Frivolous Magic – ‘When There Were Witches’ concludes

When There Were Witches continues from yesterday:


The twins stayed up half the night changing the colour of everything in the house. They put different coloured floorboards in every room, with ceilings to match. They made the roof tiles blue to match the sky, and the outside walls green to match the grass. They changed the colours of their clothes and their bed sheets and both umbrellas. They tried to change their hair colours but that didn’t work. Their hair was essential to who they were. Bertha was red, Brynja was yellow. Nothing could change that.

A little after 4am they collapsed on Brynja’s bed, exhausted and happy.

“I see why you like doing it.” Bertha smiled, “It feels really nice.”

Really nice,” agreed Brynja, “but you’re right, it is a bit frivolous.” They both laughed. “Tomorrow, we should do spells from the Garden chapter!”


By the anniversary of their mother’s departure, the twins were not only proficient at many of the spells in the book, they had learned to make up their own. They wrote a spell to do the dishes, another to sweep the floor. They used magic to plant seeds and water them. They used magic to pick the fruit. They even used magic to cook the dinner. Whatever needed to be done when they didn’t feel like doing it, was done with magic. That left them with a lot of time on their hands.

“I’m bored,” said Brynja.

“Do some painting. It’s fun!” Bertha was painting a portrait of one of their frequent visitors, a pig called Alfred. “Alfred. Alfred, tt-tt-tt – look at me please darling, I’m trying to do your eyes.”

Brynja scrunched up her nose. “Naa. I don’t see the point. I could do it better with magic.”

“Well it doesn’t have to be perfect. In fact I think it’s nicer if …”

Circumlinisti stibio verus Alfred!”

Alfred vanished.

Bertha gasped. “Alfred! … Where did he go?”

“Here he is!” Brynja, grinning, held up a beautifully framed painting of Alfred which was faultlessly realistic.

Bertha was stunned. “That’s amaz-ing … did he just blink?” Her sister laughed. “Is that Alfred? Did you turn him into a painting?!” Bertha did not think it was funny. “Change him back! You’re frightening him!”

“He’s fine.”

“Change him back! Now!”

Brynja muttered a few more words in Latin and Alfred was back on the armchair momentarily before dropping to the floor and leaving the house.

“How could you do that?” Bertha was really angry.

“He’ll be back tomorrow, you can finish your painting then.”

“I don’t care about the painting! How could you do that to Alfred? He must have been petrified! How would you like it if …?”

“Oh will you, chill, out!”

Bertha glared.

“I didn’t hurt him. He probably doesn’t even have any memory of it. He’s fine!” Brynja left the room and slammed the door behind her.

The following morning at breakfast the atmosphere was still frosty. Both witches ate their toast in silence.

Refresh!” Bertha opened the window.

Clausa fenestrae.” Brynja closed it.

Bertha scowled. “You’re such a … witch!”

“Ha! Good one!”

Bertha took another bite of toast and tried to take the high road. But the low road beckoned. “What’s with the Latin all of a sudden? You’re such a show off!”

Brynja smiled coldly. “Just wanted a new challenge I guess, since I’ve mastered the magic.” There was a wicked glint in her eye as she slowly pushed the toast rack across the table. “You can have this, I don’t want any more,” and she left the room.

They didn’t speak to each other for the rest of the day. The next morning Brynja slept in so Bertha had breakfast on her own. Brynja had hers a couple of hours later which meant they weren’t ready for lunch at the same time, or dinner. The distance between them expanded. Eventually, almost a week after the painting incident, Alfred came back to see Bertha.

She could tell right away that he was troubled and, with a swift and gentle magic word, “Speak,” she enabled him to tell her exactly what was on his mind. He warned her that Brynja was upsetting the balance of nature. For her own amusement, she had taken possession of the forest and filled it with plants and animals who didn’t belong there, forcing out those who had always called it home. He feared for the future and told her what she already knew – that Brynja must be stopped.

Bertha finally understood why her mother had kept the spell book from them. Magic had made Brynja arrogant and selfish. She had separated herself from nature and the other beings with whom she shared the world. Magic had made her think she was better than everyone else. But what was more worrying was that Bertha had not been sent the pain when Brynja broke the law. The one law, do naught to others which, if done to thee, would cause thee pain, did not apply to witches.

Bertha rushed upstairs to find the spell book and turned straight to the last chapter: Discipline Spells. There was the spell Ermendrud had taught them, To Punish A Law Breaker, and one other – A Last Resort. The spell’s introduction explained that a witch without self-control was the most dangerous threat a world could face and must be stopped at all costs. Bertha was sickened by detailed descriptions of horrors which had happened on other worlds where errant witches had gone unchecked. Only she could protect her world from such an outcome.

With heavy heart she collected the ingredients needed for the spell: a lock of Brynja’s hair from Mother’s locket, and a black rose. Then she went to find her sister.

Brynja was in the meadow, using magic to make a herd of deer run races for her amusement.

“Please don’t do that,” Bertha tried one more time to appeal to her sister’s better nature.

Brynja turned and scowled. “I want to do it, so I will!”

Bertha was sad. “Why are you doing this? You never used to be like this. Magic’s made you mean.”

“What do you know about magic? You’ve only just dipped your toe in the water. If you embraced it like I have you’d know how small your life is.”

“My life is full. It’s balanced. Yours is dangerous. You are dangerous, and if you don’t stop now, I’ll be forced to stop you.”

“Will you?” Brynja asked with a smirk.

“Yes,” said Bertha sadly, “if you won’t stop now I’ll stop you permanently.”

Brynja threw back her head and laughed. “I’m bored of listening to you now,” and, with a flourish, “Silence!”

In the second before Brynja’s spell hit her, Bertha rubbed a handful of her own hair against the black rose behind her back and whispered the magic word, “Sacrifice!” A moment later she was nothing but a scattering of poppy seeds in the grass.

“Nooo!” Brynja’s heart-rending cry filled the sky. “Bertha! Come back! I’m sorry! I didn’t mean to do it!” She dropped to her knees and sobbed. “Please Bertha, please come back. I’ll be good – I promise! Pleease Bertha, please come back!” With her prayer left unanswered, she tried desperately to resurrect Bertha with magic. “Veni domum! Come back! Revive! Resurrect! Revivesco!

Bertha, unable to bring herself to take her sister’s life, had sacrificed herself in a way that she hoped would fill Brynja with such regret that she would, ever after, restrain her own excessive and frivolous use of magic. What she didn’t anticipate was just how damaging that regret would be.

Thinking that her own selfish and unnecessary abuse of magic had killed her sister, Brynja tore into her house in a violent rage against all magic. Unable to find the spell book where she’d left it, she commanded it to appear before her.

Ego legere magicae ex hoc mundo!” In that moment the spell book was banished and with it all of Brynja’s magic.

She still feels the pain every time someone breaks the law, but she can’t cast the spell to punish them.  So the world has been left to the mercy of people who no longer fear the wrath of a benevolent witch and often don’t take care to do as they would be done by.  I’m sure you know what kind of a world that is.

A sad ending 😦 I’m sorry,

but if you want a happy ending check out the other stories on the fairy tales page 😀


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Getting it done!

The Princess Who Liked To Be Popular continues from yesterday:

In an effort to reproduce the events of the dream as faithfully as possible, the princess had notice of a public meeting announced as soon as she got home.  Then, as in the dream, she asked the people what she could do for them.  When they asked for cheaper food and cotton she wrote it all down in her blue book and told them she would do her best.  She then returned to the castle and summoned the duke.

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However, unlike the dream, when the Duke of Aequitas arrived he brought with him a basket of fruit.

“Your Majesty,” he said, bowing, “please accept this gift from the people of Calidum Terram, with their compliments and best wishes for your twelve month reign.”

The princess smiled and indicated that should place the basket on the table.

“Thank you,” she smiled, “let’s talk trade.”

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The princess argued with the duke, just as she’d dreamt, and Aequitas impressively stood his ground.  He showed her the king’s decree and she dismissed him.  Lady Beatrice, meanwhile, having resumed her miniature stature, was observing to ensure everything went to plan.  The wizard could be anywhere, watching, waiting for an opportunity.  He wasn’t stupid.  He was not stupid.

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Suddenly the old fairy was struck by that frightening realisation – “He is not stupid.  He’ll know that that fruit is not natural – it doesn’t smell!  He’s not going to fall for it!”

By now the princess was slumped over the table complaining about her inability to give the people what they want.  And Venustus was climbing in through the window.

Lady Beatrice had to do something!

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There was only one thing she could do.  She closed her eyes and spoke so quietly that even the mouse couldn’t hear:

“Power of the elements, I call on thee,

From air, earth and water, come forth, help me.

On fruits in the basket, I beg you bestow,

The scents they would have when in nature they grow.”

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At the same time the princess was listening to Venustus’s claim that he could get her a better deal.

“I don’t know,” she said, reaching for an apple, “my people are used to top quality produce.  I want it cheaper but not if it’s substandard.”  She took a bite and smiled at him.  “Seriously,” she added, “your stuff can’t be as good as this.  Go ahead – try some, then you’ll know what I mean.”

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Venustus returned her smile and, with the sweet, mouthwatering smell of fresh fruit in his nostrils, carelessly took a cherry.  As soon as it touched his tongue the princess spat out her apple and spoke swiftly:

“sutsunev sutsunev sutsunev”

The wizard’s eyes widened; his sharp intake of breath made him start choking on the cherry; then came a crash of thunder; and he was gone.

