-Princessa Aurora <Sleeping_x_Beauty>

My Life Story3/15/08
 
Walt Disney's Sleeping Beauty

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Once upon a time, in a far away land lived good King Stefan and his lovely Queen. They ruled wisely and their land prospered, but they were unhappy because they lacked the one thing they desired the most. A child to raise in loving care, and who would one day inherit their lands. After many years of hoping and praying, a daughter was finally born to them. They called her 'Aurora', which is Latin for 'dawn', for she had filled their lives with sunshine.
On the day of the princess's christening, the king declared a great holiday throughout his kingdom. All of his subjects were welcomed into his castle to pay homage to the princess. It was a most joyful day as the whole kingdom rejoiced with the king and queen. Even King Hubert, from the neighboring kingdom, came to see the princess. He and Stefan were close friends and often dreamed of one day uniting their kingdoms. So today Hubert came and brought with him his small son, Prince Phillip. The two kings announced to the crowd that had gathered on the castle grounds that Prince Phillip would be betrothed to Princess Aurora. And when they came of age, they would marry and unite the kingdoms. The crowd roared its happy approval. The fair-haired prince stepped up to the cradle and peeked inside at his future bride. He saw a sleeping baby with blonde curls that framed a pink, chubby face. His lip curled in disbelieve. "This was his bride!", he thought. "A baby!"
Then, to the delight of all, three more guests arrived. Through a shaft of light that filtered down from a high window, the three good fairies of the land descended upon the throne room. Flora, Fauna and Merryweather floated toward the king and queen, who were seated on their thrones beside the princess's cradle. They rested along side the cradle and was delighted by the tiny bundle it contained. They curtsied to the king and queen and announced that each of them were to bless the child with a single gift. Flora, dressed in shades of red & pink, presented the child with the gift of rare beauty. Fauna, dressed in shades of green, bestowed the gift of melodious song. Merryweather, dressed in blue was about to bestow her gift when an awful, howling wind filled the hall. The queen ran to the king as the hall darkened. Suddenly a flash of lightening appeared, and within the unnatural green flames it produced appeared the evil fairy Maleficent. Her familiar, a black raven, flew through the air and landed on her long staff.
"I felt quite distressed at not receiving an invitation." Maleficent stated as she took note that all were present at the celebration.
"You weren't wanted!" declared Merryweather, knowing very well that Stefan would never invite such evil within the walls of his castle.
Maleficent feigned surprise and made like she was about to leave. But before she left she took out her anger by bestowing a gift of her own on the royal child. "The princess shall indeed grow in grace and beauty. Beloved by all her know her. But, before the sun sets on her sixteenth birthday, she shall prick her finger on the spindle of a spinning wheel, and die." And with that, she laughed, raised her arms and disappeared in a ball of flame.


The throne room was silent with the exception of the queen's sobbing and the soft rustle of jet wings as Maleficent's raven exited through a window. Merryweather shyly stepped forward. She still had her gift to give and now she thought quickly for a counter-spell. She took a deep breath and, raising her wand over Aurora, spoke these words:
"If through this wicked witch's trick, a spindle should your finger prick. A ray of hope there still may be, in this gift I give to thee. Not in death, but just in sleep. The fateful prophecy you'll keep. And from this slumber you shall wake, when true love's kiss, the spell shall break."
"True Love conquers all." thought the king. But romantic notions would not save his daughter. He immediately ordered that all of the spinning wheels of the kingdom be collected and burned. A great bonfire was created that evening, but the three fairies knew that this was not enough to stop Maleficent. They discussed alternative plans that would save Aurora from her fate, and finally settled on one they thought best. They knew of an abandoned woodcutter's cottage nestled deep within one of the kingdom's many forests. They would disguise themselves as peasants and take the princess there and raise her as a foundling child until she turned sixteen. She would then be allowed to outlive the curse placed upon her, and then it would be safe for her to return to the castle. Of course, they would have to give up their magic. Its telltale glow would surely attract Maleficent and her army of goons. But they were willing to make this sacrifice. If only they could convince the king and queen of their plan.
It proved to be a bitter thing to ask, but the king and queen knew in their hearts that as long as Maleficent had access to their child, she would not be safe. They agreed with heavy hearts and allowed the fairies to take their child. With Fauna holding the sleeping princess safely in her arms, the fairies exited the castle softly under the cover of darkness. The king and queen watched from a balcony with growing despair as their only child disappeared into the night.
