Story 17 – First Snow (First Draft)

It was snowing in the Kingdom of Harrowsmith. There was snow on the roof and walls of Harrowsmith Castle. The sky was so snowy and cloudy that all you could see was white when you looked up. Big, fat flakes of snow were swirling around in the wind as they fell, leaving snow everywhere. Jib, Charlotte’s little dog was jumping from snow pile to snow pile splashing snow everywhere.

This was the princess’ favourite kind of snow; sticky snow, perfect for making snowballs. Princess Evie made a big snowball and threw it at Princess Charlotte. Princess Charlotte raised her shield and the snowball bounced off of it. Princess Charlotte rolled a big snowball and threw it right back at Princess Evie. Princess Evie raised her wand and said Ka-Blewie! Magic shot from her wand and blasted the snowball into smithereens. Princess Evie rolled another snowball to throw at Princess Charlotte but when she looked up Princess Charlotte had disappeared. Princess Evie knew Princess Charlotte had used her magic shield. She saw Princess Charlotte’s footprints in the snow leading to the barn where Panana and Curls slept. Princess Evie followed the footprints to the barn and then slipped inside after Charlotte.

Inside the barn Panana and Curls were busy sticking their tongues out of the windows to catch snowflakes. They hardly noticed Princess Evie come in. Princess Evie tip-toed quietly through the barn following the wet footprints Charlotte had left behind on the wooden floor. She followed the footprints out the back door where Princess Charlotte was waiting on the roof above the door with a shield full of snow to dump on Princess Evie’s head. Just as Princess Charlotte was about to dump the snow on her sister’s head the ground rumbled and a big BOOM came from the castle. It knocked Princess Charlotte off her feet right onto her bum. Princess Charlotte slipped and fell off the roof. Princess Evie turned and broke her sister’s fall. The two princesses were both laying on the ground in the snow with the shield, full of snow, resting on the edge of the barn’s roof. Another big BOOM came from the castle and the ground shook once more. The shield and the snow fell right on the princess’ heads. The princesses were covered in snow. They could hear King Daddy yelling inside the castle. They ran to the castle to see what all the fuss was about. Jib saw the princesses running across the courtyard and chased after them nipping at their heels.

Inside the castle the princesses ran quietly towards King Daddy’s voice. It was coming from the great hall. When they poked their noses around the corner they saw King Daddy arguing with Nanny and banging his fists on the table. Every time King Daddy banged his fists on the table it made a loud BOOM! The candles shook and the paintings fell off the walls. The earthquake shook the castle and made all the flowers and trees jump out of the ground until the ground settled down. Jib coughed loudly and Charlotte turned around and abruptly hissed at him. He didn’t cough again. When the princesses listened closer they realized that King Daddy had found something.

“Candy wrappers were found in the princesses bedroom.” King Daddy said. “What do you make of this?”

“I don’t know” said Nanny.

Candy wrappers were sitting on the table in between King Daddy, Queen Mommy and Nanny. That’s why King Daddy was furious. He had found candy wrappers in the princess’ bedrooms and was blaming it on Nanny. Queen Mommy caught the princesses spying around the doorway out of the corner of her eye. The princesses saw that they were caught eavesdropping and ran as fast as they could out of the castle.

“We’d better get out of here before Queen Mommy starts yelling at us!” Princess Evie whispered to Princess Charlotte.

“Yep!”

Jib coughed again and again.

“What’s the matter with you, Jib?” snapped Charlotte.

When the princesses arrived in the courtyard and shut the castle door behind them the big gates opened. Trumpets sounded and Lord Mike, Lady Millie and Lord Logan’s carriage came rolling into the courtyard, pulled by their horses, Tick-Tock and Pew-Pew. The princesses ran to the carriage door and Lord Logan poked his head out the window and playfully threw a small snowball at each of the princesses. Before the girls could roll their own snowball in retaliation another loud BOOM came from the castle, shaking the ground.

Lady Millie poked her head out the window and asked “What was that?”

“What’s got my brother’s temper flared up now?” asked Lord Mike, looking down from the top of the carriage.

“He found a candy wrappers in our room.” said Charlotte, shyly.

“Oh. Well we’d better get out of here. They’ll be in no mood for a party today.” said Lady Millie.

