Princess Sara (A Fairy Story for Adults)

By Harry



Once, many years ago, there lived a King and Queen who ruled benevolently and wisely over their tiny kingdom. This fine couple had been married for some years and, despite valiant efforts, were still childless. The happiness that they both enjoyed, from each other's civilised company, scintillating intellectual conversation, and the love in which they were held by the simple peasant folk who made up most of their subjects, was not sufficient to overcome their regret at failing to produce a child - an heir - someone who would continue to rule over their land, once they had both passed away.

One day, the King was in the depths of despair. He was also in his office.

"When will the good Lord grant me my desire and present me with an heir to my throne?" he despairingly asked nobody in particular.

A few yards away, on the far side of his large office, a mist seemed to form. King Wilhelm removed his fashionable spectacles and wiped them. He replaced them onto his regal proboscis and looked over the room again. The mist remained. Not only that, but it was increasing in density until it passed into a state beyond mere mistiness to assume quasi-solidity. Seconds passed. The mist grew ever darker and appeared, to the good King, to acquire fleshlike form. More seconds passed. Features began to appear and the shadowy apparition became ever more tactile. Finally, the miasma resolved itself into a human and female shape, and one of the most superlative beauty.

"Who are you? And how did you get past Security?" asked the astounded Monarch.

"Don't you mean the Palace Guard?" replied the Good Fairy (for it was none other than she).

"Course not! I mean Securicor! Those chocolate soldier so-called Guards! They're just for show - couldn't knock the skin off a rice pudding! Bloody bunch of fairies! So sorry, ma'am - no disrespect!"

He reddened at the thought that he might have offended this supernatural being. The Good Fairy looked severely at the King.

"Because you have made a remark, however jocular in intent, betokening the most apalling insensitivity to minority rights and alternative lifestyles, I must give you a message somewhat different from that which I had originally intended."

She continued.

"Because of my intervention, you will have an heir, but it will be a daughter. For your Kingdom to continue and not become the plaything of other Great Powers, it will be necessary for this daughter to find a husband who will become the next King. Your child will have to pass through many travails in order to secure and deserve the love of her chosen man. There is much grief ahead for you, and even more for her, Your Majesty! That will teach you to make politically incorrect remarks - you Fascist!"

With these words, the vision faded. The Left/Liberal Good Fairy retired to the wings to adjust her make-up and consult her Filofax to see what, and with whom, was her next appointment.

The King pondered the Good Fairy's remarks for some time. Must be a pretty third rate fairy, he thought, not to see the kind of guy I really am! For, truth to tell, one reason for the King's failure to impregnate his wife was his own decided preference for members of his own sex! The bluff joke that he had made to the Good Fairy had merely been an example of the obfuscation he frequently employed to disguise his own sexual proclivities.

That night, with the Good Fairy's unseen help, the Royal couple managed get it together. The Queen's physical charms finally managed to stimulate her spouse, inspiring him to ejaculate such a sufficiency of royal seed into her welcoming womanhood, as to set in motion the wondrous mystery of procreation. Nine months later -to the day - the Princess Sara was born.

She was, vowed all the King's sycophantic courtiers, the most beautiful baby that had ever been born in the entire history of the Kingdom. In time, this female prodigy grew, matured and developed into a perfectly proportioned and breathtakingly, heartbreakingly, beautiful maiden. The world had never seen a fairer damsel. (Please remember that Hilary Clinton had not yet been born).

As Princess Sara grew up, her parents preferred her to enjoy the company of girls of her own rank and station, but, in a land where a rude and unlettered peasantry predominated, the strict application of this rule would have meant that she had a very lonely upbringing.

So it was that Martha was chosen as her childhood companion. Martha was a peasant child whom the King and Queen had designated to be their beloved daughter's servant/companion. They grew up together since the time that both were three years old. From the very beginning, Sara treated this peasant girl as her own especial companion and beloved friend and confidante. So long as they were both children, all was well, but when both girls started to develop into young women, Sara's manner became less friendly.

Her parents, ever conscious of the need to treat their subjects justly, heartily regretted their adolescent daughter's increasingly haughty and imperious treatment of the poor Martha, but such was their love for her that they failed to do anything about it, other than mildly and ineffectually, to rebuke her from time to time.

The King, in particular, was so devoted to his increasingly lovely offspring that her every little whim became his command and, in the words of an old saying, she was able to wrap him around her little finger. This unchecked pride and haughtiness made Princess Sara feared and almost hated by the servants. I say almost hated, because there was always about her the odd redeeming flash of kindness, and she was so amazingly wonderful to behold, that no one who saw her could ever fail to be utterly bewitched by her great beauty.

Many young men fell utterly and hopelessly in love with the fair Princess, but most of these men were of inferior rank and so ruled out as proper suitors. Those who were of sufficiently high estate were rejected by the Princess, who had shown herself to be an accomplished scholar from her earliest years, as being either too stupid, too ugly, or both. As her eighteenth birthday drew nigh, there was no sign that her parents' dream of finding a husband for her and a future ruler for the kingdom would be realised in the near future - if ever.


CHAPTER TWO ( First Stripping Scene - that's what it's all about!)

One morning in late March, Martha came into the Princess's bedroom and playfully pulled off the bedcolthes, as had been the way with the girls over the years. One morning it would be Sara pulling off Martha's and the next the positions would be reversed. This would usually be the signal for some wild horseplay and a pillow fight, culminating in the giggling pair rolling affectionately around on the floor together, before they dressed and went down to breakfast. Of late, however, Sara had been growing more conscious of the great disparity of rank between her and her peasant companion. She was becoming prouder and ever more conscious of her own exalted station in life. What was more, this particular morning she was in a very disagreeable mood indeed, thanks to a very disturbing dream she had just had.

The enraged Princess leapt out of bed and struck the poor girl hard on the face. Martha shrank back fearfully - when would she learn that the happy carefree days of their shared childhood were past, she asked herself?

"Get out of my room this instant. Never come in here again unless ordered to. How dare you be so insolent?" she stormed at the poor girl. Poor Martha retired in tears.

After she had dressed herself (she hated to have anyone else see her nudity, even Martha), she went out to the antechamber where the sobbing girl was sitting, her face in her hands.

"Get on your feet at once! How dare you be seated without my permission, you lazy good for nothing! I'm going to punish you for your insolent behaviour and teach you a lesson you'll never forget! Stay here until I return. No breakfast for you today - and that's just the beginning of your troubles, my girl!"

As soon as the angry Princess had left her, poor young Martha abandoned herself to her grief, still obediently remaining standing. She did not mind the taking away of a meal, or whatever else her mistress might have in mind for her. It was the awful loss of a beloved childhood friend that was causing the tears to flow. She prayed for the proud Sara's heart to be softened and for the good days to return so that they could both be happy together again.

When Sara returned, she was smiling. Unfortunately for Martha, it was not a nice smile that adorned the proud young Princess's face. She had decided how she would discipline her servant and teach her not to get ideas above her station ever again.

"Get undressed at once - you peasant! I will take all your clothes and lock them away until I decide to let you have them back. You can perform all your duties naked until further notice. Go and tell my father I shall be going riding later! Then prepare two horses - you are coming with me, as usual."

"What will the King think if he sees me like this?" asked a trembling Martha as she stood naked before her erstwhile friend.

"Tell him you are being punished. Now get out of my sight and be outside the stables in twenty minutes with the two horses ready."

The distressed and embarrassed girl did as she was told, feeling everybody's eyes on her pale and naked body as she made her way through the corridors of the palace to the King's apartments. She entered shyly, blushing from head to toe. She wished she could become invisible and had never felt such utter shame in her life before. How could my dear Sara, whom I love so deeply and would die to protect from harm, do this to me? she asked herself as she tried to fight back the tears.

The King looked up as the naked girl came into his room. He looked devastated and went red with anger.

"What is the meaning of this, Martha? Have you gone mad?"

"I am being punished by the Princess for being insolent and for forgetting my lowly station in life, Your Majesty."

The King recovered his poise.

"And do you deserve this treatment, Martha?"

"Yes, Your Majesty."

The wise old man knew this to be untrue. The girl was just trying to cover up for his daughter - he could see that quite plainly. He sighed and wondered how he could prevail on his proud and imperious young Sara to mend her ways. Something MUST be done, he told himself. She was becoming worse by the day. And then he thought of those blue eyes and golden hair and her soft warm lips as she kissed him, and his determination wavered.

"The Princess is going riding this morning, Your Majesty, and I am to accompany her as usual. May I please be allowed to leave and prepare the horses?"

"Very well, Martha. I expect she will allow you to dress for the ride. I certainly hope so!"

She explained that she was to go straight out to the stables and be waiting ready for her mistress. No clothes for me today, she thought. The King allowed her to leave and she made her way outside. As soon as she left the warmth of the palace, the early morning chill began to penetrate her body and she shivered.

She instructed the leering groom, who had long had a fancy for her, which horses to prepare and then stood holding the bridles as she waited for Sara to come out for their morning ride, usually such a pleasant experience for them both.

The vindictive Princess, still deeply disturbed in her mind by her terrible dream, looked out of one of the palace windows at the shivering Martha - it was early in the day, and Spring had only just arrived. She allowed her companion to stand in the cold for over half an hour before finally going out into the yard and mounting her proud jet black steed. Martha gratefully mounted her own horse and the pair made their way slowly towards the Forest. Sara made no attempt to force her horse into a trot for some time, preferring to cast the occasional glance at her shivering friend, who was obviously praying for the chance to move faster and generate some heat for her body.

Finally the experience of being on horseback had its usual calming effect. Sara began to feel terribly sorry for her unkindness. She urged her horse into a gallop and both girls went careering into the woods, taking one of their favourite tracks until they emerged on the other side and approached the nearest town. By this time, Martha was ceasing to be chilled and her skin was no longer blue but glowing a healthy pink, which was a relief to the, by now remorseful, Princess Sara.

They brought their mounts to a halt and sat side by side, looking over the little capital city, spread out below them.

"I'm terribly sorry to have been so cruel to you, my darling Martha!" said the Princess.

"That's OK, Sara. I'm glad to be able to let you take out your troubles on me, if that's what you want."

The Princess reached across and put her delicate white hand on Martha's firm and still cool young shoulder.

"I'll never be nasty to you again - I promise. I'll make it impossible for me to - somehow! Let's go home and find you the very loveliest clothes to wear. And you must get your breakfast, you poor girl. You must be starving after all this time!"

Later that day, Sara made a solemn affirmation in front of witnesses, including the King and the highest in the land, that Martha was to be treated from now on as her equal. She was never again to be bound by any of Princess Sara's commands unless she so wished. In order to reinforce this affirmation, the King raised the Princess's companion to the status of Countess.

The next morning, Sara was again in a bad mood after a repetition of the same dream. She again struck the girl in the face. This time Martha, aware of her new status, hit the Princess a mighty blow back and sent her sprawling across the room, semi-conscious. Sara rubbed her jaw thoughtully as she finally picked herself up. The newly ennobled girl had a venomously accurate and very powerful punch. Princess Sara was never to strike her childhood companion again or lose her temper with her. She still had the same bad dream, but kept her distress to herself, until the time came when she had to confide in somebody - her beloved Martha.

(Much more stripping to follow)Adust Fairy Story Part 2
Sun Jan 5 03:45:45 2003

After the events recounted above, the two companions resumed their previous happy existence together. The Spring continued and the weather became warmer. They took ever longer rides together every morning and would go out provisioned with enough food and drink to have an alfresco meal together, often not returning to the palace until evening. These were idyllic times for both girls. The only fly in the ointment was Princess Sara's recurring bad dream.

One such sunny Spring day found the two friends lying side by side on the grassy summit of a hill several miles away from home. Sara was wearing a white gown made of the lightest material, since it was so warm. Martha had eagerly discarded her clothing altogether as soon as they were out of sight of the Palace and was reclining naked beside her companion.

The humiliation visited upon her by her angry former mistress and present friend had caused stirrings within her. Although she had felt nothing but shame and embarrassment while walking through the Palace apartments towards the King's room, once she had stepped out of doors, it had been a different matter. The touch of the rough and cold ground under the soles of her bare feet had sent a surge of excitement all through her body. Even the icy hand of the early morning cold on her skin had been not unwelcome to her. It had made her feel alive and vibrant in ways she would never have dreamed possible beforehand.

As she had stood for so long holding the bridles, the feeling of liberation had not abated, despite her shivering. And the look that the groom had given her had convinced her that she did not need fine clothes to secure the admiration of men. This was a discovery that still caused her to exult in the power that her fine young body possessed to reduce strong men to abject slaves. Of course, the poor groom was far beneath her now that she was the Countess Martha and many handsome scions of well-to-do families were firmly in her sights! After all, the Princess would marry some day and where would she be then?

The Princess awoke from a brief nap and turned onto her side to talk to Martha.

"You get browner and browner every day. I keep thinking you can't get any darker, yet you still do. It really suits you! You must be the most lovely girl in the whole world! I love those brown eyes and creamy skin - and I noticed Baron Schroder was impressed at the ball the other night! I think we may have a wedding to plan before so long! What a shame he doesn't get to see as much of you as I do."

Martha smiled at this last remark. She knew the devastation that the sight of her as she now was would cause to the baron's susceptibilities! Maybe it could be arranged!

"Why don't you take off your clothes, Sara? It's so hot today - you must be sweltering, even in that light dress. I've never seen you naked since we were little. I'd like to see how you look now you are a woman!"

The Princess shook her head. She had a horror of letting anybody rest their eyes on her nudity, even her best friend. Ever since the onset of puberty she had been terrified of exposure. She frowned angrily and turned away from her friend for a while. Finally she turned back and put her hand on Martha's shoulder, in a gesture with which that girl had long been familiar. This touch always betokened a coming confidence on Sara's part.

"You have something to tell me, dear Sara?"

"Yes. I keep having a terrible dream and its effects linger for hours. That is why I was so awful to you last month - I was so disturbed. I am sorry, again - by the way. It still torments my conscience to think how cruel I was!"

"What happens in this dream?" asked Martha, relieved that at last the Princess was confiding in her. She had seen how distressed the girl was becoming and longed to help.

"I dream that I am exiled from here and homeless, wandering the world without shelter, cold and naked. I wake up feeling desolate and frightened. I suppose that is why I made you undress that day - that is how I had been in my dream and I hated it so much!"

Martha laughed at this.

"How could you ever be alone, my darling. I will always be at your side, no matter what misfortunes you may go through. Remember that! Let's be going back to the Castle - there is that Reception we must be at in all our finery. Maybe this is the time when your Prince will arrive and sweep you off your feet!"

Martha dressed herself with great reluctance and the pair returned to the Royal Castle to prepare themselves for the festivities. It was to be a lavish entertainment and the King had invited a wealthy and handsome young Prince to attend. Sara hoped he would be more intelligent and better looking than her previous suitors - not very difficult, she told herself with an inward sneer.

As she rode back side by side with her dearest friend, she felt happier than for many days past. Sharing her dream with Martha had released her in part from the darkness that had overhung her life for too long. It was as well for her that she did not know that she was soon to lose her peace of mind and be plunged into deeper despair than she had ever known before.

Princess Sara Part 3

The reception held that night was indeed a glittering affair and the two girls were by no means the least of the many attractions. Princess Sara had changed out of her white riding habit into a golden ball gown, heavily encrusted with a myriad of precious stones of many colours. On her head was a tiara whose value was obviously quite beyond price, from which flashed a thousand rays of light reflected from the chandeliers. All that this finery served to do was show up the fair young maiden's natural beauty all the more. As one besotted guest put it, those blue eyes shone more brightly than any diamond and the Princess's golden hair, and white arms and shoulders reflected the light even more dazzlingly than the many jewels with which she was so lustrously and lavishly bedecked.

The haughty Princess, secure in the knowledge that she and her closest friend, but especially she, were the object of everyone's adulation basked contentedly in the admiration she was so clearly receiving. Even the homosexual King could not take his eyes off his beloved daughter and her bewitching friend. It promised to be a triumph for both girls until the Guest of Honour was announced.

"The High and Mighty Prince Adelbert, Ruler of the Forest of Henrikswald" rang out the manly baritone of the major domo.

All eyes switched to take in the sight of this legendary figure. He was tall and very, very handsome, with a fine red beard, a jutting chin, wide shoulders, bull neck and a deep powerful chest. His piercing blue eyes dominated the scene from the moment of his majestic entrance. At six feet five inches, he was easily the tallest man in the chamber. Authority and dignity were stamped upon him. He, like Sara, needed no finery to impress himself on people's attention, although he was arrayed in the most magnificent clothes.

