Long, long ago, the small kingdom of Tylwyth Teg lay nestled in a lush valley of rolling, emerald hills. Like many kingdoms, there existed two classes of people – the peasants, who worked the land and served the wealthy while struggling to survive, and the nobility, who lived in luxury under the shadow of the royal family, and who all but ignored the struggling peasant class.
Flora Goode had not a drop of noble blood in her lineage. Her father farmed the large oat fields on the outskirts of their village, just as his father had before him. Her mother’s hands were reddened and chapped from the constant scouring and digging and gathering that constituted the life of a peasant wife, and her body was worn and tired from bearing seven children.
The Goode family lived together in a cramped but cozy stone cottage. Sometimes, life was content, and there was enough food to go around. But other times, there was not much more than a few mouthfuls of thin turnip soup, and the family went to bed with gnawing tummies.
Flora had neither the responsibilities of her elder sisters, nor the complete freedom of her younger siblings. She always did what was expected of her with a quiet sense of duty, but on the inside, she ached to run off into the hills to play. “Sometimes I think that child is part wildflower, the way she is always out in the woods,” her mother once remarked.
The need to be one with nature was an uncontrollable urge for Flora. Even as she left childhood behind, she spent every spare moment walking through the hills or gathering flowers to place on the table at home. That was how she came across the violin, which someone had left behind, or discarded, or perhaps lost beneath the docks by the bay. The mahogany wood was still smooth, though perhaps not as lustrous as it had once been. Day after day, Flora returned to the docks and practiced the violin until her bow ceased to make it screech and began to make the instrument sing.