This is a tale about a young boy who had everything. And how his selfish actions took it all away. Luckily, it does have a happy ending.
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Many, many years ago, in a faraway kingdom lived a young prince named Fredrick. Now, Fredrick, being the prince that he was, had everything any child could ever want.
His father, the King, wished the boy to grow up happy and strong and eventually to take on the throne and the leadership of their small kingdom. So, when Fredrick turned five years of age, his father began to ask him quite often, "Fredrick, my son, what would you like today?"
Before long, Fredrick began to dream of all the things he might have. Then he began to ask for them. He asked for a golden rocking horse, a great army of tin soldiers, (half blue and half red), and a feathered toy bird that could glide gently to the ground from the highest tower of the castle.
The King was pleased that his son was happy with the gifts that he had chosen. And because he was, the King continued to ask the tempting question. Within a year, Fredrick's room was filled with the most marvelous toys. He had painted kites, a colorful spinning top that whistled, balls with bells inside, a wooden boat with cloth sails, and more.
But that was not all. Fredrick had his whole room decorated to look like a magnificent, magical forest. The corner posts of his bed rose like the trunks of four great oak trees. A canopy of thick green leaves, all hand-made of silk hung above it. The ceiling was painted like the early morning sky. His closet door was transformed into the entrance of a deep and secret cave. The walls were painted with the trees and plants of a real forest. And if you looked very closely, rabbit, deer, squirrel and a host of other small creatures inhabited the room, watching from their places on the walls. At the far end of the room a great stone fireplace rose from the floor to the ceiling like an old castle's ruins.
Fredrick loved his bed and play room. And though he could go up the old west tower and look into the nearby village, or ride his own pony anywhere he wanted to go, he was quite content to spend hour after hour playing alone in his fantasy forest.
As Fredrick neared his sixth birthday, his mother, the Queen, said to his father, the King, "Our son seems to be happy with his life here in the castle."
The King nodded, content that he had done so much for his only son.
"But don't you think, "she continued, "that he should be spending time with other children of his own age?"
The King understood his wife's concern. If Fredrick were to be king one day, he should be able to be a part of the world outside the castle walls. He should make friends, know on whom he should depend, and learn how to become a trusted leader himself. Despite the King's good intentions, the boy knew very little about these things.
The very next day, the King sent out a messenger into the tiny village just beyond the castle gates.
"Hear ye! Hear ye!" the man shouted. "The King's son will have his sixth birthday on Saturday of this week! All children between five and seven years old are invited to his royal birthday party! The party will begin exactly at noon! This, by request of His Majesty, the King!"
The whole village buzzed with excitement. Parents brought out their children’s finest clothes, scrubbed them clean and then scrubbed their children clean.
"It will be a great honor to meet the King's son," parents told their children. "The King is generous and kind and you would do well to make friends with his son. Surely the prince will be as noble as his father."
Saturday at noon the castle was draped in festive banners. The royal band played the prince's favorite music. Tables and chairs were set out in the castle's sunny courtyard. One by one, the children passed through the giant gates of the outer wall.
Nearly twenty-five of the village's children came to take part in the birthday celebration. They were treated to pony rides, games of skill. They enjoyed an enormous banquet of the finest foods and drink, and the hilarious antics of jugglers and jesters.
Fredrick was very excited. He had never seen so many children of his own age all in one place. The boys and girls played and talked with him throughout the afternoon.
"Why don't you show them your room?" his mother, the Queen whispered in his ear after the jester had finished falling down for the fourteenth time causing the prince and his guests to roar with laughter.
Fredrick proudly led them inside, through a great hall, across the marble floor of the royal dining room, past the royal dinner table, up the blue carpeted staircase, and down a short hall. Finally they arrived at the door to his room.
"This is my kingdom," Fredrick said, trying to sound much like his father, the king.
The village children could not believe their eyes. For the first few minutes after they had entered the room they spoke only in whispers. This made Fredrick feel especially proud. All that they saw belonged to him.
With a wave of his hand he spoke again, "You may play here, today."
The grateful youngsters did not hesitate. The room seemed to be as big as many of their own small houses. The fact that it was made up to be a forest made it even more enchanting. They marveled at so many wonderful toys. Politely they asked to ride the golden horse, to spin the top, to play with things they had never before seen or even imagined. To them, this was a world of dreams.