The years were long, lonely and anxious for King Stefan, the queen and the entire kingdom. They counted the years, months and finally, days left until the princess would return home. At long last, Aurora's sixteenth birthday arrived and the entire kingdom readied themselves for a lavish celebration that would re-introduce them to their princess.


Meanwhile, Maleficent was raging in her dilapidated castle located in the Forbidden Mountains. Her army of goons were unable to locate the princess for all these sixteen years. She questioned them tirelessly and was given no answer. It was eventually realized that the incompetent goons had spent the last sixteen years looking for a baby and not the young maiden that the princess had now become. Angered by this revelation, Maleficent punished the goons relentlessly and turned to her trusted raven. "You are my last hope." she began. "Look for a maid of sixteen with hair of sunshine gold and lips as red as the rose. Go! And do not fail me!" And with that, the raven took off over the countryside.
The three good fairies had carried out their plan successfully in the small cottage in the woods. They renamed the princess "Briar Rose" and raised her as if she were their own child. There were very few visitors that ventured that deep into the forest. But no one ever guessed that the three kindly and elderly women were raising a royal child in their modest home. The princess meanwhile, grew to be not only beautiful, but gentle and kind hearted. She knew nothing of her royal heritage and was a happy child. Although as she grew older, a sad loneliness began to settle in her heart.
On the princess's sixteenth birthday, the fairies rose early and gathered around a dress-pattern book. They had planned to make the princess a beautiful gown as a birthday surprise and were discussing various designs. So deep were they in their discussion that they didn't notice that Briar Rose had entered the room.
"Well! And what are you three dears up to?" asked Briar Rose to the surprised trio.
"Up to?" stammered the fairies as they frantically hid the book and thought of a way to get Briar Rose out of the cottage. It was Merryweather who came up with the idea that "...We want you to pick some berries.". And, as the princess questioned why they could possibly want more berries as she had just picked some yesterday, the fairies draped a shawl over her head, shoved a basket in her hands and gently pushed her out the door. With warnings not to go too far and not to talk to strangers, the fairies watched their charge disappear into the lushness of the forest.
"I wonder if she suspects?" voiced Merryweather as she recalled the knowing look on Briar Rose's face as she turned to say goodbye. Flora wasn't convinced and started bustling around the cottage for cloth and needles. Fauna was pre-occupied with baking a fancy birthday cake and, for the first time ever, opened a cookbook while collecting ingredients. Merryweather stared in wonder and disbelief at the other two fairies. Flora never sewed and Fauna never baked, this was Merryweather's domain. But the two were quite confident that, if they followed the instructions in the books, they would be successful. Merryweather voiced her concern at this as she held the cloth that Flora passed to her. Flora ignored the protests and directed a stool in front of Merryweather which she promptly helped her onto. "You can be the dummy." she stated to Merryweather as she draped some pink cloth over Merryweather's head. Merryweather's protests were consistent, albeit a bit muffled at the moment. When Flora finally cut a hole in the top of the cloth, Merryweather was able to poke her head through and survey the results. It was not going well, but Flora was hopeful. All three began to share a tearful moment as they realized that this was the last day they would have their beloved Briar Rose. They wiped their tears and continued at their tasks.
Out in the forest Briar Rose walked slowly through the trees and started to sing. Her high, sweet voice drifted through the trees and called the birds and animals of the forest to her. They had been her companions through the years and they all loved her dearly. Even the sleepy owl was awoken and joined in the reunion. Soon, a whole host of animals had gathered at Briar Rose's feet.
Someone else heard Briar Rose's song that morning. A handsome, young man dressed in fine clothes had wandered a bit too far in the forest on his white steed. He was about to turn back when he heard an ethereal voice drift his way. Enchanted by the sound, he forced his mount to follow it. His horse, Samson by name, was loath to follow along with such nonsense. His rider eventually coaxed him to comply with the promise of an extra bucket of oats and a few carrots. The horse and its rider galloped through the forest, stopping occasionally to pick up the song again to ensure they were on the right track. Now, Samson was a well trained horse and quite skillful at jumping and dodging. But, the dense forest was more than he had bargained for and eventually he miscalculated a low, overhanging branch. Samson galloped on a few yards before he realized he had lost his rider. Retracing his steps, he found his master sitting in a shallow creek with a mock expression of anger on his face. "No carrots!" the rider joked as he playfully splashed his apologetic horse.


