Story 21 – The Appropriate Punishment part 1

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.

Story 20 – Save the Goose Monkey!

Just outside of Ominerve, at a very hard to find Oasis, stood a large red circus tent. It was dirty, loosely tied, and beginning to wear. In the darkness of the circus tent, with the star filled sky shining through big holes in the canvas, the Ring Master paced around a large fire. He was angry and sour as he kicked over empty cages that used to contain animals. One of the cages struck another cage containing a strange creature, a goose monkey. A timid servant approached the Ring Master and asked if there was anything he needed before he left for the village. The Ring Master glared at his servant with contempt.

“I need to get my circus back on the road to make money.” said the Ring Master, ” but to do that I need animals and performers. Performers and animals cost money! I would steal animals but I have no magic knobs and I would make more magic knobs but I need brass for knobs and brass costs money!”

The servant quickly ran away fearing what the angry Ring Master would do next.

In the darkness the Ring Master shouted into the fire, “Smoke! Ash!”

Two fire pixies burst from the fire in plumes of flame.

“What do you command, master?” the pixies asked.

“Find the princesses of Harrowsmith.” commanded the Ring Master, “Bring them to me.”

“Master, humans can’t travel through fire.” said Smoke.

“Sure they can. They’ll just get burned.” said the Ring Master, “Now go.”

The fire pixies obviously didn’t want to hurt the Princesses but they had no choice. They dove into the fire. Sparks flew and the pixies disappeared. On the peak of the tent a black raven cawed and took flight.

The Ring Master saw the raven and sneered, “Try and stop me.”

Deep in the Secret Forest near Nanny and Grandpa’s cottage in the tree the princesses, Evie and Charlotte, were playing with a big bag of magic doorknobs. The sun was shining and it had been many months since their mischief at the circus and their run-in with the Ring Master. The princesses were grabbing the doorknobs and putting them onto the trunks of trees in the Secret Forest and opening them to see where they went. Some went high into the mountains while others opened to complete darkness. One even opened and began to pour water all over the ground leaving many puddles and the princesses soaking wet. The princesses were very curious to see what was through the doors but never entered. The princesses knew better than to go somewhere without telling someone. Especially if somewhere was through a magic door, made by a magic knob, that they stole from a mean magic man, just after releasing countless wild animals into the lands of Harrowsmith.

The princesses, being soaking wet, asked grandpa if they could build a fire to dry off and cook some lunch. Grandpa said they could use fire as a tool, not a toy, as long as an adult was supervising. This made the princesses very happy. They had never made a fire by themselves before. They collected wood and kindling from the piles near grandpa’s shed. They stacked them into a neat looking log cabin shape and filled the inside with dry leaves. Grandpa gave princess Evie a flint rock and stood back to watch. The flint made a small spark. It landed on the dry leaves and immediately caused the leaves to smoke. Princess Evie knelt down to softly blow on the small coals when a splash of water landed on them and drowned the fire completely.

“Hey! Charlotte!” said Princess Evie.

“It wasn’t me!” said Princess Charlotte, looking around.

“Grandpa, was it you?” asked Princess Evie.

“I wouldn’t do that to you.” said Grandpa, “That’s mean.”

Princess Charlotte replaced the wet leaves with dry ones and took the stone from Princess Evie to try and light the fire again. Once again there were sparks, coals, smoke, and then splash! Another dousing of water put out the fire.

“Hey!” said Princess Charlotte.

“I’m sorry princesses.” said a small voice from behind them.

The princesses looked behind them and saw a blue haired pixie relaxing in a puddle under a tree.

“What do you think you’re doing, pixie?” said Princess Charlotte, “We’re trying to light a fire, here.”

“Don’t call me pixie, human. My name is Spritz and you cannot light that fire. You must come with me.”

“You can’t tell them what to do, Spritz.” said Grandpa. “They are the Princesses of Harrowsmith.”

“I was sent by Elizabeth, the Rain Maker.” said Spritz, “The princesses are in grave danger.”

“Oh dear,” said Grandpa, “that is serious. You’d better go with her”

“There is no time to lose! Into the puddle princesses.” said Spritz as she hovered in the air just above the pig puddle she had come out of.

The princesses thought this little pixie was crazy. They leaned over the puddle and stared into it. They could see the bottom. There was grass and leaves floating around in it. They looked at the pixie in disbelief.

“It’s just a puddle.” said Princess Evie.

“Then you should have no fear about jumping right in.” said the pixie.

“This is silly.” said Princess Charlotte, “Out of my way!”

Princess Evie watched intently as Princess Charlotte jumped into the puddle. When Princess Charlotte landed in the puddle water engulfed her and she was gone! Princess Evie was immediately spooked.

“I don’t want to go in there.” Princess Evie said, “Can’t I ride Curls?”

Spritz quickly flew behind Princess Evie and flew right into her bum. Princess Evie was so surprised she shrieked and hopped forward right into the puddle. The puddle swallowed up Princess Evie just as it had Princess Charlotte. Spritz dove into the puddle and disappeared, leaving Grandpa all by himself.

“I guess I’ll go and have a nap.” said Grandpa.

The princesses were standing on stone platforms in the centre of a beautiful circular stone fountain. The fountain was in a circular room with shiny marble tile floor surrounded by many rows of circular pillars. Spitz popped out of the fountain and immediately flew out of sight without a word. Princess Evie and Princess Charlotte carefully stepped out of the fountain and looked around. They noticed their clothes, shoes, and hair were completely dry. The princesses weaved through row after row of pillars to try and catch Spitz. Suddenly they could see sky, and clouds, and the entire Kingdom of Harrowsmith beneath their feet! Spritz had taken them through the puddle to the top of the highest mountain to the home of the Rain Maker. The princesses could see the entire Kingdom from Harrowsmith Castle to the Great Wall and the Lake on the Mountain. The princesses were breathless.

“Do you like the view?” asked a voice from behind them.

“This is incredible.” said Princess Evie.

“Good. Because you’re going to be staying here until we find the Ring Master.” said Elizabeth

“How do you even know that we’re in danger?” asked Princess Evie.

“A mutual friend has warned me.” said Elizabeth.

“No way!” said Princess Charlotte. “I don’t believe you and I don’t want to stay.”

“It is for your own safety.” said Elizabeth.

The Princesses were furious! They didn’t know how to get home from the mountains by themselves. This could not be allowed to happen! But before the princesses could think of what to say the Rain Maker, Elizabeth, had left. Spritz floated though the air before them.

“I’ll show you to your rooms.” said Spritz.

As the princesses followed Spritz down the hall the water pixie turned to them to try and make them feel better.

“Every water pixie in Harrowsmith is looking for the Ring Master.” said Spritz, “This will all be sorted out in no time.”

The princesses were furious when they went to their rooms. They thought they were going to go on and adventure and now they were stuck! Princess Charlotte saw birds hopping around on the sill in her bedroom. She slipped on her magic ring and told the bird to fly to Nanny and Grandpa’s cottage in the Secret Forest and tell Panana that she’s trapped in the Rain Maker’s home on the mountain. After sending for Panana Princess Charlotte sneaked out of her bedroom and went looking for Elizabeth.

“Where are you going?” asked Princess Evie quietly as she ran after Princess Charlotte down the hallway.

“I’m going to go fix this myself.” said Charlotte.

The princesses found Elizabeth in the fountain room staring into the pools of water. The princesses could see that she was looking around the Kingdom of Harrowsmith through the water as if she was looking through a window. Suddenly a group of pixies burst from the pool and floated before Elizabeth.

“The Ring Master is in Ominerve, near the oasis outside of town!” said one of the water pixies.

“Good work.” said Elizabeth, “I shall inform Queen Ann Marie.”

“Ominerve!” said Princess Charlotte. “That’s all I needed to know! 🙂

Princess Charlotte ran back to her room and jumped in bed to get some sleep. Princess Evie did the same. In the middle of the night Princess Charlotte heard a tapping at her window. When she woke up and looked outside there was Panana looking right back at her. Princess Charlotte jumped out of bed, grabbed her sword and ran out onto the balcony to find Panana, still wearing her pyjamas. Princess Charlotte found Panana waiting. She jumped on the back of her winged horse and galloped towards the edge. Just before Panana leaped over the edge Evie came tearing around the corner so fast her feet were slipping on the shiny marble.

“WAAAAAAAAIIIIIIIIIIIIIIT!” wailed Princess Evelyn.

Princess Charlotte waited patiently while Princess Evie jumped on the back of Panana and squeezed her sister tightly around the waist. Panana jumped over the edge of the castle wall and the princesses headed for Ominerve.

Princess Evie and Princess Charlotte glided down the side of the mountains on Panana. It was very dark outside and the air was very cold. Princess Evie wrapped her arms and cape around Princess Charlotte to keep warm. The entire Kingdom of Harrowsmith was still asleep. The princesses couldn’t hear or see anything. All the birds were asleep and all the campfires had burnt out. As they crossed over the south river into Ominverve Princess Charlotte and Princess Evie squinted their eyes to try and see the Ring Master’s tent. It didn’t take them long to find it. Even in the dark of night a giant red and white tent stands out. Princess Charlotte gently guided Panana to the outside edge of the sand dune surrounding the tent.

Princess Evie and Princess Charlotte scurried over the dunes and down the other side. Princess Evie was scared but Princess Charlotte was fearless, which made Princess Evie feel much better. Without making a sound the princesses slipped around the edge of the tent and peered in through the door. It was pitch black inside.

“I can’t see anything.” said Princess Charlotte, quietly.

“We shouldn’t go in there.” said Princess Evie. “We should go to Ominerve, gather some guards, and come back.”

“We’ll be fine.” said Charlotte, as she slowly and quietly drew her sword.

Princess Charlotte slipped through the doorway into the darkness. Princess Evie was too afraid to follow her.

“Charlotte!” hissed Evie, “Charlotte, please come back! I’m scared.”

It was too late. Princess Evie couldn’t hear or see Princess Charlotte any more.

Princess Charlotte tip toed as quietly as she could towards the centre of the tent. It was very difficult to be quiet because there were puddles everywhere from spilled water jugs. It looked like someone had made a really big mess and hadn’t cleaned it up yet. She heard a quiet rumbling that got louder and louder as she moved through the dark. The princess started to get nervous realizing how alone she was. She held her shield close, whispered “Hide. Hide. Hide!”, then vanished. When Princess Charlotte arrived at the centre of the tent she found the Ring Master, fast asleep and snoring on a big pile of empty cages. On his left side a large, thick candle was almost burnt out. On his other side a cage, the only cage with an animal left in it, held the goose monkey! The goose monkey was also fast asleep. Princess Charlotte went to work quickly. She sheathed her sword, took off her cape and tossed it over the goose monkey’s cage. Just as she had picked up the cage and was about to make her escape the tent door blew open and in stumbled Princess Evie surrounded by fire pixies. Princess Evie’s clothes were burnt all over. The fire pixies had obviously used fire to get Princess Evie to come with them. They lit up the room as each of them glowed brightly.

“We’ve found one! We’ve found a princess of Harrowsmith!” shouted the Pixies. Charlotte, still invisible, stood watching but could not do anything without showing everyone where she was. The Ring Master woke up immediately.

“What! Where? What’s going on?!” shouted the Ring Master, confused “Ah! Princess Evelyn! Good work!”

“Unhand me!” said Princess Evelyn

“Yeah! Unhand her!” said Princess Charlotte, dropping the goose monkey’s cage and drawing her sword.

“Grab her!” said the Ring Master.

“I’ll slash any pixie that comes near me!” said Princess Charlotte.

