Crystal sat at the edge of the clear blue stream. She dipped her toes, enjoying the exquisiteness of the frigid water. Her delicate blue wings and silky white dress fluttered in the slight breeze as small snowflakes descended from the sky. Silently, her toe stirred the water into a small whirlpool. She appeared calm, but her thoughts were racing like a seal darting from a polar bear. With a single word, her father, the King of Frostland, had sealed her fate. She had never stepped foot outside of her winter wonderland, but now she would be leaving it forever, and she would be going alone.
She gave the stream a wicked kick. Just because her father had pledged to obey Old Man Winter, didn’t mean that she had. She was a Snow Fairy Princess. Old Man Winter had no right to force her father to give her hand in marriage to a complete outsider, and a human at that! All because of a pact made ages ago.
Who cared if this human was the seventh son of the seventh son in seven thousand years? She would not honor the pact. If her father forced the issue, she would run away and go live with her friends, the polar bears. They would gladly take her in. As her thoughts churned inside her head, the snow flurried into a harsh blizzard.
Crystal embraced the storm, letting her emotions flow into it. She was so absorbed in her own anger she barely felt the forceful nudge on her back. A giant roar finally brought her out of her tantrum.
As the storm calmed, Crystal looked around. Her outburst had frozen the stream. Huge snowdrifts covered the ground and icicles clung to the treetops, bending them to the point of breakage. Oh no, now she was really going to be in trouble. Her father had warned her about messing with Old Man Winter’s domain. Her fit of temper had thrown everything out of order.
“What is the matter with you? Just look at what you’ve done!” The glorious white bear let go of another fierce roar, instantly changing everything back to normal.
“Mother Bear, I’m so sorry!” Crystal gazed at the massive polar bear. “I’m just so distraught! I don’t know what I’m going to do. This morning father announced my wedding to the human. I will have to leave my beautiful forest and live on human grounds. I will not go! I cannot leave my home, my friends, and my family. It just isn’t fair! I’ve done nothing wrong, yet I am forced into exile by a pact made before I was even born. Please take me with you to your cave. Let me live with you and your clan. Hide me from this fearful fate.”
“Calm down, Crystal. You are not being exiled. You know the pact is a very important one. If you do not comply, very grave consequences will transpire. I was there when the pact was made and am very aware of its importance.”
Mother bear’s soft words did nothing to lesson Crystal’s fear. In fact they made it worse. “You will not help me? I’ve always depended on you to be there when I needed you, and now when I need you the most, you would abandon me?”
“Dear child, I would never abandon you. You have been told since birth that this was your destiny. We have talked about this many times. You know what you must do. You are a woman grown, not a cub anymore. It’s time for you to take your place and do your duty. Now stop acting like a spoiled squid.”
Crystal sat back down. “I can’t do it. I would rather die than live on mortal ground. Let them do what they want to me, but I will not go!”
“Oh, my dear Crystal, they will not do anything to you if you do not go. You will face the same consequences as the rest of us. If you do not honor the pact, the barrier between our world and the humans will weaken. Eventually this will cause it to crack and allow all the humans to enter our treasured domain. We will loose control of our forest. Man’s modern machinery and technology will drive us out, and we will soon fade into nothingness. The reason you must go, is what will happen to our wonderful world if you do not. The choice has always been yours and yours alone.”
Mother Bear softly wooed into the forest. Slowly and shyly, a young cub emerged. The club glowed with the light of youth and innocence. As it approached, it snuggled close to Mother Bear.
“Crystal, this is Tomorrow. She is the cub who will one day take my place in this world. She is our future. All I ask is that you think about her and the many like her who will be affected by your choice, for if you choose not to go, there will be no more Tomorrows. We will leave you now to your thoughts. But know this, if you do go to mortal ground, I will always be with you, and you will still be allowed to visit us here in the winter earth months.”
Crystal sat in silence, again stirring the frigid water with her toe. If she did not go, her world would be lost to her and her friends forever. If she did honor the pact, things would stay intact, and her friends would be safe. No one would judge her if she stayed, no one but herself.
She raised her hand letting a large snowflake settle softly on the surface. She studied it for a minute. "Each of you is different and unique, yet you live in harmony in this world. I wish it were the same with us and the humans for then I would not have to leave, but alas it is not. It is crystal clear that I must go. I must guide the humans and teach them of the importance of nature and its sanctuary."
Crystal rose, and spreading her soft wings, flew back to the Ice Palace. Mother Bear was right. It was time for her to take her place and do her duty. A sly smile appeared as she thought of her role on mortal ground. She would come out the winner in this pact. The humans had better beware because she planned to take her job as guardian of nature very seriously.
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