For the first time in her life Sara fell immediately and hopelessly in love! Martha saw at once that her friend was fatally smitten and she could see why! She quite fancied the guy herself! Allowing the Princess to take centre stage, she slipped off to find Baron Schroder and see if she could advance her own matrimonial prospects, now that her darling friend seemed well on the way to achieving both her own happiness and the King's dream of an heir.
King Wilhelm soon introduced this magnificent Prince to Princess Sara and the tall and manly potentate bowed over her proffered and sweet little hand, kissing it with a courtliness that made her heart beat faster than she had ever known it to before! They danced and Sara was in heaven! In heaven only for a few minutes, alas! It soon became quite clear to the lovelorn girl that his manner was one of politeness only. There was no answering passion in those manly blue eyes, only indifference. He held her close, but there was no warmth in his embrace. He was clearly every bit as proud as she, and Princess Sara was now on the receiving end of the rejection she had been so happy to dispense to others.

She knew that she MUST have this man for her husband, and that her life would be worthless without him. His distant manner towards her was a dagger piercing her through the heart. After the festivities were over, she went up to her chamber and threw herself on to her bed and wept.

Martha heard her and came in to see what was wrong. She could not believe that the Prince had not been as intoxicated by Sara's beauty as the Princess had been by his. His eyes must have been closed by some dark and supernatural power! There could be no other explanation. What man, of however high degree and estate, would not be honoured with a bride a tenth as lovely as her darling Sara?

Next day, the pair rode out as usual but the Princess was silent and obviously in the very ultimate depths of despair. Martha, whose own designs on the worthy Baron were proceeding very much according to plan, wept inwardly to witness her friend's anguish and prayed that her darling's wishes might be granted and the Prince's eyes opened.

They soon returned to the Palace and the heartbroken Princess went up to her chamber. Each day she became more morose, refusing food and becoming weaker and paler almost by the hour. Finally the King could take no more and cried out aloud, cursing the Good Fairy, who had predicted many years ago, that his daughter would have to pass through many troubles to gain the love of her chosen man. Once again the Fairy appeared in the same manner as before.

"Go and fetch your daughter, Your Majesty. I have something to tell her. She can gain the Prince's love and I can take away the shadow before his eyes which conceals from him her beauty. She must decide for herself if she is able to do that which is necessary to secure her happiness and the future of your kingdom. Have her brought down here!"

The Princess was persuaded to come down to her father's chamber and arrived her eyes brighter than for many days, now that she had been told that there might, after all, be hope. "I will do whatever I have to, to secure his love" was all she said to Martha, as they both made their way into the Good Fairy's presence.

The Fairy seemed not to object to Martha being there. She addressed the Princess sternly.

"Your father offended me many years ago and you have only added to your troubles by your imperious demeanour this last few years. You have been humbled by unrequited love and will be humbled further before you attain your heart's desire! Here is what you have to do. Listen carefully - I shall say this only once."

Both the girls and the King listened attentively as the Good Fairy described the hard road which the Princess must tread in order to arrive at her heart's desire.

"You must leave this Palace and your father's Kingdom for a year and a day. You will only have the ground for a resting place and the sky for shelter in all that time. You will take neither food nor money and live only by your own efforts. Put on this ring."

The Princess, full of fear now that her awful dream seemed about to come true, obeyed. The ring slipped so easily onto her right ring finger that she felt it must surely drop off again, but once on her finger, it was stuck firm and no effort could remove it. The Good Fairy continued.

"You will wear this ring and nothing else until you return this time a year tomorrow. You must leave this instant if you are not to lose for ever, the Prince's love. Take all your fine clothes off at once and remain naked save for that ring for a year and a day. Naked and homeless, without shelter from the winds and rain and from the burning sun. If you refuse, then the Prince is lost to you for ever!"

Adult Fairy Story Part 4
Sun Jan 5 08:23:21 2003

Within seconds of the fairy's final command, Sara was naked in front of others for the first time since Nature had granted her the body of a mature and lovely woman. She hated what she was being asked to do, but recognised, in the Good Fairy, a person who would brook no argument. Her future happiness was in the hands of this implacable person. She knew at once what she must do and had not the slightest hesitation in doing it.

She must marry Prince Adelbert and that was that! Whatever the next year and a day might hold, whatever hardships and humiliations might be in store for her, all would be worth while and of no account, once Adelbert's eyes gazed on her with the same desperate longing that she felt for him.

Martha removed her own clothes and the fairy glared at her.

"Get dressed at once! I know what you are thinking. You want to share the Princess's hardships! Very estimable, I'm sure, and she is lucky to have such a loyal friend, as well as totally undeserving! She must face her ordeal alone. No one from this Kingdom must accompany her. Disobey me and you will be sorry."

The Fairy disappeared and Sara immediately walked towards the Palace doors, followed by the King and the Countess Martha, both crying bitterly at the thought of this bright and lovely jewel being lost to them for so long, perhaps for ever! Princess Sara, on the other hand, had no tears in her eyes and no fear in her heart, now that she knew what she must do. There was only a steely determination to triumph.

The amazed stares of the servants and courtiers were of no consequence to her. This shy and very private girl who had feared to show herself, even to her very dearest friend, was now naked before the entire world. She suppressed her embarrassment and controlled herself - so well that not the slightest hint of a blush could be seen on her ivory white, lovely, grimly determined face. Whatever was to befall her, she was a Princess and a very beautiful one at that. This was something she was never to forget until the day she returned to claim the love of her chosen man!

Like Martha before her, the touch of the rough ground under her bare feet sent signals up and down her body. The feel of the warm sun, allowed to caress her skin for the first time ever, was another revelation. A light breeze blew and brushed against her white and shapely slimness, as if the very air itself were taking the Princess into its care and safe keeping.

"Don't fear for me, Father darling, or you, my sweet beloved companion! I 'll be back - you'll see!"

The King and the Countess accompanied her to the entrance to the Palace gardens and embraced her tenderly. She returned their embraces and shed a tear for the first time since receiving her sentence from the Good Fairy. The sorrowing pair looked at her departing nudity as she strode confidently into the distance. They did not turn away to return to the Palace until the Princess, who meant so much to them both, was quite out of sight.

Martha considered the Good Fairy's warning for a while and decided that no power in this world or any other would come between her and her duty to her lovely friend. Now that she had no Princess to whom to be a companion, she had no place at Court. Her time was now her own and she knew how she would use it. The Fairy knew what was in her mind and cogitated with herself what terrible vengeance she might take on the loyal girl.

(I wonder if she really is THAT good a fairy - author)


Once she knew that she could no longer be seen by those nearest to her, the former Princess, now a naked vagrant girl, slackened her pace, in deference to the soreness which her tender young feet were already experiencing. Even if she tried to avoid rough and stony places and trod only on grass, the effect of her barefootedness was increasingly painful and it was only a massive application of her haughty will power that prevented her from limping. She would walk the world naked, alone and desperately poor for a year, and she would walk proudly, no matter what the cost to her in pain.

By the end of the day, the Princess was still well within her father's Kingdom and several passing people had recognised her. They doffed their hats in deference and seemed in no wise surprised to see her in such a naked and wretched state. She could swear that the birds in the trees as she passed were saying.

"There walks the lovely Princess. She will be worthy of the love of her chosen man. May she be protected from harm."

As a matter of fact, that is precisely what they were saying!

The heat of the day wore off and dusk succeeded the midday brightness, and still the naked wanderer pressed on. Night fell and the aching tortured feet continued to stride in the direction of the border and the world beyond her own country. For three days she ceased not to walk until she knew that the Fairy's instructions had been fully obeyed and that she was finally in a foreign land, away from all friends and from all who would help her. Once on foreign soil, she sank to the ground and slept. Now that her adventure was truly begun, she felt only peace in her heart. She dreamt a happy dream for a change, a dream in which Prince Adelbert figured very prominently and was doing all manner of really nice things to her!

 Princess Sara Part 5

The lonely and wandering naked girl was aroused by the rain. It fell on her unprotected body, driven stingingly against it by a fierce wind which had been blowing up all night. Only her extreme exhaustion had caused her not to be wakened long since. She recalled the Fairy's harsh sentence. No shelter from the wind and rain and burning sun. The despair that she was beginning to feel left her. If this was to be her fate, then so be it. She would survive - somehow!

She scrambled to her sore feet and started walking again. Her every step was the purest agony, and she could no longer resist the imperative need to weep. Her tears mingled with the rain as it swept her tortured body. That beautiful body, delicate and frail, shook with her sobs, but she still kept on, never once flinching from her destiny.

This weather was dreadful enough, she reflected, but the Winter would be impossible for her to survive. It could remain many degrees below freezing for weeks, even months, on end in these parts. Many a time had she and Martha been forced to remain indoors, looking out at the white wilderness, for weeks at a time. No mortal could live in the great outdoors through that white hell and certainly not a frail girl in her vulnerable and unclothed state!

She must head South, to lands where the sun shone strongly all year round. There was no other hope for her, and she must travel quickly, as she had many leagues to cover on her feet before she could feel she had escaped the danger of freezing in the harsh cold of her native climate.

Night soon fell and she found a spot beneath a tree, where she laid her weary and famished body to rest. It was chilly and she shivered. Already, the ordeal was taking a fearful toll on a body already weakened by weeks of grief. She touched the ring - that sole covering for her nakedness.

No sooner had she done this than two white shapes emerged out of the gloom. When they came near, she saw that there were two huge white dogs approaching. She was about to cry out with fear, when she remembered who she was and forced herself to face these fearsome hounds bravely. There was no cause for alarm, however! The wagging of their enormous tails and the friendly grins on their faces was proof enough of that!

One dog settled itself on one and the other on the other side of the Princess. Together they covered her tired and naked body from the cold and she fell thankfully asleep. When morning came her two canine protectors had vanished, but the poor naked wanderer had slept well. She was still very hungry, though. It was vital she eat soon or she would perish.

After walking for a couple of hours, she came upon a two men, on their way to their work in the fields. She stopped them, forcing herself in her desperation, to confront them in her nakedness.

"Please, kind sirs, I am hungry. If you give me food, I will work for you all day until I drop from exhaustion. I ask no charity! Please let me work for you, that I might eat!"

One of the two looked doubtfully at her, but his companion smiled and addressed her in his rough and ready country manner. "There's one kind of "work" a beauty like you could do that would involve no more than lying on your pretty backside for a few minutes! Here's a gold piece, if you will only come into that wood with me for a while, my pretty! Not a lot of meat on you, but what there is of you is very nice!"

Although sex-education was still many years in the future as a part of most countries' educational curricula, the former Princess was no fool. She knew full well what this creature wanted! She glared scornfully at the insolent man, telling him that she would sooner die than sell her body, which was, one day, to be the sole property of her chosen man.

His companion pulled the man's sleeve and whispered urgently.

"This is no ordinary woman! I see it now! I talk every day to the birds of the air and the beasts of the field. They speak of a Princess who has been sentenced to live like one of those same brute beasts for a certain period. This must be she! Look how proud and fair she is, despite her wretched plight! Give her some food, Joachim and I will do the same."

Joachim complied grudgingly. He was tired of hearing his friend discourse about his communion with nature, but always tried to humour him - poor chap! They left the naked girl after giving her a share of their mid day meal and she thanked them with a sweet smile that made them both go weak at the knees. To their dying day, they were to remember their encounter with Princess Sara, long after her name had become a legend, especially Joachim!

As she munched the plain and wholesome food, the Princess tried to decide whether she would have the lecherous Joachim flayed alive or thrown into a vat of boiling oil when she came to resume her rightful place in life. On the whole, she was inclined to favour the former solution and she was not to forget her resolve until the time came for her to be revenged upon him as upon so many others who were to earn her displeasure during the coming months. The Good Fairy, impotently witnessing her continuing arrogance and unbroken spirit, spat with rage. Would nothing defeat this girl? Maybe she was losing her grip, and her spells their potency, she feared.

The grateful Princess rested after her meal, the first in days, and continued her Southward journey, using the sun as a guide. That night she summoned the two dogs once again. The good Fairy had given her the ring and could do nothing to lessen its power, although she dearly wished that she could. She was not a happy Fairy! She loathed the wealthy and privileged, especially those whose rank and wealth were inherited. The Red Communist bitch! The Fairy Senior Management already had their eye on this Radical maverick and her days were already numbered. Sadly for Sara, though, there was no way they could revoke the sentence pronounced on her - only try to help out now and again.

Sara guessed that there was probably only a limited amount of use to which the ring could be put and was loth to use it too often The weather warmed up and she spent the next seven nights under the stars, without any form of canine protection.

Each day, she came across kind people and had only to work for her food on one day, when she toiled under the boiling hot sun for seventeen hours, blistering her delicate soft hands and becoming terribly burnt all over her body by the awful sun which was becoming stronger by the day. It was, nevertheless, the most satisfying day, so far, of her adventure. The food tasted incomparably better for having been honestly come by and earned by her own efforts and not a pretty winsome smile.

She was not afraid of work and was grateful for the chance to do some, even if she didn't intend making a career out of it!


Princess Sara Part 6

A month had passed since the fair and haughty Princess had been exiled from her own home and country in order to wander the world as a naked and homeless wretch, sharing the lot of the homeless and of the beasts of the field, in order that she might be judged worthy to be loved by the handsome Prince Adelbert. She knew that her fate was unjust and that the so-called Good Fairy was a cruel being acting in a way contrary to her professional ethics, but was helpless to do other than obey the vicious dictates of this unkind arbiter of her destiny. Not once had she regretted her decision to leave all behind her, despite all the pain and cold and hunger that had been her lot. The vision of the handsome prince who was to be her life's partner was before her all the time as she bravely struggled through those first terrible days.

Many kind people had shared their simple meals with her and some had offered her work in the fields. At first the unaccustomed toil had done terrible damage to her tender hands. The sun had burned her in a fearful way before her skin finally took on that same rich golden hue she had so much admired in her darling friend Martha - Martha whose memory still brought tears to her eyes now that she was parted from her for the first time in so many long and happy years.

In the first weeks of her journey towards the clement South, where she must spend the winter or perish, her feet had caused her many bitter torments as they slowly and painfully adjusted to their new unshod state, but now she could walk across sharp stones and thorns without breaking her skin. It still hurt her a great deal, but she could cope with that, now that her lacerated feet no longer left a trail of blood behind, marking her every pain filled step.

Although the two faithful dogs were still on hand should she need them, she was becoming accustomed to the stars above her at night and the wild open spaces around her by day. The work she had been perforce obliged to do had caused her delicate frame to fill out amazingly and she was beginning to resemble the sturdy Martha and possess some of that girl's robust strength, though without losing any of that elusive fragile charm that had driven many a man wild before now. If only her darling friend could see her now! If only she could be with her to share this adventure, what a marvellous time they would have together! The loneliness was her chief sorrow and she missed those long conversations with her friend so deeply.

It was at the end of the fourth week of her exile and wanderings that she approached a small town. She had not eaten for three days, having passed across a desolate and unpopulated region, and was becoming faint with hunger. Because of her desperation she entered this little town to find work. The scandalised burghers drove her out and set their dogs upon her. These hounds ran snarling after the girl, but she turned around to face them and their savagery turned to fawning friendliness. "Good luck, oh fair Princess" they said, although to most ears it sounded like "Bow Wow". The Princess, now that she had become as one with the animal kingdom understood perfectly and smiled gratefully. The watching townsfolk crossed themselves reverently and locked themselves inside their homes until this unclothed sorceress had left their small and tightly knit community.

Outside the town, on its fringe, was a small travelling circus and she was offered work by these wandering showmen. It was heavy labour and consisted at first in feeding the animals and cleaning out their cages. There was to be a performance in a couple of days and Sara was also employed helping to erect the big tent. By the time she took herself off to the neighbouring woods - they had offered her shelter, but she was forced to refuse - she was totally exhausted.

As she slept she dreamt of one of the performing animals. It was a handsome black panther, which seemed so out of place in such a show. This proud beast should be free to roam as she was - that was plain for the Princess to see. Its desperate look as Princess Sara had fed it had almost broken the girl's heart, so unutterably sad did the creature appear in its captivity. The pleading look in the poor creature's eyes haunted her all night and she finally could sleep no more. Finally, she got to her feet and crept back to the encampment.

There was the cage and there was the panther, pacing up and down. It saw Sara and came across to her, pushing its nose against the fearless girl's hand as she stretched it into the cage. She stroked the beast and then touched her ring, for the first time in weeks. The cage door opened and the beast emerged into freedom.

