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The Princess and the Lamb

by: Caroline Hand //// June 2023

In a lonely valley long ago…. there sat a princess reading a book. Many days you could find her there, you just had to look. She wanted to learn the history of the world, so she could one day rule her kingdom well, but she always found herself immersed in fairytales instead. 

She laughed aloud when the characters did something silly and the sound was so pretty like the dainty ringing of wind chimes. Whenever this happened, the birds chitter-chattered like she was talking to them. (And sometimes she did.) 

One afternoon, after she’d eaten her apple, bread, and stew, she was met by a wet nose greeting her fingertips. So engrossed in her book, she hadn’t noticed a little lamb approach. 

Just beyond, a Shepherd King from a distant land came nearer and nearer to retrieve the lost sheep. The princess gave the lamb’s back a loving pat and the lamb began to graze beside her slippered feet.

“At last,” the Shepherd King spoke with a voice that was deep and radiant like the waterfalls in springtime. “My wandering lamb has found a home. Now the question is, will you keep her?”

The princess only nodded, wondering what all of this could mean. But the Shepherd King said kindly, “Speak princess.”

“Kind King, you say your lamb as found her home. In this valley, you mean? Shall I send someone to keep watch over her?” 

And he replied, “She will go where you go. Will that be too much of a bother?”

The princess thought about it. “Possibly, but I think I rather like the idea of having a shadow.”

“And what if she leads instead?” The King countered.

Again, the princess pondered his question. “Even better.” She decided. And so they went.

Far and near.

Distant and close.

To mountains and valleys.

Until they both grew quite old.

And at last, when they returned to her kingdom, the princess had become a queen and was ready to lead.

But, sometimes, you’d still find in a lonely valley… a queen reading a book and a sheep grazing at her slippered feet.