Alma lived with her father a Doctor in a village on the edge of a vast forest.
The Doctor had decided to take a short cut through the forest after seeing a patient but a storm was brewing. All he could hope for was to reach home before it started.
Alas no. He was more than half way through the trees when the first crack of thunder rent the air followed by a vicious streak of lightning.
The Doctor's horse reared in terror and he was thrown from it's back as it bolted for home and safety.
The Doctor could feel his leg was broken. In any case he was stuck here until some help came.
Heavy rain began to fall and the Doctor was drenched, shivering with shock and cold.
Through the curtain of teeming water his heart faltered as he saw an enormous charcoal grey wolf approach.
It was a magnificent male specimen and was looking right at him with piercing blue eyes.
The Doctor had no means of defending himself so closed his eyes and hoped it would be quick.
But instead he found himself nudged by the muscular dark muzzle..........He must have been more delirious than he realised for he swore it spoke in a deep, rich man's voice.
“ Let me help you Sir. Come climb onto my back and tell me where you live. Your kin must be worried by now “.
The Doctor chanced his luck and told the wolf where he lived and to his delight in less than half an hour they were there.
Alma opened the door and pulled her Father into her arms. She seemed barely perturbed by the wolf's presence and put out a hand to pet him.
“ The wolf saved my life child”. The Doctor told Alma as she helped him indoors. “ We must give him hospitality for the night. I suspect there is more to him than meets the eye for he spoke to me. “
Alma fed the wolf in the kitchen and batted not an eyelid as he thanked her warmly. “ May I know your name ?” He asked in his oh so melodious voice.
“ Alma Sir.” She answered and may I say thank you for aiding my poor Father today
But for you he might have died.........If there is any way we can repay you.....Please say ........
The answer was not one she expected. “ I would like to ask for your hand in marriage“.
He saw the shock on her face and went on. “ It will not be so bad. I am only a wolf during the day. At night I am a man. I hope that you may be able to help me return to full manhood “.
Alma took him outside and they talked with her Father. The Doctor asking a whole load of questions that the wolf answered honestly.
“ Do you wish to marry him child ?” He asked Alma who replied. “ I gave a promise to repay the debt for your life and I will pay it willingly “.
So Alma went with the wolf and he took her to a castle where they were married. She found herself alone until darkness fell and as she lay in bed a voice she knew spoke from the door. “ May I come in to my wife ? I am a man for the night “.
Alma pulled back the covers, her husband climbed in beside her and they truly became man and wife though in the darkness of the room Alma saw nothing of her husband.........
He told her that his name was Anwell and that he was a Prince. His Father who ruled the Kingdom Between the Sun and the Moon had taken a wife who was an Enchantress who had bewitched him to be a wolf during the day.
If Alma could spend a year of with him never seeing his face then he would be free and they could be together.
If not then he he must marry his Step sister who was beautiful but wicked. Alma wanted to help her husband so agreed.
Unfortunately the Queen had put a servant into the castle to make sure Anwell was not freed.
This woman pretended to be a friend to Alma. “ How can you be sure of a husband you've never seen ? “ She told the girl.
" As long as you're careful not to spill wax from your candle he need never know you've looked."
So one night Alma did light a candle and gave a gasp as she saw the man sleeping beside her.
Thick dark hair above a beautiful face with it's aquiline nose and soft sensuous mouth that she suddenly longed to kiss and did so.
Alas 3 drops of wax fell onto his skin and the Prince awoke. He had the loveliest blue grey eyes but they were looking on her with the greatest sorrow.
“ In the morning I must return to my Father's Castle to marry my step sister “. Was all he could say to Alma.
When she awoke next morning he was gone and she wept bitterly for her own foolishness.
The wicked Queen's servant felt ashamed of what she had done and confessed it all to Alma. “ Let me help you “. She said. For I think you will make our Prince very happy. “
She sent Alma to see a wise old woman who might be able to help her find the way to the Kingdom Between the Sun and the Moon.
In return for doing some jobs for her the woman gave Alma a golden mirror and got the East wind to take her as far as he could.
Another old woman in exchange for work gave her a golden comb and the North Wind to take her further on. A third old lady gave a golden spindle and the West wind to take her to the castle.
As she sat combing out her hair before trying to see her Prince the Princess who was to marry him came by and wanted to buy the comb.
“ I'll give it to you in exchange for a night with Prince Anwell “ said Alma.
The princess agreed but gave the Prince a sleeping potion so he knew nothing of Alma's presence and she wept all night.
Next day she say trying to untangle her hair in the mirror. The Princess once again bought it in exchange for a night with the Prince.
Once again a sleeping potion ensured that he knew nothing of Alma's presence.
But a servant of the prince had seen what had been happening and told the Prince of the lady who had come and wept all night by his bed side while he slept.
Looking out of the window Prince Anwell saw his Alma sitting spinning and his heart leapt with joy.
That night he only pretended to drink the sleeping draught and to fall asleep. Sure enough Alma had sold the spindle for a night with the Prince.
Now when she came in she found him sitting up waiting for her and they joyfully made love , seeing each other's faces for the first time.
Alma was dismayed to see the drops of wax still on her husband's skin. “ Only my true love can wash it off “. He said softly and you have been away from me until now.
So tomorrow I will tell the Princess that I will only marry the lady that can wash the wax from me. She will not be able to so I will send for you to try. “
So the next morning this was what he did. The Princess tried with all her might to wash off the wax but the skin just looked more dirty and blemished the more she tried.
Anwell sighed. “ This will never do. What sort of wife couldn't even wash a little wax from her husband's chest. “
He pretended to think, then said to his servant .” I saw a beggar girl out side the castle yesterday. See if she' s there again and we'll let her try. “
The servant fetched Alma and her eyes widened as she saw her husband's magnificent bare chest again though marred now by the mess of wax.
“ If you can wash this wax away I will make you My Princess “. He said gently.
So Alma took soap and water and to the horror of the Queen and her daughter the dirt and wax fell away.
Anwell stopped his pretence at once and kissed Alma before everyone,then told their story so far.
The King was delighted to have his son back whole again and he sent his wife and step daughter into exile at once.
While Alma's Father was given a home here with his daughter.
Anwell and Alma had a full royal wedding at the castle and to this day their descendants still rule in the Kingdom Between the Sun and the Moon.