“Party?!” asked Princess Evie and Princess Charlotte together.

“Yes. But if you wait any longer you’ll both be grounded. Get in!” said Lady Millie.

Lord Logan opened the carriage door and the princesses jumped in. Jib jumped in after them and curled up in the corner of the carriage. Lord Mike cracked the reigns and Tick-Tock and Pew-Pew started to trot out the gate. Princess Charlotte and Princess Evie waved goodbye to Panana and Curls who seemed to be very upset they were not going with them.

Inside the carriage was very warm. There was a long bench on both sides with big pillows to sit on. The windows closed to keep the cold air out and the inside was lined with furs and wool blankets. In the centre, between the benches, there was an iron fire box with holes punched in it. It was making a lot of heat and keeping everyone very warm.

When the carriage was past Charvlyn and turned north to the Secret Forest Princess Evie started to get curious.

“Where are we going?” Princess Evie asked.

“King Daddy shouldn’t be yelling at Nanny.” said Charlotte.

The princess’ aunt Millie looked sad. “Your father wants what’s best for you. Nanny wants what’s best for you. Sometimes they disagree.”

“I know. BUT, where are we going?” Princess Evie insisted.

“What’s going to happen?” asked Princess Charlotte.

“Nothing.” said Lord Mike, listening into the conversation from the top of the carriage. “My brother will blow off steam and shake the ground but in the end they will always love each other.”

“Well that’s good.” said Princess Evie. “NOW, WHERE are we going?!”

Lady Millie sat up. We have to take the long road to Bi’Vrin through the Secret Forest. King Christopher has announced to the Kingdom of Harrowsmith that he and Queen Samantha are going to have a son. Since we’ve had such a great snowfall he is throwing a toboggan party to celebrate!

“Awesome!” said Princess Evie.

“Sweet!” said Princess Charlotte.

The princesses loved the idea of going to Bi’Vrin for a toboggan party but they didn’t like how long it always took to get there. It was a long road through the Secret Forest and once they had crossed the ice mountains it was still a long path through the ice and snow to Bi’Vrin castle.

The rest of the day went by without event. Shortly after entering the Secret Forest Lord Mike came inside the carriage and Lady Millie got on top to drive. Lord Mike took off the thick wool coat he was wearing and gave it to Millie. Whoever had to sit outside in the cold got to wear the big coat to keep themselves toasty warm. It was wool, black, and it had long sleeves and a big hood lined with thick, long fur. After coming inside Lord Mike fell fast asleep on his side of the carriage while the princesses and Lord Logan told stories about their adventures, sang songs and played travel games like ‘I Spy’ and the ‘Quiet Game’.

In the middle of their second day of travel, after Lord Mike had gone back out to drive the carriage and Lady Millie had come inside and fallen asleep, Lord Logan put on a big set of thick, black gloves.

“Those are your daddy’s gloves!” said Princess Charlotte.

“Put those back, they’re very dangerous!” said Princess Evie.

Princess Evie and Princess Charlotte remembered Lord Mike using the gloves to make fire and melt the Secret Forest and didn’t want Lord Logan to get them all in big trouble by playing with something so dangerous.

“I don’t know how to make them work. Only my daddy can do that. Don’t worry.” said Logan.

“Then why are you putting them on?” asked Princess Charlotte.

“To show you something cool.” Logan replied.

Once the gloves were securely on Lord Logan’s hands and forearms he jumped down from the bench and lifted up the iron box in the centre. The princesses could now see it was not a fire box at all that was keeping them warm in the carriage. It was a fire dragon! The little red dragon was as small as a mouse but as soon as the cage was lifted the princesses could feel the heat coming off of the little dragon on their faces. Logan opened the cage and grabbed the little dragon. He held it up to the princesses to get a closer look. The little fire dragon was so hot that Princess Evie started sweating and had to open a window.

“It’s amazing that that little guy can make so much heat!” said Princess Charlotte.

“I know, cool eh?” said Logan, holding the fire dragon up to his eyes for a closer look.

Suddenly the fire dragon burst into flames. Logan was so startled that he dropped it onto the floor of the carriage. It scurried up the side of the carriage and jumped out the window.

