Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: ALL TALK, NO ACTION (01/10/19)
- TITLE: For The Love of Hyacinth
By Donna Powers
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After all, the King and Queen werenâ€™t getting any younger. They wanted to be able to experience the joys of having grandchildren. But if Hyacinth didnâ€™t soon get married, their dreams might never be realized.
Princess Hyacinth was smart and kind and beautiful. But she was also a big fan of romance novels. Many suitors had come to court the Princess, yet she had turned each away. â€œJust not romantic enough,â€ was her verdict for each of her erstwhile suitors.
One afternoon in May, while spring breezes blew prettily through the Princessâ€™ favorite courtyard, three new suitors waited to try their hand.
It was the job of the Kingdomâ€™s page, Gavin, to usher each in to see her. Gavin did his job gladly because he secretly loved the beautiful Princess. He knew she could never return his love, but he prayed she might find happiness with one of her suitors - since he loved her enough to value her happiness above his own.
The first suitor was Count Percival. Gavin noticed how tall Percival was, and how curly his blonde locks were. Count Percival read from Shakespeareâ€™s most romantic sonnets to the Princess.
The Princess merely yawned and asked Gavin to fetch her a cool drink. He did so gladly.
After Count Percival came Prince Maurice. Ah, thought Gavin, she will surely choose this one, since he had smoldering good looks and a charming French accent. He spoke with that charming accent of love. But the Princess again yawned and asked Gavin to bring a fan to cool her brow. He smiled as he did, and tirelessly fanned her.
The last suitor of the day was the Earl of Mortham. The Earl was neither handsome nor charming. His doublet did not match his tights, and he wore impossibly silly boots. Gavin wondered if the Earl thought courting the Princess was a joke. Gavin turned out to be right, as the Earlâ€™s attempt at courtship turned out to be a stand-up comedy routine. Although Gavin was amused by the Earl, the Princess hardly cracked a smile. Gavin left the courtyard to prepare lunch just as the Earl unhappily left the Princessâ€™ courtyard.
As the Princess picked at her food, Gavin silently cleared away the cups and other trash which had been carelessly strewn about the grove. As he cleaned, he overheard the Princessâ€™ bitter words:
â€œLove,â€ she grumbled. â€œThey spoke endless words of love to me - just like every man before them. Yet, not one of them demonstrated his love. If I could find a man who acted out his love for me, Iâ€™d surely choose him. Is there not one man who can put his love for me into action?â€
Gavin could not help himself. He was hesitant, yet her words had given him the impetus he needed.
He boldly approached her and spoke. â€œYour Highness, there is such a man - and it is I. I am merely a humble servant, yet each thing I have done and will do is a demonstration of my profound love for you. If you would be true to the words you have spoken just now, you will consider me as a suitor - and I will continue to humbly act out my love for the rest of our lives.â€
What was she to do, Princess Hyacinth wondered? Sheâ€™d meant her words sincerely, but surely, she couldn't marry a page??...
But then, she looked at Gavin - for what was truly the first time. And she saw that while his hair was not blonde and carefully coiffed; and he did not have a charming French accent or a list of jokes and a pair of silly shoes, his eyes were kind and his voice was comforting. And, she reminded herself, he had truly acted out his love for her - just as she'd said she wanted.
Slowly, she stood and extended her hand. She answered, â€œIt is true you have been attentive to my needs, and you are putting your feelings into action. So I will now give you my answer.â€
Gavin stood with his hands clasped in the Princessâ€™ hands and waited to hear the words which - yea or nay - would change his life forever.
1 John 3:18 "Little children, let us not love in word or talk, but in deed and truth."
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