The Story of Dela Raye
Once, when cold winds were fair and the stars twinkled in the sky, a young girl lived in the village of Paraja. Her name was called Dela Raye and she wanted for her own a star on earth, a gem mined from the weeping dust. She went to the castle of the kingdom, Cantorin, and went on, past the iron gates, past the copper-studded doorways of ominous presence. To the kitchens went Dela Raye, and became a cleaner, a scurrier, an order-taker until many coins sang in her leather pouch. She to the Princess's presence chamber took herself, begging for the meagerest of jewels, a rhinestone dropped from a sparkled gown for the price of her coin. The Princess was outraged, fiery dark in soul. She took her coins, her shoes, her cap, left her in the damp and starving dungeon. A Prince, to be wed to the Princess, saw the cruel happenings and traveled himself to the prison where the freezing, hungry Dela Raye lay. He fell in love with her and her with him. He gave her a shining, violet gem, bread of the Earth, and his handsome bronze boots. Dela Raye left to her village, a changed, meloncholy Dela Raye. She visited the castle, among many pressing, joyful throngs, for the Great Wedding. The Prince wore his stiff black felt boots and the Princess saw this. Then she saw Dela Raye in the bronze leather boots and screamed. The raging bride ran out, lovely gown in tatters, ripped as her sharp heels pierced the hem. The Prince could not bring her back.
A breathless, expectant year passed. Another six moons came before Dela Raye found the Prince she loved on her doorstep. And that is the beginning.