Briar Rose was enjoying herself picking berries and singing to her woodland friends. But, as was the case lately, a strange loneliness descending upon her. She couldn't understand how she could feel so lonely when she was surrounded by the animals and birds of the forest. But, as she looked at their confused expressions, she signed to herself. She loved all the animals of the forest and her three dear "aunts", but she would have loved to have other human friends as well. Friends she could talk to and share her happiness with. She often dreamed of meeting other people her age. One dream, however, had become more and more vivid. It was of a young and handsome man, a prince no less, who visited her dreams so often, that she was convinced they would meet someday in real life. She told her animal friends of this dream, and they shook their little heads in sadness. It pained them to see Briar Rose so unhappy.
The young man, meanwhile, had taken off his cape, hat and boots to dry off. He sat under the shade of a large oak tree and spoke of the voice he had heard just shortly before. "It was too beautiful to be real. Maybe it was a mysterious being ... a wood sprite, or ..." he was interrupted by the neigh of his horse. "Here! Stop!" the young man shouted as he sprang to his feet. He watched in wonder as his cape and hat floated swiftly away from him as if carried off by invisible hands. His boots hopped away, too!
What he didn't know was that the animals had noticed his cape and hat drying off on the tree branch. They thought to cheer up their Briar Rose by dressing as her "dream prince". Now they drifted through the forest with their goods, and with the bewildered man close behind them. The animals, however, didn't notice this. They set quickly to work securing the cape around the owl and placing the hat upon its head. The hat was a bit large, so a red squirrel slipped in underneath and held it up so the owl could see clearly. The two rabbits who had taken the boots remained inside them as the owl and squirrel, supported by birds, floated above them. When they were satisfied with their work, they hopped and bobbed toward their princess.
Briar Rose noticed a change in the air and started with a jolt. When she turned and saw her friends dressed in the cape, hat and boots, she couldn't suppress a joyful laugh. She approached her "dream prince" and curtsied. The "dream prince" bowed in response (as best could be managed) and joined in a dance.
The young man who had followed the birds remained hidden behind a bush. What he saw was something out of his dreams. A young maiden, singing in the beautiful voice he had heard moments ago, was dancing gracefully with a host of woodland creatures. As she twirled in her dance, her long, golden hair spun around her and glistened in the sunlight that filtered through the thick canopy of leaves. She was the most beautiful sight he had ever seen and he soon found himself leaving his hiding place. He then pulled the mock "prince" out of the way and took their place as Briar Rose's dance partner. He silently glided behind Briar Rose and softly placed his hands around her wrists. So gently did he do this that Briar Rose didn't even notice him until his powerful voice took up her song. Startled, Briar Rose gasped as she turned and pulled herself away from the young man.
"I'm awfully sorry, I didn't mean to frighten you." the young man said with concern as he gently took hold of Briar Rose's hand.
Briar Rose shyly looked at him for the first time. He was tall and youthful. His short, light brown hair framed a handsome face and his eyes held a warmth that seemed so familiar to her. But, he was a stranger and Briar Rose quickly withdrew her hand from his grasp and turned to make her escape. But the stranger was persistent and managed to catch her gently by her other hand, forcing her to turn to him.
"...But don't you remember, we've met before." the young man smiled. "You said so yourself, once upon a dream."
Briar Rose released her hand from his grip again and turned from him in disbelief. How could he know her dreams? But as the man began to sing to her, she felt a stirring in her heart. She turned to look at him and saw love standing there. He took her by the hand again and led her into a dance. Briar Rose felt as if she was living out her dreams. The forest creatures looked on in wonder.
As they finished their dance, the man asked for Briar Rose's name. She was just about to answer him when suddenly she felt frightened. She had disobeyed her aunts by speaking to this stranger. And she had danced with him, too! She backed away from him slowly and ducked under a tree branch. "Goodbye" she simply said as she made a dash for the cottage. When the man asked when he could see her again, she replied "Oh, never, never!" But the man shouted for her and his voice was so filled with sorrow that Briar Rose surprised herself with her response. She had hastily invited him to the cottage that very evening! Now she rushed home to her aunts with her happy news.


Flora, Fauna and Merryweather were having an interesting time themselves. Apparently, just reading the instructions in the book wasn't that simple. The dress was a disastrous patchwork of mismatched cloth and the cake was slowly sliding off the table. Fauna quickly placed a broom handle to hoist it back up again. "Of course, it'll be much stiffer after it's baked." replied Fauna as she watch the icing carry the candles off the cake and down the broom handle.
