I am still thinking about the sea. I’ve no idea when Riddles from the Sea, my next book, will be coming out, but I hope it won’t be too long. In the meantime, here is a story about something else – as no doubt I will be posting blogs about the sea when my new book does come out! Hope you will be having some hols by the sea or inland, if you prefer…
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All the best, Charlotte
THE PRINCESS AFTER THE PEA
The Princess who slept on a pea was a real princess, as you know. She was very lucky because she didn’t marry a silly prince who had people squeeze toothpaste out for him and that kind of thing. She married a very sensible Prince called Jack, and they went to live with his parents the King and Queen in their castle which was rather big, with twirly turrets, diamond window panes, and beautiful gardens which needed at least 101 gardeners working on it every day. This went on for several years: there were garden balls on the lawn in the summer, with 20 different sorts of fresh fruit ices, and skating parties on the lake in the winter, with hot sausages and punch. Everyone was very happy, and the King said he had enough money so he wasn't going to tax his subjects anymore, so they were happy too. Then they were invaded by the country next door. The King and Queen weren't King or Queen any more and died of disgrace. The Prince's godfather heard about it all, and sent a note by pigeon saying he had a spare manor house in another country, and would he like to go and live there with his Princess ON CONDITION that he never asked for anything else. The Prince was delighted and sent the pigeon back with a note on beautiful paper decorated by his Princess to say they would love to go and live in the manor house, and as he had never asked for anything before, this would not be a problem. He was worried the pigeon would fly off somewhere else, but it was a homing pigeon and flew home. So our Prince and Princess went off to live in the manor. Prince Jack was sensible, so he said kindly, "Now you know we are not a prince and princess any more, and I will have to deal with the animals and farming, and you will have to make the clothes, do the cooking, make the cheese and the jam and all that. You have been a very clever Princess, and I am sure you will manage." The Princess tried, but the porridge was burnt, the jam wouldn't set, there was no bottled fruit for the winter, and it was all rather difficult. Our Princess wished she had learnt how to do all these things from the professionals in the Palace. One day the pigeon flew back again with another note. “Wonderful news” said Jack as he read it. “We can go off and be King & Queen now if we like. The invaders have had to go back to their own country to deal with THEIR invaders! Or would you like to stay here?” “Well” said our Princess, “I would like to go back, if that’s alright with you”. So they did, and the new King & Queen were royalty with a difference. They were always considerate to people who did things for them, and never asked them to do what they could do themselves. No-one in the country had to work too hard, as the King & Queen said it was not good for the temper, and everyone needed time to rest and relax. So the new King was rather like his father, but at the same time everyone had to do enough work, so things were much more shipshape and no-one was ever able to invade again.