Once There was an Enchanted Castle…

castle-in-the-fog

The Enchanted Castle

Daily Photo

With flags flying and trumpets blowing, the Castle  greeted the arrival of the new heir.  Hungry, squalid crowds of people gathered at the gates hoping to catch a glimpse of the tiny baby.  The haughty warrior king strode to the ramparts.  Glaring down at the wretched squirming mass of humanity below, he stood on the walls holding a  squalling infant bound tightly in cloth.  The people roared.  To celebrate the event and also to lodge the day deeply in the community’s memory,  the king’s own soldiers cast gold  to the frenzied crowd. The hard coins battered the people’s faces and stung their bare arms and shoulders but, in spite of this, they fought each other with fist and foot to grasp even the smallest piece.

After the strongest had seized the coin from the swift and the crowd calmed, the king called down, “I shall name my daughter, Liona, for she shall be as fierce as a  lion guarding her prey.”  He turned to leave.

“Nay,”  cried a strong young farmerwoman,  “No more shall you oppress us with your cruel laws.”  She threw off her straw hat, revealing the long green hair of a witch, and pointed her staff at him.  A whirl of green light and smoke shot from the end and enveloped the king and the castle.  With a dazed cry, he stumbled back from the edge dropping his heir.  The crowd surged forward and the infant tumbled slowly into their arms on a waft of smoke.  The cloth that bound her unwound and drifted away like a scarlet bird.

The soldiers fled the castle as its walls turned to dirt and its ramparts to redwoods.  For months after, people came to stare at the island in the valley. But the castle stayed enchanted.  Because the hard king and his hard laws were bound within the earth, the people shrugged off the old warlike ways and wove together the fabric of their world. Then over time, the women of the hills married the warriors of the castle.  The swords were beaten into shovels and the armor into cookware.

The infant grew strong and free, roaming through the mist by the enchanted castle and high onto the sunlit hills. The people called her and the land Humboltia, for the witch declared that the land and the maiden were bound together by magic. As long as the maiden remained humble, taking only what was needful and learning the ways of her home, then  the maiden, the land, and the people who lived there would be happy.

Don’t ask me where that came from or what it means.

But Humbodt Turtle gave me Humboldtia from his/her new blog.  Check it out and see the home of the elusive Turtle.

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