There was a certain king who had an only daughter, a Princess, and he loved her very much. She was not the most comely young woman in the land but she was the only one of royal blood: She was the only Princess in the court of the king, and that set her apart from all others. The king decided to give her a surprise party for her birthday. There were two surprises actually; the party, and, a very special guest; a very wise and very old man whom was greatly loved by almost all who dwelt in the realm.
Invitations were sent throughout the land announcing the day and time of the party. Everyone was invited.
Preparations were made; the great hall of the palace was decorated with garlands of the most fragrant and beautiful flowers. The royal musicians composed and practiced music that would delight the ear and lift the spirits of all the guests.
But then came a problem: Some of the guests began to talk among themselves. They complained that the Princess did not display the elegance of a real princess, nor could she easily converse on things literary, political, spiritual, or even practical for that matter.
The more these guests talked among themselves the less they were interested in attending. In fact, some decided that they would not attend a party for this Princess, even if she were the only daughter of the king, and the only princess in the land.
On the day of the party the hall was filled with guests...almost. The king, seeing seven empty chairs asked, "What has happened? Why are some choosing to ignore and insult the Princess?" He became angry that any of his people would be rude and insult both he and the Princess by their absence.
Music was played but it wasn't as lovely as it might have been. Dinner was served, but the food had grown cold because the king had waited a little longer for all the guests to arrive. The party was a surprise and the unknowing Princess seemed happy. The king was surprised as well; surprised to learn that some in his realm were so small of mind that they would agree to insult the royal family.
So the king summoned a runner, gave him a note sealed with his signet and whispered to him, "Take this to the home of our special guest." Immediately the runner was off to the highest of the hills that surrounded the castle.
The runner arrived out of breath from running up the last and steepest hill Handing the note to the special guest he waited as it was read. Folding the note, the old man tucked it away in a breast pocket of his long, colorful robe; the pocket closest to his heart. Breathing a soft, slow sigh his shoulder drooped a little and after a contemplative moment, looking at the runner he said, "Tell the king I won't be attending." The old man turned to go back in the house when he paused, turned his head towards the runner and added,"Where ever a child of the king is not loved, neither will I be loved."e.c.