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The Wishing Well

by George McGinn


There was once a jealous king who could not bear the idea of anyone looking at his beautiful daughter. He locked her up in the deepest chamber of his castle where there were no windows. The servants were forbidden to go near her and all her food was liquified and served by straw through the keyhole of her door to prevent any direct contact.

The princess bided her time with needle work by hand stitching magnificant tapestries of the great outdoors to hang on the walls and to compensate for the lack of windows in her chambers. She made lovely scenes to compensate for the lack of views. One day, she noticed a beetle scuttling out from behind one of her wall tapestries. As she pulled back the corner of the fabric, she saw a tiny crevice in the wall and felt a hint of fresh air rushing through. Using one of the biggest needles in her bejeweled sewing box, she scratched away the mortar to losen the bricks and eventually formed a small hole big enough for her to crawl through. But she soon realised that she had merely conveyed herself from one prison to another as she found herself at the bottom of a very deep and dusty old dry well. It was not in the princess' nature to be down heartened as she was grateful for the fact that she could for the first time see the sky which appeared no bigger than a penny coin at the entrance of the well high up above. Over the months, she would escape to the well to view the sun which occasionally passed over the top. One day, as the princess was sipping broth in the dim daylight shining down, she felt a piece of grit catch between her teeth. Slightly irritated, she spat it out on to the earthy floor of the well and shouted 'Oh, I wish I could escape!' before returning to her chambers to sleep.

That night, the moisture on the rotund walls of the well glistened brightly as a full moon briefly passed over. The moon's luminosity faded as clouds drifted in and snow flakes sprinkled down. Unbeknown to the Princess, the well was enchanted and what she thought was a piece of grit was in fact a seed which had magically grown into a tree. When she awoke the next morning, she saw something pushing from behind the tapestry which covered the entrance to the well next door. Lifting back the fabric, a branch of a fur tree sprung out of the hole in the wall. Squeezing through to the well, she saw conifur tree had grown during the night. So high was the well entrance above that even the tree fell short of the height and so she was unable to consider climbing up the branches to escape her prison.

Having been locked up in her chambers for many a year, the princess had not seen a tree for such a long time. It was lovely for her to feel the texture of the bark, the needles and particularly the cones which were very tactile. As the tree was big enough for her to climb into, she found a little nook into which she curled up. Inhaling the sweet aroma eminating from the tree, she drifted off into a deep sleep.

Sometime later, she awoke to the feel of speckled sunlight on her skin. Slowly she opened her eyes and could see rays of light peircing through the dense needles from all around. She tasted the air which was fresh and breezy and nothing like the stale and damp atmosphere of her chambers. Then in the corner of her eye, she spotted a bird hopping on one of the higher branches and soon after a squirrel darting by. She also noticed the tree was considerabley bigger than when she fell asleep. The trunk was heavier, the branches were thicker and the space between allowed her to stand upright. She clambered out of her nook towards the edges of the tree. As the branches thinned out, she separated them like curtains to be greeted by the great outdoors. She looked down and could see that whilst she had been alseep, the tree had grown rapidly until it had reached the top of the well.

It was early morning and no one was about. The princess knew she could not stay or she would be apprehended by her father's guards and re-incarcerate in the bowls of his castle. She looked out yonder at the great rolling hills of green pasture and saw a village in the far distance. 'That is where I shall go' said the Princess and off she went.



~ Not The End ~


The Forgotten Woodlands
vignette pillarbox
vignette meadow maid
vignette christmas clock
vignette tree sprite gramophone
vignette butler
vignette butler face on pink
vignette moon king
vignette swiss clock girl falling
vignette sun
vignette girl face
winter tree
vignette glitter moon
butler on turquoise
vignette buttercuppia landscape portrait
vignette chair g plan
butter twenties face
vignette mallow path natural
vignette moon
vignette belle fleur tractor
queen knoll
acorn tree
vignette meadow maid
vignette fish
vignette swiss clock
vignette door bell
vignette christmas tree
vignette water witch
vignette swiss clockman face
goat and pig
vignette door bell
vignette compass
vignette air balloon
vignette sun moon
vignette glitter moon
butler on turquoise
vignette buttercup face