The Sun King, adapted by Karleigh Bon
An story found on the internet about the winter solstice, author unknown. Rewritten and narrated by Karleigh Bon
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The Story of the Sun King adapted by Karleigh Bon
Welcome to another episode of the Eldelorne holiday celebration. This next tale is about the winter solstice that arrives every year on December 21st. The author is unknown, so I have adapted it to our own solstice celebration. Good Yule to you folks.
It was the longest winter night outside. The wind blew cold, and the snow fell sparkling to the ground in the light of the moon. The Blossom Fey huddled in their home deep under the roots of a giant oak tree. They were safe and snug in their tiny underground cave. It was lined with fluffy bird feathers and soft green moss.
“I saw the Sun King today,” the faerie named Rose said as she pulled her mossy cloak tighter about her. “He seemed so old as he walked through the forest. What is wrong with him? She asked the others.
“The great oak says he is dying,” answered Daffodil.
“Dying? Oh nooooo, what will we do now?” Little Meadow Grass started to cry, “If the Sun King dies, nothing will grow. The Birds will not come and sing again. Everything will be winter forever!”
Rose, Lilac, Dandelion, and Elder Blossom tried to comfort their friend, meadow grass, but such news made them all very sad. As they huddled together, there was a knock on the door.
“Tidings to you young Faeries,” called a loud voice. “Why are you hiding instead of joining us in the celebration?” Rose peeked open the door, and a gnome named Brown Knobby pushed his way inside. He shook many glistening snowflakes off his brown coat and hat that rained down on the blossom fey, making them shiver.
“We are too sad to celebrate,” Daffodil said, wiping her eyes, “The Sun King is dying; the great oak said so.”
Brown Knobby’s round dark eyes sparkled with laughter. “Do you not understand? It is normal that the King would die this morning. Now hurry, or you will be late for the celebration!”
“How can you be so happy and laughing about it!” Elder Blossom stamped her foot and frowned at the gnome. “If the Sun King IS dead, it will always be winter. We will never be warm again!”
“Silly little Faeries.” Brown Knobby shook his head. He grabbed Dandelion by the hand, pulled her to her feet, and spun her around in a happy dance.
“There is a secret in the Winter Solstice. Do you not want to know what it is?”
The Faeries looked at him in surprise. “Secret?” they all exclaimed. “What secret? We are new Faeries, you silly gnome. We’ve never been to this season before.”
“Come and see. Come and see. Get your capes and come with me.” Brown Knobby continued to dance his jig around the room. “Hurry, Hurry, don’t be slow! To the Sacred Oak Grove through the snow!” He danced out of the door and disappeared.
“What did it all mean?” Rose asked. She gathered up her cloak of dried rose petals held together with cobwebs and lined with goose down.
“I don’t know, but the ladies live in the Sacred Grove.” Meadow Grass pulled on her hat.
“Perhaps if we see them, they can explain what Brown Knobby was talking about.”
The Faeries left their snug little home and trudged off through the snow toward the sacred oak grove. The forest was dark, with only the light of the full moon shining down through the bare limbs of maple and hawthorn. It was challenging for them to get through the snow because the blossom fey was very tiny. They waded through the wet snow and shivered in the cold wind until they met a fox.
“Where are you going, young faeries?” the fox asked.
“To the sacred grove,” they answered.
“Climb on my back, and I will take you there,” said the fox
The fox knelt down so the tiny Fey could mount his shoulders. Grasping to the fox’s thick white fur collar, they held tight as he raced off through the dark.
“Listen!” Lilac said as they neared the grove of sacred trees. “Someone is singing songs.”
The beautiful music carried over the chilly, moonlit air. It was the most beautiful music the fey had ever heard. The fox carried the faeries right to the center of the grove, where he knelt down.
“Look!” said Elder Blossom as they slid to the snow-covered ground. “There are the young maid and her mother and grandmother, and many other animals and little people all gathered around.”
“They are all smiling and happy,” said Lilac as she looked around at all the creatures.
“Everyone is singing,” whispered Dandelion. “Why are they all looking at mother?”
The fey moved closer to the three women were seated. The mother held a bundle close in her arms and was smiling down at it. The young maid reached down and took the faeries gently in her hands. She held them close to the mother so they could see what she held.
“A baby!” the faeries cried. “A new little baby! Look how he glows!”
“He is the newborn Sun King,” said the young maid, smiling.
“But Brown Knobby and the old oak tree said the Sun King was dead,” the confused Faeries answered her. “How can this little baby be the Sun King?”
“That is the great secret of the winter solstice.” The wise grandmother touched the baby’s cheek with her wrinkled hand. “Each year, the Sun King must come to the sacred grove during the darkest day of winter to pass on. I take his spirit to the mother, who gives him new life again. This is the way for all creatures of the forest.”
“You mean, everything lives and dies and is reborn again?” The faeries looked down in wonder at the baby Sun King who lay nestled in the arms of the mother.
“Yes, little ones,” answered the old wise grandmother. “There is never an end to life. This is the great secret of the winter solstice.”
“I think the little Sun King should have gifts,” said Rose. “I will show him where the wild roses bloom in the early summer.” The faeries giggled happily hugging each other.
“And, I will teach him to call the birds and listen to the songs of the wind,” exclaimed Dandelion.
“When he is older and stronger,” said the mother, “the flowers will wake and bloom at his touch, the birds will return to sing their songs, and the air will be warmed by his breath. Winter will be gone for a time while our young Sun King runs and plays with all that live in the forest.”
The tiny blossom fey sang to the baby Sun King, songs of the coming spring, the sweet-smelling flowers, the bumbling bees, and all the secrets of the forest. And all the creatures within the sacred grove sang with them.
When the evening was spent, the fox took the blossom fey back to their snug home under the roots of the giant oak tree. They climbed all snug in their soft down beds and pulled their woven moss and spiderweb covers over themselves, and dreamed beautiful dreams of the warmth of spring and the fun they would have when they wake.