"Go on, you beauty. Flee, before they catch you" she whispered, but the animal showed no sign of wanting to leave Sara. She walked rapidly away from the camp and the handsome cat followed her, keeping pace by her side with its sinuous graceful strides. The pair covered ten miles before Sara judged it safe to pause and rest. As she settled down to sleep, the animal settled itself down upon its beautiful rescuer and she slept warm and in comfort for a change after so many cold nights. In the morning, the Princess's heart was full of an amazing joy as she saw that her companion was still with her. From now onwards, she knew, it would not be so lonely for her. These two would wander the world together.

"I will call you Martha" she informed the beast.

The reaction of the panther was quite amazing. It rolled over onto its back like a kitten wanting its owner to play with it. Sara did as she seemed to be bidden and then she passed out. When she recovered consciousness, the panther was gone and her darling friend, as naked as she was, was standing over her looking extremely concerned.

"Martha! How did you get here, and where is my beautiful cat?" asked the baffled Princess.

To be continued.


Princess Sara Part 7


Princess Sara, the proud and beautiful only child of King Wilhelm and Queen Amalia had been presented with a stark choice by the Good (?) Fairy. The handsome Prince Adelbert had been prevented by this malicious fairy from seeing the Princess's true loveliness so ensuring that her desperate love for him was not returned. Her heart had been broken by his indifference and she had taken to her bed and was wasting away.

The fairy had promised to take away the Prince's blindness to her beauty, on condition she wander the world naked and alone, never entering human habitation and sleeping under the stars, drenched by the rain, battered by the fiercest winds and burnt by the sun. She was to agree to subject herself to a life of torment and the direst poverty for one year and one day.

Since death was the only future she saw for herself without her passionate love being reciprocated, she had divested herself of clothes and, wearing nothing save a fairy ring possessing magical properties, had immediately left her life of comfort and pampered security, eagerly embracing an existence of harsh deprivation, discomfort and terrible pain, in order that she might ultimately find the love she craved.

Much kindness had been shown to her, not only by the animal kingdom, but also by many friendly peasant folk who had been happy to share their simple food with the ethereally lovely naked girl, with her wild, disordered hair, deeply tanned skin and clear blue eyes. Few ventured to ask her why she was leading such a life, and she rarely volunteered to tell them. The birds and animals knew, though, and she had learned to understand their speech, feeling herself surrounded by their sympathy and encouragement as she slowly made her way to winter in the far south, safe from the harsh winters of her own kingdom and where she might be able to survive without shelter for her nakedness.

Once she had become inured to the changed conditions she now lived in, and in particular when her previously tender little feet had become toughened by walking over all manner of rugged surfaces, she had learned live by her own efforts. The discovery of her own self-sufficiency had given her great happiness - such as she had never felt before. The realisation that she did not need an army of servants to provide for her, but could look after herself was a source of great pride, if no great surprise, to a young lady who had never, in any case, had a low estimation of her abilities.

One cause of sorrow was the absence of her childhood friend Martha, with whom she had briefly quarrelled shortly before the start of her misfortunes. One morning, when in a bad temper after waking from a disturbing and prophetic dream, the angry Princess had taken advantage of her superior rank to strip her friend naked and force her to parade herself before the entire court in this state.

Often she would ask herself if her year-long ordeal might perhaps, be a punishment for her wicked treatment of the poor girl, but then she recalled that she had soon repented of her cruelty and persuaded her father to raise the peasant girl to noble rank. And she had dreamt of this exile long before the quarrel, which was in any case the result of mental distress caused by her prophetically vivid dream.

No! It must be something else that had caused her to be singled out for these atrocious hardships, but, in any case, she had no choice but to endure them. She did miss Martha, though.

One day she was given work at a small travelling circus and her heart had been pierced with agony at the plight of a black panther, which she had released and with which she had then run away. She had named the animal after her best friend and, shortly after so doing, she had fainted. When she came to her senses, a naked Martha was standing over her.

"Where is the lovely panther? And how on Earth do you come to be here?"

Martha knelt down beside her friend and kissed her.

"I was the caged beast, Sara, my darling friend and rescuer! Soon after you left us all, I decided to follow you, keep you company and protect you from harm as I always have. I was so angry when that creature said that you did not deserve my friendship! How dared she say such a wicked thing about you? You, above all, deserve nothing but the best of everything!

"I was only a few days away from the Palace when that dreadful Fairy appeared and turned me into a wild animal. She told me I would never regain my true form unless and until someone called me by my name, and who would ever be likely to do that? She also said that, in the event that I did regain human form, the one responsible was to have me as his or her slave for ever. So, I am at your disposal!"

She continued to tell her story.

"I still wanted to be near you, my precious friend and followed behind you. As a big cat, I could track you by your scent. How it distressed me to see the marks left by your poor torn and bleeding feet! I see how you have got over your physical weakness! You look truly magnificent now - so strong and brown after being in the sun so long!

" One day, I was captured by the show people and forced to perform tricks for the public. They starved and beat me to force me to perform for those stupid cruel people who get pleasure from the captivity of their fellow creatures. It was the most horrible time and I was about to abandon hope when you turned up. And you decided to name me by my own name and here I am before you, my mistress!"

The Princess returned her friend's kiss. Then, after thinking a few seconds, she replied.

"My first and last act as your mistress is to release you and restore you to your rightful rank as a free and noble woman! And now, you must return home and marry Baron Schroder as soon as possible. As you see, I am doing fine on my own! I have missed you and will miss you again after you have left me, but I can and must face this year without either you or anyone else to help me.

"Although I was thinking the other day what great fun it would be to be doing this journey in company with you, now that you are with me, I can see that I was wrong to want this. I must bear my own burdens and fight my own battles, without your aid, my love. Knowing that I have been able to restore you to your true nature will be sufficient comfort in the months ahead, and those months will pass soon enough!"

Martha bit her lip in order to stop herself crying, but the effort was unsuccessful and soon both girls were weeping, their arms wrapped around each other and their mingled tears running down their faces as they prepared to go their own separate ways again. Martha could see the sense of her beloved friend's words. She marvelled at how the formerly frail young Princess had matured and grown in strength in a few short weeks. She could leave her to fend for herself knowing that Sara would survive and return in triumph to her own people and a life with the Prince Adelbert on the appointed day.

Finally, both dried their eyes.

Sara said "We must find some clothes for you, my love and earn some money to pay for your return home. I hope you can stand up to a bit of extremely hard work - it's the only sort of work there is in these parts! Then it must be goodbye for eleven months. Think what a celebration there will be when I return! What fine clothes we will both wear - although I am getting almost to like the way I am now, even though it is a great and grievous wrong for one of my rank and quality to be exhibited like this for all the world to see! It's a wrong which that detestable Fairy will pay for. If it takes me the rest of my life, I will fix her!"

The Fairy heard all this and again raged at the defiance of this conceited and self confident young woman. She was also somewhat afraid, seeing that the Princess's sufferings were serving only to strengthen her, not only physically and mentally, but in other and more mystical ways. Her rapport with the birds and animals of the forest was a sign of this. Could she one day have powers as strong as her own?

Princess Sara Part 8

The day had come to say goodbye. It had taken longer than Sara, the vagrant Princess, would have wished once she had resolved to send her friend, the once bewitched, but now restored, Countess Martha back home. They had worked hard in the fields for three weeks, the Princess still naked, of course, and Martha dressed in a rough peasant's smock and working boots, before sufficient gold pieces had been earned to buy Martha a fine horse and provisions for her homeward journey. Her friend had been given quarters in the farmhouse, but the Princess, denied shelter by the terms of her contract with the Good Fairy, had slept in the field next to where she had been working.

Once more the two embraced tenderly. Martha mounted her steed and rode off, not looking around until she knew herself to be out of sight. She could not bear to let her friend see her tears, and both girls knew that it would take very little to weaken their resolve to part. They also knew that only harm could come from Sara failing to observe faithfully the conditions of her sentence. The Fairy could still make trouble and continue to prejudice the Prince against the devoted girl who loved him so dearly.

The humbled Princess was aware that even the three weeks they had been at least partly together might have to be paid for in the form of extra pain and hardship, and she began to doubt her ability to come through whatever it might be. She felt more lonely than at any time since leaving the familiar comforts of the Royal Palace as she saw her beloved childhood confidante diminish into the distance. The Fairy must be hopping mad at the way her victim had been rescued. Yes! She would certainly pay for this - but how?

Turning away from the spot where they had parted, the naked wanderer continued to trudge wearily southwards - her weariness accentuated by her renewed loneliness. All the while, the sun was becoming stronger, beating down on her with an intensity unknown in the Northern land from which she had started her journey nearly two months ago.

After walking five miles she began to feel thirsty and, having no permission to carry water with her, started to look around for a well, spring or river at which she could refresh herself. There was a little cluster of hovels in the distance and she made towards it, the sun becoming hotter as it climbed higher. By the time she came to the hamlet she was close to collapse, her head spinning. To her relief, there was a well in the square next to the village green. A couple of young men were standing beside it as she approached.

With a pang of fear, she saw the lascivious way these two young bucks were looking at her. She knew how beautiful and desirable she still was, even in her present dishevelled and dusty state. With the strength draining out of her and no hope of fighting off an attack, she feared the worst as she tottered towards them, gasping out that she was thirsty and must drink soon or perish.

"Where did the clothes go, you little tart? Give us a taste of those ruby lips, a feel of those sweet firm titties and a slap on that tight little arse and you can drink your fill."

"If you insist" replied the Princess. "But I should warn you it will not be good for you in years to come. I am protected by a powerful Fairy who watches over me and will wreak a terrible revenge on he who dares lay rude hands upon my purity."

She knew this was nonsense! In all probability the Guardian Fairy in question had arranged this entire scene, intending that the virgin Sara be brutally ravaged and thus rendered impure and unfit for marriage to a great Prince.

One of the youths stepped back, apparently impressed both by the warning and the calm authority in the voice which uttered it. His companion was not deterred and clasped the almost fainting girl around her waist, kissing her on her mouth. He smelt strongly of beer and she felt sick. Horrified, she drew back, pushing him away from her. He saw her ring.

" It's not so much fun if the girl's not willing, although with a pretty doll like you I might still take you! Give me that ring, if you won't give me your nice little body. I'll have it any way."

With this he seized her small, beautiful, if work roughened, hand and pulled at the ring. It did not budge by the tiniest fraction of an inch and the youth staggered back, holding his right hand in his left and groaning. He took the other hand away and a surprised Princess saw that the member that had attempted to remove the ring was horribly blistered and the skin and flesh were already starting to peel away, revealing the white bone underneath.

The gasps of pain turned into screams as the fingers of the injured hand curled inwards like talons. It was shrivelling by the second, turning into nothing more than a fleshless claw. It was obvious that it was damaged for ever - the boy would never be able to use it properly again. After this, she was allowed, by the terror-struck youths, to draw water in peace. Having quenched her thirst she continued her long progress to the South.

As she walked, the ground burning the soles of her feet as the sun's heat reached its zenith, she saw that the flight from the northern cold was bringing her fresh problems. She knew she still had many miles to go before she would be in a region whose winter she could survive and it was becoming harder to make sufficient progress. Soon it would be August and the count down to Winter would begin. She must go faster, but the problem of water was becoming more of a worry with each day. The land was parched and the springs drying, becoming mere trickles. Perhaps she would have to settle for remaining at this latitude and hope for a mild winter! She rubbed her hands absent mindedly together.

Taking her hand away from the ring, she looked around to see if it had had any effect, but nothing out of the ordinary presented itself and she continued walking. Those feet which had been inured to rough surfaces in her first weeks, were now being tested anew, as the fierce heat began to blister the soles. She made towards the shelter of a small copse and rested in the shade. It was imperative that she wait until the ground cooled - or was it?

She examined her soles closely. They did not appear damaged, and the brave Princess decided to continue, even though each step was the most exquisite torment, as bad as anything she had yet suffered. Her determination was rewarded after a week of this, as she developed thicker and thicker soles. The heat no longer hurt her.

Each day she found it harder to find water, often being reduced to begging at peoples houses. Most people were kind, but not all. She was becoming used to contemptuous rejections and even to blows, as she was driven away. Her wretchedness was increasing and even her proud spirit was close to breaking. The fairy saw all this and felt happier than she had for some considerable time!

A flock of crows flew over two weeks after Martha's departure for home and she learnt from them that her friend was safely returned, engaged, at last to the good Baron. This caused her to feel happier for a while. Her spirits soon started to decline again, however, until one day something decisive happened.

Passing through a largish village, six weeks after she had last seen her friend Martha, she saw a sight that made her blood boil with rage. A large red-faced man was beating a horse with a merciless savagery that aroused all her compassion and newly acquired feeling for the animal world, whose misfortunes and travails she had shared for so long now.

Storming up to this creature, she seized his stick from out of his hand and began to beat him with it, screaming abuse at the wretch as she did so. A knot of townsfolk gathered to watch and applauded her frenzied assault on the cruel man, who finally ran off. As she gradually calmed down, she saw one of the watching citizens approaching her. "What will happen to me now" she thought rather nervously!


Princess Sara Part 9

The approaching citizen, when he had come near enough to talk to the red-faced and still breathless girl, sweating profusely from her recent exertions, spoke in a voice whose gruff kindliness immediately reassured her.

"Antoine is a cruel brute and not fit to own a horse. I am the mayor of this small community and I heartily congratulate you on your courage and compassion. Would you care to keep the animal as your own? You seem to have travelled far and I could see that your speech is not of this land. You would be welcome to him and to food and drink to sustain you. The region you are headed towards is bleak and desolate and you would fare badly on foot. You are on a pilgrimage as an act of penance, I take it, since you are naked as the day you were born and yet so obviously a lady of the highest estate."

She replied in the mayor's own language "I am undergoing a test of endurance to prove my worthiness to be the life's partner of the man I love. I am denied all shelter and so I must go to warmer lands where the cold of winter, when it comes, will not kill me. I am uncertain that I can accept your offer of this noble and ill-used steed. May I have a day or so to decide?"

The mayor agreed and Princess Sara made for the seclusion of the surrounding countryside, after first being regaled with fine wine and food by the mayor and his wife, who, since she could not come indoors, set up, in the town square, a table for her, covered with a fair white linen cloth such as she had not seen in months. As she made herself as comfortable as possible on the hard ground, before sleeping, she spoke out loud.

"I so want to take the horse which my own efforts have saved from a life of brutality from its worthless owner. May I please accept the mayor's offer?"

The by now familiar mist, solidifying by the second, that has appeared in this story before, showed itself now to the King's proud and lovely daughter. When the spectral vision finally took shape, it was not the same fairy as previously, but an altogether more amiable figure, with a smile that warmed the Princess to her very core.

"I am Francine, the Queen of the Fairies in this region. You are under my jurisdiction now and I grant your request. You have pleased us in the Fairy realms by your behaviour these past months. You are haughty and proud, as is only to be expected in one of your exalted rank, but there is much love and kindness in you, which grows by the day, and we all salute the uncomplaining bravery which you have shown in demonstrating your love for the good Prince. But you may not mount the horse until I appear to you again. You must walk beside it, though it may carry food and water on its back for the two of you. I know that those poor tired feet of yours are crying out for rest, but they must bear your weight and take you on your travels, treading unshod over many rough surfaces, for a great while yet.

"I will tell the horse where to take you to spend the winter. You must follow where it leads. There is a lake there and many springs as well as caves in which you may shelter at night if you wish. The people will give you work and food and you will not perish from cold, not with the love of the whole animal kingdom to smother you with their furry warmth every night. Goodbye, my dear - and good fortune!"

The Princess thanked the Fairy Queen with tears in her eyes and the supernatural creature faded away until she had disappeared from view, a few wisps of vapour hanging about for some seconds before the air became clear again. She did not complain at having to keep on walking, in fact she almost welcomed the continuing hardship that this entailed, but she had fallen deeply in love with the white horse. From a practical point of view, the fact that she could have supplies of food and water would speed up her progress immeasurably, now that most of her time would no longer be taken up in a constant search for refreshment at the increasingly fewer springs and wells she was coming across in these arid, sun-drenched regions.

She slept soundly and happily that night and, in the morning, collected the horse, laden with several days' supply of provisions, generously given to her by the mayoral couple, and took her affectionate leave of the mayor and his stout and motherly wife. She washed herself thoroughly under the village pump, the first time for many days that she had been able to cleanse her body from sweat and dust, and left, promising to call on them on her way back home in the Spring.

The path from the village led upwards into the hills which she had seen in the distance the day before. Beyond these hills were the snow-capped peaks of the most enormous mountains that Princess Sara had seen in her entire life. Her own kingdom was comparatively low-lying, with only a few rolling downs, which could be climbed in a couple of hours. The air became colder as she climbed higher and higher and the stones under foot became sharper and sharper, testing the toughness of her hardened soles to the limit. She cried out in pain several times, and she was not one to cry as a rule.