As the afternoon drew on, the King sent his housekeepers up to build a fire in the great stone fireplace. He had the kitchen maids take up cakes, cookies, and sweet fruit drinks, as well.
As the children played, Fredrick found himself watching them with great interest. The Prince had never witnessed other boys and girls together at play so closely. They never stopped laughing, singing, dancing, or playing their imaginary games. At times, Fredrick felt that it was a bit overwhelming.
Finally, it was time for the children to return to their homes in the village. Each thanked Fredrick for such a special day and said how much they would love to come back and visit him.
In the weeks that followed, his mother, the Queen, encouraged Fredrick to invite his young playmates to return to the castle. Reluctantly, he agreed, if only to make her happy.
Once, she suggested that he might take a few servants and go out into the village. The prince, however, refused to leave the castle walls. He was certain that his home was better than anyone else’s. He knew he had the best toys, the best food, the best of everything. Therefore, he saw no reason to leave his favorite place.
In the beginning the children’s' visits were somewhat entertaining to the prince. They taught him new games. They always let him win the tin soldier wars. He would be the ruler of the forest kingdom anytime he wished. And, after each visit the children would thank him for letting them play with his toys, for the cakes and cookies, and for sharing the warmth of his fire. His visitors thought he was a very lucky boy. Fredrick liked being at the center of their attention.
But as the days passed, Prince Fredrick began to have an uncomfortable feeling whenever the peasant children came to call. He wasn't quite sure what it was or from where it had come. The shadowy mood was especially strong when they were in his room. The prince did not like this feeling at all.
"I'm the king here!" Fredrick yelled in an awful tone one afternoon. "You may only play with the toys I choose for you to have! We will feast on cakes and cookies only when I allow it!"
The boys and girls stopped their play, surprised by this announcement. Henry, the merchant's son, thought it was a new game.
"Hooray for Fredrick, the Great!" Henry shouted!
"Long live the king!" the children chimed in.
This only annoyed Fredrick all the more. He sat in his favorite chair and watched quietly for the remainder of the afternoon.
That very night, as he grew drowsy beneath the heavy blankets of his forest bed, the young prince wondered how he could rid himself of the sour feelings he had felt earlier.
"I must do something …” he murmured as his eyes fluttered shut.
Suddenly, there he was, standing alone in the middle of a deep green forest. He felt himself shiver in the coolness of an early morning mist. The chatter of blackbirds and sparrows echoed in the branches above him.
"Hello!" the prince called out.
A deer plunged through a thicket of brush to his left, startling the boy. He took a deep breath and quickly regained his composure. Slowly he turned himself around. Behind him, a short distance away, was the mouth of a cave. He moved towards it cautiously.
As he approached the gaping entrance, the air grew even cooler. The prince shivered again. Then, in a flash of light and a puff of orange smoke, a small, shrouded figure appeared. Fredrick blinked his eyes.
"Surprised to find me here?" the blue and black robed stranger spoke.
"Who are you?" Fredrick asked quite rudely. "And what are you doing in my forest?" Looking closer, the boy could just make out the features of an old man's face beneath the dark cloth hood that nearly covered it.
"Indeed this is your forest, your highness. I am merely the wizard of the woods," the ancient one's crooked smile broke into a toothless grin. "I have come to ask you, what would you like today, my young master?"
"Very good!" Fredrick clapped his hands. "There is something," he heard himself say. "You see, ever since the children of the village have been coming into my room I have had this bad feeling."
"They like your toys, don't they?" the dark figure hissed.
"Yes, and they eat so many of my cakes and cookies, and they cheer when my firewood is thrown into the fireplace, as if it were their own."
"The children would love to take your things to keep for themselves, wouldn't they?" the old one encouraged.
"I'm certain of it!" the prince agreed, nodding his head. "If they could they would take all I have and be done with me! I'm not sure I like them being in my room or even in my home any more!"
"You wish me to make them disappear?" The wizard pulled a short crooked stick from his robe pocket and raised it towards the sky. "Shall I cast a spell?" his little voice crackled with laughter.
Prince Fredrick woke with a start. It had only been a dream. "But, maybe there was something real to it," he thought to himself as he rubbed the sleep from his eyes.
That morning, after breakfast, he spoke to his father.
