Princess Evie and Princess Charlotte woke up in Harrowsmith Castle. The sunlight was beaming through their windows as Princess Evie pounced from her bed. Princess Evie was excited! Today was the day they were going to go to the Enchanted Forest and find her magic bubble wand. She put her hair up in pig tail braids, put on her favourite yellow dress she wore when she was happiest, and went to get Princess Charlotte out of bed.
“Charlotte!” Princess Evie said as she shook Princess Charlotte’s shoulder.
Princess Charlotte said nothing. She snorted a big snore, rolled over, and went back to sleep.
“Charlotte!” Princess Evie said, even louder, “You promised!”
“Five more minutes.” Princess Charlotte pleaded.
“You shouldn’t have stayed up late dying Panana’s hair.” said Princess Evie, “but that’s not my fault, is it?”
“I’m up. I’m up.” said Princess Charlotte, sitting up.
“You can’t wear that.” Princess Charlotte said, looking at Princess Evie’s beautiful yellow dress. “You’ll tear it.”
“What do you mean?” Princess Evie asked.
“What did you think,” Princess Charlotte replied, “the pixies were just going to give you back your wand after they stole it from you?”
“I don’t know…” Evie said looked at her sister innocently.
“Oh. I see. You thought I was going to do all the work for you?” said Charlotte, “Well, think again sister! Go get some pants on.”
Princess Evie was deflated but still excited. Princess Evie got changed into pants and a jacket while Charlotte got dressed and strapped on her belt with Jaguar, her sword, and threw her magic shield over her shoulder.
“I assume I can keep these in.” Princess Evie said, pointing to her pigtail braids.
“I guess so. A pony tail would be better.” said Charlotte as she snapped the elastic around her own pony tail. “Don’t worry Evie, those won’t get stuck on any branches.”
The girls giggled and headed downstairs.
When they got to the kitchen grandpa had come to make a special visit.
“Good morning girls!” Grandpa shouted from behind his big iron skillet. “Does anyone have a hug for me?”
“Grandpa!” the girls squealed as they ran towards Grandpa arms open.
After a big hug Princess Evie asked “Grandpa, what are you doing here?”
“Well,” replied Grandpa, “Nanny was talking to King Daddy using magic crystals last night. King Daddy told Nanny you were going to the Enchanted Forest today to get your bubble wand back. Nanny told me that and I thought you’d need a good breakfast before you start your day. I’ve already fed Panana and Curls honey, bananas and oats for you. They’re ready to go!”
“Thanks Grandpa!” the princesses said. “What’s for breakfast?”
“Well,” said Grandpa, “I’ve got some fresh eggs and bacon, I made fresh bread this morning and brought some of that too. I’ve got oats for oatmeal and I have the last of the berries from harvest season and a few apples.”
“Mm!” said the Princesses.
“What’s it like outside?” asked Charlotte.
“It’s a beautiful fall day.” said Grandpa, “No leaves left on the trees in the Secret Forest.”
The princesses continued eating.
“Why do the leaves fall off the trees, Grandpa?” asked Princess Evie.
“Because they can’t stand the cold.” Grandpa replied. “Don’t worry. More leaves will come in the spring.”
The princesses ate until they felt like their bellies might go ker-POW! After breakfast was done Grandpa gave the girls a small bag of berries.
“Nanny packed these for Logan and Marcus.” Grandpa said, “please drop them off on your way past Onipilif.”
The girls were so full it felt like they were waddling out to the barn. Princess Charlotte opened the door for Princess Evie and let out a big burp. Princess Evie burped even louder. The two princesses laughed hysterically as they got onto their winged horse and unicorn and rode out the front gate.
“Say ‘Excuse me!'” Queen mommy yelled from inside a castle window.
Nothing really of interest happened as the princesses were travelling to Daddoo. They were able to move very fast now that Princess Charlotte could fly on Panana and Princess Evie had discovered the magic of Curls’ horn. They were scooting fast south to Onipilif when they saw something very strange up ahead over the road. At first it looked like a cloud of dust or smoke. Then it looked like swirling flies. Once the princesses slowed down enough to get a closer look at the cloud they could see very small pixies swimming through the air around Princess Evie and Princess Charlotte’s heads. A couple got too close to Panana’s nose and she sneezed, sending pixies flying away covered in horse boogers. In all the commotion one pixie slipped forward.
“My name is Willowcress. I represent the pixies of the prairies.” said the pixie. “Please do not be mad at our cousin’s evil deeds.”
Princess Evie and Princess Charlotte, until this moment did not even know there was such a thing as prairie pixies. They had only ever met wood pixies before. Princess Charlotte noticed something sparkling in the air next to them coming out of the grass. Ten little pixies were carrying two beautiful diamond necklaces woven together with fine gold chain and silk ribbon. The princesses held out their arms and the pixies dropped the necklaces into their open hands.
“Take these as a token of our apology and appreciation. They are the finest diamonds and gold to be found beneath the grassy prairies, I can assure you of that.” said the little voice. “We wove the silk ourself and moulded the gold too! Our magic is strong, thanks to you Princess!”