Merryweather felt her blood begin to boil. Briar Rose would be back soon and they had accomplished only in making a big mess. She would have no dress, no cake and the cottage itself was in complete disarray. As she thought of what Briar Rose's reaction would be to all this, she began to shake in fury, causing the ill-sewn dress to fall apart at the seams. "I've has enough of this nonsense!" exploded Merryweather. "I think we ought to think of Rose and what she'd think of this mess!" She flung her arm out and gestured to the mess, causing a sleeve to fly across the room. "I still think what I thunk before. I'm going to get those wands!"
Merryweather had suggested this from the beginning but was overruled by Flora. Now Flora began to think that this might be the best idea. But, as Merryweather ran down the stairs with three shining wands, Flora grew cautious. They had refrained from using their magic for almost sixteen years and Flora was not about to be found out by Maleficent now. She instructed the other two to shut the door and windows, and to plug up every cranny. When Flora felt the cottage was secure, she immediately went to work on the dress. Fauna allowed her magic to fix the cake and Merryweather went about the cottage cleaning things up. In no time at all the cottage was sparkling clean, the cake was tall and beautiful, and the gown was certainly "a dress a princess could be proud of".
Merryweather stopped her cleaning to examine the progress. Her eyes fell on the gown which was a soft shade of pink...a color Flora had insisted upon. "Oh no, not pink." sulked Merryweather. "Make it blue!" she whispered as a shot of blue magic escaped from her wand and hit the dress, turning it instantly blue. Flora was not pleased with this. She scowled at Merryweather and quickly changed the dress back to pink. But Merryweather was determined to win this battle. She changed it back to blue only to have Flora turn it pink again. But when a stray bolt of Merryweather's magic struck Flora, changing her clothes from pink to blue, it was all-out war!
Pink and blue magic filled the room. Fauna remained oblivious to all this activity. She was too consumed with the overseeing of her magic which was now applying the delicate icing on the cake. Fairy dust bounced off the walls, floors and ceiling. It shot against the furniture and even the large, cast-iron cauldron in the fireplace. The fireplace! The one area the fairies didn't think to check. As the fairy dust hit the cauldron, it shot up the chimney and escaped into the forest. Maleficent's raven, who was searching the countryside for any sign of magic, noticed a pink and blue glow emanating from the forest. It swooped down for a closer investigation and found the fairies' cottage.
Just then Briar Rose made her appearance on the flagstone path that led to the cottage. She was singing and her sweet voice was heard by the fairies who quickly righted things. They took their hiding places on the stairs and waited for Briar Rose to enter the cottage, but not before Merryweather had the opportunity to change the dress color to blue.


Briar Rose burst into the cottage with joy and happiness in her heart. She called out for her aunts and wondered at their disappearance. Suddenly her eyes fell on the most beautiful, blue dress and birthday cake. She gasped in delight as the fairies jumped from their hiding place and yelled "Surprise! Happy Birthday!". Briar Rose felt the happiest she had ever been. She expressed her gratitude to her aunts and brought up the young man she had just met. She insisted that he wasn't a stranger for they had met "once upon a dream". The three fairies were worried at this revelation. Finally Briar Rose had to learn the truth. Briar Rose listened in bewilderment as the fairies explained to her that she was really the Princess Aurora, betrothed to Prince Phillip, and that she was to return to the castle that very evening. But when they mentioned that she could never see her young stranger again, Briar Rose burst into tears and ran up to her room heartbroken.
Back at the castle, King Stefan scanned the countryside for any sign of his daughter's return. King Hubert was at a banquet table behind him, greedily stuffing his face with food. The two kings had been celebrating Aurora's return, but as the sun slowly sank in the sky, Stefan's anxiety increased. Sixteen years of worrying had taken its toll on him and "sunset" could not come fast enough. Hubert saw the worry in his friend's eyes and reassured him that all was well. He then called for his servant to bring in a bottle of wine that he had been saving for sixteen years. The two kings poured themselves a cup and made a toast to the future. The servant had managed to pilfer a bit of wine for himself and secretly joined in on the toast. As the servant began to play a soft tune on his lute, Hubert clapped his hands and demanded the plans of a new castle (that he had commissioned to be built) be brought forth. As Stefan studied the plans, Hubert announced that their children could marry that night and move in tomorrow. Stefan was not too keen on this idea and Hubert, having drunk a bit too much, mistook Stefan's concern. In truth, Stefan wanted time with his daughter and was not too eager to have her married off and moved out. When he voiced this to Hubert, Hubert reminded him that he was giving up his son as well. But Stefan stood his ground and declared that all this may come as a shock to his daughter.
