by Holly Stacey
I am the princess who has the best of everything in the whole wide world, thought Princess Hannah as she looked out her bedroom window at her fifteen horses. (Each one had a different task.One was for riding, one for jumping, another for taking on walks, and so on). But then, one of her friends, Princess Lisa, came by for a visit. She was riding a unicorn.
“I want one of those!” Princess Hannah said to one of her servants–the one with the wild green hair. She could never remember his name.
He bowed and left the room. Hannah knew it wouldn’t be too long before she got a unicorn even better than the one Princess Lisa had.
“I’m getting a unicorn too,” said Princess Hannah to her friend.
Lisa blushed. “I don’t think there are any more! And a unicorn chooses his princess, not the other way around.”
That made Hannah very angry. She stamped her foot hard on the cold stone floor and almost hurt her toe. “I want one, so I’m going to have one!”
Princess Lisa shrugged and left Nettle castle.She had better things to do with her time than to listen to a spoilt princess whine about not having a unicorn.
Princess Hannah was in a stormy mood all day after that. She’d watched Princess Lisa ride off on her lovely white unicorn and across the poppy fields. She was very envious.
Her servants were nowhere to be found, and even the king and queen were not in their throne room. “They had better be out finding me my unicorn,” she said, glaring at a torch on the wall.
The torch blazed with blue fire and Hannah jumped back with a squeal of freight. She turned to run down the corridor, but the blue fire leaped out of the torch and exploded into a million twinkling fairy lights in front of her. When the smoke had cleared, there was, standing in its place, a beautiful (and rather large) fairy wearing a blue glittering gown.
“Goodness, gracious me, what a fuss you’ve been making today,” the fairy said.
Princess Hannah just stared.
“Well, that’s not polite. I am, after all, your fairy godmother. Are you not going to welcome me into your home?”
The princess was still a little too stunned to speak, but it dawned on her that she was just a bit closer to getting her wish of a unicorn. “You ARE in my home,” sneered Hannah. “And you can start by giving me my unicorn.” Princess Hannah started counting points on her fingers. “I want him to have a white mane, but purple hair, golden hooves, and…”
The fairy godmother had turned away and was walking toward the window.
“HEL-LO! I’m still speaking!” Hannah stomped her foot on the hard floor. If she’d been wearing her tap shoes, sparks would have flown out from beneath her feet.
The fairy godmother sighed heavily and pulled back the heavy red curtain. “You have some beautiful horses, won’t they do?”
Now Princess Hannah was really angry. “Look, are you my fairy godmother or not? You have to do as I say. I want a unicorn. The BEST unicorn. Now get it for me.”
This time, the fairy laughed. It was a lovely sound, like raindrops falling into a crystal bowl. “I’m not here to grant your wish,” she said, still laughing. “I’m here to teach you a lesson.”
Hannah had been given lessons before, but when the fairy godmother said “lesson”, it sounded as if it was more than just a nod-off boring classroom lesson. Her eyebrows raised suspiciously. “What do you mean ‘a lesson’?”
“I mean a lesson, you foolish girl,” said the fairy godmother, looking directly at Princess Hannah without the slightest bit of embarrassment in her voice. Hannah had never been insulted before, especially by someone who was supposed to be a servant.
The fairy godmother went on. “You have everything you need to be happy, but you are just a greedy little piggy of a girl. Princess Piggy. That is who you are.”
“Moooooom!” yelled Princess Hannah, “This fairy is insulting me!” There was no answer. “Daaaaad!” Still no answer. For the first time ever, Princess Hannah wished she knew the names of her servants. She’d have shouted their names VERY loudly.
“That’s quite enough squeal out of you,” the fairy godmother said tartly to the princess. Before Hannah knew what was happening, there was a swish of a wand and the floor rushed up to greet her. She stamped her feet impatiently again, and this time her foot made an echo sound. She looked down. Instead of lovely slippers on her feet, there were four pig’s trotters.
Princess Hannah didn’t know what to do! She squealed and clambered toward the spiral staircase. She just needed to get away. Before she could reach the first step down, however, something lifted her into the air and floated her gently down. It was the fairy godmother, using her wand, giggling as she followed behind.
Everything Hannah thought she knew about the world had changed. She’d been betrayed by everyone at the castle. She was really going to make her mother’s life a misery when she was back to being a princess again. Hannah’s thoughts turned to how she would make all the servants’ lives awful, too, when she finally floated out the front portcullis.
The sun was so warm on her delicate pig skin, it scalded her, and she kicked her trotters in the air until the fairy let her down again. Squealing in frustration, she then ran to the closest muddy puddle and rolled around in it. She could imagine steam coming off her back. For the first time since she could remember, she felt wonderful. She wallowed in the puddle, allowing all the gloopy mud to rub into every bit of her ears and tail. “This is MARVELOUS!” she tried to shout, but it only came out like a garbled squeal.
“As I was saying,” went on the fairy, “I am your fairy godmother, and I know what I can do to make you happy. The unicorn would not have made you happy. You would have never been happy as Princess Hannah. But as Princess Piggy, you’re just bursting with joy.”
And with that, the fairy disappeared into a puff of smoke, and Hannah spent the rest of her days playing outside and not thinking once about wanting a unicorn.
1. What was Princess Lisa riding when she came to visit Princess Hannah?
2. What came out of the blue fire in the torch on the wall?
3. What did the fairy godmother change Princess Hannah into? Why?
4. Why don’t you think getting what she wanted would have helped Princess Hannah?