The Forest Princess

Author: • January 16, 2017 • Short Stories

The interview picked up again three days later.  Wilhelm was back and looked much healthier.

“Sorry about the disturbance.  Sometimes I have a setback and—”

“It’s no problem, Wilhelm.  Steffi said you had taught Erika a few things, how to drink tea, for example.”

“Yes, she always wanted to lap it directly from the cup, kind of how a dog drinks water.  She learned quickly, though.  She only had to be reminded of it.  She had already learned most of it with her first family.”

“This family, where did they live?”

“They—we found out two months later that she had a family.”  Wilhelm smiled.  “But when she lived with us, she never seemed to long for them nor her life in the forest.  I think that with us she was truly happy for the first time in her life.”

“Had she run away from home?”

“I believe so.  We learned something about it one day when she climbed up to the top of our roof.  My mother—she died of influenza last year right after my father, you know—got all worked up because my princess used to sit high upon the roof looking at everything around her.  Cats also do that quite often.  They want to be able to see all possible threats to them.”  A shadow fell over his face.  “But exactly that was her mistake.”

“The entire village saw her?”

Wilhelm nodded.  “A few of the neighbors knew that I had found a girl in the forest, but when she started spending her days up on the roof, her story spread through the area quickly until everyone wanted to see her.”

“You sound as if you wanted to keep her hidden.”

“Well… at the beginning I was so proud of her that I gladly showed her off, but…”  He sighed deeply.  “But they all looked at her with disgust.  ‘A monster!’ one person cried.  ‘They should put her in the asylum’.”

The scratching of the pen against paper seemed as loud as Wilhelm’s words.

“‘Wild animals like that should be shot!’ yelled another.  ‘She isn’t dangerous!’ I said and chased them away.  One man remained.  I knew him from the marketplace—a Mr. Schmidt.  ‘She looks familiar,’ he said.”

“He recognized her?”

Wilhelm nodded.  “I was suddenly scared.”

“Scared that he would take your princess back to her rightful family?”

“Yes.  For the first time in my life I was truly scared.  In Africa once, a lion looked me straight in the eyes, but when this man recognized my princess, I was ten times as scared.”

Steffi appeared in the doorway.  “Ten o’clock, Wilhelm.  Time for your medicine.”

He stared at her.  “But tomorrow we’ll do more.  I will find her again.”

“Of course, Wilhelm.”


About the Author

Cecile's Writer_Rebecca LinamAuthor: Rebecca Linam

Country of residence: United States of America

Nationality: American

Mother tongue: English

Rebecca Linam was born in the United States and studied in Aachen, Germany.  She visits Germany every summer.  She earned a master's degree in German and teaches German at the University of North Alabama.  Her short stories have been published in Ireland, Canada, Hong Kong, England, and the United States of America.  For more, visit her website at or find her on Twitter@rebecca_linam.

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