If you are new to this story, please start with the Introduction to The Secret Prince
Chapter Two — The Golden Ribbon
Ronduin remembered the ribbons in the sewing box. He removed the lid of the box and again took out layer after layer of cloth and sewing projects until he found the ribbons near the bottom of the box.
“This wide, gold ribbon is perfect,” he thought. “It’s the only ribbon here that would look good with the golden curtains.”
He quickly cut the ribbon into four sections. Then he took one of the four ribbons and wrapped it around the curtain and tried to tie it. “Oh No! Oh No! Oh No!” he shouted even though there was nobody there to listen. He pulled hard at the ribbon as he tugged it around the bunched up curtain, but there was not enough left at each end to make a knot.
Ronduin understood his mistake. When he measured the length of ribbon he needed, he had not realized that the ribbon would have to be longer in order to tie it.
“I’ll have to give up on this ribbon idea and put back the cords that I took off the curtains… and then I won’t have a jump rope,” he thought, feeling so frustrated that he jumped up and down squeezing his hands in tight fists.
Ronduin stopped jumping when he heard the rain starting again, first with a pitter patter, then loud pounding. Suddenly, Ronduin felt cold. He saw that the fire had burned down to just a pile of coals. He walked to the fireplace and added the single, small log that remained in the woodbox. Then he sat cross legged in front of the little fire, soaking in the heat, looking at the glowing coals, watching the log slowly burst into flame.
Ronduin was a child who was always moving. Even when he was sitting, he found something to fidget with. Sitting in front of the fire, he held the hem of his shirt, the part he had repaired, between his index finger and his thumb, rubbing the cloth between his fingers. Rubbing his magic shirt gave him an idea.
Ronduin walked to the window where the golden ribbons had been dropped in a messy heap. He picked up one of the too short ribbons, then he found a needle and thread. Back in front of the fire, he threaded the needle and began stitching the two ends of the ribbon together. When he was done, he had made a loop of ribbon with no beginning and no end. Next he bunched up the curtain and fed the bottom edge through the loop. Carefully, he tugged the loop up the bunched up curtain. It was a tight fit, but it worked!
Ronduin stood back and looked at the golden curtain with its new golden tie back. “I think the curtain actually looks better than it did with the cord,” he thought.
He had just finished sewing the other three tie backs, putting them on the curtains and settling everything back in the big wooden sewing box, when Sir Andrew entered the room carrying an armload of firewood.
“I’m just in time I see,” said Sir Andrew noticing the empty wood bin and a dwindling fire. “Your parents asked me to find out if you need anything and to tell you about what’s happening in the castle.”
“I can hear a lot of commotion,” said Ronduin.
“The bottom floor is completely flooded,” said Sir Andrew as he unloaded the wood into the wood bin and put a log on the fire. “This is the only room on the top floor that’s not wet. The hallways on this level are leaking too. As soon as the rain stops, we have to replace most of the roof.”
“Most of the castle has three floors,” said Ronduin. “Since the middle floor is dry, can I go down there and run through the halls?”
“There’s no longer any space for running on the middle floor,” said Sir Andrew. “The halls are a drying area for wet curtains and bedding. The rooms are crowded with extra furniture from the other floors. Right now everyone is either emptying buckets or carrying wet furniture to the middle floor.”
Sir Andrew and Ronduin both walked to the windows and stood watching the rain fall.
“So I’m stuck in this room,” said Ronduin.
“Looks like it,” said Sir Andrew. “I was talking to Agnes the cook. She said this long storm reminded her of the time the river flooded when she was a child. She remembered that it took three weeks before the dry land appeared. She thinks this is happening again.”
“Three weeks without school?” asked Ronduin.
“I wouldn’t be surprised,” said Sir Andrew turning and picking up Ronduin’s jump rope form the floor.
“What’s this?” he asked.
“My jump rope,” said Ronduin. “I made it from the curtain cords. And I made new curtain tie backs with ribbon.”
Sir Andrew smiled as he inspected the ribbon tie backs. “I think your parents will approve,” he said.