Long ago, in a land far away,
Lived a young princess, by her feelings led astray.
Unlike the other maidens so refined and fair,
She did not fuss over clothing or hair.
To have jeweled or glass slippers she did not whine,
She’d rather instead, walk barefoot among pine.
Alone in the forest she loved to dance and sing,
Stopped only by a summons from her father the king.
To the summons she always responded with glee,
For if she loved anyone’s company, her father was he.
Hours she could spend listening at his feet,
But one day in particular, he had someone she must meet.
On shoeless feet, she ran to the king with joy,
Though she halted abruptly at the sight of … a boy???
Who was this young man to whom her father now talked?
They seemed not to notice her as she inched up the walk.
Her father laughed heartily, then turning around,
He caught sight of her feet, caked in mud from the ground.
“My dear, you should take a lesson from Eliot here,
On his fanciful boots you won’t find a smear!”
The king lift’ his knee slightly and tapped a boot of his own,
“This sensible young man could easily take over my throne!”
At this the princess was shocked and very much jealous,
How could her father be, towards this stranger, so zealous?
“But father,” she sputtered, “What can you mean?
As your daughter, I have the right to someday be queen.”
“Ha! You?” scoffed the lad, who looked younger than she.
“Your judgment would be nothing compared to me.”
The princess’ knees shook violently; she wished she could do the same,
To the neck of that boy. Yes, that would render him tame!
“How dare you show up and treat me this way!
I have not even met you except for today.”
Her cheeks were red-hot, her eyes were ablaze.
The young man just smirked, not the least bit amazed.
“Come now, sweet daughter, this boy is your relation,
A second or third cousin from a neighboring nation.”
“Then let him go back,” replied she in a huff.
“A few minutes in his presence is more than enough.”
With that she turned away before the king could speak,
And ran back to the forest; her self-control weak.
Tears began to blur her eyes, betrayal charred her soul,
‘Til up ahead she did not see; her foot caught in a hole!
With a cry she tumbled down, then looked upon the sprain,
She was sure that no one knew or cared about her bit of pain.
“Father has a new heir now; he cares not where I go.”
With this a tear dripped from her chin onto her dirty toes.
No sooner had she begun to sob about her awful state,
Then the king himself emerged through the trees, though she’d left him at the gate.
Calling her name, he ran to her side, with quite undaunted speed,
Kneeling there he looked her over, to help her in her need.
“But father, what of Eliot?” she asked as he scooped her up.
“Him?” he said as he started back, “Why, he’s nothing but a pup!
A playful boy, that much is sure, though arrogant indeed.
I’d be not surprised if he left this day, back home on his gallant steed.”
Compassion filled his gentle eyes and he gave a nod of his head,
“Now don’t you worry over what took place or anything that was said.
I was only jesting back in the garden, I really meant no harm.
You shouldn’t let things irk you so, and cause you great alarm.”
At this the princess flushed bright red, from embarrassment this time,
And passing Eliot, she felt quite dumb as his view came into line.
Still clinging to her father’s neck, her mind recalled the day’s dealings,
The princess then decided, in the future, to better govern her feelings.
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