JACINTA THE GREAT
Once upon a time in the centre of a thick dense forest there was a cottage and in it dwelt an elderly woman who was known as Lady of the Woods. She was kind and wise; who had great knowledge in the properties of plants and cared for the animals wounded of the forest. She was a greatly respected herbalist, and many travelled from far and wide for her healing remedies, in which she asked for nothing in return. The Lady of the Woods often had company in her cosy cottage and she taught her skills and knowledge of herbs to a great number of young girls from the surrounding villages.
Her best apprentice was a maiden named Jacinta; who had a passion for helping others. She was not only beautiful and kind but also very intelligent and courageous, an independent young woman who was sure of herself and concentrated whole-heartedly on her pursuit of learning the skill of healing from her mentor.
Many men admired her and bestowed unwanted upon her. The man who pestered Jacinta the most was Prince Nigel, of a nearby kingdom. Prince Nigel was an evil man who was cruel and barbaric and relished in torturing and destroying life. His favourite pastime was setting traps for wild beasts and birds. He would lure them into the traps after which he killed, boiled and roasted the wild beasts while he collected the captured birds and kept them in cages. He had thousands of rare and precious birds imprisoned in his castle, which he liked to starve and torment.
Prince Nigel was infatuated with Jacinta and he constantly beleaguered her.
"I declare you my woman!"
"I want you and you WILL be mine!"
"Why are you wasting your time learning about...