The Story of a Storyteller

This is Catherine Procter’s entry for our Scheherazade competition — exquisitely presented in a little handmade book, bound with three ribbons! Catherine tells me she is an engineer by training, and she seems to believe this means she’s not naturally artistic. I beg to differ.
King Shahryar fell in love with Scheherazade during one thousand and one nights of storytelling. He was entranced by her tales and captivated by her beauty. She was wise and kind, and in loving her the King forgot the anger which had filled his heart since the betrayal of his first wife. Scheherazade bore the King three sons, bringing even greater love and joy to his heart.
Scheherazade brought her sons up to be as kind, loving and thoughtful as she. From their earliest days, she took pleasure in telling them wonderful stories, and they grew up loving to tell and hear stories as much as their Mother and Father did.
Scheherazade was creative in many other ways, and made many beautiful things. She particularly enjoyed knitting, keeping her hands busy with one kind of yarn, while her head was full of the other kind. For each of her sons she created a blanket, which he sat on to listen to his Mother’s tales. Each blanket was different, reflecting the different personalities and tastes of her boys.
The first born son of Scheherazade and Shahryar displayed, from a very young age, a charming and confident manner, and a spirit that knew, without being told, that he would one day be a King.
He was happy and sociable, adored by everyone at the court, and never happier than when he was at a party or banquet. He was always at his Father’s side when the King greeted important guests. The boy was kind and intelligent, and all who met him knew that he would one day be a great and wise ruler.
His favourite stories were true ones, tales of rulers of long ago, and he learned much from his Mother’s tales that would help him in later years when he inherited his Father’s crown.
His story blanket was knit in rich colours — purple, crimson, royal blue and green, with shining gold stripes.
The second son was happiest outdoors, and away from the noise and excitement of the palace. He was quiet and gentle, and shy around strangers. He liked to be alone in his own little garden, where he grew beautiful flowers, which he would never allow to be picked for anyone but his Mother, or out walking in the countryside.
His favourite time for storytelling was summer, when he would coax his mother outside to sit under his favourite tree with him, while he sat on a blanket adorned with flowers and leaves.
The third son was the one who was most like his mother. He lived to tell and hear stories. He spent his days gathering tales from anyone he could find. He heard tales of far off lands from visiting princes, listened to the servants as they gossiped, or walked to the surrounding villages to listen to old men as they embroidered tales of their youth. At night he sat on the terrace, watching the moon, and dreaming fanciful stories of his own.
His favourite time was evening, when he sat with his family, listening to his Mother’s stories, and telling stories to her and his brothers. the blanket he sat on had been knitted in variegated blue yarn, and felted. Stars of misty grey fibre were needle felted on it.
[ Scheherazade winners here; they are wonderful as ever.]