Story Saturday: The Unicorn Princess

"The Unicorn Princess"

Once upon a time, there was a lovely young girl who lived in the middle of the woods. She had no family that she knew of. Though there were no other humans for miles, she had the unique ability to communicate with animals. The creatures in the forest were her only companions, but for her, they were enough. She never felt lonely or scared. When she was cold, she would sing a strange lullaby and beautiful clothes would appear before her to keep her warm. When she was hungry, she would sing a different song, and fresh food would appear. The birds taught her to sing, though her song was foreign to them. The older the maiden got, the more powerful her song became. Soon, she possessed the ability to heal dead plants and trees and sprout new life all around her with the sound of her voice.

When she turned sixteen, word spread of the girl's miraculous abilities. Many brave knights journeyed through the woods to find her so that she could use her magical voice to heal their kingdom's dead crops. The maiden was not surprised to see other humans, as she had noticed them passing through the woods on horseback throughout her childhood. She understood their language, but she did not speak it often because no human ever came to the woods to stay. Now, they were inviting her to come with them and bring prosperity back to the lands. The maiden wished them no ill will, so she became a traveler, journeying from kingdom to kingdom, healing their crops and bringing with her new life and new hope that things would improve for the starving peasants.

One day, when the maiden was alone in the woods, singing to the pink blossoms that sprouted from the trees, a glittering white unicorn appeared before her. For a moment, the maiden was afraid because she had never seen a unicorn before and wondered if it might be a bad omen. The majestic creature walked up to her gently and nuzzled its head in her hands. Its horn sparkled in every color of the forest, and the maiden knew she had nothing to fear. The unicorn spoke to her in a language that was different from that of the humans and forest animals, but she still somehow understood. With its delicate horn that communicated almost telepathically, it told her an incredible story.

Once every thousand years, a human princess is born in the kingdom of the unicorns who possesses incredible abilities to heal and create life in the natural world. However, she cannot see the unicorns until her power has reached its peak. They had been watching over the maiden the entire time, bringing her warm clothes and hearty meals at her request, but she could not return to their kingdom with them until today. The maiden took a step back from the shimmering creature, shocked by this revelation. Though she had such an odd and unique life, she had never thought to question it before. It was simply the way things were.

The unicorn gave her a moment to collect her thoughts. When it felt the princess had enough time to consider all of this, its horn shimmered yet again, and it invited her to return to its kingdom to live the rest of her days in happiness and prosperity as their princess. The maiden still wasn't sure if that was what she wanted, but she agreed to see this magical kingdom before making such a life-altering decision. The unicorn's horn glowed with a blinding light. When the maiden's vision returned, she found herself in a sparkling glen surrounded by the strangest and most beautiful flowers she had ever seen. The sky was the color of cotton candy, and the water sparkled like diamonds and sapphires. Other unicorns in shades of pink, blue, lavender, and green ran about the glen playfully. They all bowed their heads respectfully upon seeing their princess.

The princess was led to a palace like none she had seen in the world of man made of glittering jewels that allowed her to look out at the unicorns' beautiful kingdom from within each chamber. The beds were softer than flower petals, and beside each one was a large glittering pillow cushion for a unicorn to keep her company. The princess changed into a glittering gown with a long chiffon train that she had found in the palace and braided her hair with the most magnificent of flowers she found outside. She befriended many of the other unicorns and braided the same flowers into their manes. The more time that she spent in their land, the more she began to forget about the world she came from.

After some time had passed, the princess started to miss the woodland creatures who had raised her and had been so kind to her. She told the unicorn who had brought her that she was ready to return. The unicorn told her this was a foolish idea. Why would she want to return to having nothing when everything here is perfect? Upon her insistence, the unicorn showed her a room in the palace where she could look upon anything her heart desired. She wasted no time in asking the room about the land she came from. The walls shifted to reveal images of her forest weak and dying. She then asked about some of the human kingdoms she had visited in the past and saw that the peasants were starving, and it seemed that things could not have possibly been worse.

The unicorn princess was devastated. She could not believe what she was seeing. It had felt as if she had only been in this magical realm for a few hours or a few days at most, but it was then that the unicorn revealed to her that time in the human realm passes in the blink of an eye in theirs. That is why it takes a thousand years for a new princess to be born. The unicorns loved her and didn't want her to leave, but the princess felt betrayed by them for keeping this a secret. She insisted that she must go back so she could help everyone who needed her. Though the unicorns were reluctant to let her leave, they obeyed their princess and sent her back to the quiet forest where she grew up.

Once again, her beautiful song filled the air, and the birds and trees were restored to their former glory. Rumors of her return spread quickly, and she resumed her travels to the human kingdoms. She noticed that the unicorns no longer came to her when she sang, but she found it in her heart to forgive them. The princess knew how badly they had wanted her to stay and that leaving them felt like a betrayal, but she couldn't let the animals and people she loved go hungry. She knew that there was more to being a princess than having her own selfish desires fulfilled. The unicorn princess now knew her place in the world. She lived the rest of her life as a peasant with a magical voice, spreading new life everywhere she went. The animals and humans of the world were so grateful to her that she never felt lonely or sad again.


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