Once upon a time in a mystical land, there was a magnificent bird of great reputed beauty. So many men had tried to capture her that it became known as the Great Escapist. News of her beauty traveled far and wide throughout the world. Many men wanted her but only to keep her captive in a golden gilded cage.
She was one of a kind, long ago she had been turned into a magnificent bird through a terrible magic spell. In reality she once was a beautiful young maiden and did not remember why the spell was placed on her so long ago. She did not remember that the spell could only be broken by true love.
Time and time again men would come in hopes of capturing the bird. None of them knew of the spell. All that they knew is that it was a great prize to be had. As they did know that she was one of a kind.
They would travel to the distant land where she lived. From a distance they would gaze. They waited for the opportunity to capture her. They would say deceptive words to her. Always trying to get closer to her. They would always rush her. All their efforts were to no avail. She could always sense the dishonesty in their voices.
Finally, one humble man named Farzan, decided to see for himself this magnificent bird. He did not have much but he used all he had to travel to this mystic land. He passed by a village near the mystical land and asked where he could find the Great Escapist. The villagers looked him up and down. They thought him mad. How could this man ever dream of catching such a majestic bird? So many men before him had tried and failed. Many were extremely wealthy. They shook their heads but gave him the information.
Farzan traveled down the path that led to his horse. He mounted his beautiful white stallion. He quickly made his way to the mystical land. His heart beating faster as he approached his destination. Upon his arrival, he could not believe his eyes. It was the most magnificent sight that he had ever beheld. Never in his wildest dreams could he had envisioned such beauty.
The grass was a lush deep green color. Flowers were every where in such vibrant colors. He simply took in the sights and scents in. A magnificent and beautiful pond could be seen. Someone had built a large and beautiful gazebo. He thought to himself, “I will sit in the gazebo, rest and eat. I can later soak my feet in the pond. After I have rested, I will search for the magnificent bird.”
Just as he was eating, what did he see but the most beautiful bird approaching. She was coming to drink water from the pond. The bird heard a noise, in the direction of the gazebo. She turned to look. She found the man gazing at her. She in turn gazed into his eyes.
As many know, that the eyes are the windows into the very soul of a person. Farzan continued to gaze intently into her eyes. He felt an electric shock go through his body. He had never felt this way before. It took him by surprise.
The bird decided to take a closer look at him. Something about him made him different from the others. “What could it be?” She thought to herself. The man remained in his place. She continued to approach without any fear. She felt that she could trust him. “Why?” She did not know. Finally she was at the entrance of the gazebo.
Both gazed into each others eyes again. He looked so familiar. She finally remembered. He was the one. The one in her dreams. She was taken aback by it. He was actually real. He began to speak to her with kindness, respect, compassion and care.
Farzan had hair as dark as the night. Eyes so luminous and yet with such great depth to them. He was dressed in very clean but modest clothing. He did not come bearing expensive gifts to lure her. Instead he took from a satchel he had some seeds. He took some out and extended his hand to her.
They were seeds of knowledge. Before he had arrived, Farzan had stopped on a quest to obtain them. It was not an easy task and could have lost his life in doing so. He knew that only through the seeds could she gain the truth of her curse. Apparently, he had found out about the curse on her but could not find out why it was cast on her.
His mother had told him of the tale of the beautiful bird as a child. She would tell him “long, long ago there once was a beautiful woman that a terrible spell was cast on her. No one remembers why or how to break it. She may not even remember that once she was a young woman. There is only one way to save her. It is to find the seeds of knowledge. If she eats them then she will remember how to break the spell. However, one must travel a long distance and risk their very life for them. They are protected by an evil monster created by the one who put the spell on the fair maiden.”
The magnificent bird approached Farzan. She began to eat from his hand. He continued to speak to her softly as he extended his hand to gently touch her feathers. She did not pull away. Instead she finished eating the seeds.
Her eyes grew wide open, as her memories returned. She finally remembered that horrible day. A Prince had wanted to marry her and she refused. She knew that he was a very cruel man. He only wanted to marry her because of her legendary beauty. She would not marry any man that did not truly love her.
The Prince was furious. He had her imprisoned in his castle dungeon. Many days and nights he thought of how to punish her. Death would be too merciful for her or so he thought. He finally heard of a witch that lived in the forest. He quickly sent for her and paid her well to cast a spell on the fair maiden.
Unbeknownst to the Prince, the witch felt pity for the maiden. In her spell she also included an incantation for eternal youth and beauty. It would give the maiden time, she thought, to break the spell one day. As the spell was cast the maiden turned into the most beautiful bird. The Prince was very happy and quickly ordered for a gilded cage to put her in. However, the bird quickly flew away. Never to be seen again by the Prince.
As she remembered the last of that terrible day a strong breeze began. The man covered his face but he could still see a bright light in front of him. He quickly ran towards the bird to protect her. Instead he found a beautiful woman with long black hair. He quickly covered her body with his cloak as she was disrobed. She awoke to see him holding her.
She asked, "Where am I and who are you?" He said, "I am Farzan." He explained to her all that had happened. They were on their way down the path when they found a cottage that was not there before. They could see smoke come out the chimney and knocked on the door.
A woman answered the door. She was an older woman but the years had been kind to her. She invited them in and shared food with them. She also gave the maiden a beautiful blue and white dress. She told them, “ I have been waiting for both of you for centuries.” I am glad to finally see you here.
What do you mean that you have been waiting for us? I am your mother my dearest Nadira. When I heard of the spell put on you, I quickly went to the witch. I begged her to please put a spell on me too. I could not live without you. She showed me mercy. However, all she could do was put a sleep spell on me. I would awaken when the curse on you was broken. I would age but slowly.
Nadira was very happy. Finally, she had found a man that truly loved her. No man had ever done so much for her sake. They were married underneath that very gazebo where they met. Her mother looked upon them with great happiness. They decided to remain in that mystical land. One could hardly blame them for staying there.
Soon the tale of the beautiful maiden would be told far and wide.
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