The pixies stopped in mid-air and the Ring Master looked cross.

“It wasn’t enough you freed all of my animals and stole my doorknobs and dog! Now you’re planning on stealing my goose monkey?!”

“That’s our goose monkey!” shouted Princess Evie “I made him! Well… accidentally made him! But he’s our responsibility.”

Princess Charlotte reached into her pack and produced the bag of magic doorknobs.

“Here’s your knobs. You can have them back. We were only trying to protect the animals of Harrowsmith. But we’re taking back our goose monkey and you can’t have jib.”

“I’ll have what I like!” yelled the Ring Master.

The ring master clutched the small flame that burned on the candle in his hands like it was a baseball. He held it out in front of him and shot three small fireballs at Princess Charlotte. Princess Charlotte had lightning reflexes and lifted her shield just in time to block all three balls of fire. She charged the ringmaster and drew her sword back over her head to strike. Princess Charlotte was mid stroke when the puddle at her feet burst upward and knocked her backward. The flame in the Ring Master’s hand was quenched, as was the candle’s. Water pixies, which the princesses could now see glowed blue in the darkness dove out of the water and threw balls of water at the fire pixies, drenching them and forcing them to fall to the ground.

When the water had settled a figure stood in the centre of the now drenched tent. It was the Rain Maker, Lady Elizabeth.

“Please place Princess Charlotte, Princess Evie, and the Ring Master under arrest.” said Lady Elizabeth to her pixies.

Story 19 – Chadwick von Grim

Princess Charlotte and Princess Evie were fast asleep in their beds, late in the morning, on the most beautiful of winter days. They had dreams about Nanny and Grandpa in the Secret Forest and Grandma and Grandpa in a far away land. They dreamt about the Cat People and Dog People and Lady Emma. They dreamt about riding Panana and Curls all over the Kingdom. They dreamt about flying with the Cloud Folk and using their magic in the skies above the Secret Forest. They dreamt of the Grass, Riverbank and Wood Pixies all over the Kingdom of Harrowsmith, and they dreamt about Princess Evie’s magic bubble wand growing deep inside the Pixies magic tree, giving life to the forests of Harrowsmith. The princesses were deep in dreamland when they were awoken by a peculiar noise.

BOOM, BUMP, BOOM, BUMP, BOOM, BUMP, BOOM, BOOM, BUMP. The noise went.

Princess Charlotte rolled over and put her head under her pillow. Jib came running into their room and dove into Charlotte’s bed and under all the blankets.

“What’s the matter with you, Jib?” asked Princess Charlotte, now wrestling to find room in her bed with Jib.

“I don’t want to get up. You go! I was having a nice dream!” said Princess Evie.

“So was I.”

BOOM, BUMP, BOOM, BUMP, BOOM, BUMP, BOOM, BOOM, BUMP. The noise continued.

“OK! I’m up!” said Princess Evie, throwing her blankets back and touching her feet to the cold floor.

Princess Evie grabbed Charlotte’s blanket and ripped them right off of her. Princess Charlotte curled up in a little ball to preserve the last ounce of heat left in her bed but it was no use. She flailed her body onto her back with her arms and legs sprawled out then, staring at the ceiling, begrudgingly said “I’m up too.” As soon as the covers came off Jib had jumped off the bed and ran back out the door.

BOOM, BUMP, BOOM, BUMP, BOOM, BUMP, BOOM, BOOM, BUMP. The noise pressed on, over and over.

“What’s Jib so afraid of?” asked Evie, looking out her window.

“I don’t know.” said Charlotte, “It’s not like him to be so afraid.”

When Princess Evie saw what was outside she waved her arms at Charlotte and screamed, “Charlotte! Come see this! Come see!”

Princess Charlotte looked out the window of their bedroom, which looked over the courtyard and the Village of Charvlyn, and saw a circus! In the very centre of the Village of Charvlyn, where the village square would have been, stood two massive tents! One red and one blue, both with white stripes and flags. The tents were taller than the highest buildings in Charvlyn. Carts, wagons, donkey’s and mules were arriving in town, one by one, from a line that stretched out so long the princesses couldn’t see the end. The princesses squealed with excitement as they rushed to get ready. They had never gotten dressed so fast in their entire life! Princess Evie put on a blue dress with long white gloves and Princess Charlotte put on her favourite red dress. Princess Evie tucked her magic wand into one of her long white gloves. Princess Charlotte sheathed her magic bubble sword, Jaguar, into a secret sheath in her dress. All of Princess Charlotte’s dresses were now made, at Princess Charlotte’s request, to conceal Jaguar in its folds.

“It’s a shame I can’t build a secret pocket for my shield too.” said Charlotte, but Evie was already out the door; hair and teeth brushed. Princess Charlotte brushed her teeth and hair as fast as she could and chased after her sister down the hall.

The Great Hall was buzzing with activity. Everyone was getting ready to go and enjoy the circus. The Jester, Francis was doing back flips, juggling, telling jokes, and walking around on his hands. He tried hard to make the princesses smile but they were in too much of a rush to get to the circus. As they pushed through the people in the Great Hall Charlotte heard them talking about Francis.

“I haven’t seen Francis this busy in years” one person said.

“He must be afraid someone from the circus is going to catch King Andrew’s attention and take his job.” said another.

“I hear there are going to be fire breathers, sword swallowers and troll tamers!” said another.

“Did you hear that Evie!” said Princess Charlotte, excitedly, “There’s going to be a troll!”

“I wonder where they got a troll.” said Princess Evie.

“Who cares!” shouted Charlotte as she pulled Evie’s hand through the courtyard and into the stable.

“Let’s go Panana!” shouted Princess Charlotte as she burst through the stable door, scaring Panana half to death!

As the girls burst out of the stable on their magical animals Queen Mommy came running out of the castle.

“Don’t you want anything to eat?!” she shouted.

“No!” said Princess Charlotte, “We’ll get some food at the circus!”

The girls didn’t have to go far to get to the circus but when they got there they were glad they rode their horses. There were people everywhere. The streets were packed. Panana tucked her wings in tight and her and Curls pushed through the crowd. All the people from Bi’Vrin, Daddoo, Charvlyn, Ominerve, Abbeyvale, Onipilif, and maybe even people from beyond the wall had come to see the circus. The princesses’ tummies were rumbling because they hadn’t had breakfast yet. The circus and all the shopkeepers of Charvlyn had set up shops of all sorts around the big blue tent making it the biggest market the princesses had ever seen. As Princess Charlotte and Princess Evie moved through the crowd good smells filled their noses while people from every direction called for them to buy something. They stopped for a minute to watch some coal walkers and fire jugglers. They threw some gold coins into their baskets and pressed on through the crowd.

Princess Charlotte saw what she had been looking for, a noodle cart! She rode Panana up to the cart, a small boy asked Princess Charlotte what she would like.

“One order of glass noodles and two won ton dumplings!” said Charlotte, excitedly.

“And for your friend?” the little boy asked, looking at Princess Evie.

“Unicorn rolls!” Princess Evie said excitedly.

The little boy prepared their food. Princess Charlotte paid for it and took their food. As they moved through the crowd towards the entrance of the big blue tent they ate their noodles, dumplings and sushi rolls.

“What do you think is in the red tent?” asked Charlotte.

“I don’t know.” said Evie.

“I feel an adventure coming on.” said Princess Charlotte.

“Oh, no!” said Princess Evie.

The princesses paid for their tickets at the front gate of the big blue tent. When the princesses asked one of the guards what was inside the red tent he just barked that they were not to go near the red tent and that it was off limits. This just made Princess Evie and Princess Charlotte more curious. Just before going inside the big blue tent with everyone else Princess Charlotte slipped on her magic ring and told Panana and Curls to wait for them on the other side of the red tent.

Inside the blue tent was spectacular! There was thousands of seats around three rings that circled performers in the centre of the tent. There was a Ring Master in the centre ring dressed very fancy and carrying a long pointy baton. He was asking everyone to be seated. Princess Charlotte felt like she had seen him somewhere before but couldn’t quite remember.

The show started. Music from the band began to play. Acrobats swung in giant net swings from one platform to another. There were jugglers and elephant riders. The people of the Kingdom of Harrowsmith went crazy with laughter, excitement and applause. As the show went on many other fantastic acts followed. There was a magician and a hypnotist. Then finally, the moment the princesses had been waiting for arrived. Two elephants wheeled in a big wooden wagon with a large white sheet draped over it. When it was in the large centre ring the sheets came off and there stood a giant troll! He was twice as big as daddy, green skinned and had hair all over! The troll just looked sad.

“This is boring.” said Charlotte, “the troll isn’t doing anything.”

“What can he do?” asked Evie, “he’s stuck in a cage.”

The Ring Master, sensing the crowds dissatisfaction took his long pointy baton and stuck it in the cage at the troll. It poked the troll right in the bum and the troll flew into a rage!

“ROOOOOAAAAAAR!” screamed the troll, grabbing the bars of his cage, stomping, and shaking the cart.

Everyone was so startled they jumped in their seats. Even the elephants were scared! It wasn’t too long after that that the sheet was thrown back over the cage of the big troll and he was wheeled back out.

“That’s horrible.” said Princess Evie, “they hurt that poor troll just to get him to roar.”

“Makes me sick.” said Princess Charlotte.

The show finished off with a big song and dance number but the princesses weren’t interested. They sneaked out of the blue tent and ran around to the back of red tent. They looked both ways to make sure the coast was clear. Princess Evie lifted the bottom of the tent up. Princes Charlotte dove under and Princess Evie followed. What they found inside the red tent shocked them! All of the animals that performed in the circus were in cages, just like the troll had been. Princess Evie and Princess Charlotte walked around looking at all the sad, tired animals. Great cheers came from the crowd. Princess Charlotte heard performers coming and took cover behind some squawking birds. The tent door flapped open. The two elephants wheeled in the troll, followed by many performers and the Ring Master.

“Get ready for the next show!” yelled the Ring Master, “we’re back on in 1 hour!”

“Master,” said one of the performers.

“What!” snapped the Ring Master.

“Well, my monkey… he’s escaped.” said the the performer sheepishly.

“I’ll get you another one before show time! Leave me in peace.” said the Ring Master.

Once all the performers had left the Ring Master pulled bag out of a black trunk on the other side of the tent. The princesses watched intently as he produced a shiny brass knob from the bag and held it up.

“That’s it!” Princess Charlotte whispered.”He’s the man I saw through the door that Jib came through. He’s the man who makes the magic doors! He stole our goose-monkey!”

The Ring Master’s knob glowed brightly and a small green door appeared. The Ring Master turned the knob, opened the door, reached in and pulled out a monkey, kicking and shrieking.

“Well that explains why Jib was so scared this morning.” said Princess Evie, “that’s his former master! He’s a mean, mean, man!”

“He stole all these animals!” said Charlotte.

“We have to do something.” said Princess Evie.

“Let’s set them all free!” said Charlotte.

Just as they were about to start opening cages the princesses noticed the white sheet covering the troll. Princess Evie slowly pulled the sheet back until it slipped off the cage. Inside the troll was crying.

“Don’t cry.” said Princess Charlotte.

“Well you’re not going to let me out.” said the troll.

“Who said we’re not?” said Princess Evie.

“Well, aren’t you scared of me?” cried the troll.

“A little bit scared, yeah. What’s your name?” asked Princess Charlotte.

“My name is Chadwik… Chadwik von Grim. I’m not a mean troll. It’s just that when people poke me I get really mad and I rage!”

“If you promise to go home and not hurt anyone I’ll let you out.” said Princess Charlotte.

