She still couldn’t shake the previous night’s dream. Queen Déorah (together with her newborn son cradled by a nursemaid) spent her days tending to the needs of the widows and the orphaned village children. Her desire was to bring these women and children together. It meant getting her hands dirty-teaching them to farm or glean fields. Not work befitting a queen, but she did so willingly.
Throughout this day, however, she thought of her dream in which a cloaked stranger had crashed through her chamber doors. He came in the still of the night, sword unsheathed.
“This kingdom is not yours,” he said. “Soon it will fall. Look for the light in the forest-
there is your kingdom.” Suddenly, he violently snatched the prince from his cradle. The stranger was gone with her child before Déorah could speak one word. She struggled to breathe while the gales of a wicked thunderstorm invaded her chambers.
It was her own scream that jarred her awake. She reached out into the empty space and hurried from her place beside the king to the prince’s crib. He was still there, asleep on his back, arms to each side-peaceful. She gently scooped him into her arms, cuddling his resting body, and began to cry.
“What troubles you, Déorah?” the king asked, somewhat startled by her behavior. “Another bad dream?”
“It is nothing, my king,” she whispered. “Rest before the sun rises again.”
As the village children ran about her, the widows curtsied and reminded each child that Déorah was queen. She, as usual, smiled. Next to her, the faithful nursemaid, embracing the prince in her arms, chattered excitedly as they strolled through the busy village. A few of the king’s guards, some before them, others behind, kept a watchful eye. The children who had helped the women bake were now selling fresh bread and scones. Déorah also presented fine linens from the Far East. “These should be worth quite a few coins in the market place,” she told them.
But with each step, her soul sank deeper into worry. The world seemed at peace, yet her heart was heavy. Surely God would not let this tiny kingdom fall, she thought. “Who would want to war against us,” she whispered to the heavens. The laughter of playing children started to fade, or so she thought. Blue skies gathered gray clouds and one of the guards looked intrusively into her eyes. She grasped the reigns of his horse and without complaint he helped her mount.
“Bring the prince to me,” she ordered.
Her nursemaid, slightly confused, knew better not to argue. It was her queen after all. “Where are you going, my queen? Shall I meet you there later?”
The guard took the child from the nursemaid. For a moment, Déorah panicked but managed to keep herself calm. Their eyes met as he placed the child into her arms.
“Remember to look for the light in the forest,” he whispered. “This kingdom has fallen from within.”