The ascent into the mountains went on for hour after exhausting hour. Even with the effort of climbing the steep slopes, the Princess was becoming colder and colder, her breath hanging in the air in thick clouds before dispersing as she gasped her way ever upwards. It was beginning to become dark, and still no place where she might spend the night had shown itself to her. Perhaps she would have to toil on through the darkness, she began to think in growing desperation.

At last, she saw a spot where the slope had become less pronounced and where there was a slight dip in the ground, just yards away from the path. Here she decided to rest for the night. There was no need to tether the horse, which had already shown its devotion to the fair young woman who had so gallantly come to its rescue.

The stones cut into her flesh as she sank to the ground and rubbed her ring - tonight she must have cover or by morning she would be a frozen cadaver. This time it was not the two faithful white dogs, but a pair of snow leopards, which came and covered her with their softness and warmth. Her horse seemed nervous at first, but soon calmed down as the cats indicated that they were not particularly hungry, and didn't care for horse-meat in any case, preferring tender young lamb as a delicacy!


Princess Sara Part 10

She came to her senses in the morning and the two snow white feline bed coverings melted away as mysteriously as they had originally materialised, much to the relief of the horse, who had slept uneasily all night, with one eye ever on the lookout for a move from the leopards.

She shivered, now that she was once more entirely bare and unprotected from the bitter cold and the wind which howled and whistled over the mountain. "I hope I will be over these awful mountains and into the southern plains before too long. This is killing me!" she muttered, as she took food and drink from the saddle bags and saw to the sustenance of herself and her equine companion. Her hands blue and stiff with cold and the fine golden hairs on her body standing out vertically in the intensity of the Arctic chill, she urged the mount forward at a trot and ran behind it, heedless of the damage she was doing to her feet on the razor sharp stones - anything to get the blood flowing and to save her extremities from frostbite!

By infinitely slow degrees, the unprecedentedly hellish agonies that were gripping her abated and departed from her, being replaced with nothing more than intense and terrible pain, which she could easily bear, being well used to it by this time. The upward course of the ever more stony path seemed unending and her breast was bursting with the combination of the pain of exertion and the rarity of the mountain air.

Just as she doubted that she could go any further, she saw before and far away beneath her the plains of that Southern land where she was to spend the next few months. It looked like Paradise to the poor tortured Princess, a plain covered with lakes and trees, through which she must pass in order to reach the southern tip of the country below, her ultimate destination.

The descent was in many ways more of a trial than that long climb which she had barely been able to complete. One compensation for the perilous nature of the downward journey was the gradual slackening of the terrible cold. By the time she had reached the plain , her knees, hands, arms and body bleeding from several falls on the way down, and her left eye bruised and cut from contact with one wickedly sharp stone which had broken a particularly nasty fall, the air was warm again and she sank to the ground on her bruised and bleeding knees praying her thanks to whomsoever had made it possible for her to come through such a fearful ordeal.

"You should thank yourself and your own great courage" said a voice which came from nowhere and everywhere at one and the same time. "You had no help save from the leopards. You have saved yourself by your exertions and bravery. Well done, oh fair Princess!"

Instead of pride at these words, for some strange reason she felt more utterly humbled than at any time since she was a little child - humble and grateful to the unseen voice for its words of praise, which she could not in any way feel to be merited. She knew that more dangers lay ahead and that she could not rest upon her laurels, but must press immediately on.

Before this adventure was over, she knew that she must to pass through many more dangerous situations and endure much more terrible pain. It was a thought that filled her with dread. Only her continuing love for the indifferent and uncaring Prince, and her undiminished determination and desire to transform his indifference into love, sufficed to keep her true to her mission.

She got to her feet and went over to the horse, putting her bruised arms around the creature's neck and kissing its nose. "Thanks, old fellow, I could never have made it without you!" The animal snorted its response. The Princess knew that what the horse was saying was "My privilege and very great pleasure, oh wondrously fair Princess. I will follow you to the end of my life and to the uttermost extremities of the Earth. I yearn for the day when I may bear your lovely form upon my back!"

"You and me both" muttered the footsore Princess, as she examined the damage done by the mountain journey. The soles of her battered and torn feet did not constitute a pretty sight and she saw that she was in for several days of the most severe discomfort before they healed.

It was no use improvising some temporary covering, by binding long grass around her feet, as she had tried once. She would never forget that as long as she lived. Three days into her long exile she had been so tormented by the pain in her bleeding feet that she had tried wrapping some wiry grasses around them. The burning, searing pain that she had immediately experienced, causing shrieks and howls of agony that had echoed around the forest for minutes afterwards and sending flocks of startled birds wheeling into the sky, had warned her never again even to think about departing in even the slightest degree from the strict regime of total nudity that the fairy had decreed. After that horror, the ordinary earthly pain of treading on thorns and stones was much to be preferred!

After the briefest of respites, she summoned up the will to resume her southward march, trying to ignore the increasing agonies as her weary and newly lacerated feet were forced to carry her along the rough tracks leading from the foothills to the lush flatness which was still some distance away. She walked fast and saw as she glanced back at the path she had trodden, the red marks left behind her by those weeping, bleeding wounds on the base of her feet.

How she survived the next three days of ceaseless marching, punctuated by short nights of sleep, she was never to be able to explain. After three days the pain began to recede and the wounds healed a little. Once, passing by the calm, smooth water of a small lake, she glanced down at her reflection - the first time she had seen herself for weeks. Her face was still bruised after her fall. She saw that another inch and she would almost certainly have lost the eye. Even so, the beauty that had captured all men's hearts, save that of the one she most desired, was in no way diminished, but only accentuated by her injuries.

Half way through the fourth day after her crossing of the mountains, she saw ahead of her, a young man. He was walking slowly and painfully. He was barefoot. Not only his feet were bare. So was the rest of him! She would soon overtake him unless she slackened her furious pace, and this she was loth to do.

"What will happen now?" she asked herself.

Princess Sara Part 11

In five minutes she overtook the struggling and footsore youth. It was her firm intention to pass by as quickly as possible and not engage in conversation. She might be protected from the grosser forms of male attentions by her magic ring, but the incident by the well had never left her thoughts for long. The sickened loathing she had felt as that creature had pressed his blubbery lips against hers and she had felt the ghastly, nauseating, beery, slimy, gluey wetness of his slobbering mouth made her very determined indeed not to repeat the experience in a hurry!

As she made to overtake him, she glanced sideways and her heart softened as she saw the extremity of physical and mental distress that were written so clearly on his drawn and pale face. She slowed down in order to keep pace with him.

"Are you all right, traveller? Oh, my Gosh! What a very silly question! You so clearly are nothing of the kind! How do you come to be in this state? How may I help you, if I can?"

The young man explained that he had been abducted, stripped and robbed by the four angry brothers of the girl he was due to marry next day. These worthies had felt the young fellow to be beneath the lady in question. They were prosperous farmers and he a mere labourer. Princess Sara sympathised with their desire not to let their sister do anything so foolish as marry beneath her, but deplored their treatment of the poor boy - for he was scarcely out of his teens.

She looked down at his feet and saw the same terrible lacerations that had marred hers before now. He could scarcely stagger another yard, such was the extent of his exhaustion. He had clearly been beaten terribly very recently and looked much more than half dead.

"Tell me where you live, my friend, and I will make sure you get back home. First I will cleanse and dress your wounds and then you may mount this fine white steed."

As soon as this had been done, she helped the naked boy up onto the previously empty saddle. She admired him briefly and appreciatively, for he was a strong youth and generously supplied with the appurtenances of manhood. At least the brothers had not deprived him of that! Then the three proceeded along the track.

"How old is the girl you were due to marry?" she asked and smiled as he replied that she was seventeen, one year younger than he.

"And how do you propose to support her, with no income and no prospects? You are a foolish, starry eyed and romantic youth and she sounds no better! Her brothers treated you roughly and unjustly: but they have a point! Romance is for the rich and highborn, not for people who must work in order to live! However, if you both promise to wait until this time a year from now and still feel the same about each other at that time; then I will provide her with an ample dowry and you with a prosperous farm of your own. I am a great lady in my native land and can and will do as I promise. Never fear, I shall know your situation - the birds of the air will bring me news of you and the arm of the rich is both powerful and long."

"Why does a great lady roam the land naked and so far from her own home?" asked the young man.

"I seek to be judged worthy of the love of a fine and wonderful man. I must undergo a year of untold miseries, wandering, exposed all day and all night to the elements, homeless and friendless, save for this horse and other beasts and birds. Only then will I be allowed to share my bed with him."

She continued.

"Surely you can do as I ask of you and wait, when you see how much I am willing to endure for the sake of my happiness? Have courage - the courage to wait and trust that your girl's love will stay the course! How will a love that cannot last for just one short year endure for a whole lifetime?"

He did not reply, but seemed impressed by the words which had just issued forth from the pure and ruby lips of this peerlessly beautiful virgin.

Night fell and the young man was still a small way off from his home. They decided to make camp. Sara was about to touch her ring and summon the dogs -or maybe leopards - when she paused. She looked at the youth. "Why ever not?" she thought!

"Come and lie close to me, my dear boy. We will shield each other from the cold this night. I must, and will, remain a virgin, so please get no ideas! And you must remember your future bride and be true to her. Sleep soundly, young man!"

The boy slipped into a deep and enchanted sleep and the Princess lay on top of him, feeling his youthful but manly warmth beneath her and the cold caress of the wind above. She slept but little that night. Physical human contact was only a distant memory after all these weeks on the road since dear Martha had left her, and she determined to experience this communion to the full.

Morning came and both were refreshed in their different ways. He by a night's sleep and she by contact after so long, with a friendly human.

Soon the young man had been delivered to his worried mother, a careworn widow who looked to her only son for support. How foolish of him, she thought, to take on the responsibility of marriage when he could scarcely support himself and his mother! She repeated her promise, made to the young man the previous day, and left after the grateful lady had replenished the Princess's dwindling supplies of food and water.

As she left the young man's village behind her, she wondered what was to follow in the days ahead. She knew many unpleasant surprises were bound to be in store for her. It was as well that she did not know what the next day had waiting!


Princess Sara 12

{I freely acknowledge my debt to the late Sir Alfred Hitchcock and the late Dame Daphne du Maurier for one part of the following - no prizes for guessing. Readers of a sensitive and/or nervous disposition might care to skip the paragraphs marked with an asterisk (*)}


She continued her travels after leaving the boy Giovanni with his mother to recover from his abduction, stripping and beating. Her white horse continued to lead her towards the region where she was to spend the winter. The further south she went, the more arid and parched the land was becoming and she appreciated more and more how fortunate she was to have her by now beloved steed to carry her provisions for her, even if she did continue to attract amazement not only at her continued nakedness, but the fact that she walked by his side rather than rode him. And not only her provisions did the horse carry, but another victim of life's misfortunes.

A few miles outside the town where she had deposited the lovelorn youth, she spied another unfortunate. As this poor man had staggered home from a long night of drinking not wisely but too well, he had been attacked and robbed. Although this particular set of thieves had been good enough to leave their victim him with his clothes on, the poor man was so badly injured as to render him totally immobile, lying semi-conscious by the roadside. With much straining and sweating, the Princess had contrived to lift the fellow's dead weight onto the white horse's saddle and transport him to his own village.

With the thanks of his grateful wife still fresh in her ears, she had resumed her journey, returning at the horse's bidding to her ordained route, and feeling somewahat virtuous at the way she was helping out lifes's victims in this way!

It was a few hours later that the worst disaster of her exile and wanderings occurred.

The horse led her straight through a small town, right along the main street. She noticed that the townfolk were looking angrily at her and felt gravely threatened for the first time in her travels. Thus far, something about her had ensured that she had not been subjected to serious violence, despite the disapproval many obviously felt for her nudity. She had never lost a kind of innocence in her demeanour, and this artless charm, together with the air of authority appropriate to her high and noble rank, had won many hearts and appeased much puritanical wrath. The people of this town were different. Very different. Why has the horse led me through here, she asked herself as the atmosphere became more and more menacing and she began to be jostled by the gathering throng of citizenry who seemed to be pouring out onto the street to vent their rage against her.

"Go on, you can't help me. Save yourself, old boy." she muttered to the horse, which, since she was still forbidden to mount it, could be of no assistance to her as a way of escape from the people's increasing wrath. The animal did as she bid, leaving her alone to face whatever fate the angry citizens might have planned for her.





"Scandalous behaviour"

"Make an example of her. Whip the skin of off her back and throw her carcass to the wolves!"

At this last cry, she was seized by two of the leading citizens and dragged to the main square where, her hands above her head, she was securely tied to the whipping post, a device much used by the civic leadership in this small community to ensure the maintenance of moral rectitude. She wondered what would happen to her and she did not have long to wait before she found out!

A strong and muscular man, merciless of feauture with an ugly glowering face, stripped to the waist, revealing a powerful, hairy chest and phenomenal arms, as thick as many a strong man's thighs, came and stood in front of her, holding a long whip made of some kind of hide, knotted along its length. It was a devilish implement and, if used on her would be sure to leave her lovely back horribly scarred until the end of her days, if it did not kill her outright, which she feared it surely would.

"Do you wish to plead for mercy, harlot?"

"I do not plead with the likes of you. I only give commands to my inferiors, and I command you to free me, or it will be the worse for you!"

Enraged by this defiance, the crowd became more insistant in their growled demands that condign punishment be visited on the shamelssly revealed body of the unfortunate Princess. The man went round behind her and she heard the voices of the watching people die away as they silently waited for the show to begin. They were very moral and upright citizens and loved to see sin receive its just desserts.

(*) She scarcely had time to take in the sound of the viciously wielded whip as it descended with lightning like speed on to her delicate young back, whistling and hissing angrily through the air. All the pain she had so far endured was as nothing compared to what she felt today as the leather tore deep into her flesh, exposing her ribs to the delighted gaze of the spectators. A cheer went up. Despite her agony, Princess Sara uttered no sound. Twelve more times the lash descended and still she did not cry out or beg for the torture to cease.

Despite her silent courage, she knew that this was the end of her life. Even should she survive, a maimed and disfigured bride would be no suitable match for her Prince, who was now surely lost to her for ever. She prepared herself to make that most momentous of all journeys, as she felt the life slipping from her and a black shadow seemed to obscure the town and the world from view.

(*) The fourteenth lash never came. Because of her agony, Princess Sara had not heard the strange commotion , as of a mighty wind and the sound of a thousand angry squealing, screeching voices, high up above in the skies. Neither had the townsfolk, fascinated by the sound of the lash descending on the Princess's torn back and the sight of the blood dripping from her wounds, pouring onto the ground, to form a red pool at her feet.

The first intimation of something extraordinary was when the flogger screamed in pain, dropping the whip and clutching his bleeding face. He was suddenly surrounded by a flock of birds - crows, starlings, thrushes,falcons, eagles - every kind of bird. His eyes were pecked out before he had a chance to defend himself and the feathered horde continued to whirl around him, swooping on him and pecking him until he was just a bloody mass of wounded flesh, lying quite dead on the ground.

The sky was utterly black with the incredible concentration of birds, more of whom were flocking to the scene by the minute, and the light of the sun could not penetrate the clouds of winged avengers as the fowls of the air set about the townsfolk, driving them hither and thither in a vain attempt to escape the self-same vengeance that had just been visited so horribly on the executioner.

Not to be outdone, the dogs of the community turned on their owners, snarling and tearing at them, enthusiatically and savagely assisting the avian horde in rending the screaming townsfolk limb from limb.

Some of the birds pecked away at the bonds which held the Princess to her place of torture and she was soon free, slipping fainting and weak to the ground, covered as it was by her blood. Weakly, she rose again, every movement the sheerest agony. The white horse had returned to her side by this time and she grasped the reins for support and slowly the two of them left the scene of carnage behind.

"I did warn him it would be all the worse for him if he disobeyed me, but I never imagined it would be that bad!" murmured the Princess as she slowly and painfully made her way out of the town and into the countryside. "How very unfortunate for me that the birds could not turn up sooner, though. I will be disfigured to the end of my days and who will wish to marry me now? I might as well have died back there. My life is over."

Still on foot, obedient as ever to the Fairy's prohibition against her mounting the horse, even in her present weakness and continuing agony, she finally came to a lake, whose blue and placid waters stretched far into the distance. By the shore, she paused to wash herself and clean away the blood. She looked down at her reflection in the still water and, this time, she did not see herself!

The face that stared back at her was that of a raven-haired and beautiful woman, slightly older than herself, her dark beauty contrasting to Princess Sara's own fair loveliness.

