Saturday, December 07, 2013

Published 7:07 AM by with 2 comments

December Projects, Day #7

Prompt for day #7: bauble

"Little Echo was to have a birthday. Only Esmerelda looked cast down, for she had been able to contrive no gift for her favorite... so for the first time in a long while she felt sad and left out...

'Never mind, Esmerelda,' Dulcy soothed her. 'Echo knows you love her and would give her something if you could.'

Yet on the night before the birthday, Esmerelda let fall a salt tear into her pillow. She thought of her thousand riches at home and of how little they helped her now. Her hands, alone, tomorrow would be empty. Yet need they be? There was her locket. True, it was what she treasured most of all. Without it she might forget altogether that she was the daughter of the King. But Echo had been her admirer, her comforter, her dear friend. 

In the darkness, Esmerelda felt for the locket, fitted her hand about it as if in farewell, then fell peacefully to sleep. 

At dawn she awoke, found a piece of paper and tied the pearled bauble gaily with a bit of red string from the grocery bundles. When Echo came to the breakfast table, greeted by the 'Happy Birthdays' of the household, there was Esmerelda's present on top of the pile. Echo opened it curiously. Then she cried out, 'The locket!', threw herself headlong into Esmerelda's arms, and they both burst into happy tears. 

'It was all I had to give you,' gulped the Princess. 'Wear it for me.'

At that moment a gleam of light from the winter morning glittered brightly upon her head, somewhere far off a bell pealed, and Floribelle looked up with amazement. 'Esmerelda,' she sang out, 'your eyes! They are glowing like stars.'"

This excerpt from Phyllis McGinley's lovely book "The Plain Princess" is what comes to mind whenever I hear the word 'bauble'. One of my favorite stories, it was already quite old when I read it, and it waits patiently on my bookshelf for the day when I can bring it out and read it to my own daughter.

Once again I am reminded that time passes quickly. I remember lying on my bunk bed kicking my feet over the side late at night when I was supposed to be sleeping, paging through fairy tales with not a care in the world. That season is past; now I am a mother who will pass on these beloved books. Soon Harmony will grow from a toddler into a little girl, and I'll be gently pulling books out of her hands and tucking her into bed as she falls asleep reading at night, just like my mother did with me.

~ December Prompt a Day from Write Alm




Now and Then (Savor Each Moment)*


*picture taken nine months ago in the same spot

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2 comments:

the habit of being said...

how have i never read this fairy tale? i have a 9yo daughter that will love this - thank you for sharing!

Lyssa said...

I hope both of you love it! It's a bit difficult to find, unfortunately, because most of the available copies I've seen are of the play manuscript, not the original story. Beautiful tale!