“Long ago, when the world was younger, there was a great king who ruled a vast kingdom. His daughter, a princess, was renowned for her beauty. Yet none dared to court her, for though she longed for a husband, she was quick to judge and loath to forgive.
Finally, two brothers came to the castle—and like those before, the princess rejected them. Yet as they turned to leave, she hailed them. That they would not go away empty-handed, the princess told the men that each had but to rest his eyes upon a thing, and it would become theirs.
The elder brother, who was crafty, quickly set his eyes upon the princess, but she shook her head sadly, for in her offer she excepted herself alone. In disappointment, he climbed the highest minaret in the castle and set his eyes to the horizon. And so the duchy became his to rule.
The younger brother closed his eyes in thought. Then, wandering through the castle, he came to the great doors, flooded through by setting sun. He opened his eyes to the crimson sky, and the princess, who followed his gaze, smiled.
‘My foolish brother,’ said the elder, ‘you could have had an empire!’
‘True,’ said the younger, as the world faded into darkness, ‘But I have the stars.’
And so, the younger brother departed the castle with empty hands. Yet, in his heart, there was eternal joy.”
Ed. note: the artwork in this post was created by my new friend, painting under the pseudonym “Dizzy Chen”. It is my hope that her artwork and my stories will continue to compliment each other for many posts into the future.