"Welcome, Princess. Wounded and courageous Princess Sara, you are very welcome here! Enter the lake of which I am the Guardian Spirit and lower your torn and bleeding body into its deep. Then continue your journey with my blessings and those of the entire Spirit World!"

Sara obeyed and waded out into the lake, lowering herself into its warm depths as she had been ordered. As the waters closed over her head, the pain disappeared and her weakness was replaced by returned strength. She heard the voice of the Guardian of the Lake order her to rise and continue her travels. Emerging from the water she put her hand behind her, feeling the back which had recently been so horribly maltreated. Her skin was as smooth and unmarked as it had ever been. Her terrible wounds were healed!


Princess Sara 13

"Why did you lead me to that terrible town and those awful people?"

The horse snorted and neighed, hanging its head as though ashamed - which it was. He knew, to his sorrow, that he had repaid the young Princess's fearless rescue of him very badly indeed by leading her into such danger and pain. Like her, he was not a free agent and must go where the Fairy Queen dictated.

Sara had paused to rest some eight hours after leaving the mysterious healing lake, which, when she looked back, had quite vanished, being replaced by bare and arid land. She drank from the water bottle, filled from the phantom lake. At least that water had not evaporated! Far from it! She noticed, to her amazement that the bottle was still full to the brim, despite the copious draught she had just swallowed, and the water was ice cold, despite the heat of the day that had just passed.

After putting her through such a dreadful ordeal, it seemed that the unseen spirits were making amends for their cruelty. She found a comparatively soft spot to rest her head. She slept and soon dreamt that the Fairy Queen was talking to her.

"I do so deeply regret what happened to you in that town at the hands of those cruel zealots, who have all perished, but you were wrong to sleep with that boy the other day. You did it not merely for him - to give him warmth and protection, but more for yourself, to satisfy your perfectly understandable and, in many ways laudable, desire for human contact. I know that you had no thought of making love to him and that you remain a pure virgin, but you wilfully disobeyed the injuction that you remain alone for one year. Contact of that kind is forbidden and you must avoid all unnecessary dealings with people in future.

"We turned a blind eye to your weeks with Martha, who had been vilely and unjustly used by one of our number, but this night with the youth was too serious a matter for us to overlook. We could not permit such an infraction to go uncorrected. You were severely punished and, but for the intervention of your feathered friends, would have suffered far more before we allowed you to be released from your torments. Another such offence and your fate will be a great deal worse - immeasurably more painful, and there will be no healing to follow - you will bear the marks of any future punishment for ever, throughout this life and into the next."

When she woke she pondered these stern words and the awful warning she had been given. The Fairy spirit had the power to make good her threat - she was all too well aware of that after yesterday! Even so, she could, at least partially, diminish the power that the unseen spirit world had over her with the help of the animal world. Despite this, she hesitated to provoke their anger again, for she could not bear the thought of being maimed and scarred for life. Or could she bear it, she subconsciously thought? Would she one day decide to defy these unseen forces in order to be herself and live her own life - exactly as she pleased?

What is the body's worth compared to that of the soul? If her freedom could only be purchased by undergoing permanent physical damage, then ought she not be willing to pay that price? A seed of defiance against the tyranny that had brought her from security and luxury to poverty, pain, loneliness and danger was germinating inside her. Then she saw the face of her beloved before her, and all thoughts of rebellion fled from the mind of this lovesick girl. Love makes the most abject slaves of even the proudest.


A month had passed since the lovely Princess Sara's brutal flogging at the hands of those wicked people. The physical agony might have been taken away and the wounds may have healed shortly after the horror, but the memory of the ghastly pain and the public humiliation she had experienced had not left her. She was justly proud not to have cried out for mercy to those despicable people, but ashamed of the way that she had been on the verge of meekly letting go of her hold on life, surrendering herself to death many long years before her time was due and her duty done.

Even now she was not permitted to ride on the white horse, which she still had not named. She preferred to address him with endearments, such as "darling", "my sweet companion","Precious love" "my faithful friend" or "Sweetheart" and many, many more. Now that all human love and companionship, even of the most perfunctory and innocent kind, were forbidden her it was only the birds and animals, her beloved mount in particular, who sustained her through the loneliness of her exile.

Flocks of birds were always overhead, following her for every step of the way. Her protectors would never allow themselves to be absent again in any hour of her need. In addition to the birds overhead, there were always beasts prowling about - foxes, wolves, wild cats and dogs, all fiercely ready to protect her from harm to the best of their ability. She speculated from time to time whether these creatures would be able to shield her from the full measure of Fairy wrath, should she ever do anything again to incur it. On balance, she was not inclined to put it to the test!

Autumn in these southern regions was even hotter than the summers in her Northern Kingdom and she wondered whether the weather ever became cool in these arid parts, where the grass was parched and burnt after month after month of burning summer sun. It had been wet only on one day in the last six weeks, and she had gloried, on that ocassion, in the feel of the driving torrent as it swept against and poured down her unprotected body cleansing her of every last drop of sweat and speck of dust.

She longed for more rain, but had heard from those she met that it was not for a few weeks yet that the long summer drought was likely to be over. Folk told her that the winter rains could last for days and even weeks on end, when, finally, they came. She eagerly looked forward to this, having come to hate the heat and dust of this unfamiliar part of the world. The dryness of the land made every bit of grit and stone along the way bite into her feet. How wonderful it would be to have lots of wonderful soft mud to walk over!

For weeks after her experience at the hands of the angry townsfolk and the terrible price they all of them, down to the last man and woman, paid for laying hands on her, she was treated with great deference and not a little fear by the inhabitants of those settlements near enough for news of her amazing rescue to have reached them. There had been no need for her to offer to work in return for food and drink - these nesessities had been eagerly thrust upon her, in the hope that she would move on and allow them to sleep peacefully in their beds of a night. The sight of many birds circling overhead made people feel somewhat uneasy!

Gradually she moved into more distant parts, into which her fame or notoriety had not spread. Again she found herself toiling and sweating to earn her daily bread.

Once she was asked to plough a field for a certain farmer, who seemed to think that her horse could pull the plough, but Sara refused to allow the fine thoroughbred to do such menial work and did it on her own, relying solely on the strength of her own body and astonising both the farmer and herself by completing the heavy task in one day. Looking down at her arms, she could see how much stronger she had become these past few months and wondered how she would adapt when she resumed her old life. It was a life which seemed more distant and more totally unreal, the further south she travelled. She longed for human company, but not for a life of ease. She would never accept that again, she was sure.

Another thing that was gnawing away at her mind was resentment that she, who had learned so much about ordinary folk in these months, knowledge that would stand her in good stead should she ever come to rule in her father's place, was to return and be the wife of the next King - just the little woman giving birth and keeping house, remaining always in the background while allegedly wise, pompous, middle aged men with grey beards and large paunches, settled the affairs of the Kingdom. She wanted more, much, much more, than that, deeply though she loved Prince Adelbert. She wanted to reign herself and railed inwardly against the law which made this impossible. She was inclined to think herself happier as a homeless, naked wanderer than a pampered doll cocooned in her palace dressed in fine clothes, a mere decoration, a beautiful adornment, with no real function - no role to play.

It would serve everyone right if she never came home! She knew by now she could survive in this new harsh and difficult world, not only survive but enjoy the experience. But it was a hopless dream! Not only was she bidden to remain away for no less than a year and a day, but she knew that she must on no account exceed this period, or the protection she had enjoyed would be withdrawn. She feared to take the step of disobeying the Fairy and betraying her destiny.

She still wanted a proper job, however, when she did return. Somehow or other, she would have her way and no male conspiracy would consign her to easeful purdah!


Princess Sara 14

The horse kept leading her Southwards until she sensed that she had gone sufficiently far to escape the fierce cold of winter. She could now explore the region where she was to spend the next few months, rather than keep pressing further and further on each day. The Fairy's confident prediction that she would be offered work was proved all too correct, and even the by now work-hardened Princess was reduced to total exhaustion as day after day the harvest of olives was gathered, potatoes were dug and all manner of stores and barns were filled with the goodly fruits of the earth in preparation for the coming winter.

When the winter did come, with a deluge which chilled the poor girl to the bone, exposed as she was, she wondered whether she had not wasted her time by making this long and hazardous trip south. The Fairy's words about caves in which to shelter, came back to mind. Could she have been serious? A cave was shelter and she was denied shelter by day or night. Best not risk further retribution, was her decision. Better to shiver all night and all day until the Spring when her return home could begin, than suffer more chastisement.

The trees in this region lacked the exuberant foliage of her own beloved dense woods and forests. They afforded little shelter, specially now that they had shed their sparse and sere leaves. The constant drip of water onto her body all through the night became her familiar lot, except on occasions, when she summoned the two white dogs to shelter her and she pitied them too much to put them to so much trouble too often, poor creatures! No! She was on her own and that was that! By day she worked, although less and less work was to be done and by the beginning of the New Year, it had dried up altogether.

She began to fear for the horse. A friendly farmer had agreed to stable him, but the animal pined at nights for his mistress and she dearly missed him. Then she remembered the caves! He could spend the night in a cave, snug and dry, while she could continue to sleep in the open as she knew she must.

When she asked the farmer if he knew of a suitable cave where the horse might shelter, he told her of one he sometimes used in the summer for shelter, before the goats were brought down to their winter quarters. She was welcome to use it as long as she wished, and hay for the horse would be always available for the Princess to come and carry back for her beloved equine friend.

It was a long treck out of the lowland settlement to the hills and evening was almost on her before she reached the cave in question. She was about to tell her friend to go inside and make himself comfortable, when a wisp of smoke could be seen issuing from the cave mouth. Some moments later, an amazing creature came out to see who was coming up the mountainside.

It had a head like that of a lizard and a long scaly body terminating in an enormous and sinuous tail. The feet were also scaly like a bird's, and with claw like toes. With one of the front feet the creature was clasping a lighted cigar, on which , having come to a halt and resting back on his powerful hind legs, he puffed vigorously, exhaling dense clouds of aromatic smoke into the evening air.

"What are you? And why are you in my horse's cave?" asked the Princess. Things were not going according to plan, and she hated tobacco smoke, regarding the noxious weed as the invention of the Evil One!

"I'm a dragon, you daft bitch. Can't you see? Look at all the smoke and fire I'm belching out, causing fear and panic in your chaste and maidenly breast!"

"Where did you learn to talk rubbish like that? And you only breathe out smoke because of that nasty cheap cigar you're smoking! Call that a decent smoke! My daddy wouldn't be seen dead with something like that between his teeth!"

The dragon looked downcast at this. Here was a damsel in distress that he could terrorise, after he had been weeks without a decent damsel, and the cow refused to be scared!

The Princess continued to berate the perplexed monster.

"Call yourself a decent dragon! In my country dragons are twice your size and they really do breathe fire - catch them having to resort to smoking cheap cigars - I bet you feel sick already, by the way. You look awfully green!"

The dragon took another puff in a daredevil kind of way and groaned. She was right! He felt terrible! Damn these Burmese Cheroots!

"When I feel better, I'm going to carry you off to my lair and chain you to the wall of my cave. Then you can get a white knight on a charger to come and rescue you. What jolly fun we're all going to have!"

The Princess let out a shriek of laughter at this latest absurdity from the dragon, the tears streamed down her face and she held her sides in pain as the mirth took hold for the first time in all the months since she had left her home.

"Just try carrying me off to your lair, you feeble excuse for a dragon!"she said as soon as she recovered "I could eat you for breakfast! Just look at my muscles! Stop wasting my time and find yourself a cave of your own, this is farmer Andreotti's cave and he's let me have it for the winter. Go away, you're beginning to try my patience!"

"What is a nice girl like you doing tending horses and wandering around starkers, any way? Not that you don't enhance the view, mind you! Bloody Hell - I haven't seen tits like that for many a long year! I love that long golden hair, though you could use a visit to a stylist! And that tight little bum of yours, it's a wanker's dream!"

"A wanker's dream! Well - you should know, arsehole! Now just piss off and get out of my cave before I throw you out. I'm getting annoyed with you! And my horse is tired and needs to rest out of the rain. There's a lovely cave a little higher up that'll be perfect for you. I saw it on the way up. I'd be happy to share this with you, but I only room with non-smokers. Off you go! Shoo!"

She moved threateningly towards the dragon, which was indeed a very small example of its type and the monster shuffled sheepishly off, stubbing out its cigar as it went.


Princess Sara Part 15

"I shall really miss you when you return home, Your Highness" said the dragon as the pair sat outside his cave one morning in early April, the day before the Princess Sara was due to begin her long walk back home - she was still not permitted to ride the horse, and so would need to start soon if she were not to be late.

"I'll miss you, Bill" replied the Princess, moving away from him as he exhaled cigar smoke - at least he was smoking a decent brand by this time!

"I see you have finally managed to capture a damsel - well done! I'm so incredibly happy for you, old chap!"

They both turned towards the cave entrance, where one of the village maidens was securely tied to an iron ring fixed in the rock. She was wriggling desperately in a hopeless and doomed attempt to get free. For reasons best known to herself she did not seem to share Princess Sara's happiness at the dragon's final success in damsel capturing after so many disappointments.

"Mind you, Bill, old fellow, she's not half as good looking as I am! It will only be a pretty third grade knight who comes to her rescue. She could be in for very long wait indeed, poor girl!"

The dragon sighed sadly at this. "I suppose so - but one has to start somewhere! A journey of a thousand miles begins with just a single step. And she doesn't look too bad, especially if the lighting is satisfactory and you view her from the right angle."

"With your eyes closed is the best way to look at her!" replied the unkind Princess in a voice loud enough for the captive to hear.

"Another disappointment is that she is not naked like you." complained the dragon. "I shall miss looking at your nice tits, that tanned flat stomach, rounded, gorgeous,tight,firm young rump, and the whole golden skinned loveliness of you, after you leave tomorrow. I really will!"

Sara blushed prettily and smiled even more prettily at this compliment. She then stood up and went over to the captive damsel. She looked back at the dragon.

"If you want her to be naked, then why not undress her? It's getting warmer every day - she won't freeze!"

"I don't like to interfere with her to that extent" said the dragon. "I feel rather embarrassed about handling her that intimately."

"Well - here's one last favour. Think of it as a good-bye present!" said the Princess with a silvery laugh, which caused the dragon to regret even more that this lovely neighbour was so shortly to be gone. With these words she ripped off the poor girl's peasant clothes, after which she bent down and removed her boots. Sara's delicate, beautiful little nose wrinkled disgustedly as the odour from the girl's unwashed feet reached her sensitive royal nostrils. "There, young lady, that'll teach you not to out late in defiance of your father's wishes. Parents have good reason for making these rules." she muttered to the cowering and shivering girl.

She walked back to her place next to the dragon and resumed her squatting position at his side.

"There you are, my scaly, cigar smoking neighbour! One naked damsel! If you value my advice you will give her a good hosing down. She's really high! Stinks to high Heaven. I can't decide if I did the right thing or not in stripping her for you. I mean to say, just look at her! She's so horribly flabby, and her skin tone is terrible - spots all over her! Not enough exercise and too much junk food - disgusting! No knight in his right senses would ever ride to the rescue of that! Best let her go in a couple of days. The knight would only kill you, anyway - they always do, you know! You hadn't been told that, had you?"

The green dragon thanked her for this warning. Half an hour later Sara rose to her feet, preparatory to leaving. The pair embraced as they said good-bye for the last time. He promised to untie the village wench later that day. It had been the catching of her that had given him the greatest satisfaction, and he was beginning already to tire of her perpetual whining. Not only that, but he too had noticed the peasant girl's distasteful and offensive unwashed smell.


The few months that Princess Sara had spent on this hillside had been peaceful and happy. Her beloved white horse had been comfortably housed in the cave and provisioned daily as she went down to the farm and back to collect fresh hay, a load of which she carried on her back for him. During the day she would chat to her neighbour Bill, the incompetent, undersized and cigar puffing dragon, after climbing the rocky slope up to his cave.

She had slept outdoors every night and had long since ceased to call on the magical white dogs to shield her from the rain, which she had learnt to sleep through as easily as if the weather were warm and dry. How she dreaded being confined to her bedchamber of a night when she went home! She determined that she would have the windows wide open, no matter what the weather! And fires would be banned in her apartments!

As she made the journey from the dragon's cave to her own for the last time, she asked herself once again what difference the last months had made to her. Very little in some ways, she decided. She still knew herself to be a Princess and had always been conscious of her superior rank even during the very worst times. It was a great joy, though, to have developed such a mystical rapport with all the birds and animals around her, whose unhoused and free condition she had shared these last amazing months, and would continue to share for a while yet.

