Standing by the window, inside her castle, Joan could see the roses,
nestled together in the garden below her.
She closed her eyes and took a deep breath;
it was the sweet scent of the roses.
Oh, it was a beautiful afternoon with nothing
to do but dream.
It was a freedom she seldom allowed herself.
She thought, out loud, what I would do in such a
beautiful castle,in the Loire Valley of France ?
The castle was situated at
the end of a forest with the tallest and densest of trees.
As far as she could see, there were vineyards, all around.
She was alone.
Completely alone and it felt good.
No sounds of people’s voices
or music playing in the background.
She was free and that was an amazing feeling.
Joan had turned her iPhone to the off position.
Her office could not reach her now,
but she didn’t have a
care about the office.
They would do just fine without her for ten days.
This was her vacation
and she had planned for it,for over a year.
This is what freedom feels like.
I wish I could stay here forever and be the princess of this castle.
Looking out the window, again, Joan saw a horse
and a rider coming from the forest beyond.
“Who goes there?” Joan shouted.
“It is your Prince,” answered the handsome man.
“But, I don’t have a Prince, do I?”
“I heard your wish, so, I came at once, to grant you,
“Do you have a name, Mr. Prince?”
“Most of my subjects call me, Albert, Prince Albert .”
“Well, Prince Albert , it’s nice to meet you, but I must say,
you made me laugh out loud with your comment, “my subjects.”
Where do you reign with your subjects?”
“Oh, Princess, I come from this Valley in France .
Do you know about the folklore of the Loire Valley ?
“I am only visiting France for a few days, then I go on to visit
my cousin Victoria, who lives in Italy .”
“Then, I must educate you in our traditions and customs here in France .
Look around you, my Princess.
The Loire Valley is referred to as the Cradle of the French Language, and the Garden of France because of the many of vineyards, fruit orchards and artichoke and asparagus fields, which line the banks of the river.
There is so much for me to show you.
But, first I need to know your name.”
“Oh, so sorry, I forgot my manners. I’m Joan from America ,” she said shaking the Princes’ hand and bowing at the same time.
“Nice to meet you, Princess Joan,” as the Prince kissed her hand.
“But, I’m not a Princess,” stated Joan.
“Oh, but you are a Princess for a day.
“We are going on an adventure to a small village,
not far from here, called Chinon.
You can ride with me, on my horse. Ready? Let’s go.”
Joan was not sure that this was a good idea,
but what else did she have
on her agenda today?
Nothing, nothing at all.
Besides she wanted to be a Princess.
A Princess for a day.
The women back at her office will not
believe her good fortune.
They told her to go to France and
experience the culture and the food.
Have fun, shop.
They didn’t say anything about what
would happen to her,
if she met a Prince.
“I’m ready, my Prince,” announced Joan.
The Prince and the newly named Princess rode off together
for an adventure to find their own French Renaissance.
Joan was smiling, as her hair was flying in the wind and
the soft breezes touched her cheeks.
A true sense of Freedom.
Joan could only hear the buzzing of her alarm clock,
on the table, next to her big bed. Opening her eyes, slowly, she stared
at the clock, it’s only 7 a.m. It’s too early, she thought. I want to go
back to my dream of being a Princess for a day and riding with the Prince through the forest to Chinon.
“Well, it looks like I’m not Princess, after all,” Joan said out loud.
“I better get up and shower and get dressed. I can’t miss the train back to Paris . I promised my cousin, Victoria, I would be in Italy in three days.”
Joan climbed out of bed and shut off the alarm.
Looking around and stretching her arms
she saw a red rose on the bistro table by the window.
Joan walked over to the table and picked up
the red rose and saw there was a note.
A rose and a note.
Who left these?
Joan read the note:
My Dearest Princess Joan,
I had a marvelous time showing
my favorite French village, Chinon, yesterday.
Please feel free to visit me, again,
in my castle, after your trip
to Italy .
Your Royal Prince, Albert
Author’s note: This story is based on my own trip to the Loire Valley in France, many years ago. I bicycled through Valley by myself and stay in a small inn in Chinon. As I cycled through the area, I daydreamed about this fantasy that I wrote for my FREEDOM Story. I have a special place in my heart for France, it’s people, the food and my experiences while visiting.
About the Author: Barbara KisKis is an author and storyteller, who lives, by the beach, in San Diego. She loves to travel and tells her stories to “anyone who listens”. She writes children’s stories for her granddaughter, Sahara and Sahara’s cousins. Barbara is a proud owner of her rescue dog, Kobe, a Pomeranian.