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Letter to a Little Princess

Dear Princess,

Have you ever heard of the “Way of Ascending”? I suppose not, because most people hardly ever go far enough down to find its secret entrance. You see, the King has made it to be a stairway only obedient servants find out. Shall I tell you of the day that Princess Precious discovered it?

From the start, it was a rather hard day for Precious. She had been hoping to go over to the village hall to sing for the poor folks there. Mother Matron usually took her on Saturdays and Precious especially liked the caramels she would get and the friendly cat there. But today the King had said she must stay home and help Princess Praise in the kitchen.

Precious sighed as she looked at the “To Do” list on the counter:

  • make cabbage soup
  • bake bread
  • sort through apples
  • wash kitchen windows
  • organize canning jars

Nothing seemed as interesting as caramels or cats. Besides, Precious didn’t know how to make soup or bake bread. And the windows were too high up. Then she remembered King Jesus’ parting smile and she determined to do her best. Pouting wouldn’t help a bit.

“Shall I sort apples or organize the canning jars?” Precious asked when Princess Praise came up the cellar steps with a huge cabbage in her hands.

“Either one,” Praise replied. “But you might need to wear a cape and mittens. It is cold down in the cellar.”

So Princess Precious trudged down the cold stone steps to the lowest room in the palace. “I guess I’ll start on the jars,” she said to herself, looking over the dimly lit shelves. It was a good thing she was wearing mittens, for the glass jars were very cold. “Maybe if I sing I can work faster,” thought Precious as she pushed the canned fruit into even rows. She began on “I’ll Be a Sunbeam,”* and sang through all the songs she knew. At last all the jars were in order.

“How nice that looks!” Precious exclaimed as she stepped back. “Now where are the apples?” The apple crates were in the corner. As she pulled them into the middle of the cellar, Precious noticed a flicker of light coming from a narrow opening in the wall. The words “Way of Ascending” were carved above it. Suddenly Precious smiled. King Jesus had said something about “a way up” when He sent her to the kitchen.

Soon the sorting was done and Precious picked up the basket of rotten apples. She would follow that glimmer of light and see where it led her. First the narrow passageway smelled as rotten as the apples she held. But as she came up some steep steps, Precious found herself on a lovely little balcony with the clean, cold air all around.

“Oh, it was the Gardener’s compost pile that smelled so bad!” Precious exclaimed as she looked down into the garden below. With a toss the rotten apples joined potato scraps and stable bedding.

The lovely stairway wound up and up above Precious’ head and her feet were quick to follow it. First she saw the bare rose bushes and the brick garden walks. From another window she could see all the way down to the frozen lake. And how beautiful the wooden glen looked, all sparkling with frost!

At last Princess Precious stood at the top of the tower in a lovely glass room. “I never knew there was such a place as this!” she said to herself, peering out across the King’s lands all the way down to the little village where Mother Matron was. “How glad I am that I could stay home to find it out.”

And so every princess soon learns that “the way up is first the way down.”

With love,
Aunt Faith