I n ancient times, in the castle of King Machan, was born a little girl whom the queen named Sophie. She was so beautiful, so radiant and so blond that she was nicknamed “Sunbeam”. As the sun was scarce, the villagers said:“Hopelessly, ‘Sunbeam’ will make her walk today,she will send her rays on our roofs and warm our houses.”
The little princess grew up near a king who never stopped complimenting her. He assured: “He who marries my daughter, Sunbeam, must be really up to the task; otherwise, he will be guillotined, even if he is a king! “. The Queen, for her part, never ceased to nurse her and clothe her in silk and cashmere. The jewels she put on her came from Persia, India and China so that no other princess could have identical jewels. “She is our only daughter, and everything is hers. Nothing she wants will be denied,” repeated the parents.
The princess began to grow up and, obviously, to have caprices and to consider herself above everyone else: her maid, her hairdresser, her seamstress and her dad’s minister. She even began to have words against the king and the queen, who would not contradict her and consoled themselves by saying, “How cute is our little princess. She is more beautiful than a ray of sunshine. One day, she will govern and take good care of her subjects.”
However, the situation only got worse. She began making important decisions that only the king had to assume. She sent warriors to attack other countries and bring back war trophies, had men guillotinedwithout any proof of their guilt, appropriated certain estates and drove poor people away from the kingdom because she did not like them, or that she did not find them beautiful.
The king and queen finally wanted to correct their mistake of the past and to teach the princess what real life was, but it was too late. She had already grown up and could do nothing but give orders which were not even relevant. She never thought of the consequences and refused to be taught anything.
On a winter day when low temperatures froze lakes and rivers, she sent the warriors to assault a fortress thousands of miles away. Why did she do that? Because one day, a party had been organized in that place, and they had not invited her … The warriors left and saw the storm that fell on them. Because of the lack of provisions and remedies, some died in their way, the others fell ill, and those who remained despite the cold in good health were taken as prisoners. King Machan had almost no warriors to defend his kingdom.
A rich and warless kingdom is doomed to pillage, so the castle was attacked by other warriors that were more powerful and stronger. The king and the queen were imprisoned. Since the princess was young and beautiful, the victorious king did a favor: he granted her the task of supervising the expenses of the estates and of rendering accounts to him every evening. However, she could not do it because she had neither learned to write nor count. When she was young, she dismissed her teacher and fired him because he asked her to correct her mistakes, to read, to write or to be a little attentive to what she was doing. According to her, nobody had to conjugate the verbs to the imperative if it was not her and her father, the king.
The king learned from his ignorance and was disappointed; he gave the order to take her to the stables to take care of the horses. The poor animals began to get sick and die one after the other. The king, informed of her negligence, gave the order to send her to take care of the poultry; the animals disappeared because she would not watch them. She was then transferred to the sewing workshop to make costumes for the warriors and embroider the tablecloths and napkins for the castle. She could not even pass a thread through a needle. She was driven to the kitchen to peel potatoes and carrots, but she cut a finger each time because she could not hold a knife properly.
Annoyed by her behavior, the king summoned her and asked her:
– What can you do besides mistakes?
– I give orders …
– And are your orders still relevant? She lowered her head
– Thanks to my clemency, I will teach you how to live. When you have held everything, you can give orders. Begin by leading yourself, judging yourself before judging others, being honest and never hurting anyone. To order, you must have acquired a lot of knowledge, which you do not have unfortunately.
Her head still down, she asked him with an almost inaudible voice:
– By what must I begin Majesty?
A question that said a lot … Finally, Sophie the princess recognized her mistakes and agreed to learn to behave well …