The Cloak of Worry (A Fairy-tale)

Once there was a little girl who loved to dance. She danced so much her mother feared she’d never find her feet on the ground and if she never had her feet on the ground she’d never be able to take care of herself when she grew old. So she took the little girl’s shoes to the shoemaker and asked him to line them with lead.

Convinced it was the right thing to do, she put the shoes on her daughter and made her promise she would never take them off. “If you remove the shoes your feet will fall off and you will fall down, never to get up again.”

And so the little girl who loved to dance learned to walk with heavy step.

But still she loved to sing and laugh no matter where she went. Her mother feared her daughter’s voice, which sounded like birdsong, would keep her from ever taking life seriously and if she didn’t take life seriously, how would she ever watch out for trouble?

And so, she made her daughter a cloak of thorns and knit it together with threads of worry. “You must always wear this cloak,” she told her daughter. “If you dare to take it off, your skin will grow brittle and hard and fall off and your body will fall down, never to get up again.”

And so the little girl who loved to laugh and sing forgot the power of her own voice beneath the weight of the cloak as she took each step. She was careful to always look out for trouble.

One day, when the little girl had become an old woman and no longer needed lead lined shoes to keep her feet firmly planted on the ground, or a cloak of thorns with worries sewn into every stitch to keep her taking life seriously, went into the forest to gather firewood for her hearth. As she carefully picked up wood to place into her basket, she saw a child dancing and heard her singing amongst the trees.

The sound of the child’s voice that sounded like birdsong, the sight of her spinning and twirling about set her heart racing so fast she had to sit down in a hollow at the bottom of a tree to catch her breath. But, before she sat down, she had to check the ground for spiders, and sweep away all the dirt and place a cloth upon the earth to keep her clothes from getting dirty. Worried that a wild animal would come and attack her, she sharpened one of the pieces of wood in her basket into a spear and placed her back firmly into the tree trunk where she sat.

But still it wasn’t enough.

She was worried that an animal might sneak up from behind her, or a storm would blow in and knock down the tree beneath which she sat.

“Oh this life is such serious business,” she sighed as she moved her body deeper into the open space at the bottom of the tree trunk. “It is wise to keep your feet firmly planted on the ground at all times. It is right to always look out for trouble.”

And as she sighed and kept shifting her eyes around, making sure she was safe from attack, she forgot all about the little girl laughing and dancing in the woods.

And the animals never paid her any attention. They didn’t see her tucked into the tree’s trunk and they were busy anyway. They were doing what animals do in the woods and did not have time for an old woman sitting in a tree, glaring out at the world, fearful of every noise.

And the little girl never saw the old woman sitting in the tree trunk either. She was too busy dancing and singing to her heart’s content as she continued on her way through the forest.

Slowly, over time, the old woman fell asleep to dream of a dancing girl with a voice like birdsong who long ago danced in the woods and sang to her heart’s content.

And as she dreamed, the seasons turned and the leaves fell and snow blanketed the earth and her heart grew still until only the sighs of the wind could be heard whispering through the leaves.

She sits there still today, tucked inside the tree, her body entwined in the ivy that spun its way around her like a cloak of thorns knit together by worries.

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I originally posted this story in 2016. This story wrote itself from a dream. It has many meanings for me. I’m curious to know what it means for you?

Please, do share your thoughts.

Namaste.

The maiden with leaden shoes and a cloak of worry (A fairytale)

Once there was a little girl who loved to dance. She danced so much her mother feared she’d never find her feet on the ground and if she never had her feet on the ground she’d never be able to take care of herself when she grew old. So she took the little girl’s shoes to the shoemaker and asked him to line them with lead.

Convinced it was the right thing to do, she put the shoes on her daughter and made her promise she would never take them off. “If you remove the shoes your feet will fall off and you will fall down, never to get up again.”

And so the little girl who loved to dance learned to walk with heavy step.

But still, she loved to sing and laugh no matter where she went. Her mother feared her daughter’s voice which sounded like birdsong would keep her from ever taking life seriously and if she didn’t take life seriously, how would she ever watch out for trouble? And so, she made her daughter a cloak of thorns and knit it together with threads of worry. “You must always wear this cloak,” she told her daughter. “If you dare to take it off, your skin will grow brittle and hard and fall off and your body will fall down, never to get up again.”

And so the little girl who loved to laugh and sing forgot the power of her own voice beneath the weight of the cloak as she took each step always looking out for trouble.

One day, when the little girl had become an old woman and no longer needed lead lined shoes to keep her feet firmly planted on the ground, or a cloak of thorns with worries sewn into every stitch to keep her taking life seriously, went into the forest to gather firewood for her hearth. As she carefully picked up wood to place into her basket, she saw a child dancing and heard her singing amongst the trees.

