Chapter One

Once upon a time there was a king and queen. They were very old and they had no children. It was the queen's birthday that day and she said,

"I wish I had a daughter who is beautiful and accomplished and talented in all arts." The king said,

"I wish I had a son who was tall and handsome, and strong and brave and skilled in everything there was to know."

As it happened, a birthday fairy was flying ahead and thought that because it was the queen's birthday, even though she didn't have a licence that she should give her a wish. So she decided on the queen's choice, but still with the man qualities that the king had wanted.

So, within the next nine months, Princess Marissa was born. As time passed and she grew older, she had a famous unique beauty. With her long, straight black hair and clear ivy-green eyes, many princes came to ask to marry her. However, when the ball in honour of Marissa's choosing a husband came on, there was one really handsome and good looking prince called Gabriel. Marissa felt that if she was made to choose a husband, then he would be the one.

At the hunting party, after the ball, Marissa and Gabriel, both being good riders, led the front of the party. Suddenly, Gabriel started going faster and he threw a lasso over Marissa's black stallion and galloped off into the trees with the princess on tow. Not good way to start.

When they had been galloping for about an hour, they came to a clearing where a rope-ladder hung in mid-air before them.

"Go up," said Gabriel, growling angrily at Marissa, "go up." The miserable and frightened princess climbed up the rope ladder. Nothing was heard of her since.