Once upon a time in a far away land so far that no man can find it anymore, there lived a beautiful queen in a very tall castle. Everyone loved the queen because she was so kind and giving. Her name was Sebella. The king of the castle called all the tailors together and had them make Sebella a beautiful fur coat. It was a coat that only Sebella could wear and she was told never to give it away. The collar of the coat was covered with pearls and the buttons were diamonds, rubies, and emeralds. It was the most beautiful coat in the world and Sebella wore it with grace and elegance. She loved the coat dearly because it was a gift from her beloved husband and she would never part with it.
Sebella gave her old clothes to the poor each year. Her summer clothes were replaced each summer and she gave the old ones to the widows and orphans. Her winter clothes were replaced each winter and she gave the used ones to the hungry, the sick and the needy.
Everyone in the kingdom knew how generous Sebella was and loved her even more because she cared for those who were less fortunate than she was.
She gave away all her used clothes each year but she always kept the special coat given to her by the king. She wore it wherever she went and people were amazed at the luster of the diamonds and the sparkle of the rubies. No one knew that the king had placed a magical charm upon the coat. He did so in order to keep anyone from stealing it or selling it. As long as the queen kept the coat it would never get old and would look as beautiful as the day it was made. The gems would never lose their sparkle or their value.
All went well each year and the queen gave her used clothes as she did each year to the poor. This went on for several years and the people were blessed with good things from the very tall castle.
Where there is good, there is always evil and so it was in this land.
Far in the deep dark forest lived a wicked witch who had heard of the beautiful coat. The desire to steal the coat had never left her mind. She worked day and night trying to figure out how she could steal it. She wanted to wear the coat in the cold winter months and sell the jewels to become the richest witch in the world. Night and day she worked with spells to help her steal the coat.
Weeks went by and the hot sun parched even the wood on the shack the witch lived in. The intense heat only made the witch more eager to steal the coat for she knew winter would be coming soon. Why should she spend her time making her own coat when she would steal the most beautiful coat in the world? So rather than cut the wool from the sheep and stitch herself a warm coat, she worked harder than ever to produce a spell which would allow her the opportunity to steal the coat.
Summer passed and the cool months of November came quickly. All the people in the land worked very hard to dry beans, fruit, meat, make wheat into flour and to stock up food for the cold months ahead. All the people that is, except the wicked witch Hegala for she was too busy making plans to steal the coat. Once she had the coat, she would have money to buy whatever she needed. Then it happened! Suddenly a sharp squeal rang out from the wooden shack.
“I’ve done it! I’ve done it! I’ve come up with a spell which will allow me to disappear for a short time. This is just what I need to be able to go into the castle and steal the coat!” She cackled loudly as she danced about the floor.
Hegala was ecstatic and danced all about for hours celebrating the birth of her new spell. “I will hide outside the castle until dark and then I will cast my spell. This will give me plenty of time to jump onto the balcony and find the coat. No one will see me at all. They will just think it is the wind blowing.” She screamed with laughter as she threw white powder all over the floor in celebration.
So it came to be that on Christmas Eve, Hegala waited beneath the castle walls. At the strike of midnight, she cast her spell and flew into Sebella’s room. Quickly she removed the coat from the foot of the bed and sped away into the night. No one saw her come and no one saw her go.
The castle bells rung early celebrating Christmas Day and the sound of the ringing awoke Sebella.
“Oh my goodness I have overslept. I must get busy and give out my presents. People will be waiting for me and children will be eager to receive my baskets of goodies.” She mumbled as she jumped out of bed.
Quickly she dressed, brushed her long hair, and put on the blood red lipstick she wore on special occasions. Spraying several sprays of patchouli fragrance on her neck and wrist she reached for her coat.
“Oh dear my coat is gone! Where oh where can it be?” She gasped as she looked feverishly for her beloved coat.
She called all of her maids and the search began. No one in the castle could find the coat.
Hours went by but the coat was nowhere to be found. Despite her great loss the queen continued and passed out all of her gifts, baskets and used clothes. The day would not be a loss because of her misfortune.
As night began to fall over the forest the light from the old wooden shack became visible. The wicked witch was dancing around the room all dressed in the beautiful coat. The diamonds, rubies, and emeralds glimmered in the glow of the kerosene lantern sitting upon the table.
“I’ll never be cold again and these stones will provide me with all the wealth of the land.” She cackled as she snuggled up inside the beautiful coat. She was unaware of the magical charm that had been placed upon the coat by the king.
The next morning the witch decided to take off the coat and take herself a fresh bath. She pulled and tugged but the coat would not come off. She wiggled and squirmed pulling on the sleeves of the coat but it would not come off. Soon she had worked herself into a sweat. Try as hard as she could, the coat would not come off. It was as if it were stuck to her body by some magical force. What was she to do now?
“I’ll take my scissors and cut off the diamonds. I can sell them and get what I need.” She mused. “I’ll just put out the fire and I’ll be just fine.”
So frustrated by the happening she reached for the scissors. Carefully she clipped the threads holding the diamond gems. When the last thread was cut the diamond fell from the coat onto the floor. The witches ’eager fingers quickly retrieved the fallen stone but much to her bewilderment, the stone turned into ashes.
“It’s a curse from the king!” She cried. “He had put a curse upon the stones and upon the coat. Now I have nothing if I clip off the other stones. I can’t take off the coat and I can’t sell the stones. What in the world shall I do?” She paced the floor back and forth. So angry was she that even her black cats ran away.
The king sent out his soldiers to every house in the land searching for the coat. As they came to the witches’ house they saw the witch stretched out upon her bed. All the pearls had disappeared. All the diamonds, emeralds and rubies had turned to ashes. The witch was left only with a coat she could not remove.
The soldiers had no problem finding the coat and the wicked witch who had stolen it.
The queen had the tailors replace the missing stones. The wicked witch was burned at the stake so she could never again be the cause of pain and suffering to anyone.
The king sent out a message to all far and wide. It simply stated:
It never pays to take something that does not belong to you.
Question: What happened to the Queen’s coat?
Written by Sybil Shearin
All Rights Reserved