Once upon a time in a Kingdom of Peace, there stood an Emerald colored castle by a large lake. Inside lived a King and Queen who were deeply in love with each other.
Each day they would rise from their sleep and have breakfast together at a crystal table, overlooking the lake. Most of the time their breakfast was eggs and waffles made from the finest ingredients that were naturally grown and collected in their peaceful Kingdom.
The reflection of the castle upon the water was full of so much beauty that the King and Queen would stare for hours. They were so happy and wanted nothing more than to have a child, a bundle of joy that would make their lives complete. Unfortunately, the King and Queen were not able to have children and it made their hearts very sad.
One day, after breakfast, the Queen and all of her friends were down in the garden cutting roses for the royal flower arrangements. As they did, the Queen pricked her finger upon a thorn and fell down to the ground in a faint.
Her friends, thinking that she had only fainted from pain, tried to fan her and bring her water. Still, the Queen would not wake up. The friends sent word to the King, who stopped what he was doing and ran to the Queen at once. He tried to revive her, but it was no use.
“Fetch the doctor!” the King called to his servants, who ran into the town and came back with the doctor, who had his medical bag.
The doctor tried his best with all of his medical knowledge to revive the Queen, but he could not. Instead, he ordered the servants to take the Queen up to her room and lay her down in her bed so that she not be harmed by anymore rose thorns.
Days past and the Queen would not wake up. The King could neither sleep nor eat, knowing his true love was sleeping from an unknown malady from which she might not wake.
At church on Sunday, the King asked his pastor what the matter could be.
“Let me come out and pray and perhaps God will show me the answer.” The King was happy to bring the Pastor out to the castle, and did so immediately. The Royal carriage, pulled by six horses, sped its way home. In his haste, the driver almost ran over a deer with a fawn, two ducks and three raccoon. The Pastor bounced around in the back of the carriage, knowing that speed was of the essence.
When they arrived, the Pastor looked at the roses and then went up with the King to pray over the Queen.
“Do you believe that she can be healed?” the Pastor asked.
“Yes, I do!” the King answered.
“Then I say to you, my Queen, please get up.”
At once, the Queen woke from her faint and looked around. She was so happy to see the King (and of course she was a little surprised to see the Pastor), but she also looked around for someone else.
“Where is she?” the Queen asked.
“Where is who, my love?”
“Where is my daughter?”
The King was speechless. He thought maye the Queen had a dream where she had a daughter and now he did not want to upset her by telling her that she had none.
“Where is my daughter?” The Queen asked again.
The King shook his head and could not answer. He was saddened, thinking that the Queen had enjoyed having a daughter while she slept and now he had to tell her the girl did not exist.
“My love, we have no daughter. You have been asleep for a week after fainting in the garden. You must have dreamed her presence.”
The Queen threw off her covers and knelt up on the bed, she placed her hands on the King’s chest and said, “My King, I did dream it! I dreamed I was gardening and then fell ill. When I fell ill, I could do nothing but walk around the garden and there, behind the hedgerose I found a young orphaned girl with tattered clothes and tangled hair but such a kind face. I asked her if she wanted anything and she said she just wanted a mother! We walked and talked for days and days!”
The King did not know what to say. It seemed the queen was so happy about her dream, but what could he say?
“My Queen, what can I do?”
“You must wait for me while I dress,” the Queen said as she jumped out of bed. “I am going to dress and we will go out to the garden to find her.
The Queen ran into her extensive closet and began pulling down gowns off the hangers. “Where is it?” the King heard her say. “Where is the gown I was wearing when I met her?”
Finally, the Queen emerged from her massive closet, smiling in a beautiful green gown with a blue silk covering that danced all around her. She grabbed her jeweled crown and took the King by the hand, pulling him down the stairs and out into the garden.
At first, the King had hope, looking everywhere around the hedgerose for a small orphaned girl. Then, after hours of searching their extensive grounds, both King and Queen grew weary and realized it was all a dream.
“Perhaps God wanted me to have comfort in my sleep so he gave me a daughter that I would have only in my dreams.” Her tears flowed and the King brought her inside the castle, only to find the Pastor still sitting there, waiting for them.
“If you could not find an orphaned girl in the hedgerose, may I make a suggestion?”
Both King and Queen looked at each other and nodded. “Yes, please do.”
“There are many children who live in the orphanage who need homes. Why not go and see if you can find the face of the daughter who was in your dream?”
The King and Queen thought this to be a wonderful idea and said so. After a night’s sleep, they set off with the Pastor, for the orphanage the next morning. On their way, they prayed for God to help them find the daughter the Queen had seen in her dream.
They arrived at the orphanage and all of the orphans were very happy to see them. They bowed and curtseyed like proper ladies and gentlemen and looked into their faces as they scanned the crowd for the girl.
There were about sixteen orphans in all, half boys and half girls. They were all lovely and delightful, but none of them had the face of the girl that the Queen remembered from her dream.
The Pastor asked the Queen to repeat the dream to the maid in charge of the orphanage. When she did, the maid, a woman of about twenty four years, fell silent.
“Your Highness,” she said. “This little girl in your dream is me!”
“What?” the Queen asked, in a confused way. The girl did look a lot like the girl from the Queen’s dream, but she was fully grown. “The little girl I saw was very small and very dirty.”
The maid sat down in a chair and began to weep. She put her apron to her face and then told the story of how she was found.
“My parents died in a fire. I was very young when this happened and since I had no home, I stayed in the forest all by myself, surviving on nuts and berries. One day, a man of the royal guard came along and asked me if I needed anything. I told him that I needed nothing – only a mother. He brought me here to the orphanage, and since he found me behind a hedgerose, he named me Rose.
The King and Queen were both amazed at this story; so amazed that they even had tears in their eyes.
“You must come and live with us, then!” the Queen said.
“I can’t Mum,” Rose said, drying her tears. “If I leave here, who will take care of these orphans?”
The Pastor agreed. “Rose is the one who has been giving the necessary care to run this orphanage. Although the church has been giving them money, Rose is the one who loves the children.”
“If that is the case,” the King said, merrily. “Then all of the children must come with us and live at the Emerald Castle!”
At the news of this, there was great celebration and joy. The King and Queen were happy that their large castle would now be filled with children. The children packed their clothes and toys and rejoiced that they would all now be princes and princesses. The Queen laughed aloud, encouraged that she found Rose, the daughter of her dream.
From that day forward, the Emerald Castle had rooms that were always filled with life and children. The orphans were no longer orphans, but princes and princesses in the happiest, most peaceful kingdom in the whole world.
Every morning, the King and Queen and Rose would eat breakfast on the terrace, overlooking the lake that reflected beauty and peace.
And their hearts were full.
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