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The Wide Awake Princess
Pub. Date: April 27, 2010
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing Plc
Wide Awake Princess
by E. D. Baker
“We can’t let it happen again,” Queen Karolina said, dabbing at the tears that glistened in her deep blue eyes. “A wicked fairy casting a horrid spell on my first born child was almost more than I could bear. Halbert and I have been frantic with worry ever since, and our poor little Gwendolyn has suffered so much. She can’t even visit her grandparents because they refuse to banish spinning wheels from their kingdom.”
“Tsk, tsk,” said the fairy Moonbeam, shaking her head in dismay.
“I banished all the spinning wheels from Treecrest the day after Gwendolyn’s christening,” said King Halbert. “For the last year we’ve had to export our linder fiber to Dorinoco to have it spun into yarn. You wouldn’t believe how much this is hurting our economy! Our treasury hasn’t been this low since before my great-grandfather discovered the value of linder cloth.”
The infant stirred in the queen’s arms. She glanced down at her sleeping daughter, then back to the fairy dressed all in silver.
“I don’t know what I’d do if that horrid fairy were to curse my sweet Annabelle, too. It’s time we planned my little darling’s christening, but we wanted to consult with you first.”
“We were hoping that you might be able to suggest something, Moonbeam,” said the king. “You were Karolina’s favorite fairy godmother. Even in Treecrest the Fairy of the Moonflower Glade is known as the wisest of all the fairies.” Moonbeam pursed her lips as she tucked a lock of her silvery hair back in place. She tapped her chin as she thought, then nodded, and said, “I have a suggestion, but you aren’t going to like it.” Queen Karolina glanced at her husband as another tear trickled down her flawless cheek. When the king nodded, his wife turned back to her fairy godmother. “It can’t be worse than living in fear that our little girl is going to prick her finger and sleep for a hundred years. Whatever it is, we’ll do it!” “So be it,” said Moonbeam, taking her magic wand out of a silver purse. “Your daughter shall receive only one magical gift and it shall be mine.” As the infants’ parents held their breath, the fairy raised her magic wand and tapped the sleeping infant on the forehead, “From this day on, no magic shall touch you or bring you to harm. You’ll have to survive on your natural charm.” Sparkling fairy dust sprinkled down onto the little princess. The baby sneezed, opened her eyes, and began to wail.
“What did you mean about surviving on her natural charm?” the king shouted over his daughter’s squalling.
“Neither good nor bad magic can ever touch her now,” the fairy replied as she tucked her wand back in a purse made of moonbeams and cobwebs. “She’s going to grow up a normal girl, without magic to make her beautiful or graceful or sweet.”
Bending over the baby, the fairy kissed her forehead right where the wand had touched her, then vanished in a puff of silver sparkles. The baby scrunched her tiny pink face and screamed until she turned red as a beet.
The queen’s hands began to shake. She glanced down and discovered that a freckle had appeared on the back of one of her fingers. The king noticed it as well and gestured for the nanny to take the baby away.
“Oh, Halbert, what have we done?” asked the queen as she let the woman take her daughter from her.
“I’m afraid, my dear,” the king replied, “that we might have just made a very big mistake.”