"Father, he said, "the ruffians that you and mother want me to play with are not being very careful with the lovely gifts you have given me. I am afraid that they will break all of the toys in my room. Today, before they should arrive again, could the housekeepers come and hide the toys away?"
The king was puzzled by this request but thinking it to be only a part of some game, agreed. "Just let them know when you want them back..." Before the words were out, Fredrick had already run upstairs to get the help he needed.
That afternoon, as the children arrived, they found the young prince standing outside the door to his room. His shoulders were drooped. His eyes stared down at the floor. With a feeble, pitiful voice he began, "My friends, a terrible thing has happened."
The children moved in closer to listen.
During the night an evil wizard cast a spell over this castle. Father says he is a very powerful magician and has become so angry because, well...," Fredrick tried hard to think of a good reason, " because...," his cheeks grew red, "...because he got mad at us! And he has made all of my lovely toys vanish into thin air!"
The prince threw open the door to his room. The children's eyes grew wide in amazement. Except for the bed, a footlocker, and his chair, the room was empty! Many of the visitors were afraid to enter. Others looked cautiously under the bed and into the closet. One small girl began to cry.
Fredrick was sure that his trick was working. With the toys all gone the unwanted guests would have no reason to stay.
"It's alright," he said in a false attempt to console her. "The wizard does not dare harm us during the light of day! And we shall do battle if he tries such a thing."
At that moment, one of the older boys, John the silversmith's son spoke up, "We are so glad that you are safe, Master Fredrick. It is a pity about your toys but we will stay and play games to cheer you up. Be our king of the forest!"
"Yes! Yes!" the others agreed.
The prince was caught off-guard by this unexpected turn of events. He shrugged his shoulders, "If you wish," he said half-heartedly.
The brave group played games throughout the afternoon, ate cakes and cookies when they were brought up, and enjoyed the warmth of the fire until it was finally time to leave.
After the children had returned to the village the young prince ordered the toys to be returned to his quarters. He was certain that the children would have little interest in returning to play in a place without playthings.
"They will not come back and I will have all of my toys to play with, myself, once more." he thought happily.
However, the children did return the next day. Just as he was finishing his morning meal a knock came at the great castle's door.
"Master Fredrick, your young visitors have arrived," the doorman announced.
"Have them wait!" the prince said nervously.
Fearing their anger at his trick, the prince commanded his room be cleared of toys once again and ran to meet the children at the entrance to the great hall.
"It's such a lovely day, why don't we go outside to play?" he suggested, trying to keep them from seeing his room being emptied.
Fredrick saw that several faces were missing from the group as he led them outside. The children that had returned, however, were all smiles.
"Your Highness, we have brought some toys of our own that we like to play with at home," Gwendolyn the candle maker's daughter said sweetly. "We thought we might share them with you today."
Prince Fredrick had no reply. Many of the children withdrew hands from behind their backs. Cornhusk dolls, little wooden horses, smooth round stones, and other play pretties appeared in their small hands.
The day passed slowly for the prince. As it grew cooler they went up to his empty room. Not one of the village children complained about the missing toys. They played, ate the cakes and cookies, and enjoyed the warmth of the fire.
Instead of being pleased by the gestures of kindness the prince began to think to himself, "The only reason they have returned is to eat up all of my cakes and cookies."
Later that evening, the prince sat in his empty room resolved to rid himself of those who would keep him from his favorite things. The faint memory of the blue and black robed wizard crept into his mind.
"Do you wish me to make them disappear?" the little voice laughed mischievously. "Shall I cast a spell?"
The next morning when his father, the King asked, "Fredrick, my son, what would you like today?” Fredrick had an answer.
"Father," the boy said slyly, "the village children have been complaining all along that the treats we give them only serve to make their stomachs ache and keep them from their suppers. Although they are so ungrateful, I feel I would do well to respect their wishes and beginning today provide only water when they grow thirsty."
Once more the King agreed but this time he decided to tell the Queen about the odd request. Upon hearing of it, the Queen shook her head in displeasure. "I was afraid of this, she said. "Our son seems to be going through a selfish spell. I will speak to him about it but he must choose his own way. Perhaps he will learn a valuable lesson from this experience."
Before the children were to arrive she took the prince aside to speak to him. "Fredrick," she said tenderly, "are you and the children from the village getting along together?"