The sound of the child’s voice that sounded like birdsong, the sight of her spinning and twirling about set her heart racing so fast she had to sit down in a hollow at the bottom of a tree to catch her breath. But, before she sat down, she had to check the ground for spiders, and sweep away all the dirt and place a cloth upon the earth to keep her clothes from getting dirty. Worried that a wild animal would come and attack her, she sharpened one of the pieces of wood in her basket into a spear and placed her back firmly into the tree trunk where she sat.

But still it wasn’t enough.

She was worried that an animal might sneak up from behind her, or a storm would blow in and knock the tree beneath which she sat, down.

“Oh this life is such serious business,” she sighed as she moved her body deeper into the open space at the bottom of the tree trunk. “It is wise to keep your feet firmly planted on the ground at all times and always look out for trouble.”

And as she sighed and kept shifting her eyes around, making sure she was safe from attack, she forgot all about the little girl laughing and dancing in the woods.

And the animals never paid her any attention. They couldn’t see her tucked into the tree’s trunk and they were busy anyway. They were doing what animals do in the woods and did not have time for an old woman sitting in a tree, glaring out at the world, fearful of every noise.

And the little girl never saw the old woman sitting in the tree trunk either. She was too busy dancing and singing to her heart’s content as she continued on her way through the forest.

Slowly, over time, the old woman fell asleep to dream of a dancing girl with a voice like birdsong who long ago danced in the woods and sang to her heart’s content.

And as she dreamed, the seasons turned and the leaves fell and snow blanketed the earth and her heart grew still until only the sighs of the wind could be heard whispering through the leaves.

She sits there still today, tucked inside the tree, her body entwined in the ivy that spun its way around her like a cloak of thorns knit together by worries.

*********************************************

This story wrote itself from a dream. It has many meanings for me. I’m curious to know what it means for you?

Please, do share your thoughts.

Namaste.

The girl with the heart of gold (part 3)

When we left off in Part 2 of The Girl with the Heart of Gold    

“But you brought me here to meet your king,” said Carrena. “I must meet him.”

“No! You do not understand. The king wants to steal your heart of gold because he believes it will give him wealth beyond his greatest imaginings. You must run away.”    

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Suddenly the air was filled with the pure, sweet clarity of church bells ringing on a crisp winter’s morning. The knight was entranced. What was that sound? He had never heard it before.

He looked at Carrena and realized the sound was coming from her. “What are you doing?” he asked. “What is that noise?”

“I’m laughing,” she said. “Have you never heard laughter before?”

“No,” he replied.

“You can laugh too. Try it,” she encouraged him.

“We don’t have time for laughing. You must run. Now. Before the king finds you.” And he started pushing her towards the door of the turret room.

“I will not run away,” she told him. “Though I did not want to come here, I am here now and I will not run away just because you’re afraid.”

Just then, the sound of the king’s trumpeter blared up the stairs to the turret room. The king was coming. There was no way out.

“You must hide,” said the knight to Carrena, glancing wildly around the room looking for a safe hiding place.

“I will not run away and I will not hide,” said Carrena. “I will meet your king.”

The knight started to cry. He had never cried before and other than just moments before when he had witnessed the king crying at the sweet sound of Carrena’s voice singing, he had never seen anyone cry anywhere in the kingdom.

This was not good. He did not know what to do. He did not feel in control and now, giant tears were rolling down his cheeks. What was wrong with him?

Carrena, seeing the knight’s discomfort walked to his side and put her arms around his shoulders.

Surprised at her move, and her touch, the knight stood still. What was happening? He could feel his blood flowing warmly through his body. He could hear the pounding of his heart. What was happening?

To hide his discomfort, the knight shook off Carrena’s arms and stepped back. “How dare you touch me! What were you thinking? You do not touch a knight. You are not worthy.”

Not at all deterred by the knight’s response, Carrena smiled at him and reached out to take his hands.

He could not resist. Her touch was as gentle as a dove’s feather floating through the air to land lightly on the ground.

“You do not determine my worth,” she told him gently. “I do.”

Confused, with the sound of the king’s trumpet getting closer, the knight didn’t know what to say. And he didn’t want Carrena to let go of his hands. They felt so warm in her grasp.

“What was that thing you did when you put your arms around my shoulders?” he asked.

Carrena laughed lightly and the knight’s heart stirred again. “That was a hug,” she told him. “You were crying and I comforted you with a hug.” She looked into the knight’s eyes. “Have you never been hugged?”

“We do not touch one another in my kingdom,” the knight told her.

Carrena couldn’t imagine such a thing. To never touch one another. To never hug or comfort another.

“Thank you for allowing me to touch you now,” she said softly.

And then, with a final blast of trumpet notes announcing his arrival, the king entered the chamber.

To be continued…

 

 (Click here to read Part 1)

(Click here to read Part 2)