“Thank you, Willowcress.” said Princess Charlotte as the prairie pixies flew back into the tall grass on either side of the road. Princess Evie looked at Charlotte.
“We’re still going to get my bubble wand back, Charlotte.” said Princess Evie, “It’s not for sale.”
The princesses continued to Onipilif. When they arrived they stopped at the market in the courtyard for a snack, as it had been almost an hour since they’d last ate. Lord Logan was talking to the shop keeper and asking them if they had any more berries.
“I’m sorry Lord, there’s no more berries.” said the shopkeeper.
“Here, Logan!” Princess Evie said, excitedly, producing the bag of berries Grandpa had given her.
Logan’s face lit up!
“Marcus will be so happy!” he said as he took a big, juicy berry and ate it. “I’m happy too.”
Princess Evie and Princess Charlotte were very happy they were able to make Logan happy.
“We have to be going.” said Princess Charlotte.
“Oh, right. The Enchanted Forest.” said Logan. “Good luck!”
“How did you know about that?” asked Princess Charlotte.
“Everyone knows. You told King Daddy. King Daddy told Nanny. Nanny told Grandpa. Grandpa told my dad, Lord Mike. my dad told me.” Logan took a deep breath and ate another berry. He spoke with his mouth full, “I didn’t know about the berries though, these are really good!”
The princesses left Onipilif and headed south along the path to the shore. It was a nice fall day outside. Fluffy clouds filled the skies. The princesses enjoyed watching the birds flying through the bare trees chasing after one another. The squirrels were scampering through the fields looking for the last remnants of food to store for winter. When the princesses arrived at the riverbank there was another swirling, sparkling cloud. This time the princesses knew right away it was pixies. Two of the pixies flew forward to greet them.
“I suppose you have something for us too.” said Princess Evie as she rode up to the pixies.
“I am Moonglow.” said the first pixie.
“and I am Slipperlilly.” said the other.
“We represent the pixies of the riverbank.” said Slipperlilly. “Please do not be mad at our cousin’s in the enchanted forest.”
“We cannot offer you jewels in place of your loss like our prairie cousins” said Moonglow,” but we do have strong magic as well. We would like to give you these.”
Two glowing glass flasks popped out of the water carried by pixies.
“This water can heal nearly any wound. They’re yours.” said Slipperlilly.
The princesses took the flasks of luminescent water and tucked them away in their pockets.
As they rode Panana and Curls into the Enchanted Forest Princess Charlotte started thinking.
“Did you know there were Pixies on the Riverbank or in the Prairies?” asked Princess Charlotte.
“No.” said Princess Evie.
“Why would they come out now?” asked Princess Charlotte. “Unless it’s was really important.”
“Don’t take their side, Charlotte.” said Princess Evie. “You promised you would get my wand back. You’d better keep your promise.”
“I will.” said Charlotte.
Charlotte wanted answers. It didn’t seem right that the pixies of Harrowsmith would stay hidden for so long and never reveal themselves until now unless it was important. After a few more minutes of travelling down the trail to the Enchanted Forest the princesses had arrived. They didn’t have to travel long before they were right where Princess Evie had fallen asleep and her wand was stolen. The princesses stopped Panana and Curls and listened. The birds and crickets were chirping. Wind blew through the trees. The princesses could hear the forest. It was quiet and serene, yet full of noises.
“I don’t hear anything.” said Charlotte.
“Neither do I.” said Evie.
“What do you want to do?” asked Charlotte.
“Hey! Pixies!” yelled Evie. “Give me my bubble wand back, NOW!”
“I could have done that.” said Charlotte. “Let’s look around.”
Princess Charlotte lead Panana off the trail and into the woods. Panana tucked her wings close to her body so they wouldn’t get caught on any branches. Princess Evie and Princess Charlotte had to duck and dodge lots of branches as they moved through the forest.
“This is so strange. Last time we were here there were bubbles.” said Princess Evie.
“They know we’re coming.” said Charlotte.
After a few hours of riding around the Enchanted Forest the princesses were getting very tired. They decided to stop and rest a while by a creek. The princesses chose a spot where a mossy log had fallen across the creek. Princess Charlotte looked around and found eggs in a nest and some chives and mushrooms growing around her. Princess Evie lit a small fire and cooked they up an omelette for a snack. Panana and Curls took a drink from the creek and munched on some nearby grass. When the princesses were done eating and Panana and Curls were done drinking they wondered what to do next. Just as Princess Charlotte was getting up to stretch she saw, through the trees, a bubble floating towards her. It was small but it was moving really fast. It was being chased by wood pixies! Princess Charlotte jumped to her feet and darted over the mossy log and into the trees.
“Evie! Bubble! Pixies!” Charlotte blurted out as she left the side of the creek in a panic.
The pixies popped the bubble as Evie jumped onto Curls and galloped into the trees after Princess Charlotte. As the pixies turned around and ran away Panana followed them all into the woods. Princess Evie was not moving as fast through the trees as Princess Charlotte. Being on Curls made her very big which made it hard to get around all the trees. She was losing track of Charlotte as Charlotte darted left and right after the pixies. Princess Charlotte almost lost the pixies when one of them got stuck.
