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2012-12-06 digital edition

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2012-12-06 / General Stories

Princess Palace

Once upon a time, there was a princess who collected frogs, turtles and rocks. She was fascinated by worms and befriended spiders. She intercepted bugs from the traps her mother put out and, in general, was very un-princess-like.

This princess had four brothers who all had princely qualities but rarely ever used them. This is why our princess felt the need to defend herself against her brothers’ un-princely-ness. She also defended any creatures that might otherwise become the target of her brothers’ curiosity. Curiosity, I might add, that had more to do with life-threatening insect experimentation than with a harmless want of knowledge.

This little princess was friend to one and all, creatures and humans alike, including a certain babysitter onto whom she would launch herself and demand a piggy-back ride. Her friendship of animals might bring to mind an image of Cinderella and her troop of housekeeping forest friends, but for one exception. Her bedroom always looked like it had been hit by a bomb. Apparently she had not yet acquired the skills to teach her animals friends how to handle a broom and dust pan.

As for feeling a pea under her mattress, it is highly unlikely given the abundance of items unrelated to sleeping that she is amassing upon her bed. It is not uncommon to see her awaken in the morning with her knees resting on a two inch volume about horses, a plastic miniature teapot balancing on the end of her big toe, and the imprint of a Polly Pocket she had slept on embossed into her cheek. No, she would never notice a pea in her bed, much less under the mattress.

I took my little princess to a beauty salon just for little girls. She needed her hair cut. The sign on the door said “No Boys Allowed.” My princess thought she had finally come “home.”

As we walked through the gates of a pearly paradise, we were enveloped in the essence of girlhood. The walls were all shades of pink, from rose to mauve. Hot pink and silver boas were draped on chairs and fairy dust was being strewn hither and yon and settled on anyone withoutaYchromosome.

Everywhere were the scents of cotton candy and fruit, and the sights of all things shiny, sparkly, fuzzy, and dainty. Bejeweled fabrics and lip gloss in every imaginable color covered pink and silver shelves and bins. Best of all, according to my princess, was that, being played at full volume over their loud speakers, was Hannah Montana.

My princess was in fairy-tale heaven. She eagerly sat upon her “throne” to have her “lady-inwaiting” work a miracle with her tangled mane of hair. Then the head fairy asked if she’d like some glitter in her hair.

“Heck, yeah!” my little princess exclaimed.

“Gold, silver, or rainbow?”

“Ooooh! Rainbow!” she squealed. Why settle for one color when you can have them all?

“How about a glittery heart stamp on your cheek?”

“Okay!” she said, deeply immersing herself in this temporary me-world.

We left this little chunk of heaven with some cherry-flavored lip gloss, a stuffed fuzzy raccoon, a lollipop in the shape of a slice of kiwi and one very happy, glittering princess.

In fact, she now looked so princess-like, that I just knew she’d feel that pea under her mattress.

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