“Charlotte, no!” warned Princess Evie. “Trolls can’t be trusted.”

“Do you promise?” asked Princess Charlotte.

“I do.” said Chadwik von Grim.

Princess Charlotte opened the gate to Chadwik’s cage and Chadwik burst out. He grabbed the white sheet and ran for the door. Chadwik turned to the princesses.

“Come find me in the Secret Forest. I have a gift to thank you.” said Chadwik von Grim, “my home is under the big wooden bridge in the north part of the woods.”

With that the troll turned and ran out the door. People began to scream and run in every direction! Princess Evie and Princess Charlotte started to open the rest of the cages. They let out all the monkeys and the birds, they let out the lions and the tigers. Princess Charlotte put on her magic ring and told them all to run back home and never look back. Charlotte opened the black trunk and grabbed the sack with all of the Ring Master’s magic doorknobs just as the Ring Master burst back into the tent!

“What the devil is going on here!?” he screamed,

“Run, Evie!” said Princess Charlotte.

When the Ring Master saw Charlotte he instantly recognized her.

“YOU! You stole my puppy!” shouted the Ring Master, running for Charlotte.

Princess Charlotte was scared. She bolted through the cages into the back of the tent with Princess Evie right behind her. Realizing she held the bag of knobs in her hands the Ring Master shouted even louder “My knobs! STOP, THIEF!” Princess Charlotte pulled Jaguar from her dress and slashed a hole in the side of the tent before bursting into the daylight. Panana and Curls were waiting! They jumped on top of their magical animals in one motion.

“To Nanny’s!” yelled Charlotte.

Princess Evie touched Curls’ horn and Panana spread her wings and they ran and took to the sky for the secret forest.

When they came to the fork in the road at the edge of the forest the princesses stopped. Princess Evie wanted to go left to Nanny and Grandpa’s cottage. Princess Charlotte wanted to go right and find Chadwik’s bridge and claim her prize.

“Don’t even think about it.” said Princess Evie, “You can’t trust trolls!”

“I think he was nice. If he wanted to hurt us he would have hurt us already!” said Charlotte, heading down the path to the right.

Princess Evie did not want to let her sister go alone and she knew she couldn’t change Charlotte’s mind. Princess Charlotte was too stubborn. So Princess Evie pulled Curls to the right and followed her sister. On their way down the path, where the path got really hard to see, Princess Evie and Princess Charlotte saw the caves where they had been pushed in by Daniel McEvil. Before long the Princesses arrived at a very big, wooden bridge. The princesses walked out onto the wooden bridge. It creaked and cracked under their feet.

“ROAR!” screamed the troll, Chadwik von Grim, as he leaped from his hiding spot under the bridge!

The princesses jumped back!

“Stop! You told us to come get our prize.” said Princess Charlotte, “where is it?”

“Oh. Princesses… I didn’t expect you to come.” Chadwik von Grim said, devilishly “You’ll have to come into my cave to get it.”

“Charlotte, no.” said Princess Evie, practically shaking in her boots. “You can’t trust a troll!”

“Ok.” said Princess Charlotte. “Let’s go.”

Chadwik von Grim led the princesses around the side of the bridge and down the slope of very sharp rocks. They followed the troll underneath the wooden bridge. He pointed to a dark hole in the rock. The air coming from the hole was cold, damp and rotten.

“Charlotte…no.” Evie said nervously.

“I don’t think we can go in there!” said Princess Charlotte, turning to leave.

“It’s too late for that now! You’re trapped!” said Chadwik von Grim “and I haven’t had a good princess soup in ages!”

As the troll tried to grab them Princess Evie screamed and reached for her magic wand! She pointed her wand at his big troll hands and said shouted “prickles!” sharp thorns shot forth, stuck into Chadwik’s skin, and forced him to recoil. Before he could grab for them again Princess Charlotte poked him in the belly with Jaguar and then punched him on the nose. The big troll fell backwards and the princesses jumped over his big belly to safety. The scurried up the side of the bridge, got back on their magic animals and rode for Nanny and Grandpa’s cottage in the tree. On the way there princess Charlotte looked deep in thought. When she finally spoke she was very sorry.

“I guess you can’t trust trolls.” said Princess Charlotte, reaching a hand to Princess Evie.

“It’s okay Charlotte.” said Princess Evie, taking Charlotte’s hand. “Let’s never do that again.”

“Agreed.” said Princess Charlotte. “Are you going to tell Nanny?”

“I think it’s best if we keep it between us.” said Princess Evie. “No one knows and that’s the way it should stay.”

A familiar, loud, shrill caw rung out from the behind them in the path.

When the princesses turned to look, perched on a branch was the large, black raven.

The raven instantly reminded Princess Evie and Princess Charlotte of the last time they had seen the Ring Master’s doors.

“Hey! Where in the haystack is our goose monkey!?”

Story 18 – Goose-Monkey

Princess Charlotte was coming back from the Great Wall on Panana, her winged horse, in a freezing cold blizzard! She had mittens over top of gloves, a scarf over her face, two wool sweaters, a long overcoat, and a cape with a furry hood but she was still freezing! Panana had wool leg warmers, a face mask and a thick, long saddle blanket, but Princess Charlotte had the feeling that if she were to ask Panana she would probably say she was still very cold. Princess Charlotte usually brought her magic ring everywhere but when she woke up this morning she couldn’t find it and didn’t want to waste any time looking for it. Princess Charlotte had to hold onto Panana’s reigns very tightly against the wind. Sometimes it felt like the snow might pull her right off Panana’s back so she kept her head down and flew onward. Every once in a while Charlotte would hear the loud and grating cry of a raven but every time she looked around all she could see was white.

When Harrowsmith Castle finally came into sight Princess Charlotte was very relieved. She set down Panana in the courtyard and quickly dismounted. It felt very good to have her feet back on the ground. As she was walking Panana to the barn Princess Charlotte heard another loud caw. This time she looked and saw a large black raven sitting on the roof of the stable. Princess Charlotte looked at the raven and the raven looked right back at Princess Charlotte and cawed again. Charlotte put Panana inside the stable, threw some extra firewood into the wood stove that kept the barn warm and went inside the castle to look for some warmth!

Inside, when Queen Mommy saw Princess Charlotte, Queen Mommy said “My dear daughter! Come, come! You must get warm! Your lips are blue and you’re shaking.”

Princess Charlotte knew that her hands had been shaking for some time but she did not know that her lips had turned blue. She stepped out of her boots, dropped her shield and sword at the front door and walked in towards a fireplace. The biggest fireplace in the castle was in the den, a sunken room through a small door and down five stone steps off of the Great Hall. The den had three big windows with diamond shaped pieces of glass in many colours. Each piece of glass was completely covered in frost except for a circle in the centre. There were many chairs circled around a large fireplace and in the centre was a large, very comfortable, couch. Princess Charlotte took a seat on the couch and picked up a big, soft, wool blanket and wrapped it around herself before taking off her gloves and mittens. Queen Mommy came in shortly after with a large mug of steaming hot chocolate.

“Thanks mom!” Princess Charlotte said, accepting the mug.

“Mommy, have you seen my ring?” Charlotte asked.

“You have many rings Charlotte”, Mommy replied.

“The Croc-Tooth ring you made me.” Charlotte specified.

“Oh! I think I saw your sister walking with it this morning.” Queen Mommy said.

“Hmm…” Princess Charlotte thought to herself.

“Charlotte…” Queen Mommy warned, “You don’t need it, let her use it.”

“But what is she using if for? Where is she?”, Princess Charlotte asked.

“She’s practising her magic in my tower. Don’t worry. You’ll get it back.” said Queen Mommy.

As Princess Charlotte sipped her hot chocolate she heard the grating caw of the raven again. She looked and saw the raven staring at her through the clear section of one of the glass diamonds in the window.

“This is ridiculous.” said Charlotte, “that raven needs to tell me something. I need to get my ring back.”

After Princess Charlotte finished her hot chocolate and the fire had warmed her up she stood up to go find Princess Evie and get her magic ring back. She walked through the Great Hall and up the stairs to the tallest tower. When she had climbed enough stairs she stood before the door to Queen Mommy’s magic laboratory.

Bang! Bang! Bang! Princess Charlotte pounded on the door.

“Evie, open up! I know you’re in there. I need my ring!” said Princess Charlotte.

“Come back later. I’m very busy and I need your ring for a little while longer.” came Princess Evie’s voice from behind the door.

Charlotte was not impressed. She thought about what to do for a few seconds. Panana can fly, she can take me up to one of the tower windows, thought Princess Charlotte as she turned around and ran back down the stairs to the stable. When Princess Charlotte burst through the door of the stable, letting wind and snow bluster through, Panana ducked behind a wooden wall in some hay. Panana obviously did not want to go back outside.

Princess Charlotte walked over to her brave winged horse and said “I know you’re tired and cold but we’re not going far. I just need you to fly me to a window in the tallest tower.” Panana stared at Princess Charlotte blankly.

“Oh it’s no use!” Princess Charlotte spoke to herself, “Panana can’t understand me without my magic ring on.”

Just then a coiled rope hanging in the corner of the barn caught Princess Charlotte’s eye. She grabbed the rope and ran for the tower.

When Princess Charlotte reached the rooftop of the tower she tied one end of her rope to the tower wall and the other around her waist. She stood on the side of the tower wall. It was very high up and the wind was blowing very hard. When Princess Charlotte bent over to throw the rest of the rope over the side of the tower she slipped and fell. Princess Charlotte managed to grab some of the rope in one hand and some more of it in the other. Her left leg was hooked over the rope and her right leg was hooked under it. She didn’t fall very far but when she stopped she was stuck, completely tangled, dangling from the tower outside the window into Queen Mommy’s laboratory.

Light was flashing out the window. Princess Charlotte could see Princess Evie surrounded by lots of glass containers filled with brightly coloured liquids. Princess Charlotte could also see that Princess Evie was wearing her magic ring and talking to someone. Princess Charlotte was starting to get worried about her predicament when the black raven that she had seen earlier came back again and this time landed right on the ropes that bound her. The raven looked at Princess Charlotte and once more let out a loud caw! Princess Charlotte tried to wiggle to get a hold of some rope so she could climb back to the rooftop but it was no use. The raven jumped off Charlotte and dove towards the courtyard. A few moments later Panana came flapping up toward her. Panana grabbed the rope in her teeth and began to pull Princess Charlotte away from the tower and the window. When Panana let go of the rope Princess Charlotte swung straight through the glass window and landed right on Princess Evie’s table, knocking over everything!

“Oh no, Charlotte!” screamed Princess Evie, “What have you done?”

Princess Charlotte looked around at the huge mess she had just made. The potions spilt all over a goose that was waddling around on the floor and made a big puddle! Charlotte saw that Princess Evie had not been talking to a person at all. A little spider monkey jumped on top of Princess Charlotte and squawked at Princes Evie. Princess Charlotte was still trying to get out of the mess of ropes when Princess Evie squawked back and tried to grab the monkey and missed. The little monkey landed right beside the goose in the puddle of potions and POOF! The goose and the monkey disappeared into a giant cloud of pink and purple smoke! When the smoke cleared the monkey, the goose and the puddle were gone!

“See, you should have just let me in.” said Charlotte, “look what you made me do!”

“Made YOU do!?” Princess Evie said, furiously, “Made YOU do?!”

“Can I have my ring back?” asked Charlotte.

“Your ring?! “Take it!” Princess Evie yelled, holding out her hand with the ring. “You ruined my experiment! Look at this mess! This will take me weeks to reset and I was pretty much done!”

