Gradually Belle woke with a slightly quizzical but warm feeling. A gentle Mare had been in a dream and it spoke! "Belle, find me and I will take you where your and the young gentleman's quest awaits you both."
Rising, Belle dressed and warmly, as it was only spring and chill was oft in the air. She dressed in a blue long clinging thick silk lined linen tunic and long warm riding pantaloons. Her warm white and blue embroidered cloak was around her and a long thick winter hijab and she decided to put on her riding boots, the soft golden chamois, just in case she met the white Mare. And 'must not forget my gloves,' she thought of the gloves, also golden chamois, and she put them in her cloak pocket. She did not forget to take her riding whip.
Belle packed a backsack and she opened her door and stepped into the hall and walked to the foyer in the front of her home. Taking a hiking staff, she opened the front door and down the curved walk to her garden she walked with resolve. She opened the gate that yesterday she had greeted the young gentleman at and without stopping went out on to the road.
The young gentleman, who was actually a prince, had dreamed as well, a dream he had many times before. He dreamed of Princess Belle riding her horse during summer very early in the morning while dawn's first light barely touched upon her visage. It was always as if she were far off and he couldn't get to her.
But through day and night the radiant vision of her face demurely behind her veil brought peaceful contemplation to his soul.
Inspired as he always was by the vision of her serene countenance he leaped from his couch where he had been asleep and grabbed his coat and cap and ran to his horse, Numair, and saddled him and began to ride.
They rode for some time. Then the prince saw Princess Belle up ahead. The Prince's horse cantered up to where Princess Belle was walking and slowed to a stop, gently neighing. The Prince doffed his cap and said, "Peace and a most blessed and good morning to you Princess Belle."
She answered him, "Good sir, it is you, Peace and a good morning to you. You have me at a disadvantage, though, as I know not your name."
"At your sevice noble Princess, I am, 'Shafiq Nur al Din Taymullah bin Wajih' your humble servant, Princess Belle Light of Heaven." said the prince, smiling.
"Shafiq, I need your help, do you guide me now if you can. I must find the White Mare, the Lady of the Morning's gentle steed and omen of good." the princess asked him with trusting smile.
Extending his arm Shafiq said, "take my arm and mount behind me upon Numair, who is honored to carry you." Numair neighed and shook his head in agreement. She clasped Shafiq firmly and they rode off in search of Abir, the White Mare of the Lady of the Morning.
-to be continued-