It was another bright and sunny day in the Kingdom of Harrowsmith. Princess Charlotte was on her way to the wall when, just past the village of Daddoo, a guard returning from the wall told her that everything was quiet and she need not bother going. Normally Princess Charlotte would go and have a look anyway, but today it was so beautiful out she thought it best to spend some time catching up on her to-do list. First on her list was to dye Panana’s mane and tail. People all over the Kingdom saw Princess Charlotte’s horse Panana coming from miles away because Panana had a bright purple mane and tail. Princess Charlotte had been dying it since Panana was a baby horse. Panana’s hair was actually white. Princess Charlotte never let anyone know her little secret but every few weeks she would travel to the berry fields in the farmlands and help the blueberry farmers crush some blueberries! Then she would turn the blueberry juice into a shampoo and colour Panana’s hair. It was fun and everybody loved the way it looked so Charlotte headed North to the fields to get started.
Princess Evie had spent the entire morning looking for Princess Charlotte. It was high noon when Princess Evelyn rode up on Curls, her unicorn. Lord Logan was with her on his horse, Giyenpi. Logan had short, thick, black hair and was as tough as nails. His armour was all leather and studded with silver. Uncle Mike told the princesses that leather armour was better in the desert because it didn’t get as hot in the sun as metal armour. Lord Logan spent a lot of time in the south keeping the fire dragons away from Ominerve. Logan always carried two things; his throwing daggers and his magic rope.
Charlotte was knee deep in a giant bucket of blueberries. She was stomping them with her feet and the juice was coming out the bottom through a pipe. Princess Evie said, “Charlotte, we have to go see the witch under the mountains.” “No. Way. No. How!” said Princess Charlotte. “We can’t trust her! She knew that bad man who stole our horses and pushed you down into a cave!” “Queen Mommy said we had to and I want my bubble wand fixed. You have your bubble wand now and I’m without,” Princess Evie said as she pointed to Charlotte’s sword, Jaguar. “it’s not fair and the witch is the only one who can fix it!” “If you help me finish stomping these blueberries I’ll come with you after that.” Princess Evie and Lord Logan agreed. They both took off their boots, washed their feet, jumped into the bucket with Charlotte and began squishing the berries with Charlotte.
“How come you brought Logan?” asked Princess Charlotte. “I needed someone to take me to the witch and you’re too afraid.” “Am not!” said Charlotte. “Don’t worry, The mighty Lord Logan is afraid too.” “Am not!” said Logan. “Well, whatever” said Evie, “I figured two scared kittens would add up to a timid cat at least. You’re both going to take me.”
Princess Charlotte, Princess Evie, and Lord Logan finished up mid afternoon and set off to the wall as soon as they could. Princess Charlotte had gotten three bottles of blueberry juice and tucked them away in her backpack. By dinnertime they were well past Abbeyvale and could see the Great Wall on the horizon. “How come we’re going to the wall?” said Evie, “I thought the witch was in the bottom of the canyon. The wall is at the top, how is this going to work?” “You’ll see,” said Logan. “Don’t worry.” said Charlotte. Princess Charlotte smiled at Logan and Lord Logan smiled back. Princess Evie felt like they knew something she didn’t and she didn’t like that one bit!
As the three noble children rode up to the main gate in the Great Wall it was getting dark. The guards on the wall all came to attention. Their feet snapped together and they held their chins high. Princess Evie, Princess Charlotte, and Lord Logan felt honoured that the guards would pay them so much respect. As they climbed the stairs to the top of the wall on their horses another guard yelled, “All hail the Princesses and Lords of Harrowsmith!” Every guard responded in unison by yelling, “Hail! Hail! Hail!” and stomping their spears on the ground or clapping their sword to their shield. It was all very noisy. The princesses and Lord Logan were almost there. They rode their horses along the top of the very tall wall to the south tower at the crest of the canyon. The princesses and Lord Logan looked over the lands of the jumping dragons. The lands were quiet today and there was hardly a dragon in sight. The three nobles dismounted their animals and made their way down the stairs inside the south tower. At the bottom of the stairs was a small barrack room with ten bunk beds. There was a wooden door protected by guards on each side of the chamber. One led back into the Kingdom of Harrowsmith, the other lead to the land of the jumping dragons.
