The Sleeping Beauty’s Secret

by Don Nelson
(Brentwood, CA)

The little blonde girl was gazing up at the night sky while snuggling in her mother’s lap. They were sitting on the front porch of a small cottage.

“Mom, where do the stars go during the day?”

Her mother replied in a soft voice. “Well honey, they sleep during the day and then they wake up when it gets dark.”

Her young and only daughter was always full of cute questions.

“Why do the stars twinkle-twinkle like that, is that how they talk?”

The mother looked at her daughter with a kind smile. “I like to pretend they do talk and if you listen closely, you can sometimes hear those twinkly stars talking.”

“Do they ever talk to you Mommy?”

“Yes they did, when I was a little girl, about as big as you are now. We lived in the country and I could see the stars twinkling from my bedroom window."

“I remember there was one special star that shined the brightest. It sang to me every night and whispered stories to me until I fell asleep.”

“Oh Mommy, tell me about the stories they told you.”

“They were happy and exciting stories about living in a dream world where all my wishes were fulfilled. I learned that to follow a star is to follow a dream. My star told me a new story every night.”

“Mom, did you have a name for your special star?”

“Yes I did but I never told anyone. It was my secret but I’ll tell you now."

The little girl was excited. “Wow, nobody ever told me a secret before. Will it still be a secret if you tell me?”

"Yes it will be, and we won’t even tell daddy. It will be our secret. And when you have children someday, you can share it with them."

Her mom said, “I’ll whisper it in your ear so no one else can hear.”

“Oh Mom, there’s nobody else here, you can say it out loud.”

“Well honey, it’s not really a secret unless you whisper it.”

The little girl's Mom leaned over to her daughter and in a hushed tone, told her the secret name.”

The little girl’s eyes got big. “That’s the best name for a star ever. I will never forget it.”

Her mom hugged her and said, “Now go get your pajamas on and I’ll come tuck you in.”

Her mother sat down on her daughter's kid-sized bed.

“Mom, I’m really excited, I’ve never gone to sleep before with a secret but what if I forget the star’s name in the morning, will you tell it to me again?"

Her mom replied lovingly. “Of course I will but you know there is a way you can never ever forget the star's secret name.”

The little girl sat up. “Oh please tell me before I go to asleep.”

“Okay honey. Do you remember the name of the beautiful sleeping princess in one of your favorite story books?”

“Yes I do, is that where you got the name?”

“Yes,” her mother said. “Growing up it was one of my favorite bedtime stories that your grandmother read to me.”

“Thanks Mom for telling me the star's secret name, I hope I dream about it.”

That night the little girl dreamed she was a princess and she met a handsome young prince and he kissed her and they got married and lived happily ever after. When she awoke the next morning, she ran to the window and looked at the sky. All the stars were gone. Then she realized she had forgotten the star’s name. She ran to the kitchen to ask her mother.

Her mom smiled at her and said, “How’s my little sleeping beauty this morning?”

The girl was so surprised, she said, “Oh Mom, thank you so much. How did you know I had forgotten the star’s name? Now I will never ever forget it's name again.”

The girl grew up and got married to a very special man and soon they had a little girl of their own. When the proud parents brought the baby girl home from the hospital, the first thing the young mother did was whisper the secret name into the ear of the tiny baby.

One night at bedtime, when the little girl was four years old, she asked her mother. “When I was born, how did you and daddy pick out my name?”

“Well honey, when I was little, about your age, your grandmother told me a secret and when you were born, I whispered that secret into your tiny ear and it forever became your name."

The sleepy little girl smiled at her mom and settled in to her bed’s soft covers. She quickly slipped into a peaceful sleep.

Her mother turned off the light and quietly closed the door but not before whispering, “Good night, Aurora, I love you.”

The story of Sleeping Beauty is set in the 14th century of a fairy-tale world. The newborn Princess Aurora is named after the Roman goddess of the dawn because she fills the lives of her mother and father, King Stefan and Queen Leah, with sunshine.

Click here to post comments

Return to Short Story Writing Contest.