“Oh, NO!” said Lord Logan.

“You’re in trouble now!” said Princess Evie and Princess Charlotte.

“You can’t tell anyone! It’s our secret.” said Logan.

“Ok.” said the Princesses, not wanting to get in trouble themselves.

Then the carriage soon came to a stop. Jib woke up and started coughing again. Lady Millie woke up and Lord Mike jumped down and opened the door. Logan had put everything back where it had come from. The princesses and Logan jumped out of the carriage to have a look around. Jib jumped out after them, coughing away.

“What’s the matter with you?” Charlotte said, laughing. She had never seen a dog cough so much.

The first thing Charlotte noticed was that she could see her breath! Princess Evie and Princess Charlotte spent the first few minutes blowing smoke at each other before they truly realized where they were. It had been some time since the princesses had been in Bi’Vrin Castle but everything was just as they remembered. There were guards on the walls of Bi’Vrin Castle just like Harrowsmith Castle but these guards were wearing toques and thick, red, wool pea-coats. The flags were the same as well. Triangular flags blew in the wind on the tops of all its towers. Except these flags weren’t blue like Harrowsmith Castle, they were red. The sun was setting and the torch light and sunlight reflected through the ice bricks of the castle. It was very pretty.

King Christopher and Queen Samantha came to the carriage to say hello.

“Greetings friends!” King Christopher said, “You’re just in time for dinner!”

“Alright!” Lord Logan said.

“Come this way.” said Queen Samantha.

The princesses, Lord Logan, Lord Mike, and Lady Millie followed Queen Samantha and King Chris through Bi’Vrin castle’s huge ice doors. Inside the ice doors there was three fireplaces surrounding a great long table. King Chris sat at the head of the table and everyone else sat close. As usual, dinner was filled with great friends, family, food and drink.

When dinner was ended the princesses and Logan went up to bed. Jib followed Princess Charlotte and jumped in bed at her feet. He coughed a couple of times and fell asleep. Laying in their beds, by the light of a small fireplace, the three of them were all thinking the same thing.

“What do you think happened to the fire dragon?” Lord Logan finally asked.

“It must be frozen.” said Princess Charlotte.

“But it’s so hot!” said Princess Evie, “How could it freeze?”

The three of them fell asleep thinking about it. In the morning they woke up, got changed into warm clothes and went down excited for the toboggan party. When they got down to the main hall they noticed that there was water everywhere.

“This can’t be good.” said Princess Evie.

Running outside they saw that the doors had melted and were completely gone. Charlotte breathed out and noticed the air was so warm that she couldn’t see her breath. This was bad.

“What happened?!” asked Princess Charlotte.

“This is what happened!” said Lord Mike, stomping towards the Princesses and Lord Logan holding a fire dragon in his magic gloves.

Lord Mike put the dragon back into the iron box inside his carriage and then turned and glared at Lord Logan.

“All of you, come here.” Lord Mike said to them.

The princesses and Lord Logan slowly walked towards Lord Mike. As they got closer to the carriage they could see that not only was the castle melted but a large part of the wall was gone as well. When they got to the carriage they saw the big snow hill that they were going to play on today was gone as well.

“Oh no.” said Evie, realizing that there would be no tobogganing now.

“Which one of you let the dragon out of the cage?” asked Lord Mike.

The princesses didn’t want to tell on Logan but they didn’t want their uncle to think it was them.

“I did. I’m sorry.” said Logan.

“Thank you for being honest, Logan.” said Lord Mike “Get in the carriage. We’ll deal with you when we get home.”

“I don’t want to go home!” screamed Logan.

The princesses breathed a sigh of relief. They were so happy to not be in trouble.

“Princess Charlotte and Princess Evie!” Lord Mike bellowed. “You knew how dangerous fire dragons could be, did you not?”

“Yes.” said the princesses.

“I hope you know that this was a bad secret to keep.” said Lord Mike. “… and your dad will hear about this.”

“We do.” said Princess Evie and Princess Charlotte.

“Well, no need to let this ruin our fun.” said King Christopher.

“But everything is water!” said Lord Logan from inside the carriage.

“We’ll see about that.” said King Christopher.

