"She lived in a castle with birds flying about, day and night, carrying their music in from the surrounding mountains. She was not a frail, milk-skinned princess as most were won't to think princesses should be. The mountain air had seeped into her bones from the time she was a little child, feeding her with a love for wild things: a wolf’s howl on the full moon, a Lark’s song on a summer morning, the screech of an eagle as it dives for its prey. She was lithe, with ruddy cheeks and tangled hair, and her legs were browned from the sun.
"A proper princess indeed.
"Nobody really knew her real name, except for her parents, because everybody called her Rose. She spent so much time running about in the woods, among the trees and wild things, and plaiting flowers into her hair that she didn’t look a bit like she belonged with a Proper Name. Rose fit her much better.
"All day long she dreamed of faraway places, exotic princes and kings, the feeling of a strange mountain’s mist upon her face, a foreign land’s dirt beneath her feet. With her head full of cobwebs and stars it was a wonder that she ever learned anything. Every day, when she was convinced to come inside, her tutors had to brush the tangles from her mind with a special little brush. But every day they gathered again: pictures of tropical birds, colorful plants, lavish spices, faraway ships going to faraway places… And each time she dreamed, the urge in her little chest to see the world grew stronger and stronger until she thought she might burst from the pure wanting of it.
"I should know. For that little girl was me."