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Once upon a time, in a faraway land full of enchantment, there lived a beautiful princess named Cornelia. Cornelia was the heir to the throne of her kingdom, but she did not think much of it as she was used to her life in the palace and enjoyed the fine clothing, beautiful fountains and pleasant companions at the palace. She had never been outside the palace gates. When Cornelia came of age, her parents began to introduce her to all the eligible princes of the neighboring kingdoms. They came with gold and jewels and beautiful gifts to win her heart. She danced with each one, but was troubled because her heart was unmoved. She sought solace in the beautiful palace garden, where she would walk the grounds with her ladies in waiting, and admire the beautiful flowers. One day they came across a poor gardener tending to the weeds. “Hello gardener,” said Princess Cornelia. “What a beautiful garden you have made the kingdom.” The gardener was young and handsome and polite, and responded, “Thank you, Princess.” As the days went on, Cornelia grew more distressed as she had to choose among princes. She started visiting the garden every day, to talk with the gardener, who did not pressure her to make decisions the way the princes did. From him she learned the plight of the poor in the outside kingdoms, the simple skills of gardening, and the joy of companionship. She petitioned to open up the garden to the people of her land, for them to enjoy its beauty. One day she said to him, “I fear I cannot choose a prince because I do not want to lose your friendship.” The gardener did not say anything, and the princess was distraught. The next day, she was to meet the last prince, and make her choice. When he was introduced, he stood tall and in fine clothes, but held a simple flower as a gift for her. Princess Cornelia gasped as she recognized him. It was her gardener! “Forgive me Princess,” he said. “I am Prince Louis, from a neighboring kingdom. I wanted not only a good alliance, but also love, so I hid my true identity so that we could see what friendship we could have. I am and will always be, your humble servant.”
I hope you enjoyed this little fairy tale I created to tell the story of what I imagine is happening within this painting! To order the original painting or the print, visit here.
Copyright story and image Jessica Libor 2018.