My maids were getting my nightgown ready when I came in. I took a long hot bath and got ready for bed.
I was tying my hair up when I remembered something. I needed to cut off my long hair! I would be caught right away if anybody saw it, and it would get in the way. Without really thinking, I reached under my bed and took up the sword. It glinted in the light. Then, I slowly cut it through my hair. I gripped the handle tightly. My waist-length hair was now short, just touching my shoulders. I dropped the sword, and it clanged to the ground. My head felt light, as if it was going to float away. I looked in the mirror, it looked terrible. The tips were ragged and uneven. I touched my head. My hair was spread all over my bed and the floor, all curly and shiny. I started to cry. I don't know what came over me, but soon tears were streaming down my face. I hated crying, it made me feel like I had some kind of weakness.
Reeda came to me quickly. "Your hair" she said "it was so beautiful" She picked up the pieces and began braiding them together. I was touched at her kindness. "Miss, are you sure you want to do this? It will be so dangerous. I might never see you again." Tears filled her black eyes. I hugged her tight. She wasn't just a maid. How could have never realized I it before? I felt very tired. I got into bed. "Wake me up early Reeda." I said. "I'll see you in the morning miss'" She answered nodding. I woke up the next morning with a start. I was still groggy from sleep. I had been dreaming about riding my horse through a rocky landscape burning and hot. Reeda was shaking me. "They're leaving early" She whispered. " Still in a daze, I woke up slowly. I slipped off my soft, satin nightgown and changed into the rough dress. It was so rough. I tried to ignore the feeling. Then, Reeda helped me put up my hair into a few braids and then pinned them securely to my head. All the time telling me how crazy I was for doing this. She kept telling me I should just give up, but I ignored her. I tried to swallow my breakfast as fast as I could. I had some hot tea and a few biscuits straight from the oven. I told Reeda to tell Mary about what had happened in two or three days time. Mary could tell my father if needed. Of course, Reeda would be covering for me.
I hugged her one last time and thanked her. I told her what things of mine she could take. She was sobbing. I shook her by the shoulders. "You must stop, keep yourself together!" I looked back at her and my room. My beautiful room. Then, I threw on the big robe and swept through the halls. I began to cry silently. Twice I thought about going back, but I knew this was what I had to do. I peeked out the south window. I felt terribly scared.
I didn't know exactly when I'd release my identity yet. I hadn't even really thought about it. One thing I knew, I'd fight well, I'd had years of training with my father's friends, who enjoyed play fighting with me. They told me jokingly that it was a shame I wasn't a boy. Everyone had said that before. I walked to the stables, realizing a guard was following slowly behind me. I didn't know what to do. He might become suspicious, he probably already was suspicious. Just then, Reeda came out. The guard turned around. She fluttered her lashes at him. "Please sir, I need you to get me some water from the well" She said. "My arms are aching, I wouldn't be able to carry it." He smiled at her. "Yes miss" He said leaving to get it. "Thanks" I whispered to Reeda when the guard was out of sight. Then I went as quickly as I could to the stables.
The men were loading their things onto their horses. They were only bringing five. I shivered and got on my horse. They set off. I had gone a little far off and then followed behind. It was still dark, so it was easy to stay hidden.
It was turning to daylight when the first enemies appeared. I had no idea the action would start so soon, my breath was ragged from the riding, I wasn't used to riding so much and so quickly. I touched my sword feeling terrified. These were deadly ogres. There were only three of them, but they were very strong. My father once kept one imprisoned and it broke all the chains and bars and ran away, killing three guards. The men took out their swords. The fighting began all too soon. I lifted my sword and ran charging into them, feeling foolish for coming, I didn't realize how scary it would be .I was so frightened. I was about to run away, all the way back to the palace. But I laughed at myself and kept at it, though I felt sick. One man looked puzzled "and who a-" he stopped the ogre was looming behind me I could feel it. I swung around with my sword and sliced it's stomach. It roared with pain but tried to strike at me. I used my sword to block off it's blows. It finally fell, dying.