Whenever she had been given hospitality along the way and this generosity had consisted in the provision of meals in which fowl and flesh had played a large part, she had never been able to suppress a feeling of guilt. Each lovely well-cooked dish might, after all, contain the body of a former friend! Generally, though, she managed to shrug off consideration of such moral issues and enjoy her meal!

The beautiful Princess was not a particularly deep thinker, being first and foremost a woman of action, whose quick intelligence was directed at the immediate world around her, as befitted a future ruler, which she was irrevocably determined to be by this time. "They aren't putting me through all this shit for nothing" was her abiding thought.

Sadly, her use of foul language was increasing all the while - she had given vent to some extremely highly coloured utterances at the time of her flogging, albeit 'sotto voce'. Martha, with her peasant blood, would have applauded, but not her father. Still less the saintly Archbishop, whom she was, in any case, determined to sack as soon as she became Queen!

For the last time she laid herself down at the entrance to the cave, guarding her beloved white horse, safe inside, with her by now formidable presence. She slept. Tomorrow the journey home would begin!


Princess Sara Part 16

She woke up at the very crack of dawn on the day she was due to start her return journey. The Sun's rim had just started to show itself in all its enormous early morning red circumference above the horizon, far away over the blue sea.

The white horse had been awake even before the Princess and was pawing the ground, snorting impatiently through his thoroughbred equine nostrils in his eagerness for the great adventure to come. He was bored after months of comparative inactivity. Soon, perhaps, he would be bearing on his willing back the weight of his beloved rescuer, mistress and friend on the final stage of her return journey.

It was the work of a few minutes to saddle the noble beast and fill the saddle bags with enough food and water to last for a couple of weeks. Princess Sara gave one last look at the cave where lived her unlikely friend, the dragon, seeing that there were no signs of life from him. He would not be up and about for hours, yet!

She noted with relief that the plump and greasy skinned village maiden had been released from her uncomfortable captivity. She led her faithful horse down to the plain, not looking back once at the scene of her hibernal resting place. It would only have made her sad.

The ground was still soft underfoot after the winter rains; easy for the still barefoot Princess to walk over. It was covered as far as she could see by a profusion of wild flowers, of a myriad different varieties - a breathtaking kaleidoscope of blues, reds, pinks, yellows, ultramarine and every other colour of the rainbow. She still found it hard to comprehend that a landscape that was so barren and parched in the long summer months could yield such an amazing fecundity of floral richness in the Southern Spring.

The little girl in her longed to make a chain of daisies and other flowers, draping them around her delicate, fragile neck, framing her small, firm and exquisitely formed breasts with their colours, but the proscription on any kind of adornment or covering, save the fairy ring, made this quite impossible. She contented herself with making a garland for her beloved white four-legged friend. He knew that this was a special gift from the adorable Princess and successfully resisted the temptation to eat it - for an hour or two at least!

When she came to the site of the healing lake, there was no sign of those warm and gentle waters, whose touch had restored her torn and tortured body to normal. However she was sure that it was not imagination on her part that the carpet of flowers was even richer here than elsewhere. It was still a place of magic.

She was not without her misgivings when her route led her through that town where the now deceased mob had bayed for her blood on that terrible day. She need not have feared. The dead had been buried and the survivors, the little children and those peaceable decent souls who had not been carried away by the puritanical zeal of the majority, locking themselves into their homes and praying that the poor girl might be spared, flocked out to greet her. They assured her that they bore her no ill will for what had befallen the rest of the townsfolk.

"After all" said the new mayor, "They were going to kill you in the most degrading and painful manner, bringing everlasting shame on themselves and also upon the rest of us. They only reaped what they had sown."

She accepted their offer to replenish her supplies of food and drink, continuing on her way, thankful that her earlier adventure had not been repeated.

For whatever reason, the horse then diverged from the route she had followed earlier in the year and she found herself in unfamiliar territory. The homes and farmsteads seemed meaner and poorer than those she had passed earlier. She came to a town and was saddened at the decrepitude of the buildings and the shabbiness of the people. Everyone seemed mean and shrivelled - in some way oppressed, as if by some ever present fear, which the Princess, herself could sense in the very air of the place.

"There is a purpose in my coming this way" she told herself. "I wonder what, exactly?"

Her question seemed part way to being answered soon enough. A group of people were walking across to her, breaking away from what looked like some kind of meeting in the town square. They were a sorry looking lot, shabbily dressed and downcast, with the very notable exception of one tall and faired haired young man, extremely young, but sufficiently far removed from boyhood as to have grown a full red beard, which accentuated the stern and decisive manliness of his features.

He was the only person in this place who did not look a slave to fear. Princess Sara felt herself drawn towards this youth -he seemed to be the sole healthy feature in what otherwise looked to be a diseased and dying community, a community being eaten away from within by defeatism and despair. She knew, as soon as she saw him, that Destiny had brought the two of them together for some great purpose! She waited for him to speak, but was surprised when one of the older members of the group spoke first.

This elder spoke in a thin reedy voice. "Greetings, exquisite and undressed lady! What misfortune have you suffered to reduce you to this wretched nakedness? What wrong have you done to incur such a punishment?"

"I have done no wrong, save give my heart to the man I love and be rejected unless I travel the world naked and homeless with no companion save this beloved steed whom I am forbidden to mount. I am a Princess and a very great lady in my own land and a great lady in your and any other land, despite my poverty."

The old man frowned at this. He explained, in a stern voice, that in this land there were no Kings and Queens and no Lord and Ladies either. All men and women were equal in this country and no one stood higher than his fellows, all decisions being taken by popular vote at meetings, one of which had been in progress when the Princess entered the town.

"A fat lot of good this freedom seems to have done you!" said the Princess, appalled to think that these people owed allegiance to no King and ruled themselves. Shocking!

"It is true that we have our problems here, young woman. We live under the shadow of a great evil. A monster lives at the top of that hill and demands tribute from us every year, so that we have little left of our produce to feed ourselves. Worse than this, this Thing demands the sacrifice every month of a fair maiden to appease his wrath. The time is near when we must decide which beloved daughter of our community must be surrendered to his insatiable greed for blood."

"I resent being called 'Young woman', my good man. I am used to be addressed as 'Your Serene Highness', but since you are obviously benighted and ignorant folk hereabouts, I will overlook your impertinence on this occasion. You need a King to rule you and I can see just the one you need."

She pointed to the fair young man, who stood head and shoulders over his fellows, even allowing for his upright stance and their shifty hang dog demeanour.

"Where is the unfortunate young lady you propose to sacrifice, miserable man?"

The elder pointed to a cowering maiden with pale and tear stained face, who stood a few yards apart from the rest.

"She is indeed the fairest of all your maidens as far as I can tell. She is not to be the latest innocent victim of your cowardice and this monster's evil. She shall be this young man's wife and your Queen. As for the sacrificial victim, look no further than at me! This monster shall be fed no more innocent maidens. He shall be killed this very day! I and your future King will do the killing!"

She turned to the young man.

"Come, fair youth, lead me to the lair of this creature and let us dispatch him forever!"

The young man responded eagerly to these inspiring words. He offered to find a suit of armour and a sharp sword for the Princess, but she refused haughtily.

"I wear no clothes and I carry no sword. Neither must you! Remove all your clothes, this instant! Naked and together, with nothing save our humanity to oppose this creature, we shall remove the curse under which you have all lived for too long. Come, youth! We waste time!"

Princess Sara Part 17

The proud Princess and the youth, whom she had arbitrarily designated to be the King of this barren and enslaved land through which she was passing, walked together, both as naked as on the day of their respective births, up the steep down that led to the lair of the monster. The newly naked young man winced with pain as the sharp stones cut into his tender feet, drawing blood, and the tough and hardened Princess glared angrily at his weakness.

"You must be a true and valiant man, a man of steel, my dear young friend! It is imperative that you face without fear the many dangers that this day will bring. Only such a man as that can be King of this unfortunate land. You are he, oh handsome youth, although you may not know it yet! Do not forget the maiden whose life will soon be entwined with yours and for whom you walk side by side with me to rescue from a hideous fate." The young man said nothing in reply to this strange girl whose mysterious and arrogant coming and contemptuously withering condemnation of the people's craven cowardice had given hope, at last, to a doomed and dying land.

Together they continued their long climb to the top of the hill where the monster had his lair. Her Serene Highness the Princess Sara looked sideways at the fair youth's manly form. Gosh! What an absolutely gorgeous and dishy guy he was, she thought! What fantastically handsome genitalia he had, hanging way down between his thighs and swinging about as he walked! And what muscularity and grace he had been endowed with! She could almost have wished that she herself could be the bride of this King in waiting. However she was, as ever, conscious of her duty to her own land and of her continuing and absolute love for the Prince Adalbert.

"Do you know what kind of a monster it is that we must both face and fight to the death?"

The youth replied "No, Princess. No one has ever set eyes upon the ogre and lived to tell the tale. The maidens are left outside his stockade and their bones are later thrown out to whiten on the hillside in the sun. You will see them when we get near. He made his home here five years ago and we have known no peace and no joy in all that time."

The Princess said no more and the pair continued to walk quickly up the slope towards the wooden stockade. When they reached the site of their ordeal, they stood still outside and waited for the creature to emerge. A roaring could be heard within and after some minutes, during which the young man grew pale with fear and anticipation of a horrible death, the doors flew open and the monster was revealed in all his gross and ugly malevolence.

The low-browed, ape-like figure was a good five inches taller than the young man, squat and thick, where the other was athletic and lean. His arms were long and almost brushed the ground. Instead of five fingers, his hands terminated in three scaly claws, like those of a bird or reptile. The diminutive Princess was dwarfed by this mighty beast, but, of the two, she was the one who showed no fear. She led her companion in the assault, urging him to remember that to be a King, he must first prove himself to be a man and a man of supreme valour at that.

He fought down his fear, overtook the Princess and launched himself upon the monstrous, slavering beast, being immediately thrown back, bleeding from a cut to his side. The Princess urged him not to heed his wounds, but to throw himself again into the fray, and this he did, time after time, being wounded until the blood from manny wounds glistened all over his lithe muscularity. Despite these wounds, which were deep and terrible, he was gradually wearing down the clumsy and cumbersome giant.

It became obvious, after two long and weary hours, that both adversaries were tiring and that the poor youth was now tiring faster. Just as it appeared that he was about to succumb after a mighty slashing blow from the creature's lethal talons had sent him staggering back, with a horrible gash opened up across his chest from which gushed out a veritable fountain of blood , the Princess was transformed from being a mere spectator and dashed towards the ogre, jumping at him and hitting him a glancing blow on the face with the hand on which her ring had been fixed all those months ago.

As the ring came into contact with that foul face, a horrible scream came from the monster's ugly mouth and he clutched at his eyes, which had already begun to show the same awful melting disintegration that had afflicted the hand of the youth at the well.

"He is blind. Now is your chance. Finish him!" she cried to the young man, who had staggered weakly to his feet after the last and most fearful of the many terrible blows the monster had dealt him. He gathered up what remained of his strength and jumped for the monster's neck, applying a stranglehold. Despite the giant's attempts to shake him off, he held his grip on the thick, muscular neck. Gradually the struggles became weaker and then ceased altogether. The pair had triumphed!

With the monster dead before them, the triumphant couple stood regarding their handiwork. The man asked the Princess if he might lean on her for support on the way back to the town, as he was very weak by this time, with so much of his blood shed upon the battleground. She scornfully told him that he was a King now and must look for no support save his own strength from now on. He had a job to do, now that the curse was lifted from his people. Rest was now a thing he would never know until death released him from the burdens of kingship. She wished him well and took the reins of her horse, which had followed them up the hillside, walking off in one direction, towards her own land and future, and allowing the new young King to go back to his people.

She turned just once and saw him walking down the hill, summoning up all his will and strength to walk firmly and confidently. She smiled. She could easily have despatched the creature herself with no blood shed, but the young man had needed this battle and all his awful wounds, which had transformed him into a hero in the eyes of his people.

"I wonder what more excitement lies in store for us, my darling companion," she murmured into the horse's ear. The animal neighed and shook his head. He was saying he could not wait to see the fine stable which the Princess had promised him when they finally returned to the Royal Palace.

Princess Sara 18

Three weeks had passed since the adventure with the young man and the fearsome monster. Princess Sara learnt from her overhead messengers, the birds, that the brave and strong youth had indeed been acclaimed as King, had recovered well from his wounds and was now betrothed to the lady originally intended as the monster's next victim. She was happy to hear this.

For some time, now, she had entertained doubts concerning her own role in the affair, letting him suffer so much hurt when she could easily have used the fairy ring to disable the ogre at once. The Princess had certainly experienced rather more than a frisson of pleasure at the sight of the brave young man shedding so much blood, experiencing such pain and yet bravely refusing to submit.

It had always been the same with her. Once, two young and valiant men had jousted to secure her favours and she had watched, fascinated by the sight of the blood they had both shed and the horrible injuries they had inflicted one on the other. After the tournament, she had presented the weary, and half dead, victor with a richly embroidered silk handkerchief, which he had promised to treasure for ever. She had given him nothing else! "All muscle and no brain - typical of his kind!" had been her sardonically dismissive comment to her dear companion Martha as they had left the scene of carnage together.

She certainly would not be so contemptuous about the new King, whose name she still did not know. He was not only brave, strong and marvellously handsome, but, more importantly, he was a man of character and intelligence. Yes! She should assuredly have come to his aid earlier, and felt increasing shame that she had not. She offered a petition to the Fairy expressing her willingness, her eagerness, to make amends for this and to be allowed to perform some act of penance.

That night, as she prepared to rest, she felt that the air against her skin was very much colder than recently. The path had been rising upwards for the whole day, as they crossed a range of high hills, and the height of summer was still some weeks off. She rubbed her ring, expecting the two dogs to appear. Instead, the familiar apparition of the Fairy began to take shape. When she finally assumed solid form, she spoke, after firstly and for some seconds, looking sternly at the cold and shivering Princess as she lay on the rough and hard ground.

"You were indeed most remiss in letting that poor, brave young man suffer so grievously at the hands of the ogre! You were right to let him fight until exhausted and also to allow him to suffer some hurt, as his pride would have suffered had his efforts been overshadowed by a woman's help. But! You were very wrong to sit back and take pleasure in his pain as you did. For that you will be punished.

"This is the penalty that you will pay! The power of the ring has been withdrawn from you for a certain time and you will not have its protection against harm until it is restored. I hope you endure the trials of the next few days with the same fortitude as the young and valiant King Alfonso did his."

"I accept your decision and I heartily and gratefully welcome it" said Princess Sara. "The burden of my guilt has been utterly insupportable these last days. Any price is worth paying to have that burden lifted. A cold night or two will be no hardship."

"You will have more than a few shivers to endure, Your Serene Highness. Much more!"

And with these ominous words, the fairy dematerialised.

The by now seriously chilled Princess resigned herself to a night of discomfort, lying back on the ground, stretched out, with her hands behind her head, looking up at the stars. It was the first time for many long months that she had inspected so closely the array of glittering and twinkling constellations up above. She wondered in childlike amazement at all the mysteries that must be hidden amongst those inscrutable multitudinous, silent specks of light. What an immensity of dramas, each far more thrilling than her own puny earthbound adventures, must be being enacted in those distant reaches of interstellar space, even as she lay there and shivered through the terrestrial night.

Gradually, the temperatures dropped lower and lower, until frost began to form on the grass and even on her body hair. Still she lay in wonder, her eyes lost in contemplation of the marvels and mysteries above, quite oblivious now to the cold. By degrees, after her long hours of cold contemplation of the infinity above her, the eastern sky lightened and the sun majestically rose, extinguishing, one by one, the lights of the sidereal host. She rose stiffly to her feet, having neither had nor desired to have, a second's sleep all night. She prepared the horse for the next day's journey.

Her Serene Highness had stoically endured a night, the most of goodness knew how many, without warmth or sleep. What would the coming day bring? The Princess knew full well that the challenges would be severe - knowing what she did, by this time, of Fairy justice. Nevertheless, she faced them entirely without fear.

This battle hardened young woman had passed through too much by this time for anything other than the most stupendous and horrific of ordeals to disturb her. A slender and fragile girl she might be, but she was descended from a race of warrior kings and, though her effeminate father might have represented something of a divergence from this martial tradition, the fiery red blood of a long and glorious line of heroic ancestors flowed vigorously through her veins.


Three more nights followed, during which she was not able to call on the assistance of the warming soft comfort of the faithful white dogs. After the icy penetrating cold of that night, the first of her punishment, and an incredible experience of sublime mental and spiritual elevation, spent lying under the stars, she passed from the high upland country back to the hot plains.

