Chapter 1: In Which Things Begin, as is Fitting for a First Chapter

Once upon a time, in a land farther away than I’d like, but not as far away as you might imagine, there lived a Princess. The Princess’s name was Madison Jayne, and she lived in a very fine split-level castle at the top of a grand avenue in the most important town of that kingdom.

Madison’s father, the King, was a very important man. After all, he was the King. People would travel from far and wide to hear him talk for long, long times about boring things that adults like to go on and on about. He was also an expert in cheeses, but that has very little to do with the story.

The  Queen’s  job  was  to  run  the  palace.  She  would  give  all  the servants their jobs and order all of the palace supplies. She was a wonderful host, and made magnificent feasts of wheat-free foods for all the important wheat-allergic  visitors  of  the  land.  Despite  all  of  the  queenly  things Madison’s mother had to do, her most important job was reading stories to Madison and her little brother, the Prince.

If Madison was the Prince, instead of her little brother, she would be learning how to be King. She would be taking lessons in sword-fighting and giant-catching and giving long boring speeches to very important people of the kingdom. Most importantly, if Madison were the Prince, she would be learning how to eat all the best cheeses of the land. But Madison was not the Prince because Princes were almost  always boys, so she would never be King. And at that time, no one had ever thought of a queendom.

Madison never felt badly that she wouldn’t be King. She had no interest in sword-fighting, and chasing giants seemed like a very silly thing to do. She could never understand why they just  didn’t leave the giants alone. Besides, eating some of the royal cheeses made her tummy rumble and her elbows itch. No, Madison was quite happy not to be the Prince.

But  being  a  Princess  wasn’t  much  fun  either.  In  her  kingdom,  a Princess had three main jobs: to look pretty, to smile brightly, and to wave daintily at peasants. It was true that Madison was the most beautiful second- grader in the land, and she did have a very bright smile. However, Madison was never very good at waving. She liked the peasants she was supposed to be waving at, and loved sitting in a parade in a pink dress, but the waving would make her wrists hurt. For several hours each day  Madison would attend waving school, but she so often frustrated her tutors when she failed to form her fingers in a perfect princessly position.

“You must poise your wrist!” her teacher would scold her. But when her teacher said “poise,” her lips puckered up and the “p!” popped out like she was spitting. And when she said “wrist” she rolled her “r” and waved her right hand dramatically in the air. Her eyes fluttered closed, and she sounded like she was saying “wrrrrrrrist!” rather than “wrist.” “You must p!oise your wrrrrrrrist!” her teacher repeated. Young Madison did everything she could not to giggle.

“I  p!romise  to  p!oise  my  wrrrrrrrist  more  p!errrrrrrfectly  in  the future,” Madison Jayne said p!olitely. Her teacher squinted her eyes at the young Princess with a doubtful look.

And her tutors had reason to doubt her, for whenever she had the chance, Madison would sneak away to do the thing she really loved: read. The Princess loved to read, and read almost everything she could find. The palace library was huge, so she had her pick of almost any book in the kingdom. Madison would take a book from a shelf and spend the whole afternoon reading in a fluffy chair in the sun.

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Published in: on June 22, 2010 at 7:09 pm  Leave a Comment  

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