Legend of the Almond Tree Blossom


A very long time ago when the kingdom of the Algarve was ruled by the Moors, an Arab Prince fell madly in love with a Princess that came from the wintry lands of Northern Europe. The Prince married the young Princess and they went to live in the sun-kissed lands of the Algarve.

The smile of the beautiful Princess caused great wonder among the folks of that southern kingdom, they admired her fair skin and her golden hair. They admired the softness of her voice and the colour of her eyes.

The princess herself was very content to be in the warm lands of the south. Every morning, the Princess enjoyed tranquil walks along the sleepy villages and sunny paths. She was awestruck by the whitewashed houses with doors and windows trimmed in hues of blue. She cherished the juicy oranges and the scarlet pomegranates. She enjoyed the sweetness of the strawberry tree, the aroma of the figs, and the cool shade of the carob trees. She treasured the cry of the hawk, the nightingales and larks. She seemed happy in that hot and distant realm.

In spite of living far away from her cold land, the fair Princess was truly in love with the dark-skinned Prince that smelled of sweet fruits and spices. However, despite the true love she felt for the prince, when Winter came she pined away because she longed for the white soft fields of her native land, covered in ice and snow. She missed the whiteness and the mantles of snow of the northern distant lands. Tears ran down her fair face and she was sad.

One day, having found the delicate Princess in tears, the Prince inquired about the reason for such sorrow and grief. She confessed that she missed the white snow-covered fields of her far away kingdom.

Determined to bring joy to the heart of his Princess, the Prince assembled all his men and ordered them to plant fields of almond trees as far as the eye can see, so that when they were in full bloom, they would give the Princess the illusion of snow. The almond blossom would warm her heart and she would be cured of her longing.

Spring soon came and one morning when the Princess approached the window of her palace, she could not believe her eyes! The almond trees were covered in bloom and the fields were white like snow shining in the sun. Again tears ran down her fair face, however, these were tears of joy.

And so year after year, the Moorish King and the Northern Princess eagerly waited for the wonderful miracle of almond tree blossom and …finally, they lived happily ever after.

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