Friendship had compelled the Princess to go the extra mile for the Minstrel. It is written “And whoever compels you to go one mile, go with him two.” Matthew 5:41. She had gone the distance but upon reaching the crossroads they parted company.
It grieved her that she had to take the children ahead with her, separating them from the Minstrel’s children, but that had been his decision.
The King commanded the Princess to leave the crossroads with these words;
Fix your gaze directly before you.
“Let your eyes look straight ahead,
Make level paths for your feet
And take only ways that are firm.
Do not swerve to the right or the left;
Keep your foot from evil.” Proverbs 4:25-27
So the weary Princess walked straight ahead at the crossroads, swerving neither to the left or the right. On the left the Minstrel stood yelling taunts, telling her to go. On the right Silver-tongue lurked in the shadows with flowers, flattery and pleas, calling her to return. Looking straight ahead, she fixed her gaze on the road before her, and did not look back.
The road up to the crossroads had been rough, but this part was easier, the path firm and level. Up until now the Princess had not been cautious with her friendships. A righteous person is cautious in friendship, but the way of the wicked leads them astray. Proverbs 12:26.
She wondered how lonely it would be now that she was taking more care about those she met on the road.
A companion of fools suffers harm, but he who walks with wise grows wise. (Proverbs 13:20). At this point of her journey, the Princess had suffered harm and needed healthier people to be friends with.
To her delight, accompanying her were the new friends she had found in the Flatlands, who joined the friends she had already made. On the road she saw Princesses Kate, Deborah, Nina, the Bright One, Prince Dom, White Flower, and even Prince Honest, White Flower’s husband, straggling along in a loose column together with her and the children.
And there were others too, all in a varying formation, within hearing distance and keeping an eye out for each other. Her children brought in Princess Mara and her sons from across the road. The fellowship was born from the faith they all shared in the King. They formed a home group where they met each week to worship the King and support each other. She called it the “circle of friends”.