Once upon a time there was a kingdom with an ancient prophecy that spoke of a Princess without a palace. The prophecy said that as soon as that Princess found her palace, she would be the wisest and fairest Queen there had ever been. That kingdom had a royal family who had lived in a beautiful palace for generations. But there was a great earthquake which destroyed the palace and killed the King and Queen.
Their two daughters, Princess Nora and Princess Sabina, managed to survive.
After this tragedy, Nora understood that she, being the elder sister, might be the Princess mentioned in the prophecy. Accompanied by her sister, Nora devoted herself to finding her new palace. During their travels they met a wise old man who gave them an old key that would open the palace doors.
“I have no idea where the palace will be”, said the old man, “All I know is that you should try this key wherever you seek it”.
And Nora went with her sister, trying the key on all the palace doors they found. When there were no more palaces to try, they thought maybe the palace would just be some large important house, but neither did the key fit any of those. Fed up, the sisters lost hope of ever finding their palace. They had spent so much time away, travelling and searching, that no one now missed them. Neither did they have any money or jewels left, and when they arrived at a poor village they had to work in the fields alongside all the poor people who, not knowing that the sisters were royalty, took them in as though they were two homeless orphans.
The sisters lived there for some years. They worked hard, and knew what hunger was, and how life could be so difficult, but people loved them so much that they came to be very happy, and they gradually forgot their royal past. One night, while tidying Nora’s things, Sabina found the old key. Amused, she took it to her sister, and they reminisced about their search for their own magnificent palace.
“There still must be some palace, hidden in some little forest, just waiting for us to find it,” said Nora, with a glimmer of hope.
“Well, you know what I think,” answered her younger sister, “that I don’t need anything else to be happy. We spent months travelling from castle to castle to live the life of Queens, but I have never been so happy as I am now, even though we don’t have much. If I had to choose a palace,” she continued, joyfully dancing about by the door, “it would be this little cabin.” she ended, laughing, and then with a solemn gesture placing the key in the cabin door.
Just then, the room filled with lights and music, and from that old door arose a wonderful palace filled with life and colour. The place became totally transformed; there were fountains, gardens, and animals. The village people marvelled at all of this.
The only thing which remained as it had been was the cabin door, reminding everyone of how Sabina the Wonderful – which was what they called their wise Queen – had found that in a simple, humble life lay the doorway to happiness, not only for herself, but for all the inhabitants of that land.