PRINCESS AUBREY AND THE SPARKLY TREE
BY DEANNA FALCHOOK
“Stone her stone her stone her….cut her down, rip her apart.”
Princess Aubrey was riding fast on her stallion Vale and had a very important appointment to make. The road was long and the castle was far off in the distance. She was rushing to get to the castle to reunite with her father the King and prepare for her very own coronation. Now, Aubrey was of age to stand beside the King in leadership as she prepared to one day be Queen. She was excited to come back home and live once again near her Father. The King was growing older and since mother had died, he had decided it was time to prepare Aubrey for her future as the designated royal heir.
Aubrey was excited to see her Father and had been away from the castle for 4 consecutive years studying and learning the ways of the Kingdom. She deeply missed him and was excited to live in the Kingdom once more. She had dreamed about her future. She would soon be Queen and looked forward to growing as a woman of noble character who would hold a powerful and sacred position.
Aubrey had graduated from hours of study in the local Cathedral and had studied subjects on everything from warfare, scripture, literature, diplomacy, forestry, gardening, royal etiquette and more. She was poised and ready. She had battled many obstacles to get to this moment. She was a focused princess and determined to rule the Kingdom that she had loved. She was a proud daughter of the King who was ready to sit on her throne as leader.
“Stone her stone her stone her! Cut her down, cut her down, rip her apart!” (cackled the angry crows.)
Princess Aubrey didn’t understand what the commotion was all about. She kept riding fast on her white stallion Vale, on the path to her future. Her footmen and attendants were leading the way but started to slow down. She nearly was thrown from Vale as he had to stop suddenly in the path. Aubrey stepped off of the horse to join the rest of her entourage to look and see what had stopped the massive procession back to the castle.
There was a very young female tree growing in the middle of the path to the King’s castle. It blocked the path completely making it impassable for the carriages. The tree was young. But her unique appearance, width and branches also was a sight to behold. The crows cackled, yelled and were relentless,
“Stone her. Cut her down. Rip her apart. She is planted on the wrong soil. She should be on the side of the road not in the way of the Princess in the middle of the road. Stone her! Cut her down! Rip her apart.”
Aubrey’s first thought when getting off of her horse was that she would cut that tree down to make way for her journey. She knew all about the rumors of wayward and unexpected seedlings threatening to grow into large trees in the middle of the roads in the wrong soil. This seedling grew enough to almost make the road unrecognizable. This small but awkward tree was growing large enough to get in the path of the princess who had big plans of her own. Everyone would understand if the princess cut down this tree. In fact chopping the tree down with an ax was expected and passionately anticipated by the flocks of crows who enjoyed the spectacle of the gruesome destruction of trees that grew outside of their fields. The princess however, had a mind of her own and knew how to drown out the opinions of the black flocks who often scream about wayward seeds growing unexpectedly “stone her, cut her down, rip her apart!”
Still, this type of tree was unique and was like no other tree in the forest. Although Aubrey was inconvenienced, she simultaneously was in awe at what she witnessed. The tree was beautiful and sparkling.
The Princess moved closer to the tree and ordered everyone to move away from her so she could evaluate the obstacle. Aubrey carried her sword and had an ax in the belt loop on the side of her travel gown. The crows flew off of the branches and were elated at the thought of seeing the massacre. This made their chants more frequent and louder… “Rip her apart!”
The Princess came near the tree and was amazed at what she saw. In the middle of the tree trunk was a face that looked just like Aubrey when she was a little girl. And the branches were rooted in a way that it caught Aubrey off guard. The tree sparkled and glistened even in its sadness. Still, the tree was in a very inappropriate spot. To make things worse, the tree seemed to be growing before their eyes. The little tree started sobbing with it’s trunk breathing heavily. She latched onto the princess with her branches begging and pleading for Aubrey to let her live.
“I am your tree! I am a gift to you!” she cried in desperation.
The stunned princess said, “This is my forest. We have strategically planted seeds on my soil to grow in rows during harvest. You must abide by the plans and blueprints made by the King’s foresters and myself. You are not permitted to grow in my soil and on my road without my permission. I am destined to rule from the castle on top of the mountain. I will be Queen and you are in my way.”
The young tree cried and was clearly terrified, “But…I am your tree. I am a gift to you. I have been growing here waiting for you to see me. You are the only one who can help me to grow up in this beautiful place to rise above the other trees and stretch my branches to reach up high to Praise the King.”
“Stone her. Cut her down. Rip her apart.”