“It’s too late and too dark to go anywhere tonight.” said Princess Charlotte. “Guard, please inform King Daddy and Lord Mike that we will be spending the night here.” The guard responded, “We’re honoured. Right away, princess” then he hurried off to signal the message. The princesses and Lord Logan jumped straight into beds kindly donated by the guards and fell fast asleep.
In the morning they were awoken by the changing of the guard. “Will you be requiring your horses?” a young guard asked, “We moved them to the tower stables while you slept, I hope that’s alright.” “Quite alright, you can fetch them now.” said Princess Evie. “That won’t be necessary.” said Princess Charlotte, “We go on foot from here.” Princess Charlotte and Lord Logan headed towards the gate to the jumping dragons. “Wait just one second!” said Princess Evie, “You can’t possibly expect me to go out there?” “It’s only for a minute or two,” said Lord Logan, “then we’ll be at the falls.” “The FALLS?!” Princess Evie protested, “No way! Nuh uh! Not going to happen!” “Relax, you can use my bubble wand.” Princess Charlotte offered. Princess Charlotte pulled her bubble wand out of Jaguar, her sword and handed it to Princess Evie. Princess Evelyn took it but was still not very happy about the entire situation.
Princess Charlotte commanded the guards, “Open the doors! Bar them once we’re through!” The guards did what Princess Charlotte commanded. They knew better than to disobey a Princess. Once the door was open the three noble children passed through and headed down the sloping hills to the falls. The sky was clear and the air was warm. If they were anywhere else Princess Evie would not have been so nervous. Unfortunately, Princess Evie could hear the growling and pouncing of the Jumping Dragons all around her. Evie’s head was on a swivel. She kept looking behind them. Princess Charlotte said, “You’re not going to find them behind us. They’re all over there.” Charlotte pointed to the ridge on the opposite side of the river. The Wall guards closed the door behind them. The slamming shut of those doors sent chills down Princess Evie’s back. She knew the only way was forward so she pressed on towards the falls. “OK. Now we should run!” Lord Logan shouted as his pace quickened. The jumping dragons must have caught wind of the three of them because there was a tremendous rumble and dragons began to pour over the ridge. “They don’t like it whe we come into their territory,” yelled Princess Charlotte. The two princesses and Lord Logan burst into a run as the dragons rumbled closer. As the jumping dragons reached the other side of the river Princess Evie thought they were safe behind the wide expanse of rushing water. Princess Charlotte and Lord Logan kept running so Princess Evie thought it best not to slow down either. A second or two later she found out why. The jumping dragons were springing in the air clear over the river and landing on their side. Riders rode out of the wall to assist the young nobles but there was no way they were going to reach them in time. The dragons were right on top of them Princess Evie reached for Princess Charlotte’s bubble wand in her pocket and blew a massive bubble. It wasn’t hard because she was breathing so heavily. She jumped inside it and it took her up into the air nd out of danger. Princess Charlotte, knowing she couldn’t run anymore turned round, screamed “Come On!” and grabbed the dragon that was right behind her by the horn. She swung herself sideways and up on top of its shoulders. It sprang forward and she grabbed Lord Logan by the arm nd pulled him up too. The jumping dragon kept bounding towards the cliffs beside the waterfall. Princess Charlotte tried to stop it by pulling in its horns but it was too big and strong. The dragon was kicking and charging, jumping and bucking trying to get Princess Charlotte and Lord Logan off of it. When, finally, the dragon reached the edge of the cliff he skidded to a halt in the grass and Princess Charlotte and Logan flew off his back. The dragon jumped away leaving Princess Charlotte dangling from a long root and Lord Logan clutching to her boot. The falls rushed beside them and Princess Charlotte was losing her grip. This was not her plan. There were safer places to get down the cliff but it was too late for that now. Her hand soon slipped and they fell! She was scared and so closed her eyes. Princess Charlotte felt like they were falling for a very long time. Eventually Charlotte thought she should have hit the water by now and opened her eyes. She and Lord Logan were in a giant pink bubble floating gently toward the rocks between the falls. They landed gently at the feet of Melanie, the witch.