"Shock! My Phillip a shock? What's wrong with my Phillip?" shouted Hubert as he slammed his goblet down with a thud. "Why doesn't your daughter like my son?" he demanded.
Stefan saw that this conversation had taken a very wrong turn and made every attempt to get it back on track. But Hubert's misguided accusations only managed to anger Stefan, who started to shout insults back. Hubert, shocked at his friend's outburst, grabbed at the closest object at hand and thrust it violently at Stefan. Stefan, in retaliation, grabbed a platter and held it up as a shield to block Hubert's blows. Eventually Hubert realized that he had grabbed a fish, a fish that now hung limp in his hand. He started to laugh at this and Stefan, who now looked over his "shield", joined in on the laughter. Hubert assured Stefan that their children were bound to fall in love with each other, and the two kings raised their glasses for another toast. Their toast was interrupted by the strangest sound emanating from under the table. Stefan lifted the tablecloth and found the servant, who at this point had drank much more wine than the two kings combined, fast asleep. His head rested inside his lute while his snores caused the stings to vibrate in a strange song.
Before the kings could enforce some discipline upon the drunken servant, the royal herald in the courtyard below announced the arrival of Prince Phillip. Hubert excused himself from Stefan's company and made a mad dash to the courtyard.
Amidst the cheers of the townsfolk who had conjugated within the castle to await the Princess Aurora's return, Prince Phillip galloped through the courtyard on his white horse. He was a tall, handsome youth wearing slightly damp clothes. When he saw his father running towards him, he steadied his horse and dismounted. Hubert's face was flushed when he reached his son. He told Phillip to change out of his soiled clothes immediately and to make himself presentable for his future bride. But Phillip already met his future bride. It was the little peasant maid who had danced with him deep in the forest. When Phillip revealed this little bit of information to his father, Hubert flew into a rage. He demanded that Phillip come to his senses and marry the intended princess. But Phillip's heart could never allow this. As he swung back into the saddle, he stated he would marry the girl he loved. And with that, he left for the cottage in the glen where he was sure his love was waiting.


But his love was not there. She was being led away from the cottage by her three dear aunts. They walked swiftly and silently through the forest, watching and listening for any sign of Maleficent. Aurora has hidden under a thick, dark cloak and did not speak. As the sun sank further down in the sky and the shadows deepened, the castle began to emerge from the trees. Aurora kept her eyes focused on the ground before her. Her heart has heavy with sadness. Sadness for her three aunts that she loved dearly and who would no longer be a constant in her life. Sadness for the woodland home that she loved and did not want to leave. And, sadness for her lost love, the stranger from her dreams, that she would never see again. She didn't dare look up at the grand fortress that rose up against the darkening sky and she didn't dare look at the grief-stricken faces of her aunts. Because she was sure that, if she did, she would break down into tears and she was determined not to cry again.
The fairies led the sad princess through a small door and up a spiral staircase to the royal apartments above. There they walked down a long hall and into the princess's dressing room. The room was lavishly decorated and the fire in the fireplace provided warmth against the chilly night. But Aurora noticed none of this. She allowed herself to be led to a chair in front of a dressing table and sat down as if in a trance. The fairies drew their wands together and produced one last gift for Aurora, a gold crown to wear as a symbol of her royal heritage. Flora gently place the crown on Aurora's head and all three fairies signed at what they saw. Aurora looked more beautiful than ever. But the reflection in the mirror did not have the same effect on Aurora. She merely saw a princess who must put her royal duty before her heart. Suddenly she could no longer hold back her tears and buried her head in her arms, crying softly. The fairies thought it best to leave the princess alone for a moment to compose herself. They stepped outside her room and discussed the possibility of telling Aurora's parents about the boy she had met.
As Aurora sobbed Maleficent saw her chance! Her trusted raven had filled her with news about the princess and Maleficent was ready to strike. She had hid herself among the flames of the fire, and now the flames died down to reveal her evil form within. Her form vanished and was replaced by a green, glowing orb that pulsated with evil. Maleficent then started to softly call to Aurora. Aurora, upon hearing her name, lifted her head. But, as soon as she looked upon the glowing orb, she found she could not pull her gaze away from it. She slowly rose from her seat, her cloak slipping from her shoulders to the floor, and walked toward the eerie light. Suddenly the back of the fireplace dissolved to reveal a hidden staircase. Aurora, barely aware of herself, walked across the hearth.
