A hunter was shooting game in the forest.
Whilst waiting in his hidden spot.
He heard a rustling of the bush.
And took aim with his bow and arrow.
But then nothing happened.
Suddenly the bush was rustling again.
And he retook his aim.
Another time it disappeared.
“The next time I’ll shoot”, he said to himself.
When the bush moved a third time.
His last arrow was on his chin,
When out popped… a beautiful maiden.
She danced around on bare feet.
Towards a little quiet wooden hut.
Remaining unaware of being watched.
By the enchanted hunter.
But he was also not aware.
That she was actually a Princess.
Who would come to her forest cabin.
To escape her duties at the court.
She would keep inside.
A little green plant.
That she was watering.
And really loved dearly.
Then suddenly a pack of six wolves appeared
And surrounded her little hut.
Scratching at her door, wanting to eat her alive.
The hunter saw, but only had one arrow.
But he understood the forest well.
And knew of a powerful wizard.
Who lived in a house.
Up on the hilltop.
The hunter went and asked him for help.
The wizard said: “I can give you what you need.
But there’s a price.
I will have to take your sight.”
The hunter said: “So be it.”
And with one stroke of the wand.
The hunter turned blind.
And received his magic arrow.
He stumbled his way back to the hut.
And followed the howling sounds.
Of the wolves circling the little cabin.
With the Princess still trapped inside.
The hunter perched on his hidden spot.
Put the magic arrow on the bow.
There was no hesitation, no doubts.
And with a single shot, all six wolves were killed.
The Princess came out.
Saw all the wolves were dead.
Didn’t wait for a single second.
And ran back with her plant to the castle.
The next morning she told her father the King.
What had happened that night in the forest.
About that great Marksman that saved her life.
But whom she never saw.
“Tomorrow I will arrange an archery challenge”, said the King.
”And whomever to win it.
Deserves the hand of my daughter.
For only he could be the man that slaughtered those six wolves.”
“Ohh, and by the way.
If there would be anyone showing up.
And fail to deliver such a miracle shot again.
I will immediately… chop off his head.”
After hearing this terrifying plan of her father.
The Princess disguised herself in grey robes.
Escaped the castle for the day.
And went to an inn, just outside of town.
The hunter at this time was still in the forest.
And hitching a ride back to the city.
For he couldn’t see the path anymore.
A monk on a carriage picked him up.
He dropped the hunter off at an inn just outside the forest.
And said: “Rest the night here my friend.
and tomorrow come to the city.
For they say the Princess is getting married.”
It was not hard for the hunter to find the entrance.
As the inn was buzzing with music and dance.
Suddenly someone took him by the hand.
Dragged him in and started dancing.
From the soft hands he could feel.
He was dancing with a woman.
And this maiden’s cloth felt of the grey.
He’d before seen around the castle.
They danced joyfully together until midnight.
Then the hunter suddenly felt her fear.
The maiden said to the blind man:
”I’m afraid something terrible will happen to my plants.”
“Worry not stranger.” Said the hunter.
”For plants are alive and move with the Sun.
And as long as they follow the light.
No harm will them become.”
The maiden in grey sighed in relief.
But now sensed he was afraid.
The hunter said to the maiden:
”I’m afraid that I will disappear.”
“Worry not stranger.” Said the grey maiden.
”For you cannot disappear.
One can only unveil that what covers the true self.
So have no fear.”
The blind hunter sighed in relief.
She kissed him on his head.
Wished each other a goodnight.
And he went back to the inn and she to her castle.
The next morning the hunter arrived at the city.
Where a crowd was amassing around an archery course.
That had a target and in front of the mark a green plant.
Overlooked by the King and the Princess sitting on a podium.
The King stood up and said:
”Today, I offer my daughter’s hand to that Marksman,
Who, with one arrow, can hit the mark and not harm my daughter’s plant.
If he fails in this task, I shall personally chop off his head.”.
The crowd went silent.
And the hunter became quiet inside.
For he now understood everything that had happened.
He rose up and said: “I shall shoot that Arrow!”.
The crowd burst out in laughter.
As they thought the blind man was a joker.
But as he moved his way down to the course.
The crowd’s laughter was quickly replaced by terror.
For they feared he would surely die.
As the shot was impossible.
The Princess her dear plant was covering the mark.
He would either miss the mark or kill the plant.
Nevertheless, the hunter took aim.
As the Sun came out from behind the clouds.
He put the arrow on the bow, string on the chin.
And in that instant, the hunter disappeared…
And became one with the Wind and the Arrow.
The red mark and the little green plant.
He heard the grass singing.
Saw the trees shining.
He saw much more than he’d ever seen before.
And as he let go and saw the path.
The arrow zipped through the air.
Missed the plant, but hit the mark.
And the King made a deep bow.
He was assured now that this man,
Was the man who had saved his daughter.
And the Princess ran into the hunter’s arms.
The hunter heard now in the crowd.
A man sobbing and weeping.
It was the wizard of the forest.
And he was dissolving into his own tears.
Once he was totally gone.
The hunter’s sight came back.
He shed a tear for the wizard.
For he was both his enemy and his friend.
In his arms he now saw the most beautiful Princess.
Prettier than he had even remembered.
And they married that same day.
The King stepped down and made the hunter Sovereign.
And that’s how their Rule began.
It is still debated what happened during that remarkable shot.
Some say it was the Sun that moved the plant.
Others say it was the hunter, who became the Wind.
It will remain a mystery for infinity.
What we do know is that the first Sunday after.
The couple would return to the forest hut.
And planted her little tree there. And maybe planted a few more.
Long after, to celebrate their love story.
The people have since made the dart boards.
With the red in the middle and the green around.
Symbolizing the mark covered by the Princess her little plant.
And with the black and white.
Honoring the mystery of the miracle shot.
Whether it was the white light had moved the plant.
Or the black dark that made the Marksman disappear.
Utrecht Forest 12⅓