Once upon a time there was a beautiful palace where the king's children lived as happily as they alone can live. They never wanted anything and they never knew that there could be others who were not as happy as they. Sometimes, it is true, they would hear a story which would make them almost think that perhaps there was a world beyond, which they did not know, outside the palace of the king and its gardens, but something would seem to say that after all it was only a fairy story, and they would forget that it meant anything that might really be true.
One of the little princesses seemed to think more of these stories of a world beyond the palace garden than the others, and she would sometimes find herself gazing at the sun, and wondering if the great world lay beyond the purple forests where the golden-edged clouds shone like dark mountains in the distance. And the name of this princess was Eline.
More and more as she thought of these things she felt sure that there must be a world where things were very different from the happy life in the palace garden;