Storytelling is the girls’ favorite request for car rides. We’ve gone through just about every collection I can think of. So it was time to make one up. It needs work, but here’s my first attempt:
The Ugly Princess: Chapter One.
Across the plains, over the mountains, and beyond the Great Ocean, in the middle of a storm-tossed sea, there lies a small island country. It is a beautiful island, full of happy, comfortable people, but it wasn’t always that way.
Long ago, so long that many of the islanders believe it to be a fairy tale, the island was poor and rocky. The ground was so filled with rocks and stones, that food was difficult to grow. The animals were scarce and difficult to hunt, and the sea was too stormy to fish. But there were people there – several tribes of people, who fought all the time over what food and good ground they could find.
One man, Regius, saw the fighting and thought that there must be a better way. He saw people getting hurt or killed, and he saw that winning only lasted a short time before the fighting started up again, and that they lost as many times as they won, anyway. Regius was known for being a strong warrior and a smart planner, and when he talked, people listened. He talked with the people in his own tribe, and convinced them of his ideas, and together, they convinced the other tribes, and it wasn’t too long before everyone agreed to try working together.
At that time, on the Continent, there lived a great and powerful Wizard. Wizards don’t usually share their real names with anyone (If you know a Wizard’s real name, all you have to do is call it into the wind, and they will come. Most wizards hate that, so they try to keep their names hidden). Most people simply called him the Wizard, but sometimes he is called Beneficus, because that means “Good” in one of the Old Languages, and he was known for always trying to use his magic to do good things for people. The Wizard Beneficus had known about the vicious wars that had happened on the Island, and he had avoided it, but when he heard of the things Regius was trying to do, he decided to help.
Beneficus cast a spell on the Island. Suddenly, the ground was rich with healthy soil, and just about anything could grow there. There were enough animals to be hunted, but still be everywhere on the island. The sea all around the island was calm, and the coves were full of fish that were very good to eat. There were even pearls in the sea, and when a small expedition of people climbed the island’s only mountain, they found a cave there that glittered with rubies and sapphires.
But every spell has a trick to it. The Island would continue to be wonderful, as long as Regius or a member of his family ruled it. If anyone tried to take over, the land would go back to being a poor and miserable place.
The Wizard had many children of his own, and there was another part to the spell – if there was any reason the Regius or his family could not rule, then a member of the Wizard’s own family could take the throne, and the Island would remain perfect.
Beneficus was a wonderful Wizard, his wife was an amazing Witch, and their children had their own powers and were also known for using their magic to do Good things. Unfortunately, Beneficus and his wife could not read the future, and they did not predict what one of their own great-grandchildren would try to do, many years later.