The Princess and the Dragon
Once upon a time there was a little princess and she lived in a castle with her mom and dad, the queen and the king. The little princess was a smart girl, but unsure of herself. She preferred to play in the castle’s gardens rather than play outside the garden walls.
Inside the castle garden there was a statue of a dragon. The villagers in the kingdom told a tale about the dragon, that a long, long, long time ago a witch had put a curse on the dragon and he was turned into stone to live out his days, until the curse was lifted.
The little girl played every day by the dragon statue. Sometimes when she would sit to eat her lunch on the dragon she thought she could see him move, just a little. Just a tiny bit. And she would run and tell her mom and dad, the queen and the king. And they would say, “don't be silly. It's just a statue. It’s been here a long time, one of our stone carvers must have made it a long time ago. It’s not a real dragon.” The queen would add, “you really must go play with other children in the village and stop hanging about the statue.”
But the princess didn't believe them, and she didn’t like going outside of the castle much. Besides, she was sure that the dragon was real; she was sure she saw him move.
Now, the princess was a smart little princess and she started to pay attention to when she thought it moved. She started to think that maybe the dragon liked certain foods. Every day she brought a different lunch. Some days she had salmon and crackers, and some days she had peanut butter and jam, and some days she had fruit or sweet vegetables, like carrot sticks. After a while she was certain the dragon moved a tiny bit when she had sweet things. So each day she would bring a new sweet treat to eat for lunch while perched on his stone tail.
One day she ate blueberries. And she couldn’t believe her eyes, did it really stick out its tongue and lick his lips, or was that only her imagination?! To see if she was right she started bringing different blueberry dishes each day. First she brought blueberries and cream, then blueberry tart, then blueberry cobbler, and so on. But the dragon didn’t move. She was certain he liked blueberries and was determined to prove it! She knew just the person to ask for help.
The royal chef was a large man with a booming voice. He was tall and had only a few hairs whisked to the right on the very top of his head. He would bend down low to speak to her which made her nervous since most other times he was bossing the other cooks around. He never raised his voice to her so she thought maybe if she asked confidently and clearly he would help her so she could finally prove to her mom and dad that the dragon was real.
She mustered all of her courage and went to the royal chef that evening after dinner. His quarters were in a part of the castle she had never been to. The shadows of the candle light made shapes on the walls as she walked. A little wary but determined, she walked in earnest to his room, almost knocking the tall lamp post over before collecting herself and continuing on. As she approached his door it was left slightly ajar. As she knocked, it pushed open and he turned around suddenly. He doesn’t usually receive visitors after he cleans up after dinner. Before he could speak, “Excuse me Sir Frutenheim, the princess began, I need to make the most amazing, delicious, mouth watering blueberry dish that you can think of. Will you please help me?
After catching his breath from being so startled to see the little princess at his door, he thought for a minute and said, “I don't know, but you seem very concerned. Let’s take a look”. The chef said I know just the place to start and he went to the wall next to his dresser that was lined with books from the bottom to the top. Some were about soup, some about fondue, some about steak, and probably everything you could ever want to try. “Did you know,” said Frutenheim, “these books have been handed down each and every generation, and with each one a few more are added“. As he scanned the shelves from left to right he murmured to himself as if he had read each one 10 times over. He suddenly stopped, placing his finger on a very thin, dark red book. As he pulled it out carefully, it was worn and scratched from all of the many uses. “I think” he said, “this might be the one you’re looking for”. He turned the page towards her and she could barely make out the words that were written, The Royal Blueberry Turnover.
She jumped up for joy and clasped her hands together and before she could hold back, blurted out, “shall we try it tomorrow at dawn?!” With all the excitement the princess could hardly sleep that night. She couldn’t wait to see if the recipe would finally work and make everyone see that the dragon really was real.
After a morning full of eggs and flour and sugar and lots and lots of blueberries, the turnover was finally ready. That afternoon she sat down right in front of the dragon and she started eating her blueberry turnovers. She felt a little rumble, and as she looked down she saw it. It was really happening! His body moving and then his head, and then he licked his lips! She saw it with her own eyes. She wasn't imagining it. “Here dragon” as she leaned over and held up the bite of blueberry turnover in front of him, but he didn’t take it.
That’s odd she thought. Why would he lick his lips if he didn’t want to eat any? Then she got a great idea. Maybe he needs me to help him, so she put a piece of the blueberry turnover right into the dragon's large mouth.
Suddenly his mouth closed over the blueberry turnover. He began to chew. His chest took a big breath and his wings started moving. He stood up on his legs and shook out his tail. After all, he had been sitting in the same position for over a thousand years. He turned into a real dragon from the tip of his nose all the way down to the tip of his tail until he was standing before her, a great big, breathing, live dragon.
He turned to look down at her and said, “Thank you my princess. You have turned me back into a real dragon. I was turned into stone by a witch over 1000 years ago because I stole the blueberry turnovers that she had been cooking. They're my favorite. She cursed me to be a stone statue until somebody gave me a blueberry turnover. She was a mean old witch. She never told the villagers why she cursed me or how to reverse the curse. Over time everyone forgot I was real.”
The little princess rushed into the castle, found her mom and dad, and yelled, “the dragon is real. He’s real, he’s real.”
They said, “Little princess, don’t be silly, we’ve told you a hundred times, that’s just an old legend”
“No!” she yelled, “come with me, quick!”
They all ran outside and there was the dragon, his mighty wings and beautiful scales that glinted green in the sunlight.
He bent his long neck down and said to them, “My king and queen. I give you all my thanks. Your sweet, dear little princess has given me back my life. She gave me a blueberry turnover, which released me from my curse.” The king and the queen looked at each other in astonishment. The king sputtered, “You know… you're huh.. you’re very welcome… my goodness. Our daughter told us many times that she believed you were real and we did not believe her, and for that we are sorry.”
The dragon said “I owe my life to the princess and so I will protect her for as long as she shall live.”
The girl looked up at her parents smiling down on her. She was tingling with excitement. She had solved the curse and now she had her very own dragon friend. She leapt onto the back of the dragon and with a whoop they soared up over the kingdom to explore. She couldn’t wait to find all the adventures waiting for them outside the garden walls..
Special thanks to those that helped me edit: