There was no doubt about it, fall had come to the Kingdom of Harrowsmith. The air was cooler, the leaves had changed colour, and the sun shone on the Kingdom less and less each day. But, despite the dreary coming of autumn, the Kingdom was a very bright and cheery Kingdom again! The Secret Forest was back to normal. Nanny and Grandpa were home in their cottage in the tree. The squirrels, mice, and woodland creatures of all sorts had returned home. The harvest was complete and everyone was fully stocked for winter. The Kingdom was in such a fine mood that Queen Mommy decided to host a great horse race with a secret grand prize!
“What’s the prize?” Princess Evie and Princess Charlotte pestered Queen Mommy, but she wouldn’t tell.
King Daddy helped Queen Mommy plan out the route and went to make sure preparations were made in every village. It was going to be a long race; two days at least. The riders would have to pick up a flag at the end of each leg of the race to prove they’d made the entire journey. The race route would start at Harrowsmith Castle. The riders would pass through Charvlyn, east to Daddoo, south to Onipilif, north-east through the Enchanted Forest to the Great Wall, west through Abbeyvale, west past Daddoo, through Charvlyn and back to Harrowsmith Castle. The first one to pass through the gates of the castle having retrieved all their flags would be the winner!
On the day of the race the castle was a buzz! Queen Mommy had made all the preparations and King Daddy was busy running around helping where he could.
“Can I help?” asked Princess Evie.
“No.” said Queen Mommy, “Everything is taken care of. You must make sure that Curls is ready for the race. I hope you got plenty of sleep.”
“Alright.” said Princess Evie, “I did.”
Princess Evie was not worried about the race. She knew she was going to win. Princess Evie had been keeping a little secret. She had found out that Curls, her unicorn, can use her magic to make them travel faster. Princess Evie was going to use Curls’ magic to win the race.
When Princess Evie went outside she could see the race was about to start. King Daddy and Queen Mommy had gone upstairs to oversee the start of the race from their balcony. There were 8 or 9 racers on horses. The only ones that Princess Evie recognized were her sister, Princess Charlotte, Lord Logan, and Lady Emma. She went into the barn, strapped her bubble wand onto Curls’ saddle and hopped up.
The riders all lined up in the courtyard. Princess Charlotte was looking very excited to start the race. Princess Evie felt bad because she knew that she was going to win. There was no way that Princess Charlotte could win if she was using magic. King Daddy raised his hand and everyone got quiet. He explained the rules and then said, “On your mark, get set, GO!” The riders were off!
As they galloped over the moat they were greeted by the cheers of the people of Charvlyn who had all come out to see the riders off and celebrate with a festival.
Once the riders has passed through Charvyln they all slowed down to take their time. All of the riders, that is, except for Princess Evie. Princess Evie could feel Curls magic as she raced on past all the other riders and disappeared over the hill and into the village of Daddoo.
When Evie got to Daddoo she was very early. They village wasn’t expecting her for at least another two hours. Princess Evie thought this was a great time to take a break. After all, she had been riding for almost 15 minutes and her bum was starting to hurt.
Princess Evie hopped down from Curls, tied her to a post outside of a restaurant and went inside. Princess Evie thought it was a perfect time for breakfast. Had a glass of apple juice, two dipping eggs, three pieces of toast, four hash browns and five grapes. She talked to the waitresses and other people in the restaurant. She enjoyed the food and conversation so much that she didn’t notice the commotion outside until Princess Charlotte and the other riders were galloping through town.
Princess Evie was startled. She paid for her food, said goodbye and burst out the door. She mounted Curls, grabbed her flag and started to chase after the other riders. The magic of Curls saved the day because before long she was in front again riding hard and fast south to Onipilif. Princess Evie passed the riders she didn’t know first. She then soon passed right by Lord Logan, Lady Emma and Princess Charlotte.
“How come her horse isn’t tired?” Charlotte asked. “That’s very strange.”
Princess Evie was the first to arrive in Onipilif. There was a large celebration waiting for them with music, drinks and snacks. Princess Charlotte and Lady Emma got off their horses and started to dance together to the music. When they realized that Princess Evie had not gotten down off her horse they asked, “Are you not staying, Princess?”
“No. I will rest when I get to the wall.” said Princess Evie.
“It’s almost nightfall.” said Lady Emma. “It might be dangerous to travel the Enchanted Forest at night.”