King Christopher went to the tallest remaining tower on the wall. The wind grew colder and the princesses could see their breath again. The water on the ground began to freeze and snow began to funnel down from the white sky. Within minutes the ground was covered in snow again and the Princesses and Logan watched as the ice walls of the castle regrew right before their eyes. It grew colder and colder as King Chris dumped snow on the big hill. When King Chris came down from the tower everything was back to normal.

“There. No harm done.” said King Chris. “To the tobogganing!”

The rest of the day was filled with tobogganing and hot chocolate, fire pits, roasted hot dogs, snow cones and taffy on the snow. When the day was over the princesses could barely walk. They made it back to the carriage, flopped down on the long bench beside Lord Logan and fell fast asleep. Jib coughed twice and jumped in after them. Lord Mike closed the door and he and Lady Millie sat together on top of the carriage on the beginning of the trip home. They slept all the way to the secret forest and then slept some more. They were so tired that it wasn’t until they were entering Charvlyn that they woke up fully rested.

As the carriage pulled into the gates of Harrowsmith Castle the princesses looked out the window and saw King Daddy, Queen Mommy and Nanny waiting for them.

“I would never tell on your for sneaking candy Charlotte.” Princess Evie said.

“I didn’t sneak candy!” said Princess Charlotte.

“Well I didn’t sneak candy!” said Princess Evie.

“Then who did?” said Princess Charlotte.

As the princesses stepped out of the carriage Nanny, Queen Mommy and King Daddy gave them all a big hug.

“We need to talk.” said King Daddy.

The princesses were so worried they were going to be in trouble and they didn’t even know what they did wrong!

At that moment Jib coughed and candy bar wrappers flew out of his mouth and onto the ground in front of him.

Nanny shot King Daddy a look, said “Well. That explains that.”, got on her horse and left the castle swiftly.

King Daddy turned and walked back into the castle without saying another word.

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The Disney princesses and why I hate my daughter’s love for them.

Yes, I let my kids watch disney. I don’t think that it will cause them any real harm. I just think the pre-Mulan princesses are all bad role models. My wife and I are the strongest examples in our daughter’s lives. This is also why I wanted to write them princess stories revolving around their home. As far as setting an example, Ann Marie is not passive, soft spoken, or submissive it the running of our household or family. So we can check that box off the list. Here are what I consider the common problems found with the Princesses of old.

Jasmine (Aladdin) – The entire plot line is centered around the requirement for her to marry. All the men lie and conspire to be with her. Her goal is to be free and ends up marrying Aladdin.

Arial (The Little Mermaid) – She changes completely, including running away from home, disobeying her father’s wishes, and giving up her voice. To be with a man she had only saw and never spoken to.

Belle (Beauty and the Beast) – The only men she has to chose from are a self indulged, chauvinistic, playboy, who is clearly going to cheat on her with the village triplets, and a cruel hearted prince who, upon their introduction, had imprisoned her father and traded his captivity for hers. The beast does change for Belle, but is that really any better than the woman changing for the man?

Cinderella (Cinderella) Get someone to do everything for you. If you don’t have someone to do it for you get animals to do it. Don’t worry, eventually a man will show up and fix everything. That should be your primary goal. Be ready for his arrival.

Aurora (Sleeping Beauty) Just lay around and wait for your man to save you.

Snow White (Snow White and the Seven Dwarves) Looks are everything. So much so that some women will kill you to be prettier.

Mulan, Tiana, and Rapunzel I have no problem with. Disney has modernized the female character. Just have to make sure they have a lovely princess dress and pretty hair or little girls won’t want to pretend to be them.

Magical items I’ve have kicking around in my head…

This is an incomplete list and it just has a bunch of ideas that I have been thinking about for years. A lot of them are too mature for kids to understand so they won’t really be making an appearance but I just wanted to put them out there. Please let me know what you think.


INNER CIRCLE ITEMS

  • King Daddy’s Crown holds the essence of the mountains. It was the most powerful magic. He could shake the very ground with just a thought but most of the time the crown was kept locked away in the vault’s of the castle.
  • Queen Mommy’s Ring holds the essence of the winds.
  • The Rain Maker’s Staff holds the essence of the seas. Whenever she got sad it would rain. Queen Mommy would visit her to make her happy and it would stop raining.
  • Duke Mike’s Gloves hold the essence of fire.
  • Duchess Millie’s Cauldron holds the essence of life. It was very small but could feed as many people as it needed to. Those who drink from it can be healed.
  • An unknown object holds the essence of death. Lost for many years.


