The Empty Princess

Once upon a time a long time a ago, there lived a princess in a beautiful palace. Her name was Kris. Now Kris had lived in the palace for as long as she could remember. And in many ways it was a great place to live. For one thing she had many courtiers and servants who looked after her. Sometimes admittedly she had to stamp her feet and shout a bit because these servants were a bit lazy, but eventually they always helped her. They put her to bed and fed her and played her music and bought her toys that she could play with. At those times, Kris really did feel like a princess and also at those times, Kris could be quite cruel and uncaring to those servants who were looking after her.

Kris was not imprisoned in the palace. The doors were not locked and she often spent hours every day just looking out of the window of her favourite room at the world going by beyond the gates of the palace’s extensive grounds. And it has to be said that Kris often wished that she could leave the palace. But she knew that if she ever did, that she may not be allowed back in. No one ever said that to her but it was a fear that she had. And so she stayed in the palace, week after week, month after month and year after year. Although she was looked after (eventually) she was lonely, She had no real friends that she had made herself and often if truth be told she was bored – and longed to get her teeth into something that would really engage her and to explore the excitement, novelty and challenges of the world outside.

So the palace seemed like a prison in many ways.

And then one day something happened that was to change Kris’s life forever – and as she looks back on that day now, she knows that it was the best thing that could have happened to her. Though at that time, it was pretty scary for Kris. And if truth be told she was very angry (very angry indeed) with her courtiers and servants. For, what happened that day was that the courtiers and servants all left early one morning while she slept. They just disappeared. They left food and her toys and everything like that – so she could continue to live there. But not with any help from them.

There was though one kind lady who loved her greatly and who did stay but Kris hardly noticed her in the rage of the departure of every body else. And actually she often hardly noticed this older lady and often treated her quite badly.

So on that first day, she went back into the palace and wondered around all day. She ate a bit of food from the fridge, had a bath and played some of her music. But as she wondered around the palace that day, she knew that soon she would have to venture out and walk further along that road.

She felt also a comfort in the realisation that whenever she chose to, she could return to her very own palace and feel much safer – at least for a time. And she certainly began to appreciate that the lovely lady – her one true friend – was sticking by her. She began also to realise that she could quite easily be much nicer and friendlier and more considerate to her.

And so Kris began to settle down into this new world and began to enjoy it. And quite soon she met an older man waiting by the gates – who actually she remembered from before as someone who had befriended her and seemed quite nice and genuine and definitely on her side. He had said to her that he could help in whatever way she needed help – as she began to travel into that outside world. He was actually quite wise in the ways of the world and also he could ease some of the fears and anxieties that kept bubbling up inside her.

So she decided that from time to time she would make use of this man. And now a few months further on, Kris cannot believe how far she has come. And for the first time, she can feel an inner confidence and hope welling up from deep inside her.

Hilary Farmer

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