The Beauty and the Peasant

The princess pushed the young man away from her. "Go! Now! Before they catch us! Come for me later!"

The man winced as the guards began to bash against the doors. "When?"

"In one hundred years."

He gaped at her.

The pale princess muttered something and immediately she felt sleepy, but smiled at the glowing man in front of her. "I'll be here, sleeping. You will come back and I will awake then. We cannot risk it any sooner- a princess and peasant do not fall in love."

He looked sad, then set a grim, decided expression. "Alright." He held her in a tight embrace. "I love you."

She whispered the same just before she drooped in his arms. He set her on the bed and climbed from the tower window, jumping on his horse and galloped away into the dark night.

She was right; this love was forbidden. It was better to wait one hundred years than risk anything now.

One Hundred Years Later

Had anyone been passing along the rough road that spring day, they would have noticed a strong and handsome young man sneaking off the road and into the dark forest. However, unlike all the other travelers in the forest, he wore neither armor nor a sword and scabbard at his side. No, he wore rough peasant clothing and carried no weapon, only a traveler's pack of food and water.

As he got deeper into the forest, he found a path that seemed widely traveled. Growling, he scoffed at the stupid young men that tried to awake his love. The silly story had spread about her quickly: a poor damsel bewitched by an evil sorceress because the sorceress was not invited to a silly party. He could not remember exactly what the story was anymore; there were far too many fabrications. All he knew was that many knights attempted to save her, only finding the enchantment on the tower impassable.

As the peasant approached the tower, he found a strong and tall knight hacking at the doors. The peasant found this amusing and sat down on a nearby rock to watch the knight exhaust himself. After perhaps an hour, the peasant called, "Good knight, this tower is enchanted. You can only be her true love to break through with ease. It is not passable by force."

The knight spun, startled. He took off his helmet and demanded, "Who are you to say this? The keeper of the tower? Protector of the princess?"

A smug grin spread across the peasant's face. "Something like that."

"Then let me through." He pointed the now somewhat bent sword at the dirty man. "Or else."

"Or else what? I can't help you with getting in. Why would you want this woman, anyway? You don't know her."

The knight shook his head. "It is of no consequence to a mere peasant and a dirty one at that." He frowned, looking about the clearing. "If you are the keeper, then where is the dragon?"

The peasant barked a rough laugh. "There is no dragon. Simply a petty tale." Grumbling, the knight put his helmet back on and tried to throw a rope through the window at the top of the tower. I bounced as if there were glass on the window. "That won't work, either," the peasant called. "The sorceress will only let one person through: the damsel's true love. It is obviously not you. Now, go home and tell your silly fellow courtiers and knights that the dragon was far too fearsome."

"I am not about to give up!"

The frustrated peasant sighed. "You have given a good fight, you have tried to get to the princess for nearly two hours. I commend you, but please, I do not want you to hurt yourself. I hear there is a damsel farther in the woods that has also been asleep for a long time. She ate a poisoned apple given to her by her evil stepmother, from what I hear. Try to awaken her."

The knight stood taller. "Fine. I shall sally forth!" With this, he jumped on a nearby horse and rode deep into the forest.

The peasant huffed. "Finally!" he muttered. He stood and went to the tower. He set his hand on the door. Immediately he felt the enchantment go away. He pushed the door open and ran up the steps, wishing he could fly up these steep and narrow stairs. He had waited one hundred years, no longer could he wait.

She was laying on the bed, just as he left her. He ran to her and touched her sleeping face. "Oh, my love," he whispered.

Her eyes opened slowly and she blinked a few times. She sat up, putting her hand to her head. "I have quite a headache," she croaked. She laughed roughly. "I have not spoken in one hundred years." Looking into her love's eyes, she smiled. "It's so nice to see you in real life, and not just in my dreams."

He held her close. "I am so glad to see you, my sleeping beauty."

For many years following, many knights still went to the tower. As the went up the stairs, their hopes escalated until they reached the empty room. The story eventually died out of memory and the tower fell to ruins.

The knight that was there the day the peasant returned to the tower found a young woman with dark hair, milky skin, and red lips just as the peasant told him. Snow White and Prince Charming lived together in a large castle, ruling the kingdom.

The princess and the peasant were finally together, and the princess found herself content in her humble lifestyle with the peasant.

And they all lived Happily Ever After.

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