Poppies and Bluebells (For Tosh)

Once upon a time there were two kingdoms, side by side in spirit though not in borders.

Each kingdom had a King, a good and kind ruler and each of the kings had a son.

The Prince of Nerma was called Daniel and the land of Marzon’s Prince was called Sebastian.

~

There had for many years been a prophecy in both of the Kingdoms that one day a prince from another land would meet a prince from their kingdom and that the two princes would fall in love, when they did the Kingdoms would join together as they had been at the beginning of time.

By the time Daniel and Sebastian were born however it was no longer a prophecy but had become a myth which had become a legend and then a fairy story.

However both Sebastian and Daniel had loved the story in their boyhood and even though they were often told it was just a silly fantasy, that there was no mystical kingdom or magic prince, they never stopped believing.

The princes grew older and soon became young men.

Daniel was a very tall fair man, he loved his hunting dogs and to horse riding, he was strong and just and friendly to everyone. The people of his Kingdom loved him very much, almost more than they loved his father.

Sebastian was dark haired with an almost gypsy like appearance. His passion was traveling and the sea; he was an excellent sailor and a very friendly kind young man who won the hearts of many.

Years passed and soon the princes came of age.

~

On the day they both came of age they finally planned to set out on a quest to find their prince. Their fathers both thought that it was foolish but decided to let them as it was a good way of them getting to know the kingdom and the people whom they would one day rule.

Daniel scoured Nerma for any spirit walkers who’d seen another kingdom on their travels or had been to another land. He found no evidence of anything more than glimpses and those were not enough to help him.

Every visionary and dreamer in Marzon was visited by Sebastian and asked if they had ever seen a prince of a different kingdom or if there were any visions they could give him to aid him on his search but nothing came to him.

~

All their efforts were in vain but still they persevered. For a year and 7 months they were away were searching and looking again and again for any sign.

Even after all that time Sebastian stayed utterly faithful to his quest and refused to believe that it was nothing more than a bed time tale to satisfy small children’s sense of wonder.

But the search had been very hard on Daniel and he had begun to give up hope that he would ever find his true love.

He wanted to go home and abandon the search but something within him kept him going, kept whispering “Not yet, just a little longer, just around this corner, and the next…”

 

After all the long weeks and months he ended up searching through another of the many forests in Nerma. Eventually Prince Daniel was exhausted by his trials and journeys. When he’d been younger he had gotten to know many of them very well thanks to his love of the hunt, but he didn’t seem to have any recollections of this particular forest. It was in the south of his country and was a light airy wood, with many foxes in it.

He’d been searching it for some time and when he came across a small clearing he was overcome with weariness.

And so, bruised and tired he lay down among the long grass and bluebells that covered the meadow and slept a while…

~

As Daniel slept he dreamed, and he dreamed of a beautiful door. He wanted to go through this door more than anything. he was scared of what was on the other side, but even though he was scared he still knew he wanted what was through the door.

He plucked up his courage and walked towards the door. He turned the key that was in the lock and then went to turn the handle.

But as soon as his hand touched the handle he woke up in the meadow.

He felt like his heart would break, he’d been so close to his every wish and it had slipped away from him.

However when he looked around the clearing he saw that it had changed.

Instead of its original circle shape it now looked more like a figure of eight. And though the half that Daniel was sitting in was still filled with bluebells the other half was covered with poppies and standing in the centre of the poppies was the most beautiful boy Daniel had ever seen! All his dreams had been behind the door!

As they looked at each other Daniel smiled and Sebastian blushed. They walked from the forest hand in hand talking, but even before they had exchanged stories they knew that their quest was over, they had at long last found their true love.

~

The kingdoms were joined together as one once again.

Daniel and Sebastian traveled all over the two kingdoms together, getting to know the people, doing important errands for their fathers, getting to know the paths they’d searched and each other. They were very much in love

And when many, many years later their fathers both passed away the princes became kings and ruled the joint kingdoms in peace, happiness and harmony for the rest of their days.

~

And still, all these years in the very middle of the Kingdom of Marzon there is a wood in the centre of which is a wood which holds a clearing shaped like a figure of eight.

In the middle of that clearing, where the poppies and the bluebells meet someone has built a small cottage. And once a year, on a date known only to them, the kings leave behind the affairs of state and stay there for a short while. In their little home away from the world.

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