I like to tell stories, as you might have guessed if you follow this blog. And I am happy to report that my toddler daughters finally like to listen to me tell stories. Each night at bedtime, they get the next installment in their own continuing adventures. Yes, they are princesses in the stories (and my wife and I are the Queen and King), but I would describe them as Adventure Princesses. Note: Janie and Serena are pseudonyms, as the princesses wish to retain their anonymity.
Once Upon A Time…
Janie and Serena are princesses who live in a giant sandcastle on the edge of an ocean. Although the ocean crashes against the base of the castle, it never washes the castle away, for it is a magic castle that can withstand the waves of time. The King and Queen also live in the sandcastle, but the needs of their kingdom often keep them busy. To the west lies an endless ocean. To the east there is a tall mountain range. To the north, there are grassy plains as far as the eye can see. And to the south, there is a vast desert.
Left to their own devices, the princesses often go on adventures…
Over the Lava River
Serena and Janie were bored one day, and since the giant playground in the cloud kingdom had been closed to them, they decided to follow rumors of an awesome playground to the south. They trudged through the hot desert for what seemed like forever, until the sand gave way to stone and the stone to rugged mountains where steam vented up through the ground. Finally they reached a cliff edge, and far below it, a river of hot lava. On the other side of the river there was another cliff face, and past that was the playground they sought. The only way across was a rickety wooden bridge, but this didn’t stop Janie from running across it and drawing Serena in her wake. Halfway across, the ropes of the bridge began to snap, one by one, and the two princesses had to half-run, half-climb the collapsing bridge. They only barely made it to the far side, and now there was no way across the chasm and thus no way to get home.
“What are we going to do?” Serena asked.
“Let’s play first and worry about it later,” Janie said.
Serena shrugged, smiled, and ran off into the playground with Janie at her heels. They played for most of the day and it was not until near sunset that they started to ponder how to get back home.
“Yup, there’s really no way back across,” Janie said, eyeing the river of molten lava far below.
“I think there is,” Serena declared. “To the swings!”
Janie followed her to the swing set, which was perched right at the edge of the cliff above the lava river. They both got on and started swinging with all their might. At just the right moment, they leaped out of the swings and soared over the river to the other side of the chasm, landing in a tumble but coming up safe and sound.
“That was great!” cried Janie. “Let’s do it again.”
“It’s time to get home,” admonished Serena. “We’ll have to come back here and fix it later.”
“You mean rebuild the bridge?” Janie asked.
“No. I mean build another swing set on this side so we can swing back across!”
Janie laughed. By the light of the full moon, they crossed the desert and made their way safely back home.
The Rainbow Forest
It had been raining for days, and Serena and Janie were suffering from a huge case of boredom. They were watching the rain outside their window, when suddenly the rain stopped, the clouds parted, and a rainbow appeared. One end stopped right at the base of the Sandcastle.
The princesses smiled and set to tying their bedsheets together. Once this was done, they climbed out of the window and down their bedsheet rope to the beach below. It was a short jog from there to the base of the rainbow, which angled far up into the sky.
“Where do you think it goes?” asked Serena.
“Let’s find out!” said Janie.
They ran up the rainbow until they reached the top, where they found a rainbow forest. It smelled sugary, and Serena plucked a rainbow leaf from a rainbow branch and touched it to her tongue.
“It’s sweet!” she cried. She took a bite. “It’s candy!”
“No way,” Janie said. But when she tried one, too, her eyes lit up. “It is candy!”
Not only that, everything in the forest atop the rainbow was edible, and the girls promptly gorged themselves on rainbow twigs and bugs, rainbow mushrooms and moss, rainbow butterflies and hopping rainbow frogs. By the time they were done, their stomachs were queasy from all the rainbow candy they had consumed.
“I think I’m going to be sick,” Janie moaned.
“Let’s go home,” Serena said, clutching her stomach.
They staggered back home, opting to knock on the front door rather than make the climb back to their room. The Queen answered the door, looking down on the girls with one raised eyebrow.
“Did we learn anything today?” the Queen asked.
“Yeah,” Janie said. “Rainbow twigs are goods. Bugs, too. Mushrooms and moss, ditto. But butterflies and frogs? Not so much.”
Serena held her stomach with both hands. “I can still feel them fluttering and hopping around!”
The Queen smiled and said, “I guess you won’t be doing that again.”
“Nope,” said Janie. “At least, not until we get bored again!”
The girls giggled and ran into the Sandcastle. The sigh behind them was either the Queen or the closing door.
Another story about a playground! If I didn’t steer the requests elsewhere, I think every story would involve a playground. I forgot to write the rainbow forest story down right away after I told it, and then I forgot it entirely. I only knew that there was a story about a candy forest at the top of a rainbow because I mention it in a later story (yay continuity!), but I had to reconstruct the details almost a month later for the written version of the story.
“Night Swinging” by shadowbrush, CC BY-NC.
“Rainbow at Sea” by edwick, CC BY-NC.