A loving heart always knows
The little boy yawned and rubbed his eyes. It was morning already. He pushed back the warm quilt and got out of bed. He washed his face, combed his unruly mop and brushed his teeth. His brain was working furiously. He knew he had to tell a story if he has to stay another night in this inn. That was his payment instead of money.
There were eight eager faces seated in a circle near the fireplace. Their eyes were
shining in anticipation. They were the motherless children of the innkeeper who lacked their own treasure trove of tales. The word streams had passed them by as they had no mother. Thus the innkeeper valued stories more than money. There was pin drop silence. The little boy began…
In the forest lived the happy family Cloude. They were seven brothers and one sister. They had made the forest their home after the death of their parents in the tiny German hamlet at the edge of the forest. They built a beautiful gingerbread house made of wood and lovingly carved each piece with memories of their parents and their old picturesque home town in the Alps. Thus they basked in the love of their friends and family as captured in the etchings carved in the wood. The seven brothers were named after the seven colors of the rainbow violet, indigo, blue, green, yellow orange, red as per their nature. The fearful one was yellow, the envious one green, the princely one (violet)purple, the blue one was always pining and indigo loved the ocean and the orange one had a quick temper and the red one was the bravest. Together they formed a brotherly rainbow of love and swung their baby sister in this and cherished her like a precious pearl. They adored her and she adored them in turn. Her name was Rose.
“I am going to make the best bread pudding ever and surprise my colorful ones! Ha! Rose exclaimed to herself pushing back the golden curl that kept caressing her lovely brow.
She was indeed lovely with cherry red lips, rosy cheeks, curly gold spun hair and a pert nose. She had perfect tiny ears from which hung two shiny diamonds which glistened in the sunlight. She made a lovely picture in her crisp white apron, ruffled dress and pink hat. Suddenly she felt warm on the nape of her neck. She turned and saw the most handsome man she had ever seen in her young life. She blushed and fell headlong in love.
“Oh my god” exclaimed Aldo as he sharply reined in his horse. “I have never seen such beauty! I am in love!” Smartly getting off the horse Aldo goes on his knee and gallantly bows to Rose. “Fraulein, please be kind and do tell me your name and allow me to court you as I have fallen madly in love.” Rose says softly, “I am Rose and I too have fallen for you!” and lets Aldo kiss her hand. Soon they are deeply in love and wish to marry.
Brothers Cloude are both happy and miserable. They are happy as their beloved Rose is on cloud nine in joy but they are sad as they cannot bear to live without her. Aldo is a prince and will bear her away to his palace and they will never be able to see her again. They agree to do something. They decide to consult the oracle.
Early morning they set forth deep into the forest. The oracle is as ancient as time itself. He has a long flowing beard and cape and fingers like talons with long nails. He has a crystal ball which reveals many secrets and goings on in the world. Suddenly he tilts his head and hears the sound of galloping horses. Someone is coming to visit. He closes his eyes and knows who they are and what they want.
One by one the brothers troop inside. The oracle puts a long finger on his lips to quieten them and gestures them to come close. He consults the crystal ball and then nods and says.” Bring me a lock of Aldo’s hair and I will make an amulet which your sister will wear. This will make Aldo forget his past and you can all live happily ever after.” Then with a shaking finger he thunders, “If your sister loses this amulet, you will lose her forever.” Brother Purple rushes home stealthily and clips a lock of Aldo’s hair and brings it to the oracle. Then they return home happily with the amulet.
Rose is very happy as she is getting married today. She claps and dances a jig.
She starts singing on the top of her voice. It is sweet like the tinkle of a wind chime. Her yodeling is echoed in the mountains surrounding the forest. The fir trees clap in unison.
The forest, mountains and valleys all rejoice with Rose. The brothers knock and enter and lovingly tie the amulet on her right arm and tell her that this will keep her safe. Rose promises to wear it always.
Time flies on wings and Aldo and Rose have a bonny son. They name him Hans Aldo. There is rejoicing in the forest. The brothers throw a big party and all the forest people come to bless and rejoice with them. It is seven years since Rose and Aldo got married. The elves, goblins all gather dressed in Sunday best. The forest animals are made welcome too. They all live like a happy family. The tree boughs are in a happy trance and the flowers sway rhythmically to the beat of the drums. The full moon smiles benevolently and a silver fairy alights from its moonbeam. The evening star sends his twinkling fairy also. The whole air is bursting with fun and frolic.
Rose and Aldo are dancing one last German Polka when the amulet falls off and is lost in the dirt kicked up by all the dancing. Aldo stops suddenly and shakes his head. He is as though in a trance. He forgets the present and only remembers the past. Abruptly he leaves the forest on his horse at a gallop. Rose swoons in a dead faint. The party is over.
The brothers are greatly disturbed and sad. They feel guilty that due to their own selfish love they had kept Aldo from his loved ones and now even their beloved Rose was sad.
They seek the oracle once again.
The oracle consults the crystal ball and tells them that during these seven years, Aldo’s father the king had passed away in grief and his subjects had been searching for their prince high and low. Now that Aldo has returned, he has been crowned the King and the Queen mother wants him to marry a princess. But Aldo is sad and is always touching his chain which has a cameo of Rose. He wants to find his beloved. But he has no memory of the past seven years. The oracle gives them a magic potion that when sprinkled will help Aldo regain his memory fully and his past and present will merge
Next morning the Cloude family leave on a string of horses with Rose seated on her favorite horse with baby Hans. They travel high and low but cannot find Aldo. Rose is pining away and they are very sad. Dispirited they travel deeper into the forest when suddenly the ground gives way and they find themselves in a strange cave.
The cave is very dark and mysterious. A flapping sound makes their horses jump. They are jumpy themselves. Then they see two glowing sharp eyes zeroing in on them. They belong to a man dressed in a long brown cape, a bowler hat with a pipe in his mouth. His nose is hawk-like and his square chin makes him look like a man of determination. He introduced himself as “Sherlock Holmes’. He is the world famous detective from Baker Street, London, England. From behind emerges a chunky gentleman who extends his hand saying “I am Dr. Watson” Then Holmes asks them if he they needed his help. Eldest brother then tells the whole sorry tale and begs for help in finding Aldo as Rose was slowing dying in grief. Holmes says “Aha! It is elementary my dear Purple Cloude. Just blindfold Rose and her loving heart will direct you to its other half that is waiting to join it. You see the heart always knows” Then the cave vanishes in thin air and the brothers find themselves back in the forest.
Next morning they decide to follow Sherlock Holmes’s advice and blindfold Rose. In a very short time they reach Aldo’s kingdom. They tether their horses nearby and make their way towards the palace. Meanwhile Aldo is already headed in their direction propelled by his grieving heart. Soon he comes close to them but as his memory is lost he does not recognize them. Quickly the brothers sprinkle the magic potion and Aldo comes to his senses. His past and present join up just like Rose and his heart come together in love. He carries his son now Crown Prince Hans in his arms and joyously gallops towards the Queen mother. Happiness reigns thereafter.
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