The proud and increasingly self-sufficient Princess no longer felt the need of any other-worldly aid. "Who needs help to live as I do, naked and homeless?", she asked herself repeatedly. "Not I, the Princess Sara! I am no ordinary silly girl who screams at the sight of spiders, frightened, even of her own shadow, screaming and sobbing at the slightest hurt!

"If it were not for my darling Prince, I would stay for ever under the stars and sky, banished from all habitation, denied all form of bodily covering, beaten and stung by the hail and rain, scorched by the fierce Summer sun, fighting off all dangers and braving the worst that the elements could do!

"How I dread returning to the hateful idle luxuries and sickening frivolities of my old life! Oh! How I wish I were a man! What a marvellous thing to be like that brave youth who is now a King , fighting long and bloody battles against all manner of fierce and mighty foes, finally to die gloriously in battle, one's name a legend for centuries to come!"

She looked longingly up at her splendid white horse. When, oh when, would she be allowed to mount him and ride him into some fierce and bloody fight, daring her foes to do their worst, as she pointed her lance at the serried ranks of the enemy hosts? Why must she walk ever by his side, leading him as she did? It just wasn't fair!

Princess Sara 19

Princess Sara woke as the sun was beginning his morning ascent, dispersing yet again, the blackness of night. Cockerels were crowing and had been for the last few hours, leading the avian orchestra in its daily chant of welcome to the dawn. She stretched herself lazily and luxuriously on the ground, feeling the small stones and tufts of wiry grass beneath her ever sensitive and silky soft skin. What a wonderful day she was about to have! The fairy's stern warning was all but forgotten.

Despite ten days without the protection afforded by the now dormant fairy ring, she was proceeding well along her return path to love and fortune. Each night, after those first few cold hours of her punishment, had been spent under the stars in balmy languorous ease and she had slept deeply and well. The guilt she had felt at her treatment of the brave young King had evaporated and been replaced by a complacent sense of her own far-seeing righteousness. After all, real, hard men should learn to take many fearsome, damaging and painful blows, the more the better, she told herself. She wanted the man she married to have a body covered with countless deep and terrible scars, the result of many a hard and brutal battle, in all of which he had triumphed, fighting for her honour and approbation.

Then came the recurring stab of pain. "Why can I not prove myself in combat like my valiant and doughty ancestors? Why am I doomed to be a feeble woman all my life?" She recalled that day when her darling friend Martha had felled her with a single fearsome blow to the jaw, instantaneously reducing her to a state of semi-comatose humiliation. She had always accepted that the punch in question had been well merited and richly deserved, but the fact that she been able to do no other than succumb still rankled.

"Martha can fight. Why can't I?" she bitterly complained. Then she looked down at herself and saw at once why not. Despite all the gruelling and hard work she had been forced to do and the immense strengthening of her body that had resulted from this incessant toil, she was still only five feet three inches tall and of slim build - wirily strong perhaps, but still very, very slim and dainty. The delicate loveliness that melted men's hearts would serve her ill in brutal physical combat. She cursed the Fate that had given her a woman's body and a man's heart.

Fate was listening and was not at all amused at this! As she prepared to lead her beloved horse on the continuing journey, now well over half way completed, she had no idea what lay around the next bend in the track. In a few minutes, the starry-eyed and romantically battle hungry girl would have had her fill of conflict!

Ahead of her, as she rounded a bend in the road were three men. She was used, by this time, to encountering strangers along the way and had long ago lost all traces of her former shyness, carrying her body proudly, aware of the admiration it excited from men and women alike. It was increasingly sad for her to contemplate that day, now only weeks off, when she would once more be arrayed in fine clothes, her tanned, lithe beauty hidden from view.

There was something in the attitude of these three ruffians that spelt trouble as soon as she saw them and they her. They were coming towards her and she looked around for a suitable place to stop and defend herself, as she knew she must, with a burst of fear combined with a wonderful, intoxicating excitement, something she had never experienced in her life before and which she instinctively realised to be a heady and addictive drug. She determined to defend her honour or die in the attempt.

"Look at that pretty, shameless little maid, lads We'll each have her before we throw her body to the vultures and take that fine steed which she is afraid to mount." shouted the leading villain to his two confederates, who jeeringly and enthusiastically signified their agreement.

Sara saw that there were many large, loose stones by the roadside at the point she had reached. She stopped and waited for the rogues to come near,

"I command you to let me pass. I am a Princess and low peasants such as you are duty bound to obey me!" she cried out in her clear confident voice. They answered her with a scornful, coarse laugh and the leading man drew a long sharp knife.

Without waiting to let him get any nearer, she picked up a large stone, aimed it and threw it with all her force at the man, who fell to the ground, his skull split open with the force with which the heavy rock had been hurled by the little girl. She was a lot stronger than she looked. She was a lot stronger than she had herself realised!

The remaining brigands ran at her and she felled one in the same way as she had their leader before the third man jumped at her and grappled her to the ground, hitting the Princess across the face, leaving a large bruise and drawing blood from her nose and mouth. Both of her arms were firmly grasped by this man, a tall and powerful fellow, in whose strong and merciless hands she was helpless. She allowed her body to go limp, and he released one arm, using his free hand to pull down his breeches.


She was looking closely through her almost shut eyelids, at her attacker, while pretending to have been knocked out by his savage blow. Gently, imperceptibly, she moved her free arm and waited for her chance, the last chance to preserve her virginity and her life. The man drew his head back briefly and as he leant again towards her, she drove her hand upwards, her middle and index fingers apart in the shape of the letter "V". The two fingers penetrated the man's eyes, blinding him instantly.

He screamed horribly, clutching pathetically at his wounded face. Princess Sara slipped from under him and leapt to her feet, picking up a suitably heavy rock and dashing out his brains with one vicious blow into which she put all her strength. All three of her assailants were dead, killed by a slightly built, tiny girl, who a year earlier had known only luxury and idleness.

"So perish all rapists and abusers of women!" she muttered, before continuing her journey, more erect in her bearing and full of pride than she had ever been before, and the more attentive reader will have gathered by this time that humility had never, in any case, been one of her more noteworthy qualities. She rubbed her face and noted, with a satisfied thrill of pleasure, the blood on the back of her tiny, perfectly formed hand. How distressing, she thought with deep regret, not to have a looking glass to inspect her first ever real proper wounds! The ones she had suffered at the whipping post didn't count, she decided, but these had been sustained in a face to face fight to the death, and she would be fiercely proud of them for the remainder of her days.

So this was what it was like to be a fighter, she thought excitedly! Oh, how lucky men were to be born for nothing else! Now that she had finally tasted the exhilaration of combat, she longed to prove herself in a proper war, riding her white horse into battle at the head of her country's armies, felling enemy after enemy until victory had been won.

The horse, too, seemed to walk more jauntily than before, as he led his mistress and double rescuer along the last few leagues back to her home.


Princess Sara 20


The returning Princess patted the horse's head and urged it into a gallop. She was somewhat behind schedule after being diverted several times from her proper route by one damned thing and another.

Once she had been attacked by three robbers, whom she had managed to kill, but not before receiving a shocking blow to her beautiful face, leaving a deep wound that went down her nose and upper lip, causing blood to flow copiously from both.

In the exhilaration of combat and her unlikely victory, the Princess had paid little heed to this injury. She had even gloried in it for a while, treating it as a rite of passage into a new phase of her life, in which she would be a warrior Queen, earning herself an imperishable name as a woman of valour. Two days after the incident, she was less happy. The wound started to throb painfully and was obviously badly infected, oozing pus and causing the most intense agony whenever she touched it, no matter how gently. She could sense that the poison was invading the rest of her body, and cried out to the unseen Fairy for help.

A further day passed and the sick and suffering girl could go not a step further, sinking onto the grass at the roadside and falling straight away into a feverish sleep. When she woke up, her pains had gone. She touched the injured face to find the skin smooth and unscarred. It would seem that the Fairy world had again taken her into their care after they had withdrawn it as a punishment for her cruel treatment of the young King.

She wished they could have left her just the faintest mark, though, in order to remind her of her great victory in the first ever fight of her life - the first of very many, she still hoped! When she next had the chance to inspect herself in a looking glass, she was overjoyed to see that they had!

A day after this, the Fairy had appeared to her and told she could now mount her horse, which she had just decided to name Champion. She was now near the borders of her own land and in two days' time, her long exile would be over. The bird messengers told her of the preparations that had been made for her return, with a great festival in the Palace, as well as many separate fetes and fairs in her honour throughout all the land, with free food and wine for every citizen - as much as all could eat or drink.

She was trying to decide what to wear for this glittering pageant, and finally made her decision. She would wear nothing! As long as her father did not insist on her conforming once again to the norms of that society to which she had been so long a stranger and from which she had been exiled, she would grace the celebrations attired as she had been for the past year, in the fair, and by this time greatly beloved, garb of Mother Nature.

Only when all the guests had departed would she finally and very reluctantly don once more the clothes which she had once loved and treasured and now despised, dreading their rough, unwelcome and abrasive touch on her long exposed skin - skin which had come to love the caresses and blows, tender as well as harsh, of the vernal breezes, the winter rain and hail and the hot, searing burning of the summer sun.

As her horse, galloping in response to her urging, took her nearer and nearer to a joyful reunion with family and friends, she felt the air cooling her skin as the wind blew in her face, and the sun's rays on her back warming her with their kind and gentle heat, knowing that these physical sensations, these simple joys, which she had come to take for granted over these last wonderful months would soon be rare pleasures as she undertook once more, the duties of her royal rank and prepared for other solemn duties - those of a wife and future mother. There was more than a hint of sadness to set against the increasing joy she felt at the prospect of her reunion with her beloved Martha and the long hoped for andconfidently expected engagement to Prince Adelbert.

This last year had transformed her. The shy and frail Princess, afraid to show her nakedness even to her dearest friend, who had set out on that fateful day, had now become a self-confident woman, strong and proud of her body and not caring who knew it. She had survived freezing cold and burning heat, been attacked by robbers and prevailed over them, and helped in the establishment of a new kingdom after first helping the brave young king slay the ogre that had been sucking the life blood out of his community for so many years. Life was going to seem so terribly mediocre and deadly boring in the weeks and months ahead!

This was a young person whom danger and hardship had rendered as fearless and bold as she had become resourceful. All the arrogant and unthinking assumptions she had always held, regarding her own fitness to command obedience and respect, had been confirmed by the way she had triumphed over one peril after another. She knew with an absolute cast-iron certainty that she was rightly destined for better things than mere wifehood and motherhood and was determined to secure for herself a great position in the counsels of the land, taking her place by the side of her father, her future husband and all the other great figures in the realm.

As she was considering all these matters, she crossed the border into her own land and soon began to pass people by the roadside, standing in their hundreds and thousands peering to catch a glimpse of her after her year's absence. There was much surprised drawing in of breath, as the bronzed and supple figure of the naked Princess, with her long and unkempt mane of golden hair galloped past. There were many cheers as well - especially from the men!

She rode through the night to reach the Royal Palace just as dawn was breaking. As the exhausted horse approached the Palace gates she saw, standing at the gateway, her darling Martha, that well remembered and more than ever beloved childhood friend whose loyal attempt to follow her into exile had led to her enchantment by the Good Fairy. Princess Sara let out a scream of joy, which rang and echoed around the Palace precincts, and leapt with her newly acquired agility from Champion's back, her tanned and hardened little feet landing nimbly and lightly on the ground in front of her friend.

She embraced her, fiercely at first, and then with gentle and increasingly longing tenderness, her hands stroking every inch of that beloved and much missed companion's warm and shapely body, receiving, in return, an equally loving and emotional response from the tearfully happy Martha . It was many minutes before their lips drew apart, their arms released each other and they had their first real long, searching and joyful look at one another in many a long month.

The Palace had been wakened by the sound of Princess Sara's delighted shout and the courtyard began to fill with people, chief among them her father and mother. She kissed them and embraced as many of the gathered servants and courtiers as she could before being urged inside, to find herself no longer under the open skies, but back inside the Palace. This was after a year, during which she had known no other roof than the dome of the heavens and had come dearly and irrevocably to love its freedom and immensity.

The palace, spacious building though it was, seemed to be closing in around her and crushing the breath out of her body. She wanted to scream in sheer blind panic, but controlled herself. The people around her were so happy to see her safely returned. This was not the time to be weak and, with all her formidable powers of will, she beat down the urge to dash outside, mount her horse and ride away, never to return.


Princess Sara - Conclusion - Part 1

For four years after her return from her exile, Princess Sara dutifully played the role of wife and mother, in keeping with the expectations of her family and her new husband, the Prince Adelbert. She bore him two sons, both lusty and healthy infants who throve strongly from the day they came bawling into the world. Although she was only a small woman, she was strong and survived the horrors of childbirth well. With the elder of her sons now nearly three years old, her figure was as trim and captivating as ever, her great beauty undiminished.

Her husband had not aged as well as his wife! That impressive bulk had turned to fat, a process hastened by the Prince's increasingly idle, gluttonous and pleasure seeking lifestyle. As she lay beside him in bed one morning, feeling his sweaty corpulence against her, the Princess decided that she would sleep alone in future. She thought of that noble youth whom she had helped turn into a king and sighed to herself. What her husband needed, she sadly reflected, was a war to fight, or at least another man once in a while, to face in a good hard brawling fight, but he was a coward at heart - she could see that all too clearly.

"If I had been a man and blessed with such a body as his, I should have used it to prove myself a hero and a warrior, not let it degenerate in to that mass of blubber" she said to her friend Martha one day, as they rode together, naked in the crisp, cold early morning air as they both still loved to be, into the hills and forests. Martha laughed sympathetically - her own husband, Baron Schroder, was still a fine figure of a man with an athlete's build and a love of sport, wrestling, fencing and hunting on horseback three times a week (he still gave her a splendid time in bed every night - and she him!)

She again asked Sara to tell her more stories of her year and a day as a wanderer, having never tired of hearing again and again of the amazing adventures her friend had experienced during those long months away. The Princess happily obliged her closest companion, as it gave her great joy to remind herself of that year of freedom and challenge. As she told of her adventures, she relived them inwardly and recaptured the many differing sensations she had experienced at the time. How dearly she wished she were still on her travels, sleeping on the rough and dirty ground every night instead of those hateful soft beds between those despised and loathsome white, freshly laundered, scented sheets!

She had kept her promise to herself on her first day back home, to attend the reception as naked as she had been for the past year, only allowing her maid to dress her once the last guest had departed. As the clothes had been slipped over her still dainty, but bronzed and deceptively powerful shoulders, the ring, long immovably fixed to her finger, had fallen off, tinkling on the stone floor of her apartment. That gentle, scarcely audible noise had sounded to her like a funeral bell drearily tolling the end of her liberty.

She had picked up the gold band and shed a tear for her lost freedom. The ring was now kept in a leather pouch, which she always wore next to her skin. Today it bobbed up and down in keeping with the rhythm of Champion's strides, knocking gently and regularly against her delicious breasts as they rode together.

"Whatever happened to your determination to take part in the Council of State, Sara? Too busy being a wife and mother?" asked Martha, when the Princess had finished her story of the day. She herself had no child, a cause of some sorrow, although there was still plenty of time.

"No, Martha. I leave the upbringing of the children to their nurses and soon they will begin their long process of instruction and education. I see them once a day and that is it. The joys of childhood are unworthy of future Kings and warriors. I am prevented by the stupidity of men, whose ineptitude brings the Kingdom ever deeper into crisis, from having my rightful say. I will prevail one day, however. There are many who are appalled at the way things are going and I am in constant touch with them. My time will come!"

Martha glanced at the young Princess beside her as they rode towards their favourite picnic spot. She was as proud as ever and a hundred times more determined. She did not doubt that the day would come when her childhood friend would indeed come to have her say in the governance of the land, and that this day would be a happy one for all but the indolent and stupid.

There were many dangers impending at the present time. A neighboring King had been eyeing some of the country's richest provinces for some years and the reaction of the King, her father, had been weak and pusillanimous in the extreme, offering concessions and bribes which had only served to spur the aggressor to make further demands. Things were beginning to look deadly serious.

Princess Sara knew that the army was ready to march at her father's command, but this command never came. There was only one solution, a solution so drastic, that even this highly determined young woman still shrank with horror and distaste from implementing the measures necessary to achieve it!

Princess Sara - Conclusion - Part 2

Another week passed and the Princess become more and more withdrawn. The troubles and perils which were beginning to overwhelm the Kingdom were on her mind all day and every day. Messengers were seen coming and going from her Spartan apartment where each night, she slept alone, naked and unprotected, on the cold stone floor, the windows wide open to let in the icy, purifyingly clean night air.