"Yes, Mother," her son, replied. He did not like lying to his mother so he turned his face away. "I am playing with them as you have asked me to do."
"Your father and I wonder why you are no longer sharing some things with your new friends. Do you understand how it would be selfish of you to hide things away? Why wouldn't you want them to enjoy the things that make you happy?"
"I understand, Mother," Fredrick said without looking at her. He did not really know what selfish meant, but he was certain that he had no friends amongst the youngsters from the other side of the castle's walls.
When the children arrived later that day, the prince was waiting at the door to his room as he had done two days before. He stood silently for a moment, looking as downcast as he could manage. The boys and girls, clutching their favorite toys grew quiet as they saw the look of sadness on the young prince's face.
"Again the wizard has come in the night!" moaned Fredrick. "This time he has made a spell which has taken all of the food from the castle! All we have left is water and a bit of stale bread for ourselves."
The children could hardly believe it. They asked if the King would send the knights of the kingdom out to battle such a foe. The thought of the sorcerer still lurking about made several wonder if it was at all safe in the castle.
Despite their fears, Justin, a son of one of the King's own guards said, "Do not fear, Your Majesty, if this wizard only casts his spells in the night, we are safe for the moment. We must stand together to keep our spirits high!"
The others agreed, some reluctantly. For the remainder of the afternoon they played together in a room without toys, served only a cup of water for refreshment. Not one of the children complained. They did not want the prince to feel bad about his family's plight. The lighting of the warming fire gave some comfort. However, Several of the children excused themselves early and hurried off to their homes before the first shadows of the evening fell over the castle.
Finally, all was quiet. Fredrick was alone.
"Yes!" he nearly shouted to himself. "My trick has finally worked. They will never want to be in a place without toys to play with or treats to eat.
Fredrick was so convinced of his plan's success that he asked to have all of his toys brought back to his room. Late into the night he played in the peaceful forest room.
The next day he slept through the whole morning. A noon meal tray had just been brought up to his room when the doorman’s voice was heard echoing up from the great hall.
"The children from the village have come to call on Master Fredrick!"
He pushed the meal tray away from himself yelling, "Take this away!" Then he called for the housekeepers to clear the room once again.
"Why are they here?" he muttered as he hurriedly dressed and stopped the small group as they were nearing the bottom of the blue-carpeted stairs.
"We're going to play outside!" he almost growled. Looking up he was surprised to see only seven faces. John, Gwendolyn, and Justin remained among them.
Respecting his wishes the loyal band followed the prince back outside. The air was crisp and cold. Winter was fast approaching.
Fredrick led them around the side of the castle to the stables. He pretended to be visiting his pony, Pegasus. As he stopped to pet the animal, the children crowded around him.
"Sire," Justin reported, "Many of the children have told their parents of the evil deeds of this dark wizard. Although they are forbidden to come now, most have asked for us to bring you their best wishes and these..." Out of the hems of shirts and skirts unfolded came a small banquet of food. Finger pies, tarts, minced meats, chicken legs, biscuits, and some packets of cooked cabbage and squash were revealed.
The young prince did not know what to say. He barely managed a smile. Angry and ashamed, he reluctantly led the group back to his now empty room. For the rest of the afternoon he swore that he had no appetite for fear of offending the generous givers. He simply would not eat food prepared outside the walls of the castle. It was not good enough for a prince.
Aching with hunger, Fredrick played out a tin soldier war and then listened to fairy stories, watching the children’s' faces glow in the light from the great stone fireplace.
"It is cold this time of year," he thought to himself. "The only reason these poor children come is to warm themselves by my fire! If I cannot enjoy my toys or eat my food then they shall not find a warm place to sit in this room."
Early the next morning Fredrick went to his father, once more seeking a favor.
"Father," the prince spoke, carefully choosing his words, "As we have played in my room over the last weeks, those unfeeling peasants have complained out loud about how hot it becomes! I don't think they care for the fire and I suppose I should consider their feelings whether mine are hurt or not. Isn't that so?"
The King nodded, "As you wish, Fredrick, my son. It is important to for us to know the value of true friends and how by making them happy, we too are rewarded."
Fredrick winced ever so slightly at these words but did not change his resolve.
For the third time, the prince stood at the entrance to his room and awaited the arrival of the steadfast friends. He put on his most woeful face ever as the children clamored up the stairs. Once more each carried a toy and packet of food to share with the prince and once more he took no account of it.
