By: Alexis Y.
Indiana, Age 15
Once upon a time in the quaint town of London, England, laid a luxurious palace, which held the most divine and angelic princess named, Bella. Now Bella was the daughter of King George IV, who was obsessive about clocks and time, always complaining about how pocket watches were too small to keep track of time accurately. Now this was a time when the only clocks available were petite pocket watches, for no watch smith was able to appropriately make a larger clock than the size a person�s fist. Everyday princess Bella made her way through her beloved town to a small clock shop to have her father�s many watches attended to. There the ruggedly handsome, young Benjamin worked. You must see, Benjamin was no prince, nor just an ordinary commoner; he was a man who was madly in love with Bella, who also devotedly shared the same feelings in return. Although Benjamin and princess Bella loved one another deeply, they could not wed, for King George IV would never allow his daughter to marry a simple commoner.
One day King George IV made a booming announcement to all of London and beyond saying, �Anyone who wishes to marry my precious Bella must pay a worthy dowry for her hand in marriage. All who dream to marry her must pay by Bella�s next birthday when she becomes a young woman of nineteen.�
As Benjamin intently listened to the King�s announcement, his heart started almost audible pound from his chest, first because of the utter joy of imagining his possible future life with his princess, and secondly because of the heart-wrenching, dreadful image of his life without Bella by his side. As princess Bella came into the clock shop for the day Benjamin vowed to her, � I will do whatever it takes for your hand in marriage, my love, I promise you with my life.�
Immediately after talking to Bella, Ben approached the king with shaking knees saying, � Dear King George IV, I must confess that I am submerged in love for your daughter and wish to do right by her by asking for your permission for her hand in marriage. I may not have a tremendous amount of money but I can only offer what I can make with my calloused hands, so I offer my life in service to you by making you as many clocks as you wish.�
The king pondered this for he did like to keep track of time, yet he could not accept Benjamin�s offer for he said clocks were too small. Although Ben�s first attempt fell short, he did not become discouraged for his love for Bella swarmed his soul. Exhausted from thinking of the perfect payment that the King would not refuse, suddenly recalling all that the King had said, the perfect idea dawned on him. As Ben only had exactly 250 short days until Bella�s birthday, he started to build the perfect gift. Days, weeks, and months flew by as numerous noble men cam from near and far offering luscious dowries of precious shining stones, large amounts money, and even loads of cattle for the princess, yet none satisfied the King. � A rough journey to my daughter�s heart you must climb, and nothing is more valuable than sweet time,� He told all the failed young men. While more wealthy noblemen came, Ben worked day and night in front of King George IV�s palace, hammering away. Though all of the towns� people were very much friends of Benjamin�s, they all told him to give up for the King could not be satisfied with any dowry. Ben dismissed their comments for his love for Bella would not allow him to give up on even the chance of marrying her. Finally, it was the evening before Bella�s birthday and Benjamin had finished his dowry just in time. That night Ben confessed to his princess, � My dear, you are worth more than all the money in the world, and you must know my love for you will never die, even if your father does not accept my payment.� Neither Princess Bella nor Ben could sleep even a minute that night because of eager, nervous anticipation, for they both knew Ben was going to reveal his dowry to the King the following day.
In the early morning, before the sun had started to rise Benjamin confidently and boldly went before King George IV, beckoning him outside, telling him, � Dear King, you and I both know that your daughter is more precious than any dowry anyone could possible give, but yet I still ask that you would please accept this payment and know that my love for your daughter will never falter and she will be incandescently happy to be my wife.� Just as the King was about the ask what Benjamin�s dowry was, the sun quickly started to rise, revealing a giant brick tower, sturdy yet beautiful, which contained a clock the diameter as wide as fifteen men. After the King came of out of shock he happily granted permission for Bella and Benjamin to wed. The following day all the town�s people came to an extravagant wedding for Princess Bella and Benjamin. As they exchanged their vows Ben said to his beautiful bride, � My love, you are my life, and my love for you will never fail,� and with that they lived happily ever after. The tower was the pride of all of London and of the King, it soon was called, �Big Ben� after it�s persevering master.