The Needle and the Paint Brush


"Mother, may i have some paints and brushes?"

"Karine, of course, but whatever for?" 

As a young girl, a princess even, who had never asked for so much as an extra piece of bread with her supper, the queen found herself unable to deny the girl anything, yet she still was curious.

"So that I may introduce you to Mira and Dallion of course!" the little girl chirped with joy, her tiny hands clasped to those of her imaginary friends, "I shall prove they are real mother! Might I paint on my walls so that they shall always be there to protect us, mother?"

The young queen sighed and nodded. Her little princess squealed with excitement and ran up the stairs to her chambers, apple red curls bouncing her tiny shoulders. 

Had the queen had any idea what she would later that night walk up to her daughters room to see, she wouldn't have giggled at the idea of the stick figures and splatters of purple paint she was likely to see.

Instead, to her shock, she was greeted by the most beautiful mural, reaching from the armoire in the best corner to the bed in the east. A golden haired young woman with the most beautiful, delicate face the queen had ever seen, was starring out the window, a handsome young man, a boyish smile on his lips. Both were painted with such detail that one might believe her to be real.

Snuggled in the corner behind the bed with Karine, a paint brush in her hand, auburn lashes resting on her cheeks as she slept. 

Karine's nurse, shock in her voice, snuck in beside the queen and asked. "M'lady, did Karine--"

"I believe so Agatha, should we--"

"Let her sleep m'lady, the girl is exhausted after all the work." Agatha insisted. she carefully lifted the girl and placed her in the bed, prying the paint brush from her tiny fingers. 

The queen nodded and kissed her daughter goodnight. She blew out all but one candle, and following Agatha out the door. 

Karine's eyes opened just as the door clicked shut. She carefully crawled out of bed and across the room to where Mira watched the window with great care. She pushed a chair from the desk towards the two and stood on top to kiss each friend goodnight. To her surprise, they both kissed her back.


"Now Marcela, remember, don't pull the thread so hard, you'll tear it, we haven't got much to spare until the peddler comes."

"Aye Mum, I'll be careful."

"Good girl, now, how's your doll comin', love."

Placing the last few strands of black yarn hair on the dolls oversized head, Marcela smiled and announced, "Almost done!"

With the click of the scissors, the last thread was cut, and Marcela's masterpiece, two weeks in the making, was finally complete. The doll, who Marcela had named Jessamine, was finally perfect, from every bead and embroidered design on her own, to the wire tiara in her black hair. 

As Marcela beamed with pride, her mother marveled in awe at the craftsmanship. Never before had she seen such beautiful delicate work from anyone, her young apprentices with years of experience never achieved such quality, and yet the six year old girl who'd only picked up a needle to make the doll had done so as if it where nothing. 

"A natural. My dear Marci, you are a natural! Ooo, wait until Mrs. maritage she's this little beauty! Trumps whatever her little Sara Beth can do, and that girl's nearly old enough to marry!"

Marcela's freckles became lost in the redness of her cheeks. She pulled a few red locks out in front of her face to hide what she could of her embarrassment. "Mum, t'is not that great, is it?"

Her mother shook her head. "No, it's better! Now, after supper, we're goin' to show a friend o' mine, she'll adore little Jessamine here!"

"Aye mum!" Marcela giggled, taking the doll form her mothers hands and holding her tightly to her chest.

"Now you go wash up, I'll fetch that brother o' yours, wherever he's hiding from us."

"Aye mum!" she chirped again as her mother left the house shouting out for Jeremiah, who, like always, was nowhere within earshot.

Marcela began to braid the dolls hair, each time being careful not to fray the yarn. "Must have you looking lovely for supper too, aye Jessie?" She smiled and tied the braid off with a forgotten piece of thread on her mothers sewing table. "Perfect." 

Marcela brought the doll to her lips and placed a tiny kiss on her cheek. "I love you Jessamine."

While one would likely not notice, the tiny hand stitched lips of little Jessamine began to smile.