“I am going to win!” said Princess Evie as she plucked her flag up from a stand in the centre of the courtyard, dashed out of the gate, and headed for the Enchanted Forest. Princess Charlotte and Lady Emma watched her go.
“I don’t think she is having any fun at all.” said Princess Charlotte.
“She just wants to win.” agreed Lady Emma.
Princess Evie was already tired when she set out from Onipilif. Princess Evie saw the sun setting over the ridge as she entered the Enchanted Forest. She was not afraid of the dark but she wanted to get through the forest as quickly as possible so she could get some rest on the other side. After a few minutes of riding Curls began to slow down.
“C’mon Curls!” Evie commanded. “Ya!”
Curls was very tired. She couldn’t run any faster. Princess Evie noticed a sound in the darkness. Soft and gentle singing seemed to be coming from the trees all around her. She looked into the darkness between the trees and it looked like glow bugs were everywhere! She squinted her eyes to get a closer look and realized that there were pixies all around her. They were floating through the air singing softly as she walked slowly through the woods. Princess Evie entered a clearing in the Enchanted Forest. The ground was very soft and the clearing was filled with long grass and flowers. Princess Evie could hardly keep her eyes open. Curls stopped and lay down without Evie telling her too. She put her head down and fell fast asleep.
“Oh! Great! thought Evie. “My unicorn fell asleep!”
The pixie’s singing got louder and more soothing. Princess Evie sat down beside her snoring unicorn and rested her head against her belly. She stared at the stars. The pixies flew all around her sprinkling their dust. Before she knew it Princess Evie was fast asleep.
Princess Evie woke to Princess Charlotte shaking her.
“Wake up Evie! The race is underway! You’re going to miss all the fun!”
Evie snapped up, wiped her eyes and looked around. Lady Emma and Princess Charlotte were standing in front of her. Curls was behind them. She realized that she had fallen asleep and slept in all morning.
“The pixies put me and Curls to sleep!” said Evie.
“We figured that’s what happened.” replied Lady Emma. “Did they take anything?”
Princess Evie looked around. She saw that she had everything, except…
“Oh no!” said Princess Evie. “They took my bubble wand!”
Princess Evie was so mad she could scream!
“You can’t trust pixies for one second!” said Princess Charlotte.
“Nope!” said Lady Emma.
Princess Evie left without saying goodbye. She was very upset that her rushing had cost her her bubble wand. If she had just stayed in Onipilif she would still have her magic bubble wand. She used more of Curls magic powers to race to the Great Wall. As she galloped she could hear the wood pixies laughing and every once in a while a pink magic bubble would come floating her way with a pixie stuck inside it. Princess Evie would pop them as fast as she could. She did not like being reminded of her lost wand.
When Princess Evie reached the Great Wall she was very happy to be out of the forest. She rode Curls up the stairs to the main gate to retrieve her flag. There stood another one of her best friends, Sir Jacob!
“Hi Princess Evie!” sir Jacob said handing her a little flag. “Here you go!”
“How come you’re not racing?” asked Princess Evie.
“Someone always has to watch the wall, you know that.” replied Sir Jacob, “Besides, the fun part is seeing all your friends, right?”
“I guess so.” said Princess Evie.
“Well I get to see all of you when you come to the Great Wall for your flag!” said Sir Jacob, “Good luck! Have fun!”
Sir Jacob went back to guarding the wall. Princess Evie followed him down the wall.
“You know there’s a big secret surprise for the person who wins, right?” asked Princess Evie.
“Of course,” said Sir Jacob, “but winning isn’t everything.”
“You’re only saying that because you can’t win.” said Princess Evie, “You have to work all day.”
“That’s not true. I only play for fun. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. It’s how you play the game that matters.”
“Well I’m going to win. I don’t care what you think.” said Princess Evie.
“I think if you are so sure you’re going to win you’d better get going.” Sir Jacob said as he pointed to the horizon.
While Princess Evie had been arguing with Sir Jacob Princess Charlotte and Lady Emma had rode up to the wall, grabbed their flags and slipped away without Princess Evie noticing.
“Hey!” Princess Evie said as she kicked Curls to get her to gallop. Princess Evie rode down the stairs and chased Princess Charlotte and Lady Emma down the road. She used Curls magic to try and catch up to Charlotte but it didn’t take long before Princess Evie realized that Curls was very tired and out of magic. Princess Evie continued to gallop Curls down the road and pretty soon passed Princess Charlotte and Lady Emma again!
