ever seems to happen to the princess with the best hair, clothes, and body to die for. She had long black cornrows and merry brown eyes– this particular princess was Black you see (a literary first, I know, but who’s telling this story anyway??!)
Our princess grew up in a palace filled with woes that, over the years, grew into dragons. The dragons followed her around for years without really doing much (except for the occasional S’more or two). They were in Dragon School you see and hadn’t yet learned how to turn up the heat. As the Princess grew up into a young lady the growing dragons began to cramp her style. They were getting bigger and stronger and made messes all over the palace… and OH! How she hated cleaning up their messes… and FEEDING ‘em! Dragons eat lots! Truck loads! She was spending more and more of her time feeding dragons and counting them! **Note: It’s a little known scientific fact that dragons multiply faster than rabbits.
The downside of this whole dragon fiasco was that the other people in the Royal Family were too busy fighting their own dragons to even see hers… so she tried, as best she could, to fight her pets or, at the very least, control them. Everything was okay until the Queen Mother’s dragons began to breathe fire at all the other dragons in the Kingdom. It caused an awful heat rash and all the lesser dragons were unable to fight back. It eventually turned into a seniority thing, so as low princess on the totem pole, our intrepid heroine packed her baggage, I mean, dragons, and fled to a place where she thought that she would be safe.
It was a great Ivory Tower in the Northern Kingdom; a place of much learning and knowledge unlike her homeland in every way. Some people called it a “University” and it was the very best one in the land. At last, she was safe. Or at least she was until she realized that the dragon on the left, behind the gray one was getting really big…. and the little pink one that had actually become her favorite was mutating into a really ugly creature.
It was probably something in the air… or maybe the water… (She’d been warned not to drink the water in foreign kingdoms). So there she sat, watching her dragons grow. Their teeth got bigger; their wings developed; their talons grew long and menacing. She could no longer keep her dragons under the bed or even in the closet. The Health Department no longer believed that they were dogs and “Seriously frowned on keeping dragons in a residential area,” to quote the citation that they’d posted on her door.
She had to do something…but what?? Then our Princess came up with a marvelous idea! If she couldn’t fight her own personal dragons, she’d get somebody else to do it. But who??? A plumber? A doctor? A monster truck driver???! (That whole “butcher, baker, candlestick maker” schpeel never even crossed her mind because our princess was a very progressive royal).
Eventually, she decided that none of her original types would do. She needed someone (how do you say???… Bigger? …Better? …Brighter?) in a higher income bracket??? Closer to the top of the food chain??? What she needed was a bonafide, card-carrying Prince. So she looked high and low (sometimes really low) for a Prince. It was like an open cattle call for all sorts of Prince Imitators. At her most desperate, she placed the following personal ad:
Educated BP (Black Princess) tired of kissing frogs in search of a Prince seeks White Knight for dragon fighting….
She ended it on what she thought was very clever note: Frogs Need Not Apply.
When each prospective Prince went out to fight her dragons he came back in defeat. His armor a bit tarnished… or the tip of his lance was broken… or the plume in his helmet was wilted and molting. If you’ve ever seen wilted plumage you know that it’s a very uncool thing. It’s got a revolting wet dog smell that just hangs around in the air for days. With each defeat, the Princess cried great big tears because she felt as if her heart was breaking.
The dragons that’d followed her around for years were unfamiliar now. They scared her and she couldn’t hide from them no matter how far she ran. They just kept chasing her, waiting for her to get tired of running so that they could devour her. The more she thought about it, the more she believed that they must’ve taken one of those ACME Correspondence courses when she wasn’t looking, because they’d obviously graduated from Dragon School. They could breathe real fire now, and not just enough to melt a few marshmallows– we’re talkin’ full-blown flame throwers here!
Frantically, our Princess tried one Prince after another. Surely someone could kill her dragons for her. Surely someone could set her free. She began to scrape the bottom of the Prince Barrel so to speak and found some “Princes” who had no real desire to help her. She even met one or two who actually sprouted horns and turned into a dragon right before her very eyes. So she packed up and left, again. This time she managed to bump off a dragon or two with the help of her Kingdom Advisor (they called it a “shrink” back in her home kingdom). She even had a few Royal Supporters who helped her cause, but she still had a herd of dragons on her tail when she left the Northern Kingdom.