She could no longer be prompted to regale her companion with thrilling tales of her adventures. Martha still accompanied her darling friend on their morning rides, but found them more and more uncomfortable, as the Princess rode slowly, her mind seemingly a million miles away. The bigger girl found the cold of these Spring mornings getting to her in a way it never did to the hardened and stoical Princess - each day more and more a woman of steel. Loyal Martha bore all this meekly and patiently, knowing her company to be of value to the deeply worried girl at her side.

Most days they would ride to the same spot where, years ago, Sara had humbly apologized to her peasant companion for her unforgivably wicked viciousness and cruelty in ordering her to strip in font of the whole Court, including the King. They had been close friends before this seminal event, but after it, their love and mutual respect had deepened so as to assume an almost sacred nature for them both. Sara would gladly die, if it should ever become necessary, to save the precious life of her friend, and Martha felt the same for the Princess with the same supercharged fierceness and utter certainty.

All week the rumours of military incursions from the neighbouring kingdom of Glossburg under their bombastic and ruthles King Adolf the Terrible, had been circulating and causing growing fear. Groups of worried looking citizens could be seen, wherever men assembled and met together, discussing the possibility of war with this ruthless neighbour and the terrible eventuality of possible conquest and subjugation.

Most men still trusted their beloved King to fight for them and lead their army to victory, but those few people with access to the highest in the land knew better than to trust this amiable and selfish weakling and his obese and degenerate son-in-law, who had once seemed such a brave and glorious hero. Distrust and uncertainty were beginning to percolate downwards and sap people's morale. The situation was becoming desperate and the Princess knew this full well. She rued more bitterly than ever that she had not been born a man! She would have sorted this mess out months ago, instead of letting the situation reach this desperate pass!

One morning, with the frost still adorning the grass, the couple were on their way to their beloved usual spot, where they intended to spend the day, relaxing on the sward as the sun rose and warmed their young and lovely nakedness. Suddenly, the Princess pulled up her white horse, the faithful Champion, and dismounted. For some seconds she stood there, her bare feet chilled by the rime on the grass, but seemingly unaffected by this.

After what seemed an aeon to the shivering Martha, anxious to get moving again and restore some circulation to her cold limbs, the pensive Princess took off the leather pouch from around her slim neck and removed the ring, which she placed on her finger. She had done this many times in the last four years, hoping for something, and always the ring, obviously several sizes too large for those delicate and almost transparent fingers, slid off. This time it was different! The simple and plain band of pure gold fitted snugly on her finger and would not suffer itself to be removed, no matter how hard the excited Princess pulled!

"I knew it, my darling friend! My time has come at last! Always remember this - darling, precious Martha! Of all those I know and love in this world, none has ever or will ever stand higher in my affections than you. Remember that always, my dear friend - words alone, in their pitiful and hopeless inadequacy, can never hope to express even the most minuscule part of the immense and profound love I have for you! And now we must go home. I will attend the meeting of the State Council to prevent disastrous decisions being taken by the miserable and despicable cowards who are ruining our land, chief among them, I grieve to say, my husband and father! Come with me, if you will be so kind, my love! I so desperately need the presence of my truest and dearest friend on such a day as this will be!"

With these words, Princess Sara quite literally leapt back onto the back of her adored Champion. She bent her slim and supple back, softly whispering something into his ear, an expression on that heartbreakingly beautiful face of such gentle and loving tenderness to the beloved steed and companion through her journeys, as caused the watching Martha to shed tears at the sight of it, knowing with a fearful cold hand on her heart, that her dear friend might be with her for very little longer.

The Princess urged the horse into a gallop. He had reacted to whatever Sara had said to him in the most amazing way, pawing the ground frantically with his front hooves and then kicking out frantically with his back legs, snorting and neighing loudly.

Martha caught up.

"What did you say to Champion, Sara?"

"I said he was to bear me on a mission of great danger, in which we might very likely perish, the pair of us! He is no coward - the brave and wonderful fellow! And neither am I! We rejoice together at what we are both called to do. And - my dear friend - before so very long, you must cease to call me 'Sara', although it pains me to say it. You will see what I mean soon enough! Just never, ever forget that you are the one I love most in this world - apart from my people!"

By the time they reached the Palace, both girls were red with exertion and a healthy glow covered both their bodies, as well as the steaming flanks of the two horses. Sara dismounted with one bound, landing lightly on her feet with the cat like agility she had acquired during the course of the long and memorable exile, from which she had returned four years ago.

"Come along, Martha, my sweet dear friend. To the Council Chamber, this very minute! Not a second must be lost if our land is to be saved from both the foul hand of the enemy and the evil cowardice of traitors within!"

"Surely you must be properly dressed in your Robes of State and I in my Peeress's gown?" asked an amazed Martha.

"Now that I wear once again the Fairy Ring, no other covering shall adorn my body until the danger to our country is past!"

The two naked girls ran up the staircase leading to the Council Chamber and brushed aside the astounded guards, Sara, a little ahead of her friend. The Princess and the faithful Martha burst into the room. At once all the feverish talking among the courtiers and generals ceased, as heads turned in stupefied amazement to the doorway. The tiny but imperious Princess, speaking in tones of ringing authority and total clarity, her voice audible throughout the enormous room, demanded immediate admittance to their counsels!

Princess Sara - Conclusion - Part 3 - last but one and penul

"What do you mean by this? You shame us all by appearing before us naked. Take these girls way, guards!"

So spoke the King as he saw his daughter and her loyal friend, naked and sweating, and smelling somewhat after their exertions, burst into the council chamber.

"I am one in whose veins flows the blood of heroes! I would be a hero myself but for the cruel fate that made me a woman! I have a right to know how you propose to defend this land from the dangers which threaten it from every side. Speak, oh my beloved Father!" So spoke the regal Sara, her face white with rage.

There were murmurs of approval from among the phalanx of Generals seated at the far end of the Council table. They had, to a man, been eagerly waiting for the Princess to arrive.

The King reddened. He spoke after some effort, seeming to have difficulty breathing!

"King Adolf has been graciously pleased to make us a fine and generous offer, my beloved daughter! I do not doubt that you will heartily agree that it will, verily, be the salvation of our Kingdom and the harbinger of a time of peace and amity between our two countries!

" In a few minutes, my sweet and lovely daughter, you and Martha can go and return to your needlework, crochet and womanly gossip, leaving the serious business of government and diplomacy to those best qualified to practice these delicate arts. I and your fine husband have negotiated an honourable way out of the troubles that have caused such bad blood between out two countries!"

The scornful Princess glared ferociously and with the most ultimately corrosive hatred at her degenerate father and at her obese and drunken husband, for whose sake she had once been so pathetically anxious to undergo pain, humiliation and deprivation. How monumentally wrong can one be, she wryly thought!

"And just what wonderful deal has the disgusting Adolf, with his silly hair style and ridiculous moustache, offered you, my pathetic and ludicrous father?"

King Wilhelm went red with fury at this very unfilial remark.

"He will leave us in peace, my daughter!"

Princess Sara fixed her father with a look of the most incandescent scorn and hatred.

"Just what humiliation must we endure, that we might be left in peace by this evil piece of human detritus?"

King Wilhelm looked even more embarrassed.

"Er...... Well, my poppet! He would just like to be in charge of the education of little Friedrich and have him brought up at his Court. I mean, my darling you won't miss him. After all said and done, you hardly ever see him!"

"I have deprived him of a normal childhood and myself of the joys of motherhood, deeply though I love both my boys, for a reason, and that is that they are being brought up to be rulers and must, sadly, be denied a normal life. I would never consent to your wicked and cowardly suggestion that my darling elder child be given to King Adolf to be trained into a puppet and his own country's foe."

She was deathly pale by this time, the only colour being two spots of red on each cheek bone, and the livid scar she still carried as a result of her encounter with the three robbers was no whiter than the rest of her face. It was plain to her father, who had long known what a terrible and vicious temper his daughter often had, that Princess Sara was angry in a way that even she had never been before.

"You vile excuse for a man! You are no longer fit to rule in this Kingdom! If you ever were! There is one who will rule here instead and save our country from serfdom and shame. I am she! "

She rose to her naked feet dominating the assembly, despite her small height and slight, fragile build. Her voice rang out, putting fear into the hearts of her husband and father and hope into all others present.

"This creature is no longer your King! The blood of our valiant ancestors which runs hot and strong in my veins has turned to water in his! I am now your Queen and he is deposed! The time of drift and compromise is past. This country is now at war and the enemy will shortly receive a blow at my hands from which he will never recover!"

"GUARDS!!! Take away this man, who is hereby stripped of all rank, and also that pitiful excuse for a man, my husband over there! Throw them into the deepest dungeon and let them rot there till the end of their days - the traitors!"

As if it had been prearranged (Which, of course, it had - to the last detail!) a detachment of guards seized the two trembling men and hustled them roughly from the room, down to the underground prison, where they were to remain until the day of their death. The new Queen turned a deaf ear to their terrified pleading. She forgot their existence the moment they were taken from her sight and was never to give any thought to either of them again, burying all memory of them as irrevocably as she had ordered their living burial in the cells. Her mother, the Queen soon reconciled herself to ex King Wilhelm's departure. She had long tired of his preference for his own sex, including his son-in-law, and was glad to see her daughter in charge, being a woman of spirit herself.

Once the former King had been removed, Queen Sara, still naked save for the Fairy ring, turned to the old General, with whom she had been in secret talks for weeks.

"When can the Army march, General Manfred, my friend?"

"As soon as you give the order, Your Majesty! I promise that this time tomorrow, I will bring you news of a great victory!"

"No need to bring me news, old friend! I shall be with you on the field. I will lead the army into battle myself, being wherever the fighting is fiercest until the day is won or I am cold and dead! Let us be off and throw this vile King Adolf out of our country and destroy him and his army!"

She turned to Martha who had witnessed all this in amazement, knowing now why she would never again be allowed to address her friend as Sara! Sara's childhood companion knelt before her new Sovereign.

"I leave you in sole charge of the Kingdom, my dear and trusted friend. If, as is all too likely, I do not return, please see that my two sons are brought up as I would wish and have me buried where I fall, with only a simple stone to mark the spot. Please rise, my dear, and never kneel before me again."

"Yes, Sar.. I mean, Your Majesty. Please return to us! I know you will! God will protect you and give you a great victory!"

The pair embraced briefly but tenderly, the new Queen brushing away a tear as she left Martha for what she feared might be the last time.

General Manfred put his arm around the Queen's slight and naked shoulders as they walked towards their horses, both saddled and ready. "I can't stop you leading us, my dear, aand have no wish to in ant case, but where, oh where will we find a suit of armour for one so tiny!"

She smiled up at the brave old warrior, not in any way taking offence at the familiarity of his gesture and words.

"I will need no armour, my friend! This ring is all I shall wear until we win. If I am killed, bury me as I am now, wearing nothing save this blessed simple ornament, at the very spot I fall!"

Princess Sara - Conclusion - THE END
Sat Jan 18 05:19:23 2003

The new young Queen and the old general rode side by side for four hours, until the army reached a point, twenty miles from the border, where the attack was expected. She had been true to her determination to lead her soldiers into the fight and not to wear any protection except the ring. Her horse, the faithful Champion was showing more liveliness than ever as his nostrils detected in the air, the smell of approaching glory both for him and his lovely rider.

"The enemy army is on the other side of that hill, and they have stopped to rest and regroup before pushing ahead later in the day. What do you suggest, General?"

The old man laughed.

"If they are indeed where you say, and how could you possibly know, then we should split into two and attack from opposite sides both coming at them simultaneously. But we do not know where they are."

"Trust me, General. My spies are everywhere and they always tell me true!" She pointed into the air at the wheeling flights of birds which had been following them all day.

She spoke again.

"I will head the first attack and you the second. Wait until we have engaged the enemy and only move when all his forces have been thrown against us. Then fall upon his rear and together we will destroy them! Do not fear for me! Whether I live or die matters nothing so long as our country is saved. Farewell for now and maybe for ever my brave old general!"

The two parted, not without tears on both sides and the army divided. The general sat on one side, looking down at the assembled invading force with a couple of aides, the rest of the troops being hidden from the foes' eyes, behind the hill.

He waited until the other half of the army launched their attack, led by the Queen, naked and with her golden hair flying behind her, astride her horse galloping towards the foe. He had always loved her dearly, ever since she had been a little girl. The haughtiness she had reserved for so many others had never been directed at him - she had admired and hero-worshipped him for his glorious deeds in battle far too much for that! Many hours she had spent at his feet being told stories of the battles of his youth, her eyes full of wonder.

As she reached the enemy and plunged right into their midst, he was convinced that this brave young woman was lost to him for ever, but the leading soldiers, only yards behind, her plunged themselves into the melee, and surrounded the tiny Queen, who had already killed two of the invaders with a sword which she was using to devastating effect, despite its weight and her diminutive size. The demoralised foe fell back and the general saw the Queen gallop along the line of her army, obviously urging them on to greater efforts. Time and again her saw her rushing to be in the midst of all the heaviest fighting and she survived every foolhardy foray, although even from that distance he could see the blood from dozens of cuts covering her lovely body with its crimson stain.

Finally the entire enemy force was engaged with the Queen's army and she was obviously having trouble preventing her hard-pressed and outnumbered forces from retreating, inspiring them by the example of her own incredible courage to press on anew despite their weariness and heavy losses.

The General ordered his own men to attack and within minutes they had taken the enemy's rear completely by surprise. Within an hour it was all over and General Manfred looked around the carnage for a sight of his beloved Queen, sick with a dreadful fear that she had perished. He need not have worried!

She came up to him, her face covered in smiles, despite the many wounds she had suffered. The faithful Champion had come through totally unscathed, much to the relief of his rider. Together the two of them received a delegation of the enemy, headed by their young Prince - since their King Adolf had fallen in battle, slain by the Queen herself, who had been looking for him from the first.

The enemy were allowed to leave in peace, after gathering up their wounded and burying their dead. The new King promised faithfully, on his knees before his conqueror, that his country would always live at peace with its neighbour for ever onwards and Queen Sara believed him.

Darkness had fallen long since, as the Queen and her victorious entourage returned to the Palace. Her wounds were beginning to cause her to become faint and the General was afraid she might succumb. It was not only physical weakness that was affecting her, however. Far worse was the terrible news she would have to give her dearest friend.

The gallant Baron Schroder had insisted on joining the battle, despite the fact that he was not a trained solider, and had ridden with the Queen's detachment, falling early on, but not before killing several of the enemy and displaying the highest courage. Martha could be justly proud of him!

It was not until Champion had been watered and stabled, Martha had been personally told by her friend of her loss and the weeping and distraught widow comforted by the Queen and finally left to sleep, that Queen Sara allowed her concerned doctors to treat her wounds.


A month after the great victory, the Queen and her best friend, still in mourning, were riding to their favourite spot. This was an outing they could make only rarely, now that Sara was forced to spend so much time on affairs of state. They were both naked, Sara still not having dressed again since the battle, but for a few bandages which she had now discarded, and Martha save for a black band on her arm. They rested on their favourite bank and Sara put an arm around Martha's shoulder, pulling her towards her.

"I am not cut out for peace, my darling. I need wrongs to right and battles to fight against evil foes. Look over there at the world spread out before us! There is such suffering beyond this land - so much evil and oppression. I am needed elsewhere, my friend and must leave my dear country once again, to roam the world; this time looking for great causes to fight for."

Martha had long been expecting this. The Queen had appointed wise men to rule the Kingdom and her sons would be able to take over in time. The warlike girl was bored with peace and visibly fretting with frustration.

"Oh, Sara - Your Majesty, I mean! Let me come with you, I beg you!"

"Thank you, Martha. I was afraid you'd never ask!"


The couple were away from their country for ten years, doing all the stirring, hazardous and warlike things the Queen wanted to do. She fought in numerous battles, always on the side of truth and justice, defending the weak and oppressed from the strong and rapacious, and in so doing received countless more wounds to add to those she had already sustained. Over the years her body, still trim, supple and naked as ever became covered by a mass of scars, all of which she wore proudly. One day the Queen heard of a crisis in her own country and sped back to take control. She was never to leave again, finally realising that peace brings its own victories and henceforth devoting herself finally and entirely to its pursuit.

When she finally died, full of years, her funeral procession was watched by great crowds of mourning people who had come from all over the country, as well as from the many lands to which she had given her help. Her friend Martha, who had been her constant daily companion since the death of the baron, only survived her by a few weeks, being broken hearted at her loss.