Well it was quite a scene. The Princesses of Harrowsmith were hauled off to jail. It was the talk of the Kingdom. The princesses were miserable! They had to stay in their room for three days while King Daddy made his decision. Queen Mommy brought them all of their meals. Princess Charlotte’s sword and shield and Evie’s magic wand were taken away and locked in King Daddy’s most secure vault along with the Ring Master’s doorknobs. As for the Ring Master, he was thrown into the tower cell with Daniel McEvil. Grandpa thought it was a terrible idea putting those two weasels, as he called them, together in the same room but there was only one cell in Harrowsmith Castle so it had to do. After everyone went before King Daddy’s court it was decided that the Ring Master should not have been stealing animals. He was sentenced to banishment from the Kingdom of Harrowsmith and all it’s domains. Which meant he couldn’t even go to Bi’Vrin or Ominerve. He was shown to the great wall and tossed out. King Daddy kept his doorknobs locked away. Unfortunately the ring master didn’t steal all of his animals. Some of them were actually his. Which meant King Daddy he had to give the Ring Master gold to pay for every animal that was his. The good news is that Princess Charlotte’s puppy dog, Jib, belonged to a nice man in Abbeyvale who said she could keep him. More good news was that Princess Evie’s goose monkey was returned to her unharmed. But of course it wasn’t all good news. The princesses did directly disobey Elizabeth, the Rain Maker, when she told them to stay put. They did steal knobs from the Ring Master. They did let out a lot of animals that didn’t belong to them and, to top it all off, they did, technically, break into the ring master’s tent to try to get back the goose monkey. Queen Mommy was so embarrassed. Everyone was talking about the wild princesses. King Daddy didn’t want to punish his daughter’s too badly but the whole Kingdom was watching. In the end they were sentenced to pulling all the curly weeds that had sprung up in the gardens around the pavilion.
On the first day of their punishment Princess Evie readied Panana and Curls with all of the supplies they would need: gardening clogs, gloves, hats, and tools. Princess Charlotte came into the barn with even more stuff. Princess Evie could see their tent in Princess Charlotte’s arms.
“What are we going to need that for?” asked Princess Evie.
“I’m going to make the best of this. Curly weeds burn great! So at the end of each day I’m going to have a fire and camp out near the Pavilion.”
“What a great idea!” said Princess Evie. “I’ll get my sleeping bag.”
When the princesses arrived at the Pavilion Jib and the Goose Monkey, who Evie hadn’t named yet, were very tired. They ran off to find a cool puddle of water or some shade while Princess Charlotte and Princess Evie got to work. Princess Charlotte and Princess Evie didn’t understand why everyone wanted the curly weeds pulled. They thought they were beautiful. Each one had long curly stems and yellow or white flowers popped out of them from every direction. They guessed it was because pulling curly weeds was particularly hard. After you pluck one it grows back fast and bigger than before. They also liked to grow all over everything. If you were in a curly weed’s way when it decided to grow it might curl all around you and even lift you up in the air.
Well it wasn’t long before Princess Charlotte was caught up in some curly weeds and hanging upside down by her feet. Princess Evie cut her down and they went back to work. Well, not one minute went by and Princess Evie was caught upside down in some curly weeds and hanging by her toes. Princess Charlotte cut her down and they went back to work.
A little rabbit showed up and was hopping around the Princesses. Jib came running to scare it off and the little rabbit sat up and bopped jib right on the nose. Jib recoiled and the rabbit sternly corrected him with a loud. “No! Bad puppy!”
“Hey!” said Princess Charlotte. “You can’t hit my dog!”
“Well your dog seemed perfectly set on biting me.” replied the rabbit. “Never mind all that. Why are you ruining our garden!”
“What are you talking about?” asked Princess Evie. “This is the Kingdom’s garden and it’s full of curly weeds!”
“You planted all of these weeds?” asked Princess Charlotte.
“They’re not weeds! They’re delicious! And as soon as my family and I moved here we planted lots of them all over this place.” said the rabbit.
“Well how do you eat them without getting caught in the weeds?” asked Princess Evie.
“You have to be quick like a bunny!” said the rabbit before falling over howling with laughter.
“Oh. Real funny!” said Princess Charlotte.
“These weeds have to go or our punishment won’t be over.” said Princess Evie. “You could have planted these weeds anywhere in the Kingdom. Why did you choose to plant them in the middle of these beautiful flower gardens?”
“You just answered your own question!” said the rabbit. “They’re beautiful!”
“No way. You have to leave. These weeds are coming out and you are leaving, this instant!” said Princess Charlotte.
“Alright.” said the rabbit. “You’re the princesses, after all.”
The little rabbit sadly stooped to his hole. He yelled something down the hole and out popped his wife and their fifty baby rabbits. One by one the little baby rabbits hopped past the princesses on their way out of the garden. Each stopped, only for a moment, to give the princesses a sad stare and say, “I’m sorry.”
After the thirty forth or thirty fifth baby bunny said they were sorry Princess Evie screamed “I can’t take it anymore. They’re too cute! Let’s talk to King Daddy. Maybe there’s something we can do.”
“Fine!” said Charlotte, feeling sad for the very large bunny family.
“Oh thank you!” shouted all the bunny babies.
“Oh thank you!” exclaimed the little rabbits wife, showing her children back into their home in the ground.
“You are truly wonderful little princesses, aren’t you!” said the very happy little rabbit. “My name is Charles and I’d like to come with you.”
“By all means!” said a very annoyed Princess Evie, sarcastically.
When they arrived at Harrowsmith Castle the princesses and Charles Rabbit were very well acquainted. Charles had told him that he came from the land of the rabbits which sat right between the land of the cats and the land of the dogs.
“They never seemed to stop fighting” Charles Rabbit said, “So one day we just high-tailed it out of there! Since we’ve moved here it’s been great! The misses and I have all kinds of time to ourselves!”
“Clearly!” said Evie. “This is it. This is our home.” she said, showing Charles Rabbit Harrowsmith Castle.
King Daddy came storming out of the front gate.
“What’s this!? A guard told me he saw you two coming over the horizon. I said that it couldn’t possibly be the Princesses of Harrowsmith for they’re serving out their punishment in the gardens. But I open the door and here you are standing in our courtyard. You had better have a good explanation for this!”
The princesses told King Daddy what had happened and introduced him to Charles Rabbit. Charles Rabbit made a great first impression. The story of his and his wife’s escape from the incessant fighting of the cats and dogs must have warmed King Daddy’s heart because he declared that the curly weeds were going to be renamed curly flowers and the Rabbit family was allowed to grow as many as they needed as long as they kept them under control.
The princesses danced for joy with their new friend! Charles Rabbit told them they would have to come and visit soon and then left. The princesses were very pleased they were able to help and decided that they would go for a swim in the river beside Harrowsmith Castle to celebrate. Just as they were about to head for the stable they heard King Daddy.
“Not. So. Fast.” he said.
“You were being punished. This good deed does not make up for the entire punishment. I’ll have to think of something else for you to do tomorrow.”
“Awww” thought the princesses.
“Enjoy your swim.” said Daddy as he turned and went out of the room.
The princesses smiled and ran for the water as fast as possible. As they jumped into the cool water they couldn’t help but wonder what punishment would be waiting for them tomorrow.