Sir Finn of Glenrydlen
A children’s tale of knights and castles
Cover image by Vanna Alberti
Copyright © 2015
Sir Finn of Glendrydlen (A Friend for Princess Bracken)
In a kingdom far away, over the horizon and past the misty mountains of nowhere, was a land called Glenrydlen. It was a small part of a much greater kingdom, ruled by the firm but fair hands of the King and Queen who lived in the captial city. The King and Queen had three children and their eldest son, Prince Hans, was the heir to the throne. Because he had a great responsibility waiting for him, his parents gave their son the crown of Glenrydlen and asked him to rule over the people there. He did this with the help of a league of knights, wise people, advisors, and a direct embassy to the King and Queen themselves, whom he could call upon in times of greatest need.
Prince Hans lived in a grand stone castle, built on the top of a hill that was surrounded by rivers and forests. The castle was enforced with large circular towers at the corners and these were dug deep into the ground. On the towers were tall brightly coloured flags which were embroided with the Royal Standard, the symbol for the kingdom. The flags were stiched with a serpent and a sword, surrounded by a wreath of leafy blackthorn. The front gate had a large port cullis which although was usually open, had to be closed from time to time, when there was trouble in the lands below. His trusted knightly guard would often venture out and settle any unrest that would become too much for the sheriffs and towns-people. Often however, it was a peaceful and friendly place where Prince Hans could go fishing in the river and hiking through the forest. Sometimes he would go hunting with some friends to catch a deer or a wild boar for dinner, he did enjoy this but more often than not he would have more Princely duties to attend to.
A long time had past and many torrents of water had run under the bridge. The trees had grown shoots, bloomed, fruited and shed their leaves a many number of times and Prince Hans had become a fair and firm ruler like his parents. He had found a beautiul wife, a Princess from another kingdom, whose parents lived past the starlight forest and across the sea of clams. Her name was Princess Serene and after a few more years, she and Prince Hans had a child. The royal couple called their daughter Princess Bracken and soon she had grown to be almost ten years old. While the Prince was attending court with his chief knights and his advisors for his stately affairs, Princess Bracken wandered in and tugged at his luxurious, red tunic. Her father was talking to an important member of his meeting and he wasn’t pleased to be interupted by her, but then he looked down and saw his daughter. She stood there in her beautiful green and white velvet dress with her face looking up at him with wide, beautiful eyes. The Prince calmed his spirit then gently asked her what the matter was.
“I have nothing to do” she said, twisting her foot on the wooden floor.
“Nonsense, where is your tutor? Surely he has some lessons prepared for you?” asked Prince Hans, who was at a loss for what to suggest. He was busy with his work and wouldn’t be free until after dinner.
“He is busy, instructing for the dance tomorrow. All the young men are preparing in the barns.”
“Ah yes, I see. We can’t interrupt them, it is a most important occasion. Right, I think you need a friend, someone your own age. What about one of the girls from the courtyard? Many of my attendees have children, surely there are some to play with?”
“Yes, I do, but, they are always coming and going, they are really nice to me, but then once their mother and father have done their work, they go home and I hardly see them again, unless they have more work.”
Prince Hans thought about what she was saying, and then he understood. She wanted a friend who was here alll the time, and one who was not her friend because of who she was. He smiled, then placed his hand on her head, her soft hair felt sleek and gentle in his large fingers.
“I know what we will do, we will find you someone to spend time with you here, in the castle. Someone who isn’t a work friend, would that be good?” he asked. Princess Bracken smiled widely, and her eyes opened like flowers on a late spring morning.
“Yes, that would be wonderful! We can play all day and take lessons together, we can go riding and fishing and play in the fields..” She smiled again and continued her list of possibilities in her head reeling around until she went through the door into her private wing of the castle. Her father could hear the elated cries of his daughter as she ran through the corridor towards her room where she no doubt began to imagine what she could do first.
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Sir Finn of Glenrydlen, a friend for Princess Bracken, by Rowan Blair Colver. Cover image by Vanna Alberti. A quaint and charming tale of chivalry and lore. In the Kingdom of Glenrydlen, Princess Bracken is bored when everyone in the castle is so busy. Can Sir Finn find a friend for her? Who does he choose, what is special about them? Challenging justice, integrity and honesty within the simple lines of this pretty fictional story, we can introduce these concepts to children in the context of real life. By setting the story in these mysterious and romantic times, we can illuminate them on the real traditional history of our culture. Rowan Blair Colver is a widely read and acclaimed poet and writer, who covers many fields all in the name of wisdom, understanding and magic.