That night Elise hoped she would get plenty of rest. After taking a nice, hot, luxurious bath she dressed in the night cloths that had been laid out for her by her maid Mary, then once her hair was combed out and braided for the night she climbed under the beautiful, embroidered bedding and fell asleep. Her dreams were filled with warmth and happiness. She was in a forest lite by millions of fireflies; she felt safe as she wondered through the lush, green forest. The forest seemed to beckon her to one spot. She came upon a great willow tree that seemed to be the center of the entire forest. There under the willow sat a kind looking old woman, “Come closer Elise. You have much to learn. Come sit.” Elise sat asking, “Who are you? Why am I here?” the older woman smiled and patted Elise’s hand, “Some call me the wisdom of the forest, others call me Mother Willow; I am the keeper of the world’s history and its creatures. You Elise are here because you are destined to be one of the greatest women the world has ever known, you cannot however do this on your own. You will need help.” Elise looked at the old woman in confusion, “I do not understand.” “Not you do not but in time you will. The Prince choosing you as his companion was no accident. You are meant to be with him and he with you. Now it is time for you to rest.” The rest of the night passed peacefully and the next morning Elise woke more rested than she ever had.
Elise was still laying in bed when she heard a knock on the door, “Come in.” Mary walked in cheerfully, “Good morning Miss Elise. Did ya have a restful night?” asked Mary as she opened the curtains letting in what little light there was to come in. Outside it was cloudy and raining. Elise got out of bed and walked to the window expecting to she nothing but a muggy scene. Instead she was greeted with a beautiful garden outside her window, “Even in the rain it is beautiful!” she said in surprise, “Oh yes Miss Elise, the Prince wanted you to have the best view in the castle. It seems that no matter what the weather outside is, the view from this window is always a lovely sight to behold.” “Yes” Elise whispered. “The Prince said to let you know that he would like to have breakfast with you in the sitting room whenever you are ready.” Mary said as she went about the room getting ready to help Elise dress for the day. “Which dress would ya like to wear today Miss?” Mary asked opening the door to Elise’s closet and dressing area. “These are for me?” Elise asked as she entered the room. She had never seen so many dresses in her life. “Oh, yes Miss Elise. Perhaps you wish to choose one while I get the water for you to freshen up with?” “Yes” Elise said quietly. In the end Elise chose the most practical dress she could for a rainy day such as this one. It was a deep, rich blue with a u-line neck that gathered a slightly in the front. It was long and touched the floor but could easily be picked up and off the floor if there was a need. The sleeves were long and flowed, shorter in the front coming to a end just below the wrist while the back of the sleeves continued on down past the waist. A delicate cord wrapped around the mid-section just below the bust line and ended just above the hips to give the look of a narrow waist. Since it was a rainy-day Mary chose a pair of sturdy shoes that matched the dress. They were comfortable, elegant, and would withstand going out into the rain if need be. Mary then braided Elise’s hair in three braids and then using a ribbon that matched the dress gently tied them together to form a beautiful braided work of art, the final touch was to add some white rose buds into Elise’s hair. In total it took an hour to get Elise ready for the day. She was glad that she had woken early and made a mental note to wake up early everyday if this is how long it would take her to dress.
“You look lovely Miss Elise! If you I may say so?” Elise smiled shyly, “Thank you Mary, without your wonderful hair dressing skills I would have just put my hair into a simple braid.” “Thank you, Miss Elise.” Well there was nothing left to do but go have breakfast with the Prince and begin her new life. A life the old woman in her dream said was her destiny.
Mary led the way to the sitting room and knocked on the door, “Come in.” The prince was already there waiting for her. Mary opened the door, “Miss Elise is here for breakfast Your Grace.” Elise took a deep breath as she walked through the door.