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"The Princess and the Sorceress's Son" by Haley Snyder

Congratulations to Haley Snyder for being one of the winners of our Fairy Tale Contest. Enjoy "The Princess and the Sorceress's Son" 👸🧙‍♀️🤴


Once upon a time, there was a kingdom with a good king and queen, and their youngest daughter was perfect. Her name was Marigold. Because she only completed her duties, she made no mistakes, and thus lived without flaw. Suitors flocked to her garden to watch her work. The jealous sorceress Regina hated Marigold, and longed for times when all came to pay respect to her garden instead. She demanded her son, Bow, bring back Marigold's heart. However, Marigold was in tears, hunched beneath her willow, when he arrived. "What's the matter?" Bow asked, hidden in the branches. To the voice, the girl confessed her woes. Once she was through and calmed from upset, Bow was in love. Every night Marigold returned to her willow while Bow listened to her stories.

Then, come winter, the king and queen asked the soothe-seer to describe the suitor who would marry Marigold. The soothe-seer replied, "No mere mortal will steal her heart, but a magical being that lives where the snow brushes the stars!" So, the tearful king and queen guided Marigold to the edge of the wood. Marigold closed her eyes, afraid. A gentle wind then blew, and carried her over the woods, to the last green patch on the mountain. Sunbeams brought life to a trail of wildflowers. At the end of that trail stood a castle, with loyal fairy attendants. "Missus, this is all yours!", they squeaked.

That night, when she put out her candle, Marigold was visited by her new husband. "Are you happy?", he asked. "Very much," she replied. "Then live with me, forever. My only rule is that you may never know my face." Marigold obeyed, and they were both happy… Until sometime the following spring. Marigold grew lonely without him during the day. Curious of his identity, she lit her candle again after they'd gone to bed. And the truth stunned her. His hair coiled on its own, and his nose curved like a bird's beak. Entranced, Marigold lowered herself to gaze more closely at her sorcerer and, by accident, dripped wax onto his cheek. In pain, Bow cried and shot out of bed. Marigold tried to follow, but Bow flew too fast. And so, she wandered out of their crumbling castle until she found Regina's garden. Regina, comforting her injured son, demanded of Marigold, "Fetch pure white goose feathers if you ever want to see my son again!" And Marigold obeyed, though she didn't know a thing about geese.

Feeling pity from afar, Bow sent a fox to keep her company. "I've never collected goose feathers." Admitted Marigold bashfully. "Geese are easy!" The fox grinned. "You go one way, and I'll go another!" And working together, the pair scared the feathers off those geese. Regina, however, wasn't pleased. "Bring back all of your parents' kingdom if you ever want to see my son again!" But Marigold had no idea how to do that. When she got lost on her way home, Bow sent a songbird to guide her. "I don't know what I'll do." Lamented Marigold. "If you draw up the map, I'll get you a nice view!" The songbird tweeted. And working together, the pair traveled all the land until the map was an exact replica. Regina, however, still wasn't pleased. "Get me the best mirror ever made if you ever want to see my son again!" But Marigold was tired and knew nothing of smithing. Bow's fairies swarmed her and whispered, "At the bottom of a whirlpool, Missus, a goddess once lost her magic mirror!" So, Marigold went to the sea and dove headfirst into the spiral. Immediately, the fairies could see that something was wrong. Marigold, for all her new talents, couldn't swim! So, they poofed back to their master and told Bow what Marigold had done to try and please his mother.

Bow flew on iridescent wings and recovered Marigold, cold and sleeping. Returning home in a fury, Bow demanded of Regina, "Heal her, or you'll never see me again!" Relenting, Regina did so, and Marigold woke in her husband's arms. And working together, the pair stuffed magical furniture, drew up new plans for their castle, and lived happily ever after.

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