Flora heard the strange echoing of Maleficent haunting call and called the others to attention. They burst into Aurora's room only to find her disappearing through the fireplace. They ran to her, calling out her name, but Aurora didn't hear them. She only heard Maleficent's chanting in her ears as she was drawn up the stairs by an unnatural force.
The wall of the fireplace appeared again, just as the fairies attempted to walk through it. With their path cut off from Aurora, they panicked and started pushing on the wall as if this would move it. Flora snapped back to reality and swiftly waved her wand at the wall, causing it to open for them. They frantically searched the many halls and stairs, all the while shouting "Rose! Rose! Don't touch anything!" But Aurora never heard their shouts. She continued to climb the spiral stairs until she came to a small, empty room. There, the green orb grew larger and changed shape. Suddenly a black spinning wheel appeared, its sharp spindle glowing with an evil light. Aurora walked toward it and stretch out her hand.
The cries of the fairies were growing louder and finally their voices broke through to Aurora. She quickly snatch her hand away from the spindle at their warning. But Maleficent's power over Aurora was too great. "Tough the spindle!" she demanded the princess. "Touch it I say!" Aurora stretched her hand over the spindle once again. This time the needle scratch her skin and darkness fell over her.
Just then, the fairies burst into the room. They were greeted by Maleficent who glared at them with evil triumph. "You poor simple fools!" she sneered. "Thinking you can defeat me! Me, the mistress of all evil! Well, here's your precious princess!" Maleficent pulled her voluminous cape aside to reveal the princess sprawled out on the floor in a death-like sleep. With a cackle of laughter Maleficent vanished.
The fairies wept openly. They moved Aurora to an apartment in the top-most tower and laid her on a bed hung with rich curtains. They placed a red rose in her cold hands and left the room, all the while tears rolled down their faces. They just couldn't bring themselves to tell the king and queen. Out on the balcony they looked down to see the crowds of people cheering. The sun had set and the herald just announced to the crowd to make themselves ready to greet their princess.
"We'll put them all to sleep until Rose awakens." stated Flora. Then she, with Fauna and Merryweather, began to spread a sleeping spell over the entire castle. Soon all the inhabitants were slumbering peacefully. As Flora continued to spread the sleep dust over the throne room, she overheard King Hubert discussing a problem with his son to King Stefan. "Seems he's fallen in love with some peasant girl..." mumbled Hubert before drifted off to sleep. Stefan was already snoozing peacefully beside him and heard none of this. Flora however, stopped in her tracks. She quickly flew to Hubert with anxiety in her heart. Could this peasant girl be their Briar Rose? She could only hope! She hovered over Hubert and frantically tried to wake him


"The peasant girl! Who is she? Where did he meet her?" asked Flora to the drowsy king. Hubert's eyes managed to open only partially.
"Just some peasant girl." was all he managed before drifting to sleep again.
Flora was beside herself. "Where! Where!" she demanded as she pulled on Hubert's white mustaches."
"Once... upon.. a dream..." murmured Hubert before the sleep spell reached its full potency.
Flora could hardly believe this turn in events. She rushed to Fauna and Merryweather and informed them that they had to get to the cottage at once. Off they flew as fast as their small wings could carry them. Right about now Prince Phillip would be reaching the cottage. If he was indeed the handsome stranger that their Briar Rose fell in love with, then there was a possibility that he could break the spell.
Phillip did indeed reach the cottage just then. As he dismounted Samson his heart felt light with the new love that bloomed there. He stepped to the door and knocked softly. A woman's voice called him in. As he opened the door and stepped across the threshold, he squinted against the darkness of the room within. Suddenly the door slammed shut behind him and a hundred hands reached out from the darkness and began to assault him. Phillip barely had time to react. He fought as best he could, but he was greatly outnumbered. Slowly and with great difficulty, his assailants managed to tie him up and gag him. Phillip struggled against his bonds as Maleficent lit a small candle and held it up to his face. She was quite surprised and pleased to find that she had caught the prince himself! She instructed her goon army to take him back to her domain in the Forbidden Mountains.
Not soon after the three fairies reached the cottage, but they were too late. All they found was Phillip's hat amongst the broken furniture. Flora picked up the hat and held it for a moment. She knew they had to rescue the prince if they were ever going to save Aurora. Fauna was terrified at the thought of going into the Forbidden Mountains. In truth, they all were for none had ever ventured into that place of darkness. But their love for their princess gave them courage and off they flew to Maleficent's castle.