"So cruel, so cruel," he lamented. "The wicked wizard has cast yet another spell! This morning we have awoken to find not one stick of wood that will burn in the fire. I shall have to face a cold room alone, I fear!" He put the back of his hand up to his forehead and made a long dramatic sigh.
Quickly his playmates surrounded him and assured him that he should not have to be alone. They swept the bewildered boy into his room and urged him into playing game after game. When they grew hungry they generously offered him food, but he refused, saying he was not feeling very well. He drank a cup of water when it was brought up to the room, and nothing more. As the day continued and the forest bedroom became colder, the children took Fredrick by the hands and pulled him around in a circle they made, singing songs and dancing the steps of old village dances. The movement kept them warm and they were sure it would help to chase away the low spirit of their friend, the prince.
Finally, as darkness approached the seven went on their ways home. The prince, weakened by his lack of food, and weary by the day of play fell into bed without even asking for his supper.
Again it was late morning when Fredrick awoke. His stomach ached and he felt sick. The morning light hurt his eyes. He lay listening to the quiet of the empty forest room.
"They have gone, at last," he thought. "There is nothing here for them now. I will have my toys, eat my favorite foods, be warmed by my fire, and they shall not bother me again!"
The prince lazily closed his eyes and faded back into a deep sleep.
The murmur of young voices awakened Fredrick with a start. Justin, Gwendolyn, and John stood at his bedside.
"Forgive us, Master Fredrick," John said softly. We didn't mean to wake you."
Prince Fredrick's face paled. This was impossible!
Each of the three held out a bundle, setting them gently on the bed. Justin unwrapped his favorite toy, a small wooden soldier, and a packet of food. The wrapping was a fine sheepskin cloak. Gwendolyn, likewise, carried a packet of food, still warm, a ball made of spun yarn, and her bundle wrapping was a brown knit scarf. John presented his royal friend with a miniature silver horse made by his father's own hand, a packet of food, a skin bag of goat's milk, and a small blanket given to him by the weaver's little sister, Anna.
"You have been so kind to us and this is so little to give you in return," Gwendolyn said softly. "All of the children in the village wish you to know how much they truly care."
Fredrick stared blankly. Inside, he was as cold as ice. Tears welled up in the young boy's eyes and he forced them back.
"Please leave me," the prince said stubbornly. "I am not feeling well and must have my rest."
The three nodded in understanding and turned to leave.
"May God speed you to good health, Your Highness." Justin said as they turned to go. "We will return to play when you are feeling well enough to do so."
That whole day Fredrick was miserable. His deception had been so complete, yet the village children had responded so unexpectedly. They really did seem to care. Maybe his things didn't mean so much to them. For the first time, the prince really began to feel guilty about his thoughts and actions. He spent most of the day staring at the simple gifts lying on the edge of his bed in the now silent room.
"They must never find out how I have tricked them or they will be very angry with me," he imagined. "But I cannot continue to be a prince with nothing. Who would want to be with such a boy? Oh, what will they think of me? What can I do?"
The more he thought, the more saddened Fredrick became. He began to cry. Then, an idea came to him. He wiped his eyes and hardened his heart once more. Fredrick searched the castle until he came upon his father in the library. The King could see that his son was very upset and hoped that he might be able to do something to make him happy again.
"Father..." he began. He nearly stopped seeing the great concern in his father's eyes. But he knew he must continue, "Father, I no longer wish to see the children of the village. They have been rude to me and unkind," he lied. Then he blurted it out. "I have a plan to be rid of them and I need your help!"
The King listened, hardly believing his son's cruel words. The housekeepers had told him of the charity shown by these same children. And how they adored the young prince. He waited in silence.
"Tomorrow you must tell them all that an evil wizard has cast a spell and that I have vanished without a trace."
"If this is truly your wish, my son," the King said reluctantly.
The next morning the King's messenger went into the village bearing the tragic tale. The whole village was shocked. The children were especially grieved by the news. Flowers and wreaths were gathered and laid at the entrance to the castle. It was a very sad time.
Meanwhile, Fredrick returned to his make-believe world in the enchanted green forest. Those who waited upon him were sworn to secrecy and the King and Queen watched as their son tried in vain to recreate the days before the arrival of the village children. He ate his favorite foods, played with his favorite toys, and enjoyed the warmth of the great stone fireplace.
