The Princess and the http
Once upon a time there was a King whose wife had passed away, but not before giving birth to their beautiful daughter. He loved his daughter dearly, as all fathers love their daughters. He wanted to protect her from anything that may harm or upset her. He got it into his head that the outside world was an enemy to his daughter; she may stumble into scrapes, or fall in love with the wrong man. So the King made a decision, in order to stop any of these things happening, she must never meet anyone who would lead her astray.
He had a beautiful palace built in the middle of a lake. It had no windows, and only one way in and out, and none other than the King held the key to the door.
The Princess was moved into the palace, with only female servants, and a governess. The only male she came into contact with was her father, and he was determined she would love nobody except him.
The Princess lived her life within the palace walls, having daily lessons with her governess. The governess soon realised she was incredibly bright, and began to give her more advanced reading material, and lessons that would test her intelligence.
Bright as she was, the Princess realised there must be more to life than the palace walls. Under strict instructions from the King, her governess had only supplied her with certain information. The Princess remained ignorant of human biology, and therefore did not understand why her father was so different to those that resided with her in the palace.
The King would visit once a week, and on one such visit, his daughter asked him why he was different to the others in the palace. The King was incensed, he did not want his daughter to know of such things, and so he made a mumbled excuse and went on his way.
Once the King had left his daughter, he went to see the governess and demanded to know what she had been teaching her. He believed the governess when she said she hadn’t told the Princess anything she wasn’t meant to, it was pure curiosity prompting her to ask questions.
The Princess, unperturbed by her father’s reluctance to talk, began to pester her governess for more information, and to bring her books that would tell her what she wanted to know. The governess, although petrified of what the King would do if he found out, was also worried that the Princess would continue to ask her father questions. Knowing the Princess’ determination, the governess knew she wouldn’t give up until she had what she wanted.
So eventually the governess gave the Princess books on human biology and romance, and so she was enlightened. The Princess was sworn to secrecy, and she pored over these day and night. Everything made sense to her now, why her father was different to the servants in the palace. What was not clear to her though was why she’d been shut up in the palace and not allowed to experience these things for herself. She had never been told the circumstances of her mother’s death; and so didn’t realise the reasons for her father’s protectiveness.
Once educated in all matters of life and love, the Princess craved more, and the governess brought her wide varieties of books. The Princess attacked these with vigour; and before long she had a good general knowledge. One thing puzzled her, though. At the end of one book, she noticed a language she did not understand, sentences full of “http://www’s” and “@blahblahblah.com”’s. She asked the governess, who then explained to her the magic of the Internet.
Within days, the Princess had a top of the range laptop complete with Internet access installed in her chamber. The King, who had been reassured by the governess that the Princess would come into no danger, remained blissfully unaware of what it was he had allowed.
However, the Princess was still fairly naïve, and unlike some, she was not immediately logging onto www.nakedmen.com. The subject that had really piqued the girls’ interest was chat. She’d heard from her governess that you could go onto the Internet and talk to people from all over the world. Not having spoken to anyone except her father and those in the palace, the Princess was desperate to talk to someone different, someone her own age.
After registering all her details, the Princess was soon staring in wonder at the lines of text scrolling down her screen, strange words that meant nothing to her. The first time she went online, the Princess just watched conversations going on in front of her, fascinated.
Within a few days, however, she was a pro. She’d found a web page that explained all those strange initials which people used, to mean, “age, sex, location?” Someone had inquired these details of the Princess, and she’d replied shyly, “seventeen, female, palace in the middle of a lake.”
Unsurprisingly, the potential friend was gone quicker than a teenage boy discussing commitment with his girlfriend.
Disappointed, the Princess was about to log off, when a name appeared on the members list that caught her eye. ‘PrinceCharming01.’ She double clicked on his name to view his profile, and he hadn’t made one. So the Princess decided to find out for herself and began chatting to him.
Soon the Princess and ‘PrinceCharming01’ were chatting online every day. She’d told him of her predicament; how her father was so strict she was never allowed to see anyone except those in the palace. Prince Charming sympathised, and said he had the opposite problem; his parents were constantly trying to set him up and get him married off and producing an heir to the throne. He told her he was thinking of running away, he felt so pressured it was driving him crazy. This gave the Princess an idea. She suggested that he run away from home and come and find her. Prince Charming jumped at the chance!
The young couple began researching and planning their idea. A few short weeks later and they were all ready to go. Prince Charming would pack up his belongings, as many as he could carry on a horse, and he would ride to the Princess’s kingdom. Once there he would venture into the woods on the side of the lake and dig a tunnel under the lake into the palace; then they would be together.
So Prince Charming began his journey, over many kingdoms. He had to rely on the hospitality of many for food and shelter, but as he was royalty, none minded. He told his story to those who asked where he was bound, a true tale of romance. A trapped Princess, in need of rescuing, he was hailed a hero. The Prince began to puff his chest out as he told the story; he was Prince Charming the Rescuer.
Many weeks later, the Prince had travelled far and wide, and had finally arrived at his destination. He stood at the edge of the lake, one hand on his horse’s neck, hardly believing that soon he would be with his love. Gazing up at the palace, he saw a blue glow coming from one of the windows in the tallest tower. The Princess’s computer screen. He got his PDA out of his pocket, tapped in a message and pressed Send. Moments later he saw her, she’d rushed to the window after receiving his email, and she was waving at him. The Prince waved back and began pointing to the forest on the side of the lake. The Princess gave him a thumbs-up, blew him a kiss, and was gone.
It was getting dark, and the Prince decided he would rest for the night and begin digging in the morning. So he made his way to the forest, unloaded his horse and made his bed for the night.
Bright and early the next morning, the Prince was up, breakfasted and digging within half an hour. He could not wait to see his love. They’d waited so long, for it was six months since they’d first met online.
It was hard work, but the Prince kept digging and digging. He would dig by day, and talk to the Princess by night using his PDA. He kept her informed of his progress, and she urged him to hurry, she could not wait to be in his arms. A regular Juliet.
Finally the day came when the Prince had tunnelled right under the lake and onto the island. He kept going a little longer, as the Princess had instructed him, so he came up into the cellar, and not open ground, where he risked being savaged by her father’s guard dogs. He then went back through the tunnel to get his things, and by nightfall everything was in the cellar. A quick message had the Princess running through the palace to meet him.
After over six months of waiting, the young couple finally met and embraced. They sealed their fate with a kiss, which they continued in the Princess’s chamber, over and over, until finally dawn found them asleep.
So the couple lived together in the palace; the servants and governess had to be taken into confidence and threatened with death if ever the secret got out. The young couple were deliriously happy, and made plans to marry.
The Princess was very careful to make sure there was no evidence for her father to see on his Sunday visits. However, one Sunday she was not so careful, as she’d forgotten to set her alarm, and when the King arrived she was still fast asleep in bed with the Prince. The King entered the palace, and puzzled as to why his daughter was not there to greet him as normal, he made his way up to her chamber, and there he found her, with a man in her bed!!
The King was furious, and he sent the entire palace staff to prison, and sentenced his daughter and her lover to death. The Princess begged for mercy; but the King was so angry at the betrayal that he would not relent. Finally the Princess persuaded the King just to listen to her story. So she told him the tale from beginning to end, and the final words of the speech were – “I have had my wish; I have lived, I have loved and been loved. If I must die now I have no regrets.”
Her story touched the King and he remembered the love between him and his wife, and realised he was wrong to deprive his daughter of this. So, in apology, he arranged a huge wedding for the Princess and her lover, and whilst they were honeymooning had a new palace built and furnished for them.
On their return the royal couple, as you may expect, lived happily ever after.