It was an awful place. The castle was barely standing, so decayed was it. The place was completely devoid of life. Not a single creature, aside from Maleficent's goons, lived within miles of the place. It was a place where no plants ever grew, and where no sun ever shone. A perpetual mist lay over the place. The fairies used this to their advantage as they advanced upon the gate. They made themselves tiny and flew in through the gate. They eventually found Maleficent seated on her throne. A look of satisfaction played on her face and she watched her army celebrate her victory. When this began to bore her, she decided it was time to torment Phillip. Down she went to her dungeons with three tiny pin-points of light, the three fairies, following cautiously behind her.
Phillip was chained to the wall in a filthy, damp room. Maleficent approached him and smiled at the hopelessness that shown on his face. "Why so melancholy, Prince Phillip?" she purred. "A wondrous future lies before you. You, the hero of a charming fairy tale come true."
With those words she conjured up an image before Phillip's eyes of King Stefan's castle. She then revealed to him that the slumbering princess in the tower, the Princess Aurora, was none other than his true love. The revelation shocked Phillip. An image of the beautiful woodland maid danced in his mind. His one true love ... and now she was his Princess, too. But Maleficent didn't stop there. She began to taunt Phillip with images of him as an old man, finally set free from her dungeons to wake his love with love's first kiss. Phillip jumped to his feet and began to pull at his bonds. Maleficent laughed at his anguished expression and hopeless attempts to break free.
"Let us leave our noble prince with these happy thoughts." Maleficent added softly as she and her raven exited the dungeon, locking the door behind them.
The three fairies had remained hidden all this time. Now they silently floated into the room, making themselves full sized. Phillip looked at them in surprise but Flora hushed him before he could speak. The fairies went quickly to work, freeing the prince from his bonds and burning off the lock on the door. Phillip started to make for the door, but Flora barred his way. "Wait Prince Phillip!" she whispered and she raised her wand in the air. "Arm thyself with this enchanted shield of virtue and this mighty sword of truth..." she chanted as a sword and shield magically appeared in the hands of the astonished prince. "For these weapons of righteousness will triumph over evil."
Phillip tested the weapons before signally to the three fairies to follow him up the stairs and out of the dank dungeon. But no sooner had they climbed the stairs when Maleficent's raven found them and cried out a loud warning. Soon the hall was filled with Maleficent's goons hacking and thrusting out at the prince. Phillip skillfully dodged their blows and managed to jump to temporary safety out a nearby window. His horse Samson was pawing eagerly in the courtyard below.
"Phillip! Look out!" cried the fairies as the goons began to hurl stones at him and fire rounds of arrows. Phillip ducked under his shield, but the fairies were at his side. They used their magic to change the stones into harmless bubbles, and the deadly missiles turned into flowers that broke apart against Phillip's shield. The fairies freed the horse from his bond and Phillip jumped in the saddle and galloped toward to castle gate. The goons were making one last attempt at thwarting his escaped. Over the gateway, they began to pour boiling oil just as Phillip was about to gallop by. The fairies, seeing this, zapped the curtain of oil with their magic, causing it to change into an arched rainbow in which Phillip harmlessly galloped through.
Maleficent's raven continued to squawk loudly as it flapped about wildly. Merryweather, having had enough of the racket, advanced upon the raven and began shooting magic at it. The raven managed to dodge the first several rounds, but at last the magic struck the bird, turning it to stone. Maleficent, on hearing the commotion, ran to a window. To her dismay she saw that her raven had been turned to stone and that Phillip was successfully riding to freedom.
As the castle bridge began to rise, Phillip prepared Samson for a mighty leap. Samson carried Phillip safely across the abyss to the other side where they rushed toward King Stefan's castle. Phillip whispered encouraging words to Samson as they plunged ahead. All around them they heard thunder clapping as Maleficent tried to strike the prince down. When this did not show signs of slowing Phillip down, Maleficent conjured up another spell. Her evil shot across the sky and encircled Stefan's castle. Lightening bolts split the ground causing large barbs of thorns to spring from the earth. By the time Phillip reached Stefan's castle gate, the entire structure was hidden behind a think wall of thorns. Undaunted, Phillip hacked and slashed at the deadly forest, cutting a path just wide enough for Samson to step through. The three fairies were still with him and watched with growing fear. Maleficent was putting up an awesome fight. When Phillip reached the other side of the hedge, he noticed he was but a few feet away from the castle entrance. Maleficent saw this too, and flew in a rage. Off she spun in an awful pinwheel of sparks and landed squarely in front of the prince, barring his way into the castle. Her face was twisted with hate as she raised her arms and shouted. "Now shall you deal with me, oh prince. And all the powers of Hell!"


