There once was a young girl that found herself enslaved to an evil sorceress. The young girl was held captive in the highest turret in the Tallest of Towers by a curse. As the story goes, the young girl, with hair golden and long was imprisoned in the towers located in a remote corner of a beautiful kingdom. The Tallest of Towers had neither access out for the young girl, or in for any handsome princes attempting a rescue. There was only a small window to gaze out upon the beautiful kingdom. The small window also served as the hole from which she would pull up her basket of food the evil sorceress delivered everyday. During these routine deliveries, the evil sorceress reminded the young girl of her eternal imprisonment. The shrill taunting voice rattled, “This is your home, this is your bread, your cries for help will only ring in your head!” Drawing her basket of food up to the window by her long hair, the young girl would withdraw into the shadows and quietly, without retort, eat her daily portion of bread.
So our sad story goes on for weeks, with the weeks turning into months, the months spilling over into a basin of collected years. All the while the young girl observed the beautiful kingdom from a distance. Painfully she wished to be a part of its spirit and life. Believing the evil sorceress’ taunts, she never attempted to yell out for help.
Every once in a while, a valiant prince would tarry on the back of his noble steed through the remote corner of the kingdom where the young girl was held in the stony turret. Seeing the fair maiden in distress (and also a testing ground for proving his own valor), each handsome prince would either attempt to scale the Tallest of Towers with his bare hands or construct an ingenious contraption for the job
Other princes requested while a few demanded, that the young girl let down her long, golden hair to serve as a rope to climb up the stone wall. This approach proved too painful to bear and each prince left her once beautiful hair more matted and knotted than the one before. Every loveless attempt failed. Polishing the failure off his armor, the humiliated prince would scurry away, never mentioning the incident to anyone.
After a particularly painful rescue attempt, the young girl collapsed on the cold stone floor of the Tallest of Towers and wept. She wept for what seemed to be days and days, despairing that she would indeed ever be free from her lofty prison. Slowly she drifted off to sleep to the sounds of the night. Awakening from her slumber, she very clearly heard the distinct soft, rhythmic chirp of a cricket above all the other sounds. It was as if the cricket’s humble chirps were for her and her alone.
“Certainly,” she thought “I must be loosing what little bit of a mind I have left!” Whether out of desperation or hallucination, the young girl whispered “Are you there?” and a still, soft voice replied, “I am.” A million lullabies she never heard were sung to her in that short reply. She fell back asleep, and slept peacefully for the rest of the night on the cold stone floor while being watched attentively by the cricket.
Rising the next morning, she saw that the cricket was still by her side. She pressed her hand to the floor. The cricket stepped with one leg at a time onto her soft fingers. Bringing the cricket to eye level the young girl asked, “How did you get up here?”
“I’ve been here all along, you just never heard my chirps,” the humble cricket replied. The young girl placed the cricket back on the floor and cautiously asked, “Will you stay with me?”
“Yes,” the small voice replied.
“For how long?” she pressed, making her lack of trust known.
“For as long as you want me to.” the humble cricket promised.
Over the course of days, and through weeks, the humble cricket became the young girl’s first and only friend. In the small confines to the Tallest of Towers she poured her lonely and broken heart out to her friend. He in return, simply listened and offered soothing chirps here and there in the way only a humble cricket can. In between their exchanges, the young girl began to hum a few sounds. Slowly, the hums turned into whistles and the whistles sprang into songs. To the young girl’s astonishment and the humble cricket’s delight, the young girl sang every thought that flew through her head! She sang about the blue sky, the green grass, the golden fields of barley, she sang to the windmill belonging to the village faint in the distance and at night she sang to the moon, stars and to the flickers of light in the windows of the villagers along the horizon.
Until one day, in mid-song, the girl stopped singing and a smile danced across her lips. She had an idea: a glimmer, a notion of a life beyond the confines of her dank room in the Tallest of Towers. She confessed her curiosity to her sole companion and was amazed at herself when she said aloud “I want out of this tower!”
The cricket became excited and announced to the young girl that he was in fact an excellent jumper and climber. He said “I am built for moments just like this!”
So the two began to formulate a plan, one that would increase her knowledge and skill of climbing, both of which were necessary for her escape. Looking out of her window, there were moments when the ground seemed further down than it had appeared when she first began formulating her plan to escape. The humble cricket offered his unshakable belief that while not easy, the young girl could navigate the descent to the ground. There were also moments when the young girl doubted the cricket’s belief in her, but his song always called her back. Peering into the humble crickets’ round, black eyes, the young girl saw a reflection of herself that was not weak or dismissed, but strong and abiding.
The ground never felt further away than the day when she put her left leg out of the window and began to lower herself to the ground. Arm to foothold, she carefully lowered her body down. She sensed a weakness in her limbs that frightened her. She had underestimated the strength required for the task. It was not necessary for the young girl to say that she was afraid. The cricket just knew and remained faithfully by her the entire distance. Peering at the young girl from the rocky crevices of the Tallest of Towers, his chirps were encouraging. She tuned into him instead of her own doubts. Rarely looking down, she continued her descent, until her foot touched something unfamiliar. Rooting her bare foot around while still dangling from the rocky wall by her hands, she discovered a new texture. Her toes were not touching cold hard stone, but something soft and cool. She looked down to the thin green threads tickling her toes and giggled with delight! She had landed safely on the ground! The humble cricket chirped with excitement. “Whew-hhhheeeww!” she exclaimed. “We did it!” she roared. Placing the humble cricket on her shoulder, she skipped, twirled and danced away from the Tallest of Towers. From a distance the young girl looked back over her shoulder. She did not recognize her own footprints of where she had once landed.