OUTER CIRCLE ITEMS

  • Melanie, The Witch under the Split Falls’s Lantern holds the essence of light. The darker it grows the more brightly it shines.
  • The King of Bi’Vrin’s Cloak holds the essence of ice.
  • An unknown object holds the essence of darkness. Lost for many years.
  • An unknown object in the south holds the essence of lightning.
  • An unknown object in the south holds the essence of sand.


OTHER MAGIC ITEMS

  • Princess Evie’s Bubble Wand creates magic bubbles that can carry people and objects to a desired location.
  • Princess Evie’s Wand gives Princess Evie the ability to cast simple spells. It also causes people to always speak the truth in her presence.
  • Princess Evie’s Pearl gives Princess Evie the ability to grow and shrink at will.
  • Princess Charlotte’s Magic Ring gives Princess Charlotte the ability to talk to animals.
  • Princess Charlotte’s Magic Shield gives Princess Charlotte the ability to become invisible.
  • Princess Charlotte’s Sword, Jaguar contains a bubble wand in the handle and also causes extreme fear in her enemies, man or beast.

The ‘Disney Effect’

Here is my daughters enjoying the scene in which Gaston treats Belle like a piece of property and an idiot. I think they’re a little young to understand that Gaston is cast as the buffoon. I think it’s important that we also take note that the man she falls in love with imprisoned her father, imprisoned her, threatened her, and yelled at her during their introduction process. This is why I write the stories I write for them. We don’t let them watch too much TV. We tell them it ‘rots their brains’. But when they do watch TV it sinks in faster and stays longer than anything we ever teach them. Disney has cracked the dark triad formula and applied it to toddlers.

Girls want to be girly.

So while I’ve been writing these stories I’ve been asking my 4 year old daughters for feedback and they’ve been giving it to me in droves. However, one piece of feedback that’s been around since the beginning is that Charlotte, doesn’t like that Princess Charlotte has a sword. She wants Princess Charlotte to have a bubble wand, like Princess Evie. This is a fair criticism because her sword had no magical ability.

To smooth this over I thought I’d give Princess Charlotte a magic shield that could make her invisible. But, after reading the story to her, her first point of contention was, “I want Princess Charlotte to have a bubble wand like Princess Evie.” Fine. That’s not going to happen. Let’s try something else. In the next story I wrote, The Good Whale and the Mean Crocodile, Princess Charlotte got a magic ring that let her talk to animals. (Notice that Princess Evie got a magic pearl that made her grow so she wouldn’t be jealous.) When I was done reading the story I asked Charlotte the question, “Did you like your new magic ring that lets you talk to animals?” She replied, “Yes. But Princess Charlotte still doesn’t have a bubble wand.” Blast! I talked to her for about it and she continually said that she didn’t like her sword and shield. I guess ‘they’re for boys.’, ugh!

So, fine. I’ll give her some magic bubble action, but I’ll be a monkey’s uncle if it’s going to be a wand. So I wrote the story in which she got the bubble sword. This made her happy.

The reason I didn’t just give her a bubble wand is because I wanted the two princesses to be very different. It helps me, as a totally amateur writer, to easily formulate who’s going to do what in which story. But to a small child who can’t understand why her world of make-believe can’t be exactly the way that she wants it, I can imagine that being entirely frustrating! I made Princess Charlotte the stronger, more reckless and fearless of the two because when I watch my girls play in real life this is the feeling I get from Charlotte.

If my characters were named something else, for example Princess Evie was Princess June, and Princess Charlotte was Princess April, I think, 7 times out of 10, Charlotte would associate herself with Princess June; the girly girl, the princesses princess. But there is that other 3 times out of 10 I don’t want her to miss out on exploring her personality; The rebel, the leader, the independent spirit I see inside her.

Feedback

Feedback is important to me. My spelling, grammar, and punctuation are terrible, I know. If there are major errors I’d really like to know about them. Please help me out if you feel up to the challenge.