Maleficent suddenly erupted into a pillar of flame that shot into the night sky. Her form grew and elongated within the column of fire as she took the form of a massive black dragon. Her serpentine face shot out of the smoke after her transformation was complete. Phillip stared at her in horror. Even Samson seemed unable to move. Maleficent flicked a forked tongue and flexed her translucent wings. She appeared to be grinning at the stunned prince. Phillip came to at once and charged the dragon with his sword held high. He was determined to save his princess.
Maleficent found this amusing. She took in a deep breath and exhaled, emitting a stream of flame. Phillip's shield flew up, but the force of the flame's impact sent the prince sailing off his horse and through the air. When he landed, Maleficent was hot on his trail. Phillip ran behind the thorn hedge and waiting for Maleficent's head to come into view. He then struck out at her with the sword, forcing her to howl in anger and pain. She promptly breathed more flame, successfully cutting off any escape routes. As the flames licked the dry thorns, the fairies directed Phillip up a steep ledge. He managed to free himself from the inferno only to find the dragon snapping at his heals. He swung the sword vigorously to keep the beast at bay. But alas, he found himself corned at an edge of a precipice. The dragon shot another breath of flame at him, causing his shield to be knocked out of his hand and down into the abyss below. Maleficent's laugh was unmistakable as she prepared herself for one final breath that would ensure her victory.
Phillip braced himself for death just as Flora flew to his side. She sprinkled the sword with magic dust and chanted, "Now Sword of Truth, fly swift and sure. That evil die and good endure!". Phillip suddenly knew what he must do. He changed his stance and gripped the sword's hilt as if it were a javelin. He hurled it at the dragon's head. Maleficent reared up to avoid being struck, but the sword found its mark and impaled itself deep within her heart. Maleficent roared as her life drained from her. She toppled forward, barely missing the prince, and fell to her death below. Phillip peered over the edge and, as the smoke cleared, saw the remains of Maleficent. She would trouble them no more.
Slowly the evidence of their battle melted into the cooling earth. The thorns disappeared and the stars shown brightly in the darkening sky. Stefan's castle gates stood open before him.
Phillip followed the fairies through the sleeping castle and up to the tower room where Aurora lay in her deep sleep. When Phillip reached the curtained bed, his breath caught in his throat. She was indeed his true love! Overcome with emotion, he kneeled down and gently kissed her. Aurora stirred and opened her eyes. When she caught sight of Phillip, a smile warmed her face. The three fairies cried tears of joy. They quickly ushered the royal pair down to the throne room where their parents, now just waking along with the rest of the court, would be waiting.
King Hubert, who was about to tell Stefan about his son's intension of marrying a peasant girl, awoke with a start. He looked around himself in confusion and tapped Stefan lightly on the shoulder. Stefan came to full attention and signaled for Hubert to proceed. "Well, Stefan..." Hubert began, "this is the fourteenth century....Well, to come right to it, my son says he's going to marry a...." Suddenly his words were drowned out by the blare of trumpets from the gallery above. All heads turned toward the grand staircase where Princess Aurora appeared on the arm of her true love, Prince Phillip.


"It's Aurora! She's here!" cried Stefan and he jumped from his throne. The queen's eyes brimmed with tears as her beautiful daughter came forward. When they reached their parents, Phillip bowed and Aurora curtsied gracefully. Then the princess ran to the queen and received a mother's loving embrace. King Stefan smiled warmly and gently stroked his daughter's sunlit hair.
Hubert, naturally, was confused. But before he could get an answer from his son, the royal musicians started up a tune and the prince took the princess's hand and led her into a dance. The fairies had been watching this from a balcony above the throne room. "Oh, I just love happy endings!" sniffed Fauna.
"I do, too." said a tearful Flora as she gazed lovingly at the princess as she twirled in her dance. "Blue!" she blurted when she noticed the princess's dress. "Pink!" she corrected as a zing of magic shot from her wand and immediately turned Aurora's dress pink.
Merryweather noticed this and quickly changed the dress back to blue.
And so it happened that, as the prince and princess danced, the princess's dress kept changing from blue to pink. But to Aurora and all those present, it was just part of the magic that had come into her life. Soon Princess Aurora and her prince would be married.
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