Once Upon A Springtime… (Deleted Stories)
Once upon a Springtime; long, long time ago, a wicked magician took a princess hostage and buried her in a golden casket in the forest saying, “And there you shall stay until your king has paid me his ransom”.
But all the forest knew the terrible, evil act that had been committed; the flowers that grew nearby told the bees and the bees told the blossoms in the trees and the trees told the birds in their nests and the birds flew to the house of a poor peasant boy, called Tom, who lived nearby and, a wood pecker knocking on the door of his cottage, when the boy answered the door, the birds pleaded with him for help.
Then the boy, grabbing hold of his shovel followed the birds to the spot where the princess was buried.
However, as the boy began to dig, out of nowhere, there appeared a huge dragon carved out of living ice with breath of cold wind and frost and the dragon said, “No one shall dig up this spot because my master, the magician has told me to guard this place”.
Now the young man did not know what to do for, being only a poor peasant, he had no sword to fight the dragon with but he had heard tell that there was a Lady of the Lake who lived nearby who gave a sword to a king once, in ancient times.
And so the young man went to the edge of the lake and asked, “Oh Lady of the Lake. May I have a sword, please?”.
Suddenly, up from under the deep lake, dressed all in silver and blue and green, there appeared a beautiful woman.
“Are you a king?”, she asked.
“No”, said the boy, shaking his head.
“Are you a prince?”, she asked.
“No”, said the boy, “I am but a humble peasant but my need is as great as any kings”.
“I’m sorry”, said the Lady of The Lake, “But I may only give swords to those of Noble birth”.
And, saying this, the Lady vanished down into the lake again.
Fearing for the girl who was buried underground, in desperation, the boy ran back to his house, tied an old sheet around his shoulders and made a crown of daffodils before returning to the lake, saying
“Lady of the Lake. Please, please may I have a sword?”.
Up from the lake once more, the enchanted Lady appeared and, once more, she asked, “Are you a king?”.
But this time the boy answered, “Yes. I am King Tom of the Forest”.
And, hearing this, the Lady of the Lake smiled, saying , “King Tom of the forest? Well then King Tom, you may have your sword” and she handed the boy a sword made of pure, glittering gold.
Now, taking the sword, the boy rushed back to where the ice dragon was guarding the buried princess and said to him, “In the name of Spring time and all that is good; go away old dragon or I’ll run you through with my golden sword”.
The dragon laughed and blew out a bitter wind that turned the two trees on either side of the boy to solid ice but the boy, shielded by the magic golden sword, was not harmed and then the boy bravely drove his sword deep into the heart of the ice dragon and the sword turned to sunlight and melted the ice dragon away.
Now the boy dug up the princess with his shovel and freed her from the golden casket and she was so happy to be free she kissed him, saying,
“As I was lying in the golden casket, I made an oath that if any man rescued me, no matter how old or ugly he might be, I would marry him gladly and you are not old or ugly but young and handsome so, If you would like, I would happily marry you”.
And so, the next day, the young boy and the Princess were married and he who had called himself ‘King Tom of the Forest’ became king of the whole country.