Aubrey said, “You don’t understand. You are growing in an inconvenient spot. You should be growing on that patch of grass over there and only coming of age in a season long from now. You are growing in the middle of my road. This is the castle road. This is my road leading to my father’s castle and you were not in a position that we expected.”
“Please! I am your tree. I am a gift to you. I am a gift to you. I will grow to be tall and I will accomplish great things for you and the King. I will give you shelter and will stand firm and powerful even when the winds blow to destroy us. Even the lightning will not touch me if you let me grow. I will bring you shade when you are hot and I will bring fruit for you and defend you when the wicked ones want to destroy you. Although you only see me as an inconvenience now, one day I will bring you great joy and pride. You will see me as beautiful. I will make you very happy. I am your tree. I am a gift to you.”
The tree cried and held her branches around Princess Aubrey longing for the princess to see the beauty of this unexpected and ill positioned gift.
The princess said, “I am destined to rule this Kingdom. I am the future Queen. You are planted in my road in a position that is slowing down my journey. I will not be denied. I have worked too hard and if I don’t cut you down I will have to build a new road or walk. It will take me weeks to reach my destination and the King will wonder where I am. The entire kingdom is waiting for me to arrive in preparation for the appointed time. You are obscuring my plans.”
The tree cried and said. “I am your tree. I am a gift to you. “
The princess walked back to her horse confused, annoyed and distraught. The crows started picking at the branches of the young sparkling tree and taunting her as she glistened even more from her tears.
“We will rip you apart. We will cut you down. You are an inconvenient tree planted on the princess’ soil without permission. We will destroy you.”
The tree sobbed and sobbed until there was a puddle at the foot of the trunk by her roots. ‘But I am a gift. I am a tree planted for the princess.”
The footmen approached Aubrey, “We can cut down this tree for you. She will be gone in 15 minutes so we can continue on. She is a wayward seedling that is out of place and the foresters will be greatly punished for interrupting your plans. But princess we need to take action. She is growing quickly, The forest is very dense and soon she will block any option even for us to walk.”
Aubrey thought for a minute while turning to look at the tree in the road. She heard the crows continuing to cackle “Stone her….Cut her down…Rip her apart!” Aubrey told the footmen to wait until she gave the word.
She needed to think.
Aubrey watched as the tree continued to water itself with it’s own sparkling tears while appearing to have diamonds budding from its branches. The setting sun somehow shone on the puddle under the tree and reflected so many colorful lights that everyone seemed to step back and gasp for a minute. The words the tree had spoken had impacted Aubrey and she remembered that the tree was indeed hers. Technically, she was responsible for planting the seed albeit in the wrong spot. She had given the foresters instructions on where to plant and therefore, it was her mistake. And the tree was in a path that belonged to her as the King’s daughter. One thing was true. This was her tree. But she still didn’t see it as a gift. Aubrey needed to think.
Aubrey, the footmen and attendants had traveled for days and were tired. All of them were getting weary and hungry. The sun was starting to set and the journey had been long. Aubrey made the decision to make camp there and rise early to possibly destroy the tree.
The night was restful. There was a beautiful choir of singing trees in the forest. It was almost like a concert of comforting and melodious lullabies. The stars were bright and the weather was just perfect. Aubrey was the first to wake up and found herself nestled in a beautiful bed cradled in the branches of the tree. To Aubrey’s surprise she had been lifted way above the ground and slept comfortably with a soft blanket of leaves that felt like velvet around her. She had been sleeping deeply and felt as if she was being held in the arms of an angel. Aubrey found herself crying remembering her mother for the first time since her mother had died. The sensation of safety and love was almost overwhelming. But when she finally really woke up and realized that the tree had picked her up without her permission, she demanded to be set down. Her emotions were swirling and now she didn’t even have a better idea of what her decision was in the morning. She was still confused.
She found a basket of berries and fruit at the base of the tree that she ate for breakfast.
Aubrey turned to look at the tree reminding herself, ‘This is my tree.’
The footmen, attendants and the princesses entourage were standing on notice and the crows who had disappeared and been silent in the night had returned waiting for Aubrey to cut down the tree so they could move forward.
Aubrey in seeing the sweet and childlike face of the tree with tears running down its trunk made an unexpected decision to stay with the tree to protect it and help it to grow. She ordered the footmen and attendants to make their way on foot to the Kingdom while she stayed with the tree. It would take several weeks for them to arrive on foot but she couldn’t leave this tree and didn’t want to cut it down. She told the footmen to tell the King what had happened. She wrote a letter to her father to be delivered believing he would be disappointed and never forgive her.
