Sunday, April 13, 2008

Mistress of the Basket

Nothing ever is the same once you've jumped off the cliff. Or picked up a wailing baby. The Man felt no different. Princesses may appear magically but sadly there's no magical way to satisfy all their needs.

The entire kingdom was turned topsy-turvy the moment Princess Maya arrived. The best carpenter in the kingdom was beckoned to build the sturdiest and yet the most wonderful looking cradle in the world while the Royal seamstress was asked to weave soft sheets of silk.

The Man paced outside the nursery with the baby as The Little Princess tried to create a whole new world inside. The baby in his arms crinkled its eyebrows and The Man could sense a cry forming. Princess Maya let out a soft whimper. Just when he thought he couldn't hold off any longer, the door opened and he stepped into the nursery.

The Little Princess and her bevy of helpers had truly outdone themselves. The cradle was a masterpiece crafted in rosewood, and the sheets were as soft as satin. The Man softly laid Princess Maya on her bed.

The moment she touched the bed, Princess Maya wailed. The Man held her tight; the Little Princess rocked her back and forth but no avail. Princess Maya just couldn't be pacified. The Queen and The King rushed in to help, but all the lullabies in the world weren't enough to soothe the tiny baby. The Man and the Little Princess looked bewildered.

Then The Man rushed in search of the Royal seamstress. Maybe cotton would be softer. The Little Princess ran to the Royal garden. Maybe a nightingale's song would quiet the baby. The King walked up and down the room, nodding his head as that's what he did best. While they each tried to find a solution, the Queen held Princess Maya and tried to rock her to sleep.

Minutes passed into hours. But Princess Maya hadn't slept a wink. The Little Princess slumped into The Man's arms, unsure of what to do. The King was snoring in a corner, next to a broken basket. The Little Princess used to play with it as a kid. An exhausted Queen slowly placed the crying baby in the old basket and flexed her arms.

After a few minutes as she bent down to lift the baby, she found Princess Maya fast asleep, her tiny hand tightly clasping an old blanket. The little one had drifted to sleep in the comforting smells of old wood and worn down wool.

Little Princess smiled at The Man. Raising a princess wasn't a new tradition to be learnt. It was simply forgotten and need to be remembered.

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