The Three Princes of Serendip

This is not my story.
Or at least, it wasn't before.
If you know this story, this Persian tale of a quest,
You too may have come to it from Walpole's coining of the word Seredipity, in a letter in 1754.
To come upon something, what you need, by chance, by sagacity.
Without knowing they were what you needed, until they were required.

The three princes, from the land of Serendip, what we now call Sri Lanka, were sent upon a quest.
The prize, perhaps, as these tales go, was
the hand of a princess
or freedom for some beloved
or even, in a more cynical spin, the attainment of land.

They undertook their task, the finding of three answers...
But their questions are now forgotten....

Their first meeting was with a camel who spoke to a shepherd of fantasies of flight.

Their second encounter was with the woman on the hill, black scarf and rod, walking blindly to a place she would not name, but would only say the walls were turquoise and moved all the night.

And lastly, their meeting with the child, who sang of the light, of the velvet black of the watchtower disguise.

And onward the princes continued.

Still looking for the answers to the questions that awaited them.

Until they reached the place where their answers must be given.

And they faced their interregator, with heads bowed and sad hearts, and prepared
for the loss they did not know the shape of.

The king turned to the first prince, to find out the colour of the walls the black-shawled search for.

His answer gave his brother hope, as the king, in his turquoise amaze, turned to the second prince...

Who answered the king, 'flight', and thanked the camel for saving his life.

And third prince, now it was his turn, told the king, "Your majesty, the child sang of light".