This is a story about a happy ending, and like all good happy endings, it began with a fairy tale. It wasn't a very pretty tale. It had no magic carpets, genies or fairy dust, but it did have magic. The magic was... I can't say that now. We have to tell the story. It is called The Magic Stream, and like all good fairy tales it began with...


Once upon a time

... there was a princess. She was not a very beautiful princess, in fact she was rather ordinary, but she was a princess just the same. She was daughter of a splendid young king and queen. Strong in battle and a knowledgeable ruler, her father had been the most handsome and wealthy of princes.

From a neighboring kingdom, her mother had been a royal princess. She was as beautiful as the king was strong. Suitors traveled for miles to pursue her beauty. Not unaware of the admiration she aroused, the clever young princess would settle only for the most noble of spouses.

So it was the young prince and princess married to become king and queen. They overlooked a vast and prosperous kingdom from a magnificent castle on a hill. Royal as they were, they soon beget a daughter, but nature could not repeat the beauty of the queen or the strength of the king.

The beautiful couple looked at their child in dismay. The young princess was not a frog, but it might have been better. The subjects of the kingdom welcomed her with love and acceptance. Not one you see, equaled the king and queen, and as the princess was very ordinary, so were they.

Homely though she was, she had an unselfconscious zest for life. This brought a beauty that nature couldn't touch. The queen grew jealous, for her own attentions declined with years and in rage she cut off the nose of the princess.

Not one would say it, but they knew it was the queen who cut off her nose. The princess went on being a princess. She played her harp and sang. Strange and beautiful were her songs, for they had no laughter and they had no tears. People would come for miles to hear her music and they loved her. She received many attentions. Fine gifts came from royal subjects who used to love the queen.

Missing the adoration of her princess days, the queen in another rage took a hot iron and burned the tongue of her daughter. She said, "You will sing no longer."

The princess played sad notes on her harp, and moved her mouth without singing. Strange and beautiful were her songs, for they had no tears and they had no voice. Still the people listened and loved her.

Jealously consumed the queen and she commanded the king, "We will take the child to the woods and dispose of her." He loved his daughter but, he loved his queen more. They took the child to the forest and the king held her while the queen poked nails in her eyes. Climbing back into their carriage, the queen threw out the harp beside her.

They tore their clothes, and without looking back, the royal couple returned to the castle. In royal despondency they explained that while on a royal family picnic the young princess was consumed by a wild boar. The valiant king had fought desperately to save her, while the queen cried in royal despair. The subjects were saddened and bestowed many attentions on their beloved queen and king. The queen was happy and the king sat beside her.

The young princess picked up her harp and stumbled through the forest, her tongue was too sore to speak and her eyes too crusted to see. Groping for berries and nuts she survived. She didn't weep, she didn't laugh, and neither did she sing.

She wandered for many years, until one day she came to a quiet and beautiful place in the heart of the forest. She couldn't see it, but she could feel it and she knew that she was safe.

Exhausted, she lay on soft grass and wept, and as she wept her tears rolled down the bank into a stream. When she ceased weeping she reached for the water, for she could hear it. She dipped her hands into the stream and washed her tears. As she did, her eyes began to heal and she could see a faint reflection of herself in the water. In the safety of the quiet glade she mourned the loss of her king and queen. She cried for many days for she had loved them very much, and her teardrops mingled with the waters of the deep.

Feeling her strength returning, she drank freely of the water. Her mouth was healed. She had a voice and she sang, but her song was not yet real. Once more she washed her eyes and drank the water, and she understood its magic. When she picked up her harp her songs were real, for as she looked in the magic stream she had seen herself. She wasn't very pretty for she had traveled far and she would never have a nose, but she was real and she could sing. As she sang, she realized she wasn't singing alone. Surrounding the quiet place, was a quiet people. They weren't very pretty, some were missing ears and some were missing legs, but they all understood and shared love with each other.

Their songs were not beautiful, but they were real, for they had all traveled far. They sang in joyous laughter and wept in sorrow's tears. They lived happily for many years and there was joyous celebration for each who made it to the magic stream. And the magic stream flowed until the end of their days with tears wept for the ones who didn't.

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The Magic Stream

This story did not take place many years ago. It took place in a land so modern the people forgot to be human. They developed many technologies always making what they thought would be better. Their world was the best it had been, but they lost more than they knew could be lost. They didn't have relations to help through their tears or laugh at their foibles. They hardly knew their neighbors. They knew about dysfunctional families, pills and drink. They had therapists instead of friends, and self help books instead of old friendly aunts.

This modern day princess was no different. She spent many years with all kinds of aches never guessing that all she needed to do was talk to someone who had been there. Finally though, she made it to the Magic Stream, and when she got there she knew she was not alone.

It was like fairy dust when she stumbled across the Cyber Super Highway. She realized that on this road the waters of the Magic Stream could flow through many lands. She learned HTML, and FTP. She traveled the globe in Cyber style sprinkling waters and connecting links. She surfed the Net for others who made it to the stream, and for others who'd lost the way. All along the road she wrote connect, connect, connect. She put the links together, and urged others share their tale.

And they did. There were many who made it to the Magic Stream, some had no legs, and others couldn't talk, others were homeless and wandering, but they could reach out and connect with healing and to heal. People were reaching out to people. Her page was small, but it was...



Like days long ago when travelers had to connect with others to get where they were going, we are once again becoming human. We are turning off the one eyed hypnotist and reaching out for others on the same journey. We are connecting to heal, connecting to chat, connecting to laugh, connecting to cry. We are connecting and that is the magic of the Net.
Regina Garson
Editor Magic Stream

Dedicated to all those travelers
who share in the one journey
that can never be made alone

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This text was in participation of the
24 Hours in CyberSpace of 1996
The animation effects were a later addition.
Copyright Regina Garson
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