A streak of feathers swooped across Princess Evie’s open hand and took the ring.

“What was that?!” the Princesses yelled, looking around.

It was still very smoky in the laboratory and the broken window was letting the wind come in and blow everything around.

“I can’t see anything.” said Princess Evie.

Princess Evie found her wand and pointed it at the window.

“Pu Nek!” said Princess Evie.

Magic spat forth from her wand and grabbed all the broken glass and window pieces and started to repair it before their eyes.

“There!” Princess Charlotte shouted and pointed to a white creature in the rafters of the tower.

Before either of the Princesses could see what it was it dove past them, landed on the table and jumped through the half-mended window.

“I think that was my experiment.” said Evie.

“You’re experiment just stole my magic ring!” said Charlott, “Come on!”

The Princesses sprinted down the stairs of the tower, across the great hall, they threw on their outside clothes and burst out the front door of Harrowsmith Castle. Panana had seen all the commotion and was on the wall watching where the white, winged creature was going. Princess Evie burst out of the stable on Curls wearing her favourite red riding cape. As soon as she yelled “Open the gate!” Princess Charlotte snapped Panana’s reigns and the winged horse leaped over the wall and into the air.

Princess Charlotte and Princess Evie could hardly see the little white, winged creature in the snowstorm. They chased shadows and shapes for the most part but every once in a while they’d see the little white, winged monster zip in front of them and they’d know they were catching up. By the time an hour had passed they had chased it east and west and north and south until they wound up at Onipilif. The snow was gone and the white, winged creature flew down and landed inside the castle walls. The princesses rode as hard as they could to the gates of Onipilif. The guards let them in and they looked everywhere for the little creature but it was nowhere to be found.

“Did you see a white creature fly into the castle?” Princess Charlotte asked one of the guards in the courtyard.

“I did.” the guard replied, “it ran and flew down to the dock and got on the ferry with Lord Marcus.”

“So you have it?!” asked the princesses.

“Well…” said the guard sheepishly, “Lord Marcus was startled, he didn’t know what it was, and he threw his helmet at it. After that it jumped into the air and flew south over the river.”

Princess Charlotte and Princess Evie were more than upset. Not with the guard and not with Lord Marcus. Not with the white, winged, creature either.

Princess Charlotte turned to Princess Evie and Princess Evie turned to Princess Charlotte and at the same time they said “This is all your fault!”

“My fault?!” they both replied to each other.

“Yes! Your fault!” said Evie, “You ruined my experiment and lost my pets!”

“Your experiment?!” Charlotte said, “You lost my magic ring to that… that… thing you created! Oh, I’m so mad!”

“Well I’m mad too.” said Princess Evie.

After that the princesses stopped talking to each other. A minute went by. Then two. Then five. Soon a half hour went by and still not a peep. It wasn’t until Lord Marcus pulled the ferry up to the dock that they were able to speak again but they didn’t speak to each other.

“Marcus! Please! We’re very sorry to ask you but can you make a special trip across the river to Ominerve?” said Evie.

“That was the last trip. The sun is going down. Daddy, Lord Mike says no crossings after dark.”

The princesses were so upset.

“It’s not your fault.” Princess Evie said to Marcus.

They turned around and went inside the castle to talk to Lord Mike. When they were greeted by their aunt, Lady Millie, they decided to ask her instead.

“Aunt Millie, can Marcus or Logan take us across the river? We know the sun is going down and we know that it’s not allowed but we really need to go!”

“Why?” asked Lady Millie.

Charlotte took a deep breath and Evie took a deep breath. They both started talking over top of each other in a giant muddled mess. Lady Millie could only make out

“Let me get this straight” said Lady Millie, “Evie was in Queen Ann Marie’s magic tower and had a very cold Charlotte tied up in ropes and drinking hot chocolate. That’s when Evie sawed through a window looking for a ring while Panana was flying around with a goose and a monkey. Is that right?”

“Close enough.” said Princess Charlotte, “now the creature’s gone to Ominerve and if we don’t get it back my ring will be gone forever.”

“I didn’t mean for my magic to make this creature either. It’s probably very scared. I need to talk to it.” said Evie.

“Well that is admirable.” said Lady Millie, “but rules are rules. You’ll have to go in the morning.”

The girls were disappointed as they climbed the stair to their rooms for the night. They laid in bed by a big open window looking at the stars the girls thought about the white, winged, creature. Princess Charlotte thought about her lost ring and Princess Evie thought about the mess in mommy’s laboratory. Princess Charlotte was hoping to get the ring back tomorrow and Princess Evie wanted to get the creature back safely.

The girls heard a large caw as the raven softly landed on the window sill. Princess Evie tried to shoe it away, but Princess Charlotte, having seen the bird many times already today stopped her. When Princess Charlotte looked closer she saw the raven had something in her mouth. It was Princess Charlotte’s ring. The raven dropped the ring on the sill. Princess Charlotte grabbed it and put it on. Princess Charlotte was going to ask the crow why it was following her all this time but before she could the little black raven simply said “Come. Now.”

Before Charlotte could ask the raven any questions it jumped off the sill and disappeared into the night’s sky. Charlotte was very pleased with the return of her ring. Princess Evie had many questions.

“Was that bird yours, Charlotte?” asked Evie.

“No.” said Charlotte, playing with her ring.

“Do you know who’s the owner?” asked Evie.

“No.” said Charlotte, still playing with her ring.

“We’re going to have to find out.” said Princess Evie.

“Well let’s go” said princess Charlotte.

“Now?” asked Evie

“The longer we wait the further away that creature can run.”

“OK.” said Evie, “Let’s go!”

The princesses slipped out of bed and slowly and very quietly got dressed. They quickly and very quietly jogged down to the front door of the castle on their tip-toes. They slipped through he doorway and looked around. Panana and curls were in the Onipilif stables. Princess Evie and Princess Charlotte hid under Charlotte’s magic shield to get past the guards. They slipped into the stable undetected.

“What are we doing in here?” asked Princess Evie, “Curls can’t fly over the water. We need the ferry!”

“I know that.” said Princess Charlotte, slipping on her magic ring.

Princess Charlotte woke up Panana. Panana snorted and scuffed her hooves and Princess Charlotte could tell she just wanted to sleep.

“Please Panana, we need you to create a diversion.” said Princess Charlotte.

“Oh but I’m so tired!” said Panana.

“It will only take a minute.” said Princess Charlotte, “We just need to get to the ferry, unnoticed.”

“What do you need?” asked Panana.

“Do what you do best.”said Charlotte.

A few moments after the princesses had snuck from the barn the barn door burst open and Panana came charging out. She was jumping and flying like she had gotten a bee stuck in her mane. The guards went nuts. They were all afraid Princess Charlotte’s winged horse would run of fly away on their watch and they’d get in trouble. They called for the guards on the other side of the ferry dock to help. They came running. When they opened up the locked gate guarding the ferry the princesses sneaked in. Princess Evie and Princess Charlotte ran down to the ferry and started to unfasten the ropes that were holding it to the dock. It didn’t take long for the princesses to find out that the biggest rope was not a rope at all. It was an iron chain and it was fastened to the dock with a lock. Princess Charlotte and Princess Evie did not have the key. When they discovered the lock their hopes were dashed. Before either of them had time to think of their next plan a dark figure emerged from the shadows.

“Need a hand?” asked Lord Logan, holding up the key to the lock.

“Logan!” the princesses shouted as they ran and gave their husband a big hug.

“We need to…” the princesses began but Lord Logan stopped them short.

“I know. Marcus told be everything. As soon as he fell asleep I came here knowing that you two would never be able to wait until morning.” Lord Logan smiled.

The princesses helped Logan set loose the remaining ties and push off from the dock. Lord Logan did most of the work because Charlotte and Evelyn had never operated the ferry before. But they were helping and learning as much as they could.

When they reached the other side of the river it was very warm. The south side of the river was always much warmer. It never snowed in Ominerve. The princesses helped pull the ferry up to the empty dock. They could all hear the sound of boats bouncing on the docks and the waves as they crashed on the short but that was all. Other than that there was silence. There were no walls around Ominerve so the princesses strolled right into the centre of town. Everyone was asleep and all the lanterns, candles, and fires were out. The centre of town had a lookout tower built from one solid piece of stone. It had three legs, one of which had stairs on it, leading up to a beautiful ornately carved gazebo. The princesses and Logan climbed up to the top. Princess Evie took out her telescope and looked around. It was too dark to see anything.

“Great. We can’t do anything until morning.” Princess Evie said.

“What are we looking for?” asked Logan.

“We’re not sure.” said Princess Charlotte, “but we have to find it. All we know is that it’s an animal, it’s white, and it can fly and climb really well.”

“Like a monkey?” asked Logan

“More like a goose AND a monkey.” said Princess Evie.

“Oh, a Goose-Monkey!” said Logan, trying to sound very smart.

“Yes, that’s it. A goose-monkey!” said the princesses, not knowing what to call it themselves.

The princesses and Logan were so tired they fell asleep in the watchtower. When the sun started to creep over the horizon the raven appeared again on the edge of the stone. It squawked and only Charlotte understood what it was saying.

“The goose-monkey is south of the city in the orchards.” Charlotte said to Logan and Evie as they all yawned a big yawns and wiped the sleep out of their eyes. It was a good thing I had my ring on Charlotte thought.

The three noble children left the tower and started to walk down the dirt road to the orchard. Along the way a passer-by in a wagon offered the princesses and Lord Logan a ride so they hopped on the back. The cart bumped and wiggled all the way down the road. When they had arrived at the orchard a short time later they looked and looked until finally they heard splashing by the riverside. The three of them slowly crept over the bank and got their first good look at the goose-monkey! It looked like a monkey and a goose put together. It loved to climb, it loved to swim. It was climbing up the apple and banana trees, eating apples and bananas and diving back into the water.

Princess Charlotte stepped forward with her ring on and said “We don’t want to hurt you but you have to come home with us.”

“I love friends!”said the goose-monkey, “but I’m not going anywhere!”

“Can you come home with us?” asked Princess Charlotte.

“It’s too cold there!” said the goose-monkey, “I like it here!”

Suddenly a magic door appeared and Princess Evie screamed! She had never seen a magic door appear out of nowhere. The door flew open. Charlotte dove to grab the goose monkey but a pair of hands reached out from the door and grabbed the goose monkey. It screamed as it was ripped through the door. Charlotte tried to get to the door as quick as she could but it was no use. The door slammed shut and disappeared before their eyes.

“What was that!” screamed Evie.

“That was not good.” said Princess Charlotte.

Story 17 (Re-Write) – ‘A Toboggan Party in Bi’Vrin’

It had finally snowed in the Kingdom of Harrowsmith! The roofs, walls and courtyard of Harrowsmith Castle were covered in deep piles of snow. The sky was very snowy and very cloudy. When you looked up you could only see white! Big, fat flakes of snow were swirling down over the entire kingdom. It was very beautiful. Princess Charlotte and Princess Evie wasted no time getting outside to build a snowman and have a snowball fight! When the princesses got outside 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 Princess Evie turned around and fired a snowball right at Princess Charlotte, knocking off her feet right onto her bum. Princess Charlotte slipped and fell off the roof. Princess Evie tried to break 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. It teetered for a few seconds before falling right on the princess’ heads. The princesses were covered in snow. Jib saw the princesses in a big pile of snow and jumped in with them.

It was around this time that the gates of Harrowsmith Castle opened. Trumpets sounded and Lord Mike’s carriage came rolling into the courtyard, pulled by the 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. The girls flicked the snow that was on their mittens at Lord Logan and they all had a good giggle about it.

