In the Country of the King

She is the daughter of the King in the way that every young girl is the daughter of the King. Later she will be the wife of the King in the way that every young woman is the wife of the King. Later still she will be the mother of the King in the way that every old woman is the mother of the King. But now she is the daughter of the King.

Her name means Of-the-Wind. There are three reasons for this name as there are three reasons for everything: one before the fact, one of the fact, and one after the fact. First, and most simply, her mother, the wife of the King, likes the name. It has a pleasing sound to her ear. She loved to say it to herself while she was pregnant with Of-the-Wind, running her hands over the bump that would grow to be a daughter of the King. Second, like the wind she is never still, always moving, always searching and finding and losing. So they say of her that she is well-named.

The daughter of the King who will soon be the wife of the King is swimming in the river when he finds her. He is neither a son of the King nor a father of the King nor the King himself. He is a stranger man. He sees Of-the-Wind and would talk to her, but when he approaches learns the third reason for her name: like the wind she is only there when she is already passing. The man who is free of the King opens his mouth and she is gone.