The King was informed that the maiden was ready. He announced a celebration and the feast was prepared. Guest were invited from afar. Dignitaries were summoned. Hundreds gathered from near and far, curious about the mysterious woman who was to be the queen.
The King sat upon his throne. Next to him was a new throne that had never been sat upon; a queens throne.
Trumpets began to sound. Everyone stood as the throne room doors opened. Two male servants ran a silk runner to the Kings platform. Two maidens tossed red and yellow rose petals along the runner. As the King stood, the room became amazingly quiet.
Two maidens dressed in pink silk and lace entered the room, carrying beautiful bouquets of red and pink roses. Five paces behind them entered the mysterious woman, wearing a beautiful wedding gown made of fine silk and pearls. Her face was covered with a soft veil. Her hair was swept up. Flowers of red, yellow and lavender made a crown upon her head.
She walked with poise; erect, strong and confident. She slowly walked the silk runner that led to the King. Upon her approach, the King stepped from the platform to the floor. A huge smile was upon his face as he reached out and took her by the hand. It was now as soft as the rose petals that she glided upon.
The King slowly raised the veil that hid her face. He gently lifted it up and looked into the brightest, bluest eyes he had ever seen. She had long dark eyelashes and full lips. Her skin was copper tone and as smooth as the silk she wore.
The King reached behind him and a servant placed a ring in his hand. It was made of the finest gold with a diamond that made every woman in the room catch her breath. He took her hand and slowly slipped the ring upon her delicate finger.
With a sparkle in his eyes, with a blush on her cheeks, he leaned in tilting his head slightly to the side. She responded by taking a half step towards him. Their lips met. Slowly and gently, they kissed.
The King stepped back. Smiling, he led his bride up the steps of the platform, to her throne. They turned to face the audience and the King announced, “I give you your Queen!”
To look at her now you would think she had been raised in a palace. She exemplified grace and elegance. She was radiant, but who was this newlywed queen? Nobody in this part of the kingdom new her or had ever seen her. She had been brought in on a slave wagon with nine other female slaves. The other slaves had sold quickly. They seemed to have been well cared for. The older slaves would be purchased as house servants. The stronger ones, field workers, the younger slaves would become nannies.
She was the last one on the auction block. Standing just over five feet, she was skinny and frail. Her hair was matted and tangled and had not been washed for weeks, or even months. Her eyes were down cast and sunken into her head. Her jaw clenched as she shook uncontrollably in the cold morning breeze. She wore nothing but a thin robe that was tattered, torn, and filthy.
She stood on the auction block worth very little to anyone. She was too weak to work in the fields, too sickly to be a nanny, and too homely to be a house servant. She was, even as a slave worth nothing.
Without enthusiasm, the auctioneer tried to get a bid on this sick slave. No one was interested in buying somebody useless.
Suddenly, the crowd parted and knees bowed, as the King stepped from his ornate chariot. The King stared at the frightened maiden. She was now on her knees, her face almost touching the ground. To everyone’s amazement, the King stepped up on the auction block and knelt beside her. He gently touched her chin and lifted her face.
He said nothing for a moment. He just looked into her hollow eyes. Her eyes resisted his. After all, who was she to look upon the King? She an orphaned, sick, slave and he royalty in his majestic robe and fine jewels. He sits on a throne. She sits on dirt. He sleeps on goose down pillows and walks on marble floors. She sleeps in a stable with pigs and goats and walks through filth.
The King continued to look into her eyes. Suddenly the King smiled a comforting smile. He addressed the auctioneer without looking up.
“What has been bid for her?”
The auctioneer answered, “Sire, nothing has been bid. Seems that no one is willing to offer anything for her.”
The King said, “I will buy her.”
The auctioneer responded, “You may have her sire, at no price.”
The King stood and looked into the face of the auctioneer. He said firmly, “I will purchase her!”
He held out his hand and instantly his treasurer placed a bag in his hand. The King handed the bag over to the auctioneer. Inside the bag were gold coins; enough gold to purchase six strong healthy slaves.
The King motioned to his servants. Without hesitation, they brought the slave to her feet and gently walked her to the awaiting carriage. The crowd stood as the king made his way back to his chariot. They whispered among themselves as the possession left. Why would a king purchase something as useless as that slave?
When the King returned to his palace, he instructed his female servants that he wanted them to bathe her, feed her, and dress her in fine silk. “I want her treated with respect.” He instructed, “Teach her to walk with her head held high. I want you to dress her in beautiful gowns. Teach her to speak with confidence. I want you to teach her how to live like a queen, for she will be my bride!”
The king’s councilors asked him. “Why her? Why would you buy a slave to be your wife? You could have any woman in the region to be your wife.
The King answered, “I have seen in her what no other man has seen. I see a beauty that is buried under abuse.”
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