“Are you girls in the mood for a party today?” asked Lady Millie.

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

“Yes. 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 to keep the carriage 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.

“We are taking the road to Bi’Vrin through the Secret Forest.” said Lady Millie, “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!”

“A toboggan party?!” said Princess Evie, very excited.

“Awesome!” said Princess Charlotte, sharing Evie’s excitement.

Shortly after passing through the Secret Forest Lord Mike came inside the carriage and Lady Millie got on top to drive. After coming inside Lord Mike fell fast asleep. Before falling asleep Lord Mike took off his coat and his black, fire magic gloves. Princess Evie and Princess Charlotte remembered Lord Mike using the gloves to melt the Secret Forest when Daniel McEvil had stolen King Christopher’s Ice magic cape.

“Want to see something cool?” Logan asked the princesses quietly.

“Yes!” the princesses replied.

Lord Logan took his father’s fire magic gloves and put them on his hands. 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 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 it. The 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.

Princess Evie leaned in and blew gently on the dragon to see if she could cool it down. Suddenly the fire dragon burst into flames. Logan was so startled that he dropped it onto the floor of the carriage. The little dragon set fire to everything it touched and it was running all over the carriage. The fire dragon even jumped on Jib’s bum, setting some of his fur on fire! The little puppy yelped and jumped up. Lord Mike snored as Logan tried to grab the dragon with the fire gloves while the princesses climbed about the carriage stamping out the little fires that it started. Just before Logan could get a hold of the little fire dragon it scurried up the side of the carriage and jumped out the window.

“Oh, NO!” said Lord Logan.

“We’re going to be in BIG trouble now!” said Princess Evie.

“We can’t tell anyone! It’s our secret.” said Princess Charlotte.

“Yes, and it’s a big secret!” said Lord Logan.

“I won’t tell anyone.” said Evie looking out the window.

The three of them stared out the window as the little fire dragon ran and jumped about melting everything it touched. Princess Evie used her magic to fix all the burn marks in the wool blankets and furs but was really worried about the little fire dragon. The carriage soon came to a stop. Lord Mike woke up and Lady Millie jumped down and opened the door for everyone. 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.

“It’s a little chilly in here.” Lord Mike said, sitting up in the carriage.

It had been a long time since the princesses had been to Bi’Vrin Castle but everything was just as they remembered. There were guards on the walls wearing toques and thick, red, wool pea-coats. Red triangular flags blew in the wind on the tops of all its towers. 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. The princesses noticed her belly was nice and round. The princesses were very excited that they would have another cousin to play with.

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

“Can we see where we’re going to go tobogganing first?” asked Princess Evie.

“Of course! You’re very excited, aren’t you?” said Queen Samantha, “Come this way.”

The princesses, Lord Logan, Lord Mike, and Lady Millie followed Queen Samantha and King Chris to the east wall of the castle. From there they saw a huge, long, smooth stretch of snow! It was perfect for tobogganing!

“Wow!” the three children gasped together.

“Pretty cool eh?” said King Chris, proudly, “That is Birdsman Peak” as he pointed to the top. “I put a lot of snow on there myself using the ice magic in my cloak, you know.” he continued, “I guess I owe you a thank you for saving my cloak from Daniel McEvil. So, thank you! I’ve turned Birdsman Peak into the nicest toboggan hill that anyone has ever seen!”

“Can we go now?!” Princess Charlotte asked.

“Not until morning.” said King Chris. “The sun is setting.”

“Oh come on!” said Princess Charlotte, slightly annoyed.

“Come, we have prepared a delicious supper!” said Queen Samantha

Everyone followed Queen Samantha through Bi’Vrin castle’s huge ice doors. Inside the ice doors there was three fireplaces surrounding a great long table filled with delicious food. As usual, dinner was filled with great friends, family, food and drink.

After dinner the Princesses and Lord Logan went for a walk around the castle walls to see the snow on Birdsman Peak one more time before heading to bed.

“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 went up to their rooms and fell asleep thinking about it. In the morning they woke up, got changed into warm clothes and went down excited for the toboggan party. They had practically forgotten all about the missing fire dragon. Princess Charlotte put a scarf on Jib to keep him warm. They all ran into the great hall there were three beautiful wooden toboggans waiting for them by the breakfast table. There were also three plates, each with a blueberry muffin, and three glasses, each filled with chocolate milk. There were bowls of dog food and water for Jib. The princesses and Lord Logan ate their muffin and drank their milk as fast as they could, grabbed their toboggan and headed for the Birdsman Peak. Jib ate as much as he could before he had to chase after the princesses out the door.

“I’m going to toboggan all day!” said Princess Evie.

“Me too!” said Logan and Princess Charlotte.

When the gates swung open there was King Christopher tying the lead dog to a long wooden sled that was pulled by nine dogs! Jib was so excited he ran around saying hello to all the dogs.

“I’ve never seen a dog-sled before!” said Princess Evie.

“I knew you’d be up early and ready to go so I got the sled ready to take you to the top!” said King Chris.

The princesses and Lord Logan put their toboggans on the back of the dog-sled and sat up front.

King Chris cracked his whip and yelled MUSH. The dog sled team took off up Birdsman Hill. The princesses were surprised at how fast the dogs could pull a sled with four people on it. Before they knew it they had reached the top of Birdsman Peak. They could see everything around them was covered in soft, white, fluffy snow.

“I’m going first!” said Lord Logan as he ran toward the edge.

“Wait for me!” said Charlotte, chasing after him.

Princess Charlotte and Lord Logan leaped down the hill and Jib and Princess Evie followed close behind! Birdsman Peak was a long way up the hill. Every time the princesses slid down they had lots of time to go back and forth, over bumps and pits. Later in the morning hundreds of people from the Kingdom of Harrowsmith arrived and all the people of the Kingdom of Bi’Vrin joined them, including Lord Mike, Lady Millie, and Queen Samantha. Lady Millie made sure there was food for everyone! There was hot soup for lunch in Lady Millie’s black cauldron hanging over a fire pit at the base of the hill. There were also sandwiches and the rest of the day was filled with hot chocolate, roasted hot dogs, snow cones and taffy on the snow. The princesses were having a lot of fun. So much fun, in fact, that time was flying by. Over the course of the day a small stream of water started to run down Birdsman Hill. Before long it was a wide and dangerous river. Everyone tobogganed to the side of the water, but it was very odd. The snow was melting and no one knew why except for Princess Charlotte, Princess Evie and Lord Logan. Finally, King Christopher, worried about the rushing river so much that when he brought the princesses and Lord Logan up the hill he said this was their last slide. Just before sunset, on their last trip up the hill, the princesses saw what they had been so worried about the night before. Crawling around, just under the snow, there was the fire dragon! It was melting everything it touched.

“Fire Dragon!” the princesses yelled and pointed.

“What?!” said King Chris. Having never seen a fire dragon in Bi’Vrin before he was very surprised.

King Chris cast a magic spell that encased the dragon in a ball of ice only to find seconds later the ice had melted nearly instantly.

All the people of Bi’Vrin quickly ran away from the fire dragon and scattered down the hill screaming! Princess Evie, Princess Charlotte, and Lord Logan tried to calm everyone down and get them off the hill and away from the dragon when, all of a sudden, the commotion and noise was too much and the snow on Birdsman Peak, weakened by the heat of the dragon running around them all day, began to crack and slide down the hillside.

“Avalanche!” shouted Princess Evie.

“Get off the hill! Now!” said Princess Charlotte, jumping onto her toboggan ahead of the snow that was charging down the side of the hill. King Christopher grabbed Queen Samantha, put her on the dog sled and yelled MUSH! He took off down the hill as fast as the dogs could pull him. Whenever the avalanche would catch up to King Chris he used ice magic to slow it down. Princess Charlotte and Princess Evie swooped all over the hill in their toboggans making sure that everyone was safely off of the hill. When everyone was safely off the hill at the base and out of reach of the avalanche all the people of the kingdom were crowded around the fire for some nice warm soup and hot chocolate when, from the huge pile of snow the avalanche had left behind, jumped the fire dragon. It ran as fast as it could and jumped into the fire under Lady Millie’s cauldron. When the princesses looked closer they could see the dragon was finally happy, rolling around in the scorching hot coals.

After everyone had eaten Lord Mike grabbed the fire dragon with his fire magic gloves and put him back into the cage inside the fire box. Everyone was happy again and no one got hurt. That night, once he had made sure everyone was safe and sound in his Kingdom, went back to Birdsman Peak and used his ice magic to conjure up a huge snowstorm so that everyone who wanted to could go tobogganing again in the morning.

Story 16 – The Wood Pixie’s Magic Tree

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.

Story 15 – The Princesses Go Flying!

It was late morning and Princess Evie was sadly strolling the tops of the walls of Harrowsmith Castle. Yesterday had not been her day. She had lost her bubble wand to mean wood pixies first thing in the morning and then lost the big race to her sister, Princess Charlotte. Now she had nothing better to do on a cool fall day than to watch Princess Charlotte running, jumping, and flying around the castle on Panana, her winged horse. Princess Charlotte’s little dog, Jib, was chasing her all around the grounds.

King Daddy came out of the castle and asked “Charlotte, why didn’t you go to the wall today?”

Charlotte replied, “I already went to the wall this morning. There were no jumping dragons anywhere so I came back.”

King Daddy smiled and said “Panana’s new wings make her fast!”

Charlotte nodded in agreement and King Daddy went back inside to keep doing whatever he was doing.

Charlotte looked annoyed and said to Evie, “I’m supposed to go to the wall and check for jumping dragons every day. I know that. He doesn’t need to ask me if I did what I was supposed to do.”

Evie looked annoyed right back and said, “Panana’s wings don’t maker her faster than Curls!”

“I bet they do.” said Charlotte.

“I bet they don’t!” snapped Evie.

I bet they do!” yelled Charlotte.

“Fine! Let’s race!” said Evie, “and I’ll show you who’s faster!”

“Fine.”

Charlotte lead Panana straight off the wall. The winged horse jumped off and glided down to the courtyard below.

“If I win,” Charlotte yelled back to Evie, “You have to help me dye Panana’s hair for a year!”

“That’s fine.” Evie said, unimpressed, “WHEN I win you have to help me get my magic bubble wand back from those nasty, horrible, silly little wood pixies in the enchanted forest!”

“Deal.” said Charlotte, leaning down to shake her sister’s hand.

Evie dashed into the barn and emerged a few seconds later atop Curls, her unicorn. She had taken off her big dress and was only riding in her leggings and underskirt. She also hadn’t put a saddle or reins on Curls.

“Hang on a minute!” said Princess Charlotte, hopping down from Panana. “That’s not fair.” Princess Charlotte unlatched the saddle Panana had on and it fell to the ground. She took off her belt, sword and shield and leaned them onto the saddle.

“Whenever you’re ready, slow poke!” Charlotte teased as she jumped back up onto Panana’s back between her wings.

“First one to Daddoo and back is the winner!” shouted Evie as Curls’ horn began to glow brightly and Princess Evie shot out of the front gate of Harrowsmith Castle.

Princess Charlotte tore off after her. Panana started to gallop furiously with her wings tucked. Once she was over the drawbridge she spread her great wings and flapped them vigorously. Once, twice, three times and they were airborne! Princess Charlotte dove Panana after Princess Evie. Panana was a fast flyer, and she could catch up a little bit when she was diving from the sky. But whenever she had to flap her wings to regain height or glide Curls’ pulled ahead. Her magic was just too strong! In only a couple of minutes Princess Evie had entered Daddoo, did a lap around the towns square and was bolting back to the castle. Princess Charlotte landed in the town square a few minutes later, did a lap around the square and took flight once more.

