The Soul of a Woman
Once upon a time, there lived a pure white owl in a deep, dark forest. It was said that the owl was cursed; no one dared approach her for fear of falling prey to her estranged enchantments.
One beautiful day, a young man found himself lost in the tangled forest. He had no choice but to spend the night in the thicket.
In the middle of the night, a snowy owl swooped in. Where others before had swatted her away, he instead sang to her as she sat on a branch. The owl gently pecked his right cheek, gave him the Emerald of Wisdom, and glided off.
On the second night, the owl swooped in as the young man ate. As before, the majestic bird settled on her branch. The young man went to her and held out his hand with several delectable morsels of food. After eating, the owl softly pecked his left cheek, gave him the Ruby of Passion, and glided off.
During the third night, the owl settled again on her branch. As the young man made his way over to her, a kitten curled about his ankles and he lifted the little fur ball to his chest. The owl delighted in their company. She gingerly pecked his lips, gave him the Diamond of Love, and glided off.
Early the fourth night, the owl swooped in and settled on her branch. The young man fetched water from the living-well and gave her some of the mystic water. She lightly pecked the crown of his head and gave him the Pearl of Purity. However, this time, she did not glide off. She pulled only the golden feathers that lay amongst her snowy white ones and laid them in a trail to guide him out of the forest.
The young man made his way back to his castle; for you see, he was a prince. That night, when he went to bed, he had a dream. He saw a beautiful white owl glide gracefully by and land on a hanging branch. Intrigued, he watched the magnificent bird with its entrancing eyes. As the sun began to set, the golden rays played tricks on his eyes and he thought he saw a young woman in place of the bird. Then he awoke.
Unable to go back to sleep, he called on those of great talent to advise him as he weaved a stunning crown of golden feathers inlaid with the precious gems gifted to him. With the North Star to guide him, he made his way back to the snow-white owl. When he found her, he laid the crown before her, bowed, and returned to his home.
As the sun set that evening, it was announced that he had a guest. At the gate stood the fair maiden from his dream, outlined in gold from the sun’s rays. Her knowledge was astounding, her beauty unmatched. Her voice was like song. But it was her kind, soulful eyes that stole his heart.
“How may I serve thee?” He asked.
“But Sir, you already have. When I was distraught, you comforted me with your words of wisdom in song. When I was famished, you shared with me your passion fruit, though you had not much. When I was lonely, you gave me all the love you had and more. And when I grew thirsty, you brought me the gift of pure life. All of this from a humble man with a noble and worthy heart. Your soul touched mine and you freed me. In turn, I share with you my kingdom, my wisdom, my passion, my love, my life. Upon the princess’ head was the gold crown he gave to the owl and in her arms, the kitten.
They married at once and their kingdoms united and thrived. The blessed couple revisited their tree on every anniversary, professing their love in the now blossoming forest, and everyone …
… Lived happily ever after.