I have missed you greatly. I have studied in full expectation of fulfilling my royal duties. But I am afraid I have disappointed you. I made a massive mistake in establishing the forest that surrounds your kingdom. A wayward seed has made its way into the King’s road. All the other seeds are planted perfectly and will bloom at the appropriate time to honor you. But this seed (due to my mistake) has obscured all plans that I have made. And yet, I believe this tree is my responsibility. I totally am aware that most princesses would cut this tree down to make way for swift and efficient travel. I cannot cut down what I have planted, even if it is growing unexpectedly and out of season. This tree is beautiful and promises to grow to praise and honor you. I know you are awaiting my presence to fulfill my position. But I will not cut this tree down. So therefore, I do not know if you care to see your daughter again. But please know I will always love you. If it is your will for me to rule along side of you, I will be greatly honored. I humble myself to your will and yet submit to your grace and compassion as I dedicate this season to protecting and raising this tree to full maturity. I consider it a sacred duty to see the task through. She will grow in her fullness to honor you.
And father …she is beautiful and sparkles.
Your humble servant and daughter,
Daughter of the King”
The footmen and royal entourage went on their way.
Aubrey not only allowed the tree to live but stayed to make sure she grew without being annihilated by the crows.
For several months Aubrey watched the tree grow.
She was in awe of how large the tree was becoming. Aubrey taught the tree secret royal sonnets of praise to the King and the tree protected Aubrey, fed her and obeyed her. The tree started to bud what looked like diamonds from her branches and her trunk grew strong and as solid as a fortress. Aubrey grew to love this tree deeply. She sang and danced with the tree. The entire forest delighted in the unique beauty of this tree that grew in the path of the princess on the King’s Road.
Aubrey also missed her father desperately. She deeply grieved the loss of her dream in being the Queen. But she was confident that she made the right choice to stay with the tree to watch it bloom and keep it from being destroyed by other travelers and the crows who may want to cut it down.
When spring came the diamond buds bloomed and were so beautiful. The crows could still be heard in the distance laughing at Princess Aubrey. They could be heard often shouting out to other princesses in the kingdom “Stone her, stone her. Cut her down. Rip her apart.” Most other princesses cut their trees down, but Aubrey considered herself blessed to witness the beautiful light-show in the sky when the diamond buds, leaves and branches reflected the sun. She considered herself blessed to hear a chorus of lullabies from the flowers and trees every night. Aubrey had found a special spot in this kingdom that was anointed with super-natural sights and sounds. She was in awe that this was her tree and her forest.
As winter came, the tree seemed to be glistening less and the sparkles and shiny leaves started to fall to the ground. The tree was transforming into something different and Aubrey was worried. She tried to get the tree to sing but could no longer find the face to the tree. The tree grew silent. The branches were shaping into something else, so she had to sleep in the woods instead. There were holes growing where there once was a trunk and water started to accumulate at the base of the trunk making it impossible for Aubrey to get as close as she wanted. Aubrey was growing so sad and wondering if she had made a terrible mistake. Had she stayed to raise a tree only to watch it die? She had not only grown to love her tree but she felt home in the entire forest and land. With the help of her horses, she had been able to clear an area around the tree and had hoped that the king would show her mercy and allow help to come back to her even if the king didn’t accept her as queen anymore. But so much time had passed. Aubrey had lost hope. And now her little paradise was changing. Should she stay or was it time now for her to walk away and let the tree die? Aubrey started to speak through her tears?
“You are my tree. You are a gift to me. I will not let you die. I will stand beside you. I will fight for you to live. I will boldly love you until your branches sparkle again and until you glisten for the entire forest and for the land to adore your magnificent beauty. You are my tree. You are my tree. I will stay here fighting for you until my very breath leaves me. I will never give up on you for as long as I live! You are my tree!”
Then Aubrey fell onto her knees to pray as she continued to sob through the night into part of the next day.
When Aubrey woke in the morning, she heard a sound in the distance. It sounded like trumpets. Loud trumpets. She stood up and turned to look into the clearing she had made. With the tree to her back she looked up the short path that she was able to clear and saw a long road super-naturally and swiftly appear making the distance to the King’s castle seem close. The trumpets blew and she looked to the sky as the crows fearfully flew away and a huge angelic army looking like giant white birds circled in the sky… The trumpets were sounding louder and she recognized the melody of the fanfare to be the arrival of the King. She looked and looked and ran down the road that wasn’t there a few minutes ago and was elated to see the King on his horse. She looked a mess. She had been covered with dirt, leaves and grass in her old traveling clothes. But two beautiful angels in blue miraculously dressed her in the most beautiful gown she had ever seen. She felt cleaner and more beautiful than she ever had. And when the king came off of his horse, Aubrey ran to him and then stopped to bow at his feet.
