It was a glorious sunny day and the birds seemed to dance to the harmonious sounds of music that swelled in the air. A 12-piece band played lively tunes as hundreds of wedding guests milled about a grassy field that was set with many tables and chairs. Servants carried trays of food. In the center of the field a few men were assembling an elegant wedding canopy.
“Herr Richter! Congratulations on the marriage of your son, Walter!” One of the wedding guests approached a man wearing a sharp, custom-made suit and bowed low. “This wedding is the most prestigious wedding that I’ve ever been invited to.”
“I’m blessed that my son is marrying into to the royal Absberg family. I am but a simple judge, and they are such a prestigious German family. I am overjoyed,” replied Herr Richter, the father of the groom.
Herr Richter did not look like the type of man to be overjoyed about anything. Tall and imposing, he had a permanent scowl etched on his narrow face. His piercing blue eyes always seemed to be looking haughtily at whomever he was speaking to.
He was also no simpleton. He was a very prestigious judge and his money and power were on par even with that of the royal Absberg family.
“Where is Walter?” Herr Richter’s wife, Agnes, appeared next to her husband, looking nervous. “The wedding ceremony is about to begin and I can’t find him anywhere!” She generally wore the same expression as her husband, cold and disdainful.
“Calm yourself. He’ll be here.” Herr Richter’s eyes swept the ever-growing crowd of wedding guests that filled the scenic green countryside where the wedding was being held. His gaze came to rest on the castle not far away. “He’s probably still prancing about the castle, enjoying the many rooms and luxuries the Absberg family has built.”
“He needs to grow up fast, then! Punctuality is important when you’re a member of a royal family.”
“You should just be glad that he’s marrying into such a wealthy family. Don’t forget he almost married that girl Sophia. Her family lost all of their wealth this past year due to bad business deals.”
“Yes, that would have been horrible! It’s a good thing we learned of the family’s true financial state before anything proceeded past the engagement. Nothing could be worse than Walter marrying Sophia and inheriting her family’s debts.” Agnes shuddered at the very thought.
“You’re right, nothing would be worse.”
(Excerpted from Mishpacha Jr., Issue 740)