Princess Charlotte was chasing her sister as fast as she could. Princess Evie noticed a trail of smoke coming from the mountains and stopped galloping to take out her telescope for a closer look. It wasn’t there. She had left everything behind to win the race. Princess Charlotte landed beside Princess Evie who was now completely stopped and staring up into the mountains.

“What’s going on?” asked Charlotte, “Why did you stop?”.

When Princess Evie didn’t answer Princess Charlotte turned to see for herself. When Princess Charlotte saw the smoke coming from the mountains she immediately thought of Leuco and her three eggs, which were probably baby birds by now.

“Oh no! Leuco!” Princess Charlotte said, “We have to help!”

“How?” asked Princess Evie, “We left all our gear in the courtyard!”

Princess Charlotte and Princess Evie knew what they had to do! They rode and flew as fast as Curls and Panana could ride and fly to Harrowsmith Castle. As they were galloping up the hill towards the drawbridge King Daddy, Lord Mike, and Lord Logan went galloping on Clip, Tick-Tock, and Pew-Pew. The princesses wondered where they were going in such a hurry. It wasn’t like them to run away from an emergency. The princesses didn’t have time to worry! They rode and flew fast and swift.

When they arrived the guards were looking towards the smoke stack now emerging from the mountain. The princesses didn’t even stop. Princess Evie jumped down from Curls and said “Sorry Cu’, you can’t come.”, she grabbed her magic wand and her telescope from Curls saddlebags and headed over to Panana. Princess Charlotte had finished strapping her sword and shield to her back and jumped onto Panana in front of Princess Evie. Princess Charlotte snapped the reigns and Panana ran across the courtyard, leapt into the sky and headed skyward!

As the princesses rode Panana up the mountain the smell of smoke started to fill their nostrils. As they came around the ridge where Princess Charlotte knew they would find Leuco’s nest they saw a little fire burning up Leuco’s giant nest. Leuco flapped frantically at the fire with her wings to try to blow out the flames.

“I guess birds don’t know not to flap wind at fire!” Evelyn said to Charlotte.

“Stop! Stop!” Charlotte called out as they landed on the safe side of the nest and Princess Evie and Princess Charlotte jumped out.

Princess Evie saw a large drift of snow just up the mountain from the nest. She pointed her wand and yelled out “Ka-BOOM!”

Her wand shot a magic blast out it’s end and knocked the snow down onto the fire. Princess Charlotte slipped on her magic ring and started to talk to Leuco.

“Is everyone okay?” asked Princess Charlotte.

“Oh, yes! Thank you so much Princesses! I could have lost my whole nest or worse, gotten hurt!” replied Leuco.”How can I ever repay you?”

“No, no. We’re just glad we could help.” Princess Charlotte said as she started to take in her surroundings. “This is incredible! I can see the whole Kingdom from up here!”

Princess Evie pulled out her telescope and pointed it down to gaze at the Kingdom.

“I can’t see Harrowsmith Castle, or Onipilif, but I can see everything else.” Princess Evie said as she scowled, noticing the bubbles coming from the enchanted forest. “Princess Charlotte. Maybe you can help me get my bubble wand back soon? Those nasty wood pixies are going to have it broken before long.”

“Of course.” said Princess Charlotte, no longer caring who arrived at the castle first. It was a silly bet to begin with she thought.

Princess Evie continued to gaze over the lands. She could see smoke rising from the chimney in Nanny and Grandpa’s cottage, she could see the lake on the mountain and the castle in the mountain on the other side of the Kingdom. The telescope slowly moved over all the lands until it looked upon the great wall.

“Oh, NO!” shouted Princess Evie.

“What?!” asked Princess Charlotte.

“The boys need our help!” said Princess Evie. Evie could see that on the other side of the Kingdom the jumping dragons were running amok. They were everywhere and the guards were scattered.

“That must have been where King Daddy, Lord Mike and Lord Logan were running off to this morning!” said Princess Charlotte. I knew I should have gone with them. You could have handled this.”

“We’ll never get there in time unless we hurry!” said Princess Evie, mounting Panana and putting her hand out to help Princess Charlotte up.

“Panana is not strong enough to get us both there really fast. Get down.” Princess Charlotte said, “I will go myself then come back to get you after I have helped out King Daddy and Uncle Mike.”

“No way! I want to help too!” said Princess Evie.

“We’re wasting time!” Charlotte scoffed!

“I will take you” Leuco said, bowing low for Princess Charlotte to mount her.

“Thank you so much!” said Princess Charlotte as she jumped on Leuco’s back.

Princess Charlotte was not scared this time at all when Leuco took to the skies. They dove down the side of the mountain. Princess Charlotte felt the wind flowing through her hair. Leuco was so fast Princess Charlotte barely had any time to enjoy the ride and they were almost to the Great Wall. Princess Evie flew right behind them on Panana but Panana was not as fast as Leuco.

When the princesses arrived at the wall the guards were running in all directions from the jumping dragons. King Daddy, Lord Mike, and Lord Logan were pinned against the wall by three big, fearsome looking dragons. Leuco dove from the skies and Charlotte drew her sword! Leuco picked up two jumping dragons; one in each claw. Then she flapped her wings and tossed them back over the wall. Princess Charlotte jumped down onto one of the dragons snapping at Lord Logan’s shield. She poked him in the bum with her sword. The dragon jumped back over the wall. Princess Charlotte jumped off on top of the great wall and got back on Leuco’s back. They looked around for more dragons to throw back over the wall.

Evie and Panana dropped down into the middle of a bunch of dragons trying to make off with bushels of grain. Panana bucked and kicked two dragons right in the bum with her back legs. Princess Evie pointed her wand at the rest. Ka-BOOM, Ka-BOOM, Ka-BOOM! and blasted them all back over the wall!

All in all it was a great day. Princess Charlotte got to ride Leuco all the way back to Harrowsmith Castle and Princess Evie flew on Panana. The only problem was when they got there they were fast asleep. The day was so busy they had no energy left at all. Queen Mommy and Lady Millie picked the sleeping princesses up and put them in their beds; safe and sound.

Princess Evie woke up but only for a moment. Just long enough to remember that tomorrow they were going to get her bubble wand back from the mean pixies of the Enchanted Forest. 🙂

Story 14 – A fine time for a race!

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.

Story 13 – The Battle for the Secret Forest

The ladies of Harrowsmith, Princess Charlotte, Princess Evie, and Lady Emma woke up South of Daddoo. They were so tired from flying with the cloud folk the day before that they had stopped, climbed down from Panana, got out their soft blankets and lit a little campfire. All three of them were asleep before they could sing any campfire songs. When they woke up the fire had gone out and the air was cold. The horses and unicorn were nuzzling the girls’ hair.

“Curls! Stop, Curls! How did you find me?”, Princess Evie said.

Lady Emma was having the same troubles with Puppet. It seemed that their horse and unicorn had come looking for them when they didn’t make it home to their castle the night before. The princesses were happy to see Curls because Curls had in her saddle the rest of their food from their trip. They lit the fire again, pulled out the saddle bag with the food in it, and, as the sun slowly came over the hills, they nibbled on the last of their bread and dried fruit and drank hot chocolate with little marshmallows in it.

When the ladies finished their breakfast and began packing up their things to be on their way they heard barking in the distance. By the time they were mounting their horses and unicorn, over the hill came Jib, Charlotte’s happy puppy dog, followed by King Daddy and a hoard of mounted soldiers. They were all fully dressed for battle wearing helmets and armour and holding large shields and spears. Their horses were wearing cloth armour too! Beautiful colours representing the Kingdom and all its villages. As they drew closer King Daddy stopped, stuck his spear in the grown and took off his helmet.

“Ladies, you had me worried!”, said King Daddy, “I assumed your mission was a success since the dark cloud is gone, but not having heard from you I thought you might have been hurt. We were on our way to the cloud folk to ask for you when we saw the smoke from your fire and thought we’d investigate. I am glad to see you are all alright.”

“Sorry Daddy. We were just so tired from the battle.” said Princess Evie.

“It’s alright now, let us be on our way.” said King Daddy.

“Where?” asked Princess Charlotte.

“To the castle,” said King Daddy, “we prepare for war!”

All the guards cheered and followed King Daddy as he put his helmet back on, turned Clip north and charged off. Princess Evie, Princess Charlotte and Lady Emma all followed. They loved riding fast.

When they arrived at the castle the princesses noticed there was twice as many guards as usual. Also, the water surrounding the castle in the moat was moving faster than usual, the drawbridge was up, the wind was swirling around the castle walls and gusting towards the flames of the torches, blowing flames into the sky towards the Secret Forest. Nanny came rushing out of the castle followed by Grandpa.

“Good heavens! My angels! Are you alright! You scared me! I thought you were hurt!” Nanny gushed.

“We’re fine, Nanny!” the princesses said together, somewhat embarrassed at the notion that they couldn’t take care of themselves.

The princesses got down and told Nanny and Queen Mommy all about the journey they made the day before, the stairway up the side of the mountain, the woods filled with mean pixies, the floating flowers, the cloud fold, Raven, their leader, the glass vials filled with magic wind, growing wings and the big battle they had witnessed before the destruction of the dark could.

“My! Well! I don’t blame you for not making it all the way home last night after a day like that!” said Grandpa.

Princess Evie pulled the wool bag that Raven had given her from her pocket and handed it to Queen Mommy.

“Thank you.”, Queen Mommy said as she tucked it away in her pocket.

“What is it?” asked Princess Evie.

“It is a gift.” said Queen Mommy. “For trusting them with the lantern so they could destroy the dark cloud.”

“Come!” commanded King Daddy to all of the people in the courtyard. Everyone who knew they should follow did, including Princess Charlotte and Princess Evie.

King Daddy and Queen Mommy sat in their thrones. Princess Evie and Princess Charlotte stood around them in a circle with Lady Emma, Lord Mike and Logan, and the captains of the guards, Dame Becky and Sir Jacob. Everyone was dressed in armour and ready to fight. The doors at the end of King Daddy and Queen Mommy’s great hall swung open and in walked King Christopher and Queen Samantha of Bi’Vrin. The stood tall and walked proudly into the circle. Everyone lowered their heads with respect.

“It seems you have lost something, Brother.” King Daddy said to King Christopher.

“The thief, Daniel McEvil, has stolen something of great power.” King Christopher started. “A black cloak was given to me by King Andrew many years ago and I allowed it to be stolen by this mad man. Daniel McEvil has taken the cloak and used it to create an army of ice monsters and snow dragons in the secret forest. He means to attack the castle.”

“It’s true,” said Sir Jacob, “I saw it with my own eyes. The attack could come at any time.”

“Princess Charlotte,” King Daddy said, “You will lead a hoard of horsemen against the snow dragons.”

“Yes, Daddy.” Princess Charlotte said, standing tall.

“Princess Evie,” King Daddy continued, “Evacuate the village of Charvlyn into the castle walls. Then ride to the village of Daddoo and see that all the people are lead safely to Abbeyvale. Go now.”

“Of course.” Princess Evie said, as she turned and ran from the Hall.