“Father, father…. Please forgive me. “ She started to ramble and tell the whole story but he stopped her.
The king took his daughter’s hand. Aubrey then stood up and embraced her father. He said, “I have come. We have come. And the trumpets have sounded not only the fanfare of the king but the fanfare of our future queen. Her name is Aubrey. You have passed the test.” People poured out from around the King’s castle and forest cheering ecstatically.
The King continued: “You have loved this land. You have been steadfast to your responsibility. You have worked hard. You have been willing to sacrifice even your crown to save and nurture one wayward tree in the forest. You have used your wisdom in fighting for this tree. Aubrey, this is your tree. Aubrey this tree was planted exactly in the right place in your path on the road to my castle. This is a tree that I gave to you. I placed the tree in the soil. I planted this tree in your path on my road. I have witnessed you courageously standing by her even when her diamonds and sparkles started to fade. You my daughter are worthy of a kingdom. This is your tree…turn around to look at her.”
As Aubrey turned around, she couldn’t believe her eyes. In place of where the tree was, stood the most beautiful castle adorned with jewels. The giant sparkly castle seemed to touch the clouds. Her tree wasn’t a tree at all, it was a castle that had been set-aside for Aubrey to nurture and love. The castle sparkled with jewels of diamonds, rubies, emeralds and was magnificent.
Aubrey cried. The trumpets blew the most regal and melodious sound. At that point all of the trees in the forest bowed as the gate to the castle opened in front of the moat. A little girl with a face Aubrey knew well from her many days loving the tree walked out holding a red velvet pillow. She was dressed in all white like an angel. As the little girl walked she glistened as bright as the castle behind her and stopped to bow before Aubrey. The pillow held a crown and a small satin satchel in the middle.
Aubrey kneeled down sobbing at the sight of this beautiful little girl. The girl said, “My Queen Aubrey, you have loved me well.”
The King took the Crown and placed it on Aubrey’s head. And he said, “My daughter. This is your castle that once was a tree. This castle that once was a tree is your gift from me. Your gift is this crown, this princess – a daughter of your own that you gave life to from your love and this amazing Kingdom that stands in praise to me, not far from the King’s castle with a road that will always be cleared just for you.”
The little sparkly princess smiled and said, “And I have a gift for you too.” The sparkly princess handed Aubrey the little satchel. Aubrey opened it and found a handful of priceless jewels of diamond, ruby and emerald seeds. The sparkly princess said, “We have saved these beautiful seeds for you to plant where and when you see fit. We know you will build a beautiful sparkly forest where every seed is strategically placed and if one falls out from the field we know that you will love it too. We know you have learned that sometimes a dusty, rocky and impassable road may actually be hiding a special gift that will allow your life to sparkle forever. We know you have learned that castles and kingdoms are birthed by great love and dedication. You have earned what we are now, a kingdom with a castle that sparkles brighter than the stars in the sky.”
The sparkly princess also motioned for Aubrey to kneel. The sparkly princess reached out and opened her hand wide to show Aubrey 9 diamond seeds in her hand. She said, “I have saved these for your crown. They are from my very branches. These are the branches that were almost cut down, ripped apart and stoned. Had you not saved me, there would be no castle, no new queen and no hope for a sparkly future in the land. I place these into your crown with love, gratitude, joy, peace, happiness, respect, unity, wisdom and favor. I place these in your crown as I am blessed to be alive today, to be a daughter too of this kingdom. Long live the Queen!”
The trumpets blared and the people shouted out “long live the Queen’ as the King, Queen Aubrey and the beautiful sparkly princess walked into the most beautiful sparkly castle that once was a tree…. and lived happily ever after.
Deanna Falchook writes about Pro-Life, Adoption and Christian Topics. She is highly focused on fairy tales and their impact on politics, faith and culture. She is the author of a book called TO BE A MOTHER and the soon to be released book called THE CINDERELLA MINDSET. Deanna’s work has been featured in THE FEDERALIST, Charisma, Breitbart, 700Club, EWTN, Faithwire to name a few. Deanna is the mom of 7 children (5 internationally adopted) and lives near Disneyworld in Orlando. You can contact Deanna on FACEBOOK or twitter @deannafalchook.