After the school holidays, the Princess crossed paths with the Minstrel. She had seen him come out of the gate from Cherry’s house across the road while she was picking the children up after school. She was angry; for White Flower lapped up the gossip at Cherry’s place, and repeated all the things he had to say about her.
Proverbs 25:23 – As a north wind brings rain, so a sly tongue brings angry looks.
The gossip rang in her ears as she walked past the Minstrel. He did not realise he had written himself out of the story and sure of himself, had patronised her. If he had kept silent, she would have ignored him. Instead he got her attention. She stopped and glared at him. Eyes shooting sparks, and speaking only loudly enough for his ears, she said in an even but icy tone of voice; “I don’t respect you. Leave me alone. Stay away from me!” and with that she walked off. Unprepared for the cold, hard side of her, and finally realising he had not been in control, he staggered back with a look of shock and dismay. She had stung him hard.
She knew the King would not approve of her retaliation in this manner, but it had come unbidden. It was in her nature to sting if trodden upon. She was pleased at the hurt she’d inflicted. It would only be a hurt to his ego, which needed readjusting anyway. It was time he learned of her low opinion. She had trusted White Flower to set him straight, but realised later that White Flower had her own agenda, and could play people off against each other, adding gossip to conflict.
Proverbs 16:28 – A perverse man stirs up dissension, and a gossip separates close friends.
The Princess approached her Father the King. “When I gave him his part in the Kingdom story I thought I made it clear that I had enough and wanted to walk away. If he could not treat me with respect I said I wanted to be left in peace, and not be bothered by men like him.
The Lord said, “Your people are talking about you when they meet by the city walls or in the doorways of their houses. They say to one another, ‘Let’s go and hear what word has come from the Lord now.’ To them you are nothing more than an entertainer singing love songs or playing a harp.” Ezekiel 33:30-32
“I did not write the story to entertain the small town gossips. Why did they even read it or talk about it? How was this their business? It was between me and him, and you know I did not intend to have what I wrote interpreted as a love story!” she replied in exasperation and disgust. “Nor did Ezekiel, the prophet this word was about” the King replied, reassuring her “Do not be discouraged. I want you to treat this as a learning experience. What would have happened if my prophets had given up delivering the word that I gave? I want you to carry on writing about the Kingdom.” Shaking her head and walking off, she replied “I am a seeker, not a prophet. Why did I think you wanted me to give him the story of the Kingdom where he appeared in it? Where was my head at? It has only led to trouble.” The Lord called her back to His side and spoke; “This is not just about you. The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And I am faithful. Your story about the Kingdom is my story. It is about me, belongs to me, and to those who seek me. It needs to be shared, for I will use it to speak to others. Remember this though, as your brother the Bright One warned you,”
“I am sending you out like sheep among wolves.
Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves” Matthew 10:16
“Do not give dogs what is sacred;
Do not throw your pearls to pigs.
If you do, they may trample them under their feet,
And then turn and tear you to pieces” Matthew 7:6
The King had never said a truer word. “Lord, although I called him a toad, I know you would not have been happy with me calling him a pig!” “Well, have you ever heard of a pig becoming a Prince?” the King asked, smiling. The Princess laughed at the Kings wisecrack and felt a lot better.
In the days that followed the Princess had to endure slander attacks from the Minstrel, the one who she had counted as a friend. Yet she had not done him any wrong.
“He speaks falsely,
While his heart gathers slander;
Then he goes out and spreads it abroad.”
“My close friend, whom I trusted,
He who shared my bread,
Has lifted up his heel against me.” Psalm 41:6-9
Then his mother and his friend joined in the attack, even though this did not concern them. She had done them no wrong either, and they did not know her. Why did he have to involve them? He had gone crying to his mother. It was like a divorce!
Attackers gathered against me
When I was unaware.
They slandered me without ceasing
Like the ungodly they maliciously mocked.
O Lord, how long will you look on? Psalm 35:11-17
The King sent His trusted servant Livia to her. Livia had been a friend of her first husband, dating him before he married the Princess. Now she had become a friend of the Princess. The Princess needed a healthy friend and regarded Livia as her mentor. Livia was a warrior who knew how to fight dragons. Coming and going from the north, she kept a watchful eye on the Princess and children ever since the days of the Pits. Now Livia had recently made a great journey south and settled in the same town as the Princess. “Help, I am getting attacked by all these dragons!” the Princess told Livia. Not surprised, Livia said “You are better off without him for a friend. He was not a safe person. The King promises a blessing for times when you are attacked like this. Listen to the word of the King;
“Blessed are you when people insult you,
Persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me.
Rejoice and be glad,
Because great is your reward in heaven,
For in the same way they persecuted the prophets
Who were before you.” Matthew 5:11
She replied “Thanks, but I do not feel very blessed at the moment.” Livia replied “It will be okay. You will get through this and he will be replaced by healthy friends.” The Princess frowned. “What about the kids?” she asked anxiously, adding “I doubt they are going to play together anymore!” Livia shook her head. “You have got to be safe. It was too much of a price to pay for them to play together. They will find other friends.”