Three, four, five days passed and the royal couple began to see the change. Fredrick ate less, played less, and seldom smiled about anything.
On the sixth day his father, the King, asked, "Fredrick, my son, is there anything that you would like today?"
Fredrick stood before him without saying a word. His only wish he could not speak. Quietly he shook his head and turned away. But a wish had formed in his heart. He wished with all of his might that he could take back all that he had done. He wished that he could have friends to play with once again.
That evening, the young prince could bear his loneliness no longer. When the last rays of the sun were beginning to fade from the western sky, he decided to use the cloak and scarf his friends had left behind to disguise himself. In this manner he would go unnoticed into the village where he could at least be close to the children he missed so much. He wasn't at all sure of what he would do when he got there but he knew that being alone was worse.
A cold wind greeted him as he slipped out of the castle. He pulled the peasant clothing around him and was grateful for its warmth. In the near-darkness he passed out through the castle walls and found himself walking down the muddy streets of the tiny village.
Fredrick knew very little about this place despite its closeness to his father's castle. Smoke spiraled up from chimneys of thatched roofed houses. Thin yellow lines of lamplight outlined closed doors and windows. The smell of evening meals being cooked over open fires greeted him. He held his head down as he walked steadily toward the center of the village. Here, in an open area around the town's water well, a group of children ran about hitting at a rock with small wooden sticks.
The prince hid himself quickly in a nearby doorway and listened. Before long the game broke up and the children gathered at the well where they began talking.
At first it sounded as if one girl was telling the others a fairy tale. She spoke of a wonderful prince who lived in an enchanted castle. Then others spoke of him as well.
"He was so kind," said one.
"And so generous," said another lad.
A familiar voice insisted that this prince was very brave indeed. "No other would have been so bold as to spend time with friends when such a fearful enemy was so near. That wizard must have been very angry to see such a gallant prince show no fear of his black magic."
"Perhaps he was protecting us," a small voice whispered. "A wizard wouldn't like that, would he?"
No mention was ever made of the toys, or cakes, or the warmth of the great stone fireplace in the forest bedroom. But each child agreed, in turn, that such a kind prince would be missed forever.
Finally, the calls of mothers to their children dispersed the meeting at the well. Fredrick remained there in the dark for a very long time feeling quite ashamed. Finally, he ran back to the castle. This time he could not stop the stream of tears falling down his cold cheeks.
"Father! Mother!" Prince Fredrick cried as he ran through the stillness of the castle.
The King and Queen heard their son calling and hurried to his side.
"A Selfish Spell, that is what it has been!" he declared. " I have put myself under this horrible spell and I have lost all of my friends. What am I to do?" he pleaded.
His parents looked at each other with relief. They hugged their son tightly to comfort him.
"Fredrick, my son," the King said in a very fatherly tone, "you have made this spell and you alone must be the one to break it. Is this your wish today?"
"Yes! Yes!" said the Prince happily. Let the spell be broken!"
As the sun rose over the tiny village and her people stirred from their warm beds, the voice of the King's messenger rang out in the streets.
"Hear ye! Hear ye!" he cried, "The spell has been broken!"
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|Reviewed by Ruan Mills Burke
|I loved this story. It's a wonderful tale, with a strong moral, which will serve it readers well.
|Reviewed by Lucille firstname.lastname@example.org
|Very nice -- could it be an analogy to our friend Shock and Awe's reign in Washington?|
|Reviewed by Christine Patterson
|Not bad at all :)
|Reviewed by Lawrance Lux
|Good expression, lgl|
|Reviewed by Zenith Elliott
|Michael a very enjoyable story. You are a very talented writer, keep up the good work! ~Z~|
|Reviewed by Claywoman
|A truely wonderful tale Michael! I enjoyed it so very much! Please continue to write tales like this! I have nine grandchildren who will love reading this!
You have a great talent!
|Reviewed by *********** **********
I thought this was very well written.....Very!
Some divine images within!
A true fairy tale…in a truly old fashion vein…Like Hans Christian Anderson (sp?)
My Daughter...*who is fast asleep now* would love this to bits…I’ll read it to her in the morning
It has just the right amount of intrigue...and drama....fun and dialogue.
A really enjoyable tale..Glad the spell was broken...;)