Monday, January 29, 2007

Two fairytale stories discovered in an abandoned castle.......

it had been many years since anyone had seen the castle or heard of it's grand announcements of the beautiful galas or dances held there......noone had even mentioned the castle in such a long time. what had become of it?......odd, that such a beautiful, enchanted place could be forgotten......but was it? perhaps there had been a slight mention of it......first, quietly, ever-so softly.......by the tiniest birds in the deepest part of the forest......then, quite later, by the woodsman who understood the language of the birds and had told the old man in the cottage by the lake. and in turn he had muttered something about the forgotten castle, (almost inaudibly), but the old man's granddaughter had a keen ear and she had managed to sort out his words quite nicely......it was the little girl, the cheerful and devoted granddaughter who understood......she knew........

the castle was still there.

her name was isabella. she loved the forest, and the birds and her grandfather's cottage. she waited days and days to travel from the city, miles and far away, to visit her grandfather and walk in the woods to talk with the animals. her grandfather was a dear man, a bit grumpy at times, but good at heart generally and he did indeed enjoy his visits with his dear isabella, too, just the same. but he was prone to muttering and it was just by chance that little isabella happened to catch those magical words......about the castle. did it have a name? she wondered to herself? who had lived there.......where had they gone? isabella couldn't quell her curiosity about the beautiful castle. she began to talk to her grandfather about the old, mysterious building and asked him, one bright morning when she thought he might be in a more amiable countenance, "grandfather.......where do you think the old castle is......the one that noone talks about anymore?" she peered at him with quisical eyes and a twinge of the "little rabbit" about her......curious and funny, grandfather couldn't help bringing a smile to his face, looking at his charming granddaughter........he began to tell her of his memories of the great castle in the forest........

"i was there, little isabella, when the prince of ancient umbria lived in the castle. it was beautiful then......so many rooms and hallways, so many servants and footmen, gardeners and cooks....... regal horses in the great barns, wild deer roaming about the grand and elegant grounds, exotic birds, fountains and statues......i thought i was living in a paradise.......i was one of the gardeners, isabella. i was in charge of the secret garden. it was magical. it was behind an old stone wall. very few people knew of the secret garden......but it was there .....filled with thousands of beautiful flowers......wild and amazing, it was a secret garden......it's secret was magical. the flowers spoke their lovely language to the air and the clouds and the birds and they all understood and i was their caretaker......the were my wondrous friends".

isabella listened happily. her grandfather was a wonderful storyteller. "but grandfather, where is the castle? can we go there someday?" she nearly fell from the edge of her chair waiting for his answer. there was such a long pause. grandfather had turned to look quietly out the window, his expression filled with emotion. finally he spoke as isabella barely could contain herself any longer.

"yes, we will go. we will travel to umbria, finally after all these long years, i will go back to my paradise, my secret garden." he then turned to look at isabella and the faintest, sweetest smile crossed his kind, old face. isabella wondered what thoughts were filling her grandfather's mind; what memories had been treasured far deep in his heart all these years......of the great castle and it's beauty and charm and magic. they would travel to umbria to find the castle......what an adventure it would be. isabella could barely contain her excitement. she turned to thank her grandfather and wish him goodnight but one more part of the story he must tell her, he said, myseteriously.......

"once, i was told, there were stories hidden, books......somewhere in the castle. they were stories about fairies and gardens and dancing children and wonderful animals and birds. they had been written by a famous writer from russia who had traveled to see this beautiful castle he had heard so much about. he had stayed at the castle for many weeks, relishing in it's wonder and mystery and storybook character and while he lived at the castle during that time, he wrote these wonderful, amazing stories......for children. but he suddenly had to leave; he had received a letter from his family in russia telling him he must return right away. the russian writer hid the stories, written in his elegant penmanship, written with such feelings and emotion and love for the beauty of the castle.......he hid the stories in a secret place......that noone knew of. where did he hide them? would anyone ever know?"

isabella sat speechless, hoping and waiting for grandfather to return her anxious curiosity with the answer she imagined......grandfather must know where the stories were hidden.......is that why he finally wants to travel back to umbria at last?

grandfather had grown tired and weary, such emotion and excitement for an afternoon in an old man's life. he drifted off to sleep, sitting in his old leather chair, his feet near the fireplace as the coals grew dimmer and dimmer but still giving off a soft warmth. isabella grew tired, too. she fell asleep, too, curled up on the soft, thick rug by the fire, her dreams filled with shelves of books and booksand books......were the russian writer's stories hidden in one of those hundreds of books.......perhaps her dreams would give her a hint. the fire crackled quietly, a few sparks left in the old wood. the grandfather and little isabella dreamt of their journey and what mysterious things they would find.......

soon.......the journey to umbria begins......come back to the door to the travels to umbria and perhaps the stories will be found at last. the carriage is readied, the basket of foods and teas are wrapped and waiting, the sun shall rise soon and off they will go......"come with us", said isabella, in her sleep, not knowing who she was talking to, but hoped others would follow them to the ancient castle in the woods.......

No comments: