The Slippery Glass Foot

The Slippery Glass Foot

Once there was a princess who loved a horse so much that she forgot her fears and acted very rashly, attempting a jump her horse wasn’t prepared for. The spill caused her foot to smash into a million pieces, so the doctors replaced the foot with one made of glass. It was hard and cold and caught the light beautifully, but it was much too slippery for the princess to walk upon, so she spent her days in a large chair, her foot propped up for all to see.

When the princess grew older, she often peered into her glass foot, hoping to spy a vision of the prince she would wed, the life she would lead, the future she would gain. But all she saw was what was already before her, turned upside-down through her shapely glass arch, swollen through her five toes, stretched across her ankle.

When the princess died, exactly as large as her chair, but sadly, no greater, her foot was kept and treasured by the stable boys, who named her their patron saint, and would call on her to protect them from the misplaced hoof. Especially over ice.

As time passed her renown grew, until she became the Patron Saint of dancers, acrobats, tightrope walkers, sprinters, and all who relied on a sure foot. Miniature glass feet were worn around the necks of young ballerinas, for luck. And the story became that a girl could see the face of her true love inside the tiny foot, if only she looked hard enough, and truly, truly believed, while rubbing the slippery glass.

From  The Insect Diviner