She fled to an Enchanted Mountain in a Kingdom by the Sea. At last, her dragons were silent. She could finally put her feet up and let her hair down. She lived in peace on her mountain until she realized that she was all alone. Sure, she’d managed to hide from her dragons, but they’d never truly disappeared. The high altitude on her mountain only made it harder for them to breathe deeply enough to kindle up a really good flame.
She came down from her mountain because she hated the isolation. Besides, she felt stronger, more capable, and only a tiny bit afraid of her dragons. She didn’t want to be alone, but neither did she want to seek out anymore false knights to fight for her. She moved to a Kingdom near the Sun and was surrounded by new and exciting subjects. She liked this place until her dragons began to pop up. To her dismay, some of her subjects actually jumped on the backs of her dragons and began to hunt her down. Well, she wasn’t going to take that lying down! At first, she ran. She went to a Powerful New Age Enchantress who helped her fight off her dragons until there was only one left.
But what a menacing monster he was. His name was Fear and he was one of the OD (Original Dragons) from her homeland, grown up big and strong. She almost gave up in despair until a shining White Knight appeared on the horizon. She told him her tale of woe and begged him to champion her. He was perfect!
He flashed his pearly whites (all Princes have those — yellow teeth are just so un-princely) then rode off to fight her dragon. Under the Knight’s gentle touch the Princess bloomed. She even laughed and smiled as old dragons popped up again. As a matter of fact, she punched out many a dragon tooth…knowing that dragons that have to gum you… can’t kill you.
Then one day her Prince decided that he needed a major vacation because being her Knight was becoming a full time job. To top it all off, the Princess had put him on a huge horse and loaded him down with a full suit of armor, a helmet, and all that other knight stuff… and to be honest? The horse hair bothered his allergies and the armor was giving him a really bad rash. In short, he wanted to resign as Chief Dragon Slayer. In the face of such honesty, our Princess actually took this rather well.
She totally freaked out.
She felt alone and betrayed. Fear had been waiting for just such an opportunity. He’d rounded up some of his dragon buddies and they surrounded her on all sides. Our Princess feared that she would have to pack up and leave yet another place that she had come to love.
She’d even gotten tempted by an Evil Wizard who offered to solve all of her problems in exchange for her immortal soul. All she had to do was sign on the dotted line… in blood, of course. Now, after all that she had been through, our Princess was no dummy. She told that Evil Wizard to go and scratch himself and she ran full throttle to The Most Powerful One, the Ancient of Days, the ruler of the land who had all the answers.
She told Him the whole story and asked Him to help her. He promised to give her His love and His help. He said she could draw on His strength whenever she was afraid, and He promised that He’d never leave her like some flesh and blood knight. She would be His and she’d never be alone.
Of course, our Princess thought this was all totally cool. She began to call on Him to fight her Dragons and with each of His victories her faith in Him grew. She began to see Truth and understand Justice and all that good stuff. The dragons began to die from lack of food and attention and her life was finally at peace. She was so happy.
Then, one day, the White Knight (who’d been watching the battles from the sidelines) decided to return to his homeland. They got together and ate Chinese food under the stars. Our Princess was tempted to try to cling to the good times that they had shared in the past, but she knew that she had to live in the Truth of Now.
The Prince and the Princess held each other and she cried because she would miss her sweet Knight even if he wasn’t wearing his armor or riding his horse (She’d never really liked that horse anyway). They shared one last kiss right before he walked away into the dark night. She noticed that he “walked away” and didn’t ride. All the good guys in the movies always ride off into the sunset… but our bold Princess would prefer life to the movies any day. Her Knight had ridden into her life and filled it with joy for a season… but he walked away like the wonderful man that he had always been. She could accept that now that she realized that no earthly prince or shining knight could ever fill her as completely and as perfectly as The Most Powerful One could.
The Princess wrote to the Prince for a while until, like all good memories, he got tucked away in the folds of her brain to be taken out and shared with grandchildren and managing editors. She went on to live to a very old age, and of course, that was “happily ever after.”
So, Dear Jonathan, I hope you like my story.
PS. Thanks for trying to fight my dragons.
**January 28, 1994