A story is told of a baby born with a target on his back. His crime, the nerve to be conceived when his mother, the Queen had all but given up hope of bearing an heir. He also had the nerve to survive every foot slip, every fall. The graceful Queen had become clumsy in her pregnancy. But with tenacity she could not fabricate, she laughed off every tumble, brushed off any fuss. “Relax!” She would say, smiling through the pain of her latest accident. “We will name him Sindile – The Survivor.”
But the Queen’s sister wouldn’t relax. Convinced that the accidents were no accident, she hovered persistently over her sister. Always there to hold her up. Always there to pick her up. But in spite of her best efforts, the falls continued. And much to the delight of all but one, Sindile was born. And with his birth, ceased his mother’s clumsiness.
For Sindile, the troubles were just beginning. There was no toy friendly enough, no room padded enough, no meal safe enough. Danger lurked over the young Prince like a lone thunder cloud. And the child, born of a cheerful disposition, soon became sad and withdrawn. He too had heard of the whispered tale that his life was a fluke that death wanted to correct.
For his mother, the happiness of bearing an heir was no more. She no longer wanted survival for Sindile. She wanted happiness.
For his aunt, there was no rest. She too wanted happiness. She barely slept. Barely ate. Barely smiled. The quest for happiness was a task far too serious. And her happiness lay where the prince sat. And so, by his side, she remained glued. Always there to pick him up. Always there to hold him up.
But it soon dawned on an unlikely detective, the boy’s nanny, that Sindile’s devoted aunt was always conveniently at the scene of every accident. But why would she want to hurt her nephew? The nanny pondered. Was there any possible explanation for this?
Why yes. There was! You see, before Prince Sindile was born, his young aunt; was the heir to the throne. Armed with this knowledge and a lot of sleuthing, the boy’s nanny was soon able to convince the Queen of her sister’s evil intent.
Surprisingly relieved, the Queen left the kingdom with everything she needed to be happy – the clothes on her back and her son in her arms.
With the Queen and Prince gone, the kingdom looked to the Queen’s sister for leadership. Everything she’d ever wanted, dropped so unceremoniously into her lap. You’d think that would be enough for the new Queen, right? Oh no. She barely slept. Barely ate. Barely smiled. She was the saddest Queen the kingdom had ever seen. Her loyal subjects put it down to heartbreak. They weren’t far from the truth, but they couldn’t have been further from it. The truth was simple. The Queen had suffered the folly of mistaking the throne for the crown.
And so the story goes of the girl who wanted it all and lost it all without ever actually having it at all.