“Ah, Princesses. I’ve been waiting for you. I don’t know what took you so long.” Melanie said, “I was expecting you days ago.” Princess Evie didn’t know what to say as her magic purple bubble floated down and she stepped out onto the rocks. “We got held up.” Princess Charlotte said quickly. “Official Harrowsmith Business,” Confirmed Logan. “Yes, I suppose it was. The Royal Horses, Panana’s hair won’t dye itself, will it? Someone has to pick those blueberries, don’t they.” Melanie said accusingly. “Lord Logan your escort will not be required. You can wait outside. Ladies, follow me.” Melanie said as she gestured towards her open door between the falls. Princess Charlotte and Princess Evie had no choice, Queen Mommy had told them to come here, so they went inside.
One would expect a cave between two waterfalls to be damp and dark but this was not the case. The witch had placed candles in every nook and cranny. Warm light burst out from everywhere. There were no skylights to let in the sun but that didn’t seem to matter. The entire place smelled of fresh bread. The ceiling was high with a bright lantern hanging floating in the centre and there was a large fireplace towards the back of the room. The magic seeing globe still sat in the centre of the room as it had the day the princesses found Queen Mommy here. “Have you been watching us?” Princess Evie asked, looking into the globe, which now showed them standing in the witch’s home. “Always.” Melanie replied. You two are very important to the Kingdom.
Princess Evie could not take it anymore. She did not like being scared of the witch and the only way to know was to ask. “Why were you with that bad man, Daniel McEvil?” Evie accused. “We saw you.”
Melanie looked very sad. “Surely you realize I was not always a good witch. But things are not always as they seem.” “That’s right, King Daddy once told me you were from the south.” Princess Charlotte said. Melanie smiled, remembering her dessert home. “That’s true. I was once from the south. I possessed great power with fire until Duke Mike took my gauntlets from me and imprisoned me here under the watchful eye of the rainmaker. For someone who loves fire so much you cannot imagine the injustice of being jailed beneath a waterfall with a master of the rain and sea as your jailer.” “You’re planning something bad, I know it!” said Princess Evie. “Then why not tell the King, or the Queen?” Melanie responded. Both princesses hung their heads. “Ah, you were not supposed to be where your horses were stolen, were you?” “Well, you have nothing to fear from me, I assure you.”
Princess Evie held out her broken magic bubble. “This is why we’ve come. I hope you can fix this,” she said nervously. “Of course,” said Melanie as she took the wand and went to the fireplace. She held the wand in the fire with her bare hands. The fire roared and the wand began to glow. Princess Evie watched as the wand reformed itself as new. “The essence of fire will never leave me. It is the source of my power,” the witch said as she passed the fixed bubble wand back to Princess Evie. Princess Evie said, “thank you” and took the wand and started to blow little pink bubbles.
As the princesses opened the door to leave Princess Evie tried once more to get some answers. “I saw you kiss that bad man,” she said. “Did it not provide you with the distraction you needed to retrieve your animals safely?” Melanie responded. “You knew we were there?” Princess Charlotte asked. “There is very little magic that goes without my notice,” Melanie replied. “You were using cloud crystals and I could feel their power near me.” “What were you doing with McEvil?” Princess Evie asked, getting very annoyed. The witch spoke. “I would tell you lies, young princess, as I was ordered to do but that wand in your possession, Princess, makes it impossible to hide the truth.” Melanie pointed to Princess Evie’s necklace. “This?!” Evie replied, clutching the necklace King Daddy had given her when she was a little girl. “Yes.” Melanie said. “If I do not speak the truth then it will take it from my lips. I beg of you not to ask me any more than you need to. Your father commanded that I get close to Daniel McEvil. That is as much as I dare to tell you. Please. If you have more questions I beg you ask the King.” “I believe you,” Princess Evie said as she walked outside. “You can take my boat back to Onipilif.” Melanie said. “Aren’t you supposed to be in prison here?” Princess Charlotte asked. “Kind of…” Melanie replied. She waved her hand and a small boat emerged from behind one of the falls. The water seemed to part around it.
Lord Logan was sitting at the edge of the water waiting for the princesses to return. “Did you get it fixed?” he asked as he jumped into the boat. “Yes. We did,” said Princess Charlotte. “Then why do you look so confused?” asked Logan. “We’ll explain on the way home,” said Evie. On the way down the river the princesses explained everything the witch had said to Lord Logan. “Sounds like you need to talk to King Andrew, your daddy” said Logan. He could see that neither one of the girls wanted to. “We know,” said the princesses.