As princess Evie ran from the Great Hall to the armoury she was thinking that she was going to miss the whole battle! It wasn’t fair that Queen Mommy and Princess Charlotte got to go and fight while all she got to do was help get people to safety! When she entered the armoury her armour and helmet were ready for her. She strapped on her helmet, pulled her chain mail over her body and put the Kingdom’s colours over top. She picked up a circular shield, strapped her bubble wand to her back, slid her magic wand into her pocket and she ran out the door. When she went into the barn Curls was also ready to go. She mounted Curls and said to herself. “I have to get this done quickly and then I can come back and help!” On her way out of the barn she yelled “Open the gate!” and she and ten guards raced over the draw bridge to Charvlyn. Curls horn was glowing. Princess Evie wondered what was happening as she rode to the centre of the village.

“Attention citizens of Charvlyn!” Princess Evie bellowed, “By order of the King you are to leave the village and take refuge behind the walls of the castle! Go now!”

The villagers all scurried here and there, grabbing food and clothes and blankets to carry over the drawbridge into the protection of the castle walls. Princess Evie commanded the guards, “Let’s go!” and they all galloped hard towards Daddoo.

Princess Evie was in such a rush. The harder she rode Curls the brighter her Unicorn’s horn became. They were riding really fast. They were at the village of Daddoo in a few minutes!

“How did you do that Princess?” one of the guards asked.

Princess Evie looked around and realized that the trip should have taken all morning and it only took a couple of minutes. Princess Evie looked at Curls and smiled. Her horn was still glowing.

“Curls power must be traveling. Her horn was glowing the whole time we were riding.” said Princess Evie.

“Well it is good for us, and the villagers!” said the guard as they rode to the centre of Daddoo.

“Attention citizens of Daddoo!” Princess Evie bellowed, “By order of the King you are to leave the village and take refuge behind the walls of the town of Abbeyvale! We will escort you but you must come now! Take only what you can carry.”

The villagers of Daddoo did the same thing that the villagers of Charvlyn did. They gathered food, clothes, blankets and began walking to the town of Abbeyvale.

“This will take forever!” Evie complained to herself as she rode beside the walking townspeople.

Curls horn was glowing brightly once more and in only a couple of minutes the people of Daddoo were safe behind the walls of Abbeyvale.

“This is fantastic!” Evie said to the guards. “We ride with all speed to the castle!”

Curls horn glowed brightly as they rode and they were back in the courtyard of the castle before mid-morning. When Princess Evie returned to the Great Hall King Daddy asked “Is there a problem, Princess Evie? I thought I asked you to conduct the evacuation?”

“It’s all done!” Princess Evie responded proudly.

“Very good, then.” King Daddy said. “You can ride with your mother, Queen Mommy’s side. She will be riding with Lord Mike and the Rain Maker, your Great Aunt Beth.

“You all have your assignments.” King Daddy said, standing up, “Make it happen.”

Everyone in the room bowed and filed out immediately except for King Daddy, Queen Mommy, King Chris, and Queen Sam.

“What are we to do?” asked Queen Samantha.

“Stay safe behind our walls.” King Daddy said, extending his hands to them both.

Queen Samantha and King Chris shook Daddy’s hand. King Daddy said, “You’ll have your Kingdom back in no time!” then left with Queen Mommy.

In the courtyard everyone was ready, mounted, and waiting for King Daddy to lead the way. King Daddy and Queen Mommy mounted their horses. Queen Mommy pointed her hand and the gate and a giant gust of wind blew the doors open and the drawbridge down. “Let’s ride!” she yelled!

Hundreds of horses with riders ready to fight poured out over the drawbridge. They formed long lines and started riding towards Nanny’s frozen Secret Forest.

Princess Evie took out her telescope and looked through it. On the giant ice wall she saw the thief, Daniel McEvil! He looked bigger and scarier than before. Princess Evie looked harder and she could see he was wearing the black cloak and casting magic spells.

Princess Charlotte started yelling! “Snow dragons! Snow dragons! Follow me!” Princess Charlotte drew her sword and charged off with a host of mounted guards.

Princess Evie looked harder through her telescope and could see the trees shaking and the ice falling off of them. Then she saw the ice monsters. They were slowly standing up. They were twice as tall as the trees. How were we ever going to stop them Princess Evie thought.

The ice monsters stepped over the wall and Daniel McEvil and started lumbering towards them. All the guards around King Daddy turned to run but King Daddy charged forward. He held up his spear and slammed his spear into the ground. The ground shook. It sounded like thunder. After a few moments dirt giants rose from the ground and tackled the ice monsters to the ground. Lord Mike’s gloves burned bright with fire as he flung balls of fire at the ice monsters. They were starting to melt. Sir Jacob drew his long silver sword. Electricity coursed up the blade. He held it high towards the sky and bolts of lightning struck the ice monsters shattering them into a million billion pieces.

Meanwhile, Princess Charlotte had the snow dragons on the run. Every dragon in the land recognized Panana’s purple hair and the sword Charlotte carried. They quivered with fear at the site of Princess Charlotte alone and now they were beside themselves as Princess Charlotte rode at the head of Dame Becky and a hundred guards on horses. They ran every which way but Charlotte’s line of horses corralled them back into the Secret Forest.

Before King Daddy, Lord Mike and Sir Jacob were done with the ice monsters snow dragons were heading towards them too. The rain maker, Elizabeth used her magic to make the water of the river come crashing over its banks and sweep some of the snow dragons away. Queen Mommy made wind twisters with her magic and sent snow dragons sailing back into the secret forest, landing with a thump. Princess Evie made sure that any dragons that got close to King Daddy, Sir Jacob or Lord Mike were carried away in one of her magic bubbles and put to sleep with a spell from her magic wand.

The plains south of the secret forest were a chaotic mess for most of the day. When all the ice monsters were gone and the snow dragons had ran back into the Secret Forest King Daddy and all his guards, the Princesses, Lords, and Knights all rode towards the great wall. Sir Jacob used the essence of lightning in his sword to blast a hole in the wall around the secret forest and they all went inside.

The princesses and the entire army charged through the Secret Forest looking for snow dragons that hadn’t run away yet and Daniel McEvil. Princess Evie and Princess Charlotte finally caught him, exhausted, trying to escape through the caves where he had pushed Evie. When Daniel McEvil heard the horses coming he tried to hide in a tree. He tried to fire an arrow at Princess Evie, but, with a flip of her magic wand turned the bow into a slithery snake. Daniel McEvil dropped the snake immediately and fell from the tree. King Daddy’s guards showed up and jumped on him. They arrested Daniel McEvil, took him back to the castle and locked him in a tower. King Daddy said that the Witch, Melanie, can bring him whatever he needs, but he can never leave. King Chris got his cape back and he and Queen Sam returned safely to Bi’Vrin.

After the guards had left with Daniel McEvil, Lord Mike raised his gloves to the sky. His gloves, once again, burned bright with heat and light and Lord Mike let loose a giant fireball into the sky. It was so hot it felt like a sunny day in the middle of summer. The ice and snow began to melt quickly. Water was everywhere in big puddles and pools. The fireball burned so brightly that in less than an hour the secret forest had melted and the snow dragons were gone. All the guards had gone home with King Daddy, Lord Mike, Dame Backy, Lady Emma and Sir Jacob to enjoy a party and parade in their honour.

That didn’t sound like any fun at all to Princess Evie or Princess Charlotte. The princesses were so hot and tired they decided they just wanted to relax and take a swim in a pool that had formed near Nanny’s cottage. It may have been autumn but it certainly didn’t feel like it. When Nanny and Grandpa came back to their cottage they made the princesses spaghetti. That night they slept well in their beds at Nanny’s cottage and were happy the secret forest was safe and sound.

Story 12 – The Lake on the Mountain and the Cloud Folk

It was a dreary cold and grey day in the Kingdom of Harrowsmith. Nobody slept well at all now that the secret forest was covered in ice. Princess Charlotte rolled out of bed to get dressed. Princess Evie was already up, dressed and looking out their bedroom window at the secret forest. “It’s still covered in ice.”, Princess Evie said, “I was hoping it was all a bad dream.” “Me too”, said Princess Charlotte. Jib, Princess Charlotte’s puppy dog, nuzzled Princess Charlotte’s leg and started to growl. “Oh, not you jibby jibby.” said Princess Charlotte, “You know, you’re the best thing that happened yesterday.” “Hey! What about my party?” said Princess Evie. “That was fun, but Jib is so cute!” The princesses giggled together.

When the princesses ran downstairs they found a lot more people than usual at the breakfast table; Lord Mike, Duchess Millie, Lords Marcus and Logan, Witch Melanie, Sir Jacob and Lady Emma. The Princesses were ecstatic! They had not seen Lady Emma in many months! “Emma!” they squealed! Lady Emma had been in the Dog Lands trying to negotiate the return of the Queen of Cats’ balls of yarn. “Did you get them to give back the yarn?” Princess Charlotte asked. “Of course! As usual, it was all just a big misunderstanding.” said Emma. “That’s great!” said Princess Charlotte. “Have you eaten?” “Not yet.” said Emma.

The princesses sat down beside their best friend, Lady Emma, and enjoyed a huge breakfast. There was bacon, toast, beans, and eggs and the girls ate until they felt like they might burst! All of the other people at the table spoke to King Daddy as he told them what he planned to do about the ice surrounding the Secret Forest. Princess Charlotte and Lady Emma had so much to catch up on they were hardly paying attention. Lady Emma told the princesses all about her adventures with the cats and dogs and about traveling over the lake on the mountain with the cloud folk. It was all very interesting but before they knew it breakfast was over and everyone was leaving. The princesses were embarrassed because they hadn’t been paying attention. Lady Emma was embarrassed too. King Daddy looked at them as everyone else left. “Come with me.” King Daddy said as he walked towards his throne room.

King Daddy walked to his throne and took his seat. He looked more tired than usual. “Ladies,” King Daddy began, “I’ve saved the most important mission for you.” You are going to deliver a very special lantern to the cloud folk. Lady Emma can show you the way.” “What lantern?” asked Evie.

The Witch, Melanie came out from the side of the room and produced a small wool bag. The bag was sparkling strangely. Princess Evie extended her hand and took the bag. When she looked at it she realized that it was not sparkling at all. The light coming from inside the bag was so bright that the light was escaping through the strands of wool. When Princess Evie opened the bag a blinding light burst out. She reached in and pulled out a small lantern. The lantern was impossible to look at at first. It shone too brightly. As the lantern came into the daylight, the light quickly dimmed. “The darker it becomes the brighter this lantern will shine.” King Daddy said. “It is the only thing Melanie and Queen Mommy think will be able to move the dark storm cloud from above the Secret Forest.” “What about the ice?!” Princess Charlotte asked. “There are many powers at work here, Charlotte.” said King Daddy. “The clouds are no work of mother nature. They are stuck there.” said King Daddy. “I fear the essence of darkness is contained within them.” said Queen Mommy. “That lantern contains the essence of light. It is all the cloud folk need to destroy the storm cloud. Then we can worry about the ice.” said King Daddy. “They are waiting for you.” said Melanie.

The courtyard was busy with guards and soldiers when the Ladies of Harrowsmith emerged. There were far more horses than usual but when Emma whistled her horse, Puppet, came trotting forward. “I’ll have to remember to teach Panana that one.” said Princess Charlotte. The princesses went into the barn, prepared their animals for riding, mounted their steeds and galloped out of the barn and through the castle gates. Lady Emma joined them and they were off.

The day was spent traveling. Princess Evie tied the lantern to Curls saddle. The three girls had snacks in their saddle bags and most of the trip the ate and talked. “Do you want me to tell you about the lands of the cats and dogs?”, asked Lady Emma. “Yeah!”, said Princess Charlotte and Princess Evie together.

