“The eldest daughter of this King will marry a prince from the East.”
She claps her hands in delight.
The second eldest princess steps forward. She turns the page.
“The second daughter of this King will marry a prince from the West.”
The two girls embrace. The atmosphere is lit with their laughter.
The youngest princess resists. She does not want to read what is written on my pages. Her sisters tease her. They drag her to the table. With trembling fingers, she turns my page.
“The youngest daughter of this King will be married to a pig from the North.”
A pig? Is there some kind of mistake? She is thunderstruck. No, there is no mistake. She wobbles, unable to stand on her feet. Her sisters catch her. They jeer. It can’t be so. “How can you believe such nonsense?” “Don’t be such a baby! Our father’s soldiers will protect you if the disgusting creature dares to come wooing!”
She wails. “I didn’t want to come in here in the first place! Father forbid us to enter this room! I told you I didn’t want to see my destiny! I told you! Why is this happening to me?”
Why, indeed. She’ll never be the same. She’ll never be able to laugh with her sisters the way she did before. Her childhood is over.