When the handsome prince did not return home to the palace, the King sent out search parties all over the land, charging his knights and servants with the task of locating his lost son. They searched across the wide green fields, but they could not find him. They searched in the dark forests and caves, but they could not find him. They searched all the way to the top of the highest snow-capped mountain, but still they could not find him. Many times the king’s men crossed the bridge the prince had become, and he would try with all his might to cry out. But how ever hard he tried, the only sound the prince could now make with a pitiful creak.
Many months passed, and with great sadness, the King and Queen accepted that their son must be dead. A grand but solemn funeral was held for the lost prince. Everyone in the kingdom mourned and wept, and black flags flew from all the towers and spires across the land. Thousands of wreaths of flowers lined the palace courtyards, as the solid gold coffin was carried down the steps and out to the royal mausoleum in the hills, carrying the prince’s armour, shield and sword. As the procession crossed over the bridge the prince screamed at the top of his lungs, furiously trying to alert his family and subjects to his plight. But the feeble groans of his new wooden form were lost in the midst of the cries and shudders of the grieving crowds. For a long time a sombre mood covered the kingdom like a thundercloud, blotting out any thought of happiness.
However, there was one person who did not mourn the prince’s supposed death. Bitter little Cecil watched with glee as the panic began, and revelled in the despair he had caused. This fun was short-lived however, as soon the little creep began to fear that his dastardly actions would be discovered, and punishment would then ensue. So he and crooked mother fled the kingdom, their exit unnoticed in the frantic search to find the prince. They travelled far, across icy mountain ranges and arid hazy deserts, their paranoia driving them like frightened sheep.
Although Cecil had played his devious trick upon the prince, it did not quench his thirst for retribution against his former master. Whenever he crossed a bridge, Cecil burned with hatred against the prince, and would stamp his feet upon the wood or stone that lay beneath him.
"How d’you like that!?" He raged. "Not so tough and handsome now!"
One day, as Cecil and his mother travelled, they came to a deep gorge that barred their path. A rickety old rope bridge spanned the chasm, which Cecil and his mother began to cross. The old anger and jealousy stirred within the ugly wicked creature and he began to stomp his feet harder and harder upon the fragile planks.
"Stop it you fool, you’ll kill us both!" Cried Cecil’s mother, clinging to the frayed ropes, but Cecil did not listen. As his foot came down the bridge snapped, sending Cecil and his crone mother plunging to their doom, taking with them all of Cecil’s hatred and the dark secret of the prince’s betrayal.