“Well they’re not like our cats and dogs. They’re far bigger” Emma began. “and they can talk, just like you and me.” “Really? Like, with magic?” asked Evie, thinking about Princess Charlotte’s magic ring. “Yeah!” said Emma “They behave just like cats and dogs; running, chasing, scratching, barking and pawing.” “That’s Crazy!” said Princess Charlotte. “Why do we get involved? Isn’t that dangerous?” asked Evie. “Well it is,” said Emma “but the problem is whenever they fight it rains in the farmlands. So, if we don’t keep the peace we’ll have flooded fields.” the Princesses laughed at Lady Emma’s joke but couldn’t help but wonder if she was being serious.

As the day wore on the princesses found themselves finally at the great wall. As usual, the guards saluted the noble children of Harrowsmith. The princesses and Lady Emma rode their horses up onto the wall. “The last time we came this way,” said Princess Evie, “Lord Logan and Princess Charlotte were going to get me to jump over the falls!” “Well we’re not going towards the falls this time.” said Emma. “It’s this way.” “I know.” said Evie, “I was just mentioning it. I’m still annoyed.” The princesses followed Lady Emma north along the wall. A couple of jumping dragons were getting pretty feisty along the wall so they stopped to help the guards push them back. A few good bops on the noodle with a shield or sword and they were gone.

When the Princesses had followed Emma all the way to the North end of the wall they felt very alone. The North end of the wall was very tall and there were no guards around because the jumping dragons couldn’t jump that high. When they came to the gate of the last tower they swung it open to reveal a hollow cavern with a spiraling staircase. The princesses and Lady Emma dismounted their animals and started to unpack what they’d need for the rest of the journey. Princess Evie made sure she had all her food, her soft blanket, the lantern, and her bubble wand. Princess Charlotte did the same and made sure to take her magic shield and Jaguar. Lady Emma lead the horses and unicorn out of the cavern and said to Puppet very clearly. “Go Home!” “We’re not coming back this way?” asked Princess Evie. “No. We are to guard the lantern until the cloud folk are finished with it. Then we are to bring it back to the castle.” “Okay,” said Charlotte, putting on her croc-tooth ring, “Panana, Curls, we are going to find another way home. You can do whatever you like for the rest of the day.” Panana and Curls nuzzled the princesses with their heads and turned around and trotted off with Puppet. Lady Emma was well on her way up the stairs when the princesses turned around. Princess Evie held out her magic lantern and chased after her with Princess Charlotte.

The stairs were perfectly sculpted in the rocks. Lady Emma was going up them very fast. The princesses had trouble keeping up. When they reached the top there was another thick wooden door with a bar across it. “This keeps the pixies out of our lands.” said Emma, “we’ll have to remember to come and lock it so those little thieves won’t get in.” “Pixies?” asked the princesses, “we thought pixies were nice!” “Some are,” Lady Emma said, “but the wood pixies on top of this mountains are little buggers. They love gold. Any gold. In fact, you’d better tuck your hair under your hood and we’ll run as fast as we can.” The princesses were a little skeptical but they did what Lady Emma said. When they were done tucking in their hair Lady Emma had taken the bar from the door. She put her hand on the handle and looked at the two princesses. “Are you ready?” she asked. “Yes.” the princesses replied, feeling determined. “Now! Run!” Emma screamed as she swung the door open and took off down the path. Princess Evie and Princess Charlotte tore off after her. Princess Evie waved her wand at the open door and it slammed shut behind them. She even used her magic to re-bar the door. The princesses were running as fast as they could down a lovely brick road. The forest was bright and cheerful. There was no wind and the leaves were beginning to turn lovely shades of orange and red. They couldn’t see any yellow leaves. Princess Charlotte and Princess Evie slowed down as they were taken back by how pretty it was. Neither have them had ever been on top of this mountain before. “This place is gorgeous.” said Princess Charlotte. “It is. I don’t know why we were running. We’re going to miss it.” The two princesses began to walk and catch their breath. Lady Emma ran far ahead and out of sight. After a few minutes of strolling and enjoying the forest and the weather Princess Charlotte felt a tug on her hair. She swatted around her head and heard a little ‘Ouch!’. She looked and saw a little pixie clutching onto a lock of her hair. She grabbed the pixie and threw her away. The pixie flew right back into Princess Evelyn’s space and grabbed onto her hair again. Princess Evie didn’t like this one bit. Princess Charlotte grabbed the little pixie out of Princess Evie’s hair and threw it as far as she could. Just then another, and another pixie appeared; Then another! Soon the pixies were coming from everywhere and the princesses could hear them shouting ‘Gold! Gold!’. “What are they doing?” Shouted Princess Charlotte as they started to run away down the path. “We don’t have any gold!” “They’re after our hair!” said Princess Evie. “Run!” The two princesses ran as fast as they could. They finally got ahead of the swarm of pixies chasing after them. Lady Emma stood at the end of the path at the opening of the woods pointing her bow straight down the path at Princess Charlotte and princess Evie. There was four arrows on her bow at the same time. When the princesses saw this they dove to the right and left of the path and Lady Emma let fly her arrows! A huge magic net enveloped the pixies. Princess Charlotte and Princess Evie stood up and ran towards Emma. “Thank goodness you were here!” they said. “Let’s go, quickly!” Emma said.

When the princesses and Lady Emma emerged from the forest there was a great beach, almost as large as the white shores in the west. The beach wrapped nearly the entire edge of the lake on the mountain. Directly across from them there was a castle built right into the mountain! It was incredibly tall. So tall, in fact, that the top was covered in clouds. “Who lives there?!” said Princess Charlotte. “I’ve never seen or heard of anyone who lived on this mountain before!” said Princess Evie, excitedly. “That was the home of the cloud folk, long ago, before they learned to harness the essence of the air.” said Lady Emma. The water was crystal clear and blue. There were giant flowers that looked like tulips growing out of giant lily pads. “Wow!” the princesses said as they looked around. “Be careful.” Emma said. “… and follow me.” Lady Emma led the princesses out into the water to one of the big lily pads. “There doesn’t seem to be any big frogs around.” Emma said, “Quick, before they come back up!” Emma jumped up onto the lily pad and helped the princesses up. When they stood on the lily pad the princesses could see how big the flowers were. They were so big that both Princesses and Lady Emma could fit in one quite comfortably. Lady Emma tied a rope to the bottom of the biggest flower. “Get in.” she told the Princesses. The princesses got inside the giant flower. Lady Emma took out a long knife and swung it at the stem of the flower. “What are you doing!?” the princesses screamed. Just then, the flower broke loose of it’s stem and began to float away. Lady Emma ran along the lily pads pulling Princess Evie and Princess Charlotte with her rope through the air like a balloon. When Lady Emma ran out of rope and lily pads she jumped up, grabbed onto the rope and they were floating away with the wind. Princess Evie was very scared! She tucked herself down into the bottom of the flower. Princess Charlotte was laughing and screaming with excitement. She had never seen floating flowers before! Every once in a while she’d rock the flower just to scare Princess Evie even more. “You stop that right now, Charlotte!” Princess Evie would demand.

The flower picked up speed and landed safely on a balcony in the mountain castle. “How did you do that?” asked Princess Charlotte. “I didn’t. The cloud folk did. They’re expecting us.” Lady Emma said as she led the way up more stairs and through great halls with beautiful blue and silver stained glass windows. After the final flight of stairs they emerged onto a landing high up in the sky surrounded by clouds. Three figures wearing white cloaks and hoods came out of the clouds. When they got close enough the princesses could see that they were not cloaks, the creatures had great feathered wings right behind their arms and thick white hair that fell so straight it looked like hoods. Lady Emma bowed and said “We’re here on behalf of King Andrew.” “You have something for us, then?” asked the figure in the centre. Princess Evie produced the small lantern from her pocket and held it out. The lantern shone with blinding light as the cloud folk took it, placed three small glass vials in her hand, and leapt back into the clouds. The vials looked empty. Princess Evie handed one to Lady Emma and the other to Princess Charlotte. The three ladies opened the vials at the same time and held up the open vials to have a look inside. At first it seemed like the vials were empty. Suddenly wind began to blast out of the small vials. The princesses and Lady Emma held on as tight as they could. The wind blew out of the vials so hard it swept the princesses off their feet. The girls floated up into the air when suddenly Princess Evie, Princess Charlotte, and Lady Emma started growing wings. When the wind died down the princesses and Lady Emma looked just like the cloud people. They flapped their wings and took to the skies!

Once the princesses and Lady Emma were above the clouds they saw hundreds of cloud folk flying quickly behind the light of the lantern. The winds were picking up quickly and giving the princesses, Lady Emma, and the hundreds of cloud folk great speed. They charged over the edge of the white clouds and dove straight for the dark storm cloud above the Secret Forest. Princess Charlotte had great eyesight, especially during dusk, she could see before either Princess Evie or Lady Emma that the dark storm clouds were covered in cloud folk as well. They were not as fair as the cloud folk Charlotte knew. They looked a lot alike, but had rougher, scruffier, sharper grey fur with horns and fiercer, yellow eyes. They began to screech when they saw the armies of the cloud folk coming. The light from the lantern seemed to grow brighter and brighter as they flew close to the storm cloud. The creatures from the storm cloud flew hard and fast but they could not fight the wind. The good cloud folk smashed into the bad cloud folk with great force, knocking most of them to the ground. The bad cloud folk that were left in the skies went flying away from the light as fast as they could. The good cloud folk did not chase them. They circled the dark storm cloud with the magic lantern in the centre. Princess Charlotte, Princess Evie and Emma flapped and floated nearby. There wings were starting to get tired. The light of the lantern disappeared into the dark storm cloud. Moments later the cloud folk all flew away from the cloud and it burst with bright light. The good cloud folk seemed to be heading home so Princess Charlotte, Princess Evie and Lady Emma followed. When they arrived back at the spire of the castle the princesses and Lady Emma landed smoothly in front of the same three figures who stood before them before the battle. The centre figure held out his hand with the lantern. “The cloud folk thank you.” he said. Princess Evie stepped forward and extended her hand, taking the lantern. “My name is Raven, the leader of the Cloud Folk.” “I am Princess Evelyn, and this is my sister, Princess Charlotte.” “Nice to meet you. We also found this. See that Queen Ann Marie receives it. Do not look at it until you speak to the Queen.” “I understand.” Raven handed Princess Evie a small wool bag like the one the lantern had come to her in. She tucked it away in her pocket and the Princesses and Lady Emma said goodbye.

As they stepped to the edge and jumped into the air to fly home they wondered how much longer they’d have wings. They soared over the lake on the mountain and dove down the mountainside into the farmlands. When they reached the low lands of the plains a warm breeze surrounded them, changed them back, and placed them gently on the grass.

“Well, that was fun while it lasted.” said Lady Emma. “Yeah!” agreed the girls. “How are we going to get home now?” Princess Evie asked. Charlotte whistled as loud as she could and, wouldn’t you know it, Panana came galloping over the hill a few minutes later. “How did you do that?” Princess Evie asked. “Lucky try, I guess.” said Charlotte. All three ladies climbed on top of Panana’s back and rode back to the castle. On their way past the Secret Forest they could see that the dark cloud was gone. The moonlight glistened off the ice that still covered the Secret Forest. “Now for the hard part.” Lady Emma said. “What do you mean?” the princesses asked. “Well, there’s bound to be hundreds of snow dragons in there by now. Not to mention whatever ice monsters Daniel McEvil comes up with. It’s going to be a mess. But we’ll worry about that tomorrow.”

Princess Charlotte and Princess Evie both looked over their shoulders the whole ride home. They couldn’t stop thinking about the trouble that lurked behind the ice walls surrounding Nanny’s once beautiful forest.