Charlotte looked on as Princess Evie galloped past. Princess Charlotte was enjoying her time in the sun having a lovely ride with her good friend, Emma. Panana and Puppet were good friends too. Everyone seemed to be having a lovely time. Everyone except for Princess Evie. All she wanted to do was win.
Just outside Abbeyvale the people kept beautiful gardens. Almost as nice as the garden’s around Nanny and Grandpa’s cottage. Princess Evie saw them and immediately wanted them for her victory. Wouldn’t it be so nice to have a big bouquet of flowers when I ride through the gates of Harrowsmith Castle with my flags, she thought. She hopped down and quickly started to pick her favourite flowers from a flower stand that the people had set up. Princess Evie paid the nice man for his flowers and went to get back onto Curls. Princess Charlotte and Lady Emma came trotting by.
“Having fun, Evie?” asked Charlotte.
Princess Evie responded to Princess Charlotte with a growl! She was going to win this race. No matter what! She said “ya!” to Curls and, once again, they were off and ahead of Princess Charlotte and Lady Emma; but not by much.
When Princess Evie entered the village of Daddoo she was starving! It was well past lunch time and she had not had breakfast or lunch that day. She looked behind her and didn’t see Charlotte. I think I can spare a second to grab a snack, Princess Evie thought to herself. Lady Emma’s parents Lord Cory and Lady Rebecca were the Duke and Duchess of Daddoo. They controlled most of the farm lands and had a giant marketplace in the centre of town. Princess Evie was really hungry but she didn’t know what to eat! She was looking for the perfect apple when she saw Lady Emma strolling through the streets.
“Lady Emma! What are you doing here?” asked Princess Evie, shocked.
“I have to be home for dinner. I couldn’t finish the race.” said Ladt Emma. “It was fun though, wasn’t it?”
Princess Evie wasn’t concerned with fun at all. “Where is my sister?!” she demanded.
“She went around the village. She didn’t want to get slowed down by the traffic in the market.
Princess Evie dropped the apple she was carrying. She found curls and jumped on top of her. Princess Evie burst out of Daddoo in a frenzy! She could see Princess Charlotte way ahead on the hill between Daddoo and Charvlyn. Oh, no! thought Princess Evie. She tried to coax more speed from Curls but it was no use! By the time Princess Evie had caught up to Princess Charlotte she was already in the winner’s circle. Princess Evie had lost.
Princess Evie started to cry. She was so upset that she had lost. Princess Charlotte saw that Princess Evie was upset and she came to her side and raised her arm. They had both ran a good race and they should both celebrate it.
King Daddy and Queen Mommy were looking down from the same balcony they had overseen the start of the race from.
“Congratulations to both of you! But there can only be one winner.” King Daddy said.
Queen Mommy took out the small wool bag that the Cloud Folk had given her after the battle in the skies over the Secret Forest. She pointed her wand at it and it began to float down towards Princess Charlotte.
“For you, my victorious Charlotte, the secret prize is the elixir of the birds.” Queen Mommy said, “Give this to your noble Panana and she shall grown wings and you will travel with great speed. Perhaps even greater than that of our magical Curls.”
Queen Mommy looked at Princess Evie. Princess Evie realized Queen Mommy knew that she was trying to cheat and felt terrible.
Later that night after all the celebrating was done and the party was cleaned up Princess Evie walked into the stable while Princess Charlotte was putting the elixir of the birds into Panana’s water. Princess Charlotte was wearing her magic ring that let her talk to animals.
“This will make you the most powerful horse in Harrowsmith, Panana” Princess Charlotte said, excitedly.
Panana started to drink her water quickly.
“Was Mommy mad?” Princess Charlotte asked Princess Evie.
“Yes, she didn’t like that I tried to cheat to win.” said Evie. “I’m really sorry.”
Princess Charlotte opened her arms for a hug and Princess Evie dove in.
“I love you, sister” said Princess Charlotte.
“I love you too.” said Princess Evie.
“I love my NEW WINGS!” whinnied Panana and stamping his hooves.
The princesses turned around to see that Panana was now a beautiful winged horse.
“Want to go for a ride?” asked Princess Charlotte.
“YES!” replied Princess Evie and Panana.