“Help! Help!” the pixie squealed at the top of her little lungs.
Princess Charlotte found her stuck in a big spider web with a black, hairy spider crawling slowly down its web towards her. Princess Charlotte grabbed the spider and tossed it into the woods.
“Thank you! That spider was about to eat me!” said the Pixie.
“What’s your name?” asked Princess Charlotte.
“Lanabark, princess of the wood pixies” the little pixie replied.
“Well hi, Lanabark!” said Charlotte, “I am a princess too. Princess Charlotte of Harrowsmith.”
“I know who you are. You’ve come to take your sister’s wand back.” said Lanabark.
Princess Charlotte picked the little pixie out of the spider web but the spider web was really stuck to her. When Princess Charlotte put her down Lanabark was covered from head to toe in web. It was stuck in her hair and her clothes. Princess Charlotte was trying to help Lanabark get the web off when she felt a thump on the side of her head. She looked to see what it was and an acorn came flying out of the woods and bopped her right on the forehead.
“Ow!” said Princess Charlotte.
“Let her go!” a little voice yelled as another acorn came flying from the trees.
“Stop it, Silvermoss!” yelled Lanabark.
“You know what they’re here to do, princess.” said the voice in the trees.
“Show yourself. I mean you no harm.” said Charlotte.
At that moment Princess Evie arrived on Curls.
“Everyone be calm!” Charlotte said as she held up her free arm.
“My name is Silvermoss. I am the princesses’ bodyguard” a little pixie said as he flew from the trees. He presented himself to Princess Charlotte and began to help Lanabark get free of the webs.
Silvermoss got the last of the webs off of Lanabark. They both leapt into the air and floated before the princesses.
“We know why you have come. Follow us. We will show you to your wand.” Lanabark said.
“Lana, no!” Silvermoss protested.
“It’s the only way for them to understand.” said Lanabark, “this way, princesses.”
Lanabark and Silvermoss floated slowly through the trees. They arrived in a place they had never been before. Neither of the princesses understood how they could have missed this spot in their search. It was a secret clearing in the Enchanted Forest.
“This is our home. You can’t find it unless you know where it is.” said Lanabark. “Please understand the trust we are placing in your hands not to bring anyone else here. This clearing, this tree, must remain a secret.”
In the centre of the grassy clearing the sun shone on an old tree. It was beautiful, silver, and twisted. Its leaves were a mix of colours from orange, yellow, and red to silver and green. It seemed to be glowing dimly, as the pixies did. There were no holes in the tree to live in but the branches were filled with pixies.
“The forest and the pixies need your help. The tree is dying.” said Lanabark
“Why is the tree dying?” asked Princess Evie, looking closer.
“When the ice magic of Daniel McEvil froze the Secret Forest it hurt the forests of Harrowsmith greatly.” said Silvermoss.
“Those woods are north beside Harrowsmith Castle. That’s a long way from here.” said Princess Charlotte.
“Yes. But all the woods are bound together you know. What happens to one tree happens to all trees. The pixie tree gets its power from the woods and we get our power from it.” Silvermoss started to look sad. “Winter is coming. The woods have little power left to give. We are unsure if the tree will survive.”
As Princess Evie got closer she could see her magic bubble wand. It was inside the tree. The tree had grown around it.
“If I take my wand out…” Evie started to ask.
“The tree will die.” said Lanabark.
“I love my bubble wand.” said Princess Evie, starting to cry. “But I can’t take it knowing it would hurt so many.”
“Why have you done this?” asked Charlotte, seeing Princess Evie crying. “Why didn’t you ask?”
“We were afraid you would say no.” said Silvermoss. “We are sorry.”
Lanabark sat on Charlotte’s shoulder and said, “That is why our cousins were giving you such magnificent gifts. Their magic depends on you too.”
“Can I ever have my magic wand back?” asked Princess Evie.
“Your wand, no.” said Lanabark. “But I can give you its magic back if the tree survives the winter.”
Princess Evie was very upset but she knew the right thing to do. She wiped her tears away, stopped crying, sat up tall, turned Curls around, and began to leave the clearing. All of the pixies in the clearing looked on in silence. Princess Charlotte didn’t know what to say either.
“Well then, princess, we shall see you in the spring.” Princess Evie said.
The clearing erupted with cheers of joy and happiness. The light of the pixies and the tree glowed bright while the pixies flew around in circles dancing and singing. The entire walk out of the Enchanted Forest the pixies thanked Evie for her kindness and for saving the magic tree. The pixies thanked Princess Charlotte too for her heroism in saving the princess of the wood pixies from a spider.
When the princesses arrived at Harrowsmith Castle that night they were very quiet. The guards looked on as the princesses put Panana and Curls back into the stable and walked into the castle. They got ready for bed laid in bed looking at the stars through their window.
“I know you’re sad.” said Princess Charlotte, “but you did the right thing.”
“I know.” said Princess Evie
Princess Evie smiled. It did feel good to do the right thing.