The Princess and the Grumpy Old Man
Once upon a time, not so long ago, there lived a beautiful princess way up high in the Crystal Mountains overlooking the Silver City. Her beautiful castle stretched to the sky and was the most beautiful castle a princess could ever want. One beautiful Spring morning, the princess awakened to the singing of birds at her window and the fresh, mountain breeze blowing on her face. She opened her window with a smile, laughing at the birds playing tag in the air. Everything was beautiful the trees were in bloom, the flowers smelled sweet, and the children laughed as they carelessly played in the soft, green grass in the castle yard. The princess laughed out loud as a little bluebird landed on her hand and gave her a beautiful white flower. “Good morning, Julius,” the princess said to the bird. “Hello, princess,” he squawked back. “It’s a beautiful day today!” “Oh, it is! It is!” the princess agreed. “What are we going to do today?” Julius, the bluebird asked. “I don’t know,” the princess said. “I feel like… dancing!” The princess twirled round and round until she was dizzy. The princess laughed and so did Julius. “Are you ready for this special day, Princess? Today is Mother’s Day.” “Mother’s Day!” the princess screamed. “Oh frog legs! I forgot! I don’t have a gift for my mother! What will I do, Julius?” The princess cried. A tear dropped down her cheek. Julius landed on her shoulder to give her a kiss. “Uh… Princess… Why don’t we go to the meadow…” Julius said. “I’ve got it!” the princess said! “We can go to meadow and pick a basket of flowers for my mommy!”
“Great idea, Princess! Great idea!” whistled Julius as he flew to the edge of the window. So the Princess and all of her friends walked along the south road toward the Meadow of Many Colors. They laughed and sang as they made their way down the old road. The Princess was twirling round and round when she bumped into an old man sitting beside the road. “Hey!” the grumpy old man yelled. “Watch where you’re going!” “Sorry, sir,” she said. “My friends and I are on the way to the meadow to pick some flowers.” “Oh, flowers – shmowers! No one likes flowers anymore!” “Oh, yes they do,” the Princess answered. “My mother loves flowers and today is her birthday so we’re going to pick a whole basket full of them!” “Go on then, you silly little girl!” “Hey! Don’t you know who she is?” said Jeremy the Giraffe. “I don’t care if she’s the Princess of the Crystal Mountains! Just go on and leave me alone! And watch where you’re going!” The group set off toward the meadow once again laughing and giggling and singing and dancing. When, at last, they arrived at the Meadow of Many Colors, they saw a beautiful rainbow of flowers blanketing the meadow red, yellow, blue, white, pink and purple there were flowers of every color imaginable. There were so many kinds of flowers they had to split up to collect a little of each kind. The Princess gathered red ones while Peter the Porcupine picked the yellow ones. Jeremy the Giraffe collected blue flowers, and Hilda the Hippopotamus gathered the white ones. Julius the Bluebird fetched all the pink and purple ones. For about an hour they danced around the meadow collecting flowers until the sun began to hide behind the mountain. The Princess, deciding that it was time to return home, blew the magic whistle. All her friends cam running toward her, filling her basket with beautiful, sweet smelling flowers. “Come smell this!” she told her friends.
Sniff. “Oh it’s beautiful!” said Hilda. “It sure is!” said Julius. “Well, let me smell,” said Jeremy the Giraffe. Sniff, sniff. “Yep, it’s beautiful. Peter come smell!’ Peter moved closer. Sniff, sniff. “I don’t smell anything.” “You have to move closer, Peter,” said Hilda. Peter moved a little closer. Sniff, sniff. “No, nnnnnothing.” “Even closer,” said the Princess. Peter moved so close his nose touched the flowers. Sniff, sniff. Achooo! Achooo! Achooo! Peter sneezed as all the friends began to laugh. The Princess picked up the filled basket and carried it with both arms. The basket was so filled with flowers that she couldn’t see where she was going along the road. They had just turned up the lane toward the castle when the Princess tripped over something. She dropped the basket and all the flowers spilled out everywhere. “Hey!” It was the same grumpy old man. “It’s you!” “Sorry, sir I couldn’t see where I was going!” “We had so many flowers in the bbbbbbasket that she couldn’t see,” said Peter. “I told you no one likes flowers!” the grumpy old man said. The Princess and all her friends started picking up the flowers and putting them back in the basket. “I’m really sorry,” said the Princess. “Please take this.” She handed him a flower. “I told you I don’t like flowers.” “But this isn’t just any flower it’s a crystal rose” The friends began to oooh and aaah because they knew how rare crystal roses were. “Please, smell it.” The grumpy old man finally smelled it. Sniff, sniff and he smiled. “It smells just like the apple pies my momma used to make when I was a little boy.” Sniff, sniff. “No, wait! Now it smells like the
baseball glove my grandpa gave me for my tenth birthday.” Sniff, sniff. “And now it smells just like the cotton candy my daddy bought me when we went to the fair when I was younger.” The friends watched the grumpy old man as he continued to smell the crystal rose. He smiled each time. “Princess, you were right this is no ordinary flower. I love it! But I can’t take it from you I know you picked this for your mom.” “It belongs to you now. Once you have smelled it, only you can smell the special smells.” “But your mom…” “My mother has a whole basket full of flowers to make her smile,” the Princess said. “Princess, this is the best gift anyone has ever given me. I will no longer be the grumpy old man I will now be the happy smiling man!” And the man walked away, skipping down the road very happy because the Princess had given him such a special flower. The friends parted ways at the castle and the Princess hurried to her mother’s room to deliver the basket full of flowers. When her mother smelled the flowers, she gave the Princess hugs and kisses. Everyone was very happy. And they all lived happily ever after.