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“We did it!”  The princess was jubilant.

“You were brilliant,” Lady Beatrice told her as the duke returned to the room, “but remember, no one else can know about this.  As far as the rest of the world knows – Venustus was never here.  There’ll be no public recognition.”

“That’s ok,” the princess smiled, “it’s enough just to know we set things right.  Thank you, both of you.”

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The following morning, Princess Primrose told her people that she wouldn’t be able to get them cheaper food and fabrics after all.

“I have discovered,” she explained, “that we are already paying a fair price for those goods.  The only way for us to get them cheaper would be to cheat the growers out of their hard-earned money; to reduce their quality of life in order to improve ours.  And that’s just not right.”

There were some nods of agreement and some grumbles of discontent.

“I thought you would put your own people first,” someone shouted.

“As one young lady said yesterday, my people already have everything they need.  They work hard for it, and they don’t have much left over, but they are not short of any essential.  Do not the people who grow your food deserve this much?  Fair is only fair if it’s fair for everyone.”

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The crowd began to disperse and the princess smiled as she noticed Grandfather, still alive, talking cheerfully to one of his neighbours.  There were a few disgruntled faces but the princess, understanding her father’s advice now, was not disheartened.  As she walked away she overheard a snippet of conversation:

“What is she wearing?!  I don’t like her hair.”

“That’s okay,” she said to herself, “I like it.”

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And they all lived happily ever after.  For the most part 🙂


Have a great weekend! 😀


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The fairy’s plan

The Princess Who Liked To Be Popular continues:

“But the owl didn’t know his name.  Or how to find him.  I searched for many years without luck and eventually settled here.  And if your mother hadn’t asked me to protect you from yourself; if I hadn’t psychically perused this kingdom’s archives; I may never have discovered his name.  Now we not only know that, we also know where he’ll be if you re-enact the beginning of the dream.”

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The princess was excited at the prospect of defeating the wizard.  “But how will we get him to eat his magic potion?” she asked.

Lady B was excited too.  “We know that Venustus takes advantage of the naïve and vulnerable.  Now, two months ago King Arnot died, leaving his unworldly son, Albro, in charge.  I wouldn’t be surprised if that kingdom is already in receipt of potion-doused produce.”

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There was no time to lose.  The princess was well known so she dressed in disguise.  Then, while she rode to young King Albro’s territory, Lady Beatrice informed the duke of their plan – he would need to be in on it.

Once over the border, Princess Primrose searched for the market place.  She needed to make sure that they were indeed selling ‘magic’ produce.

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Before long she found the market.  Some stalls were piled high with colourful, irregular-shaped, delicious-smelling produce.  Others displayed equally enticing goods but they were all uniform in shape, colour and size.  And the smell … there was no smell.  The unnatural food was cheap and selling fast.

Princess Primrose smiled at the stall holder.  “This is just what I need,” she said.

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Ooh, will Lady Beatrice’s plan work?  Will they be able to defeat the wizard?

Find out on tomorrow 😀

Unless you don’t want to wait, in which case you can read it now 😀


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A bad dream?

The Princess Who Liked To Be Popular continues:

At that moment Princess Primrose sat up in bed.  Lady Beatrice was sitting close by, smiling.

“Did you have a bad dream my dear?” she asked.

The princess was dazed.  “A dream?  It was just a dream?  I imagined it all?” she reached for her blue book.

“Well,” said the old lady, “yes, and no.”

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“It’s hard to take in, I know, but as you can see from your book, this is your first morning in charge of the kingdom.  None of what you dreamt about has happened yet.”

The princess was bewildered.  She looked at her last blue book entry and realised that her mother’s friend’s explanation was the only one possible.  Relief began to wash over her.  Then she tensed.

“Yet?”  she asked nervously.

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Lady Beatrice explained.  “The queen was very concerned about leaving you in charge, given your inexperience and eagerness to please.  So I simulated, in your dream, what would happen if you proceeded as she expected.  But the monks’ memory rhyme, the fire-damaged arrest record, and Gertrude’s book, all really do exist in the archives.  Venustus is horribly real.  He just hasn’t come here yet.”

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The princess was confused.  “But how did you simulate my dream?  How did you know what would happen?”

Lady Beatrice hesitated before answering.  “Your mother is the only other person who knows this.  I hope I can trust your discretion.”  The princess nodded and she went on, “I am a fairy, the last of my kind here because the others were long ago poisoned by an evil wizard.”

“Fairies can take any size.  When I was a young girl, one thousand years ago, I was as small as a dragonfly.  We helped with pollination and feasted on flowers and fruit.  It was a beautiful, enchanting, wild life.  Then I fell in love with a sailor, assumed human size and travelled the world with him.  Being human, he aged much faster than I, and when he passed away I returned home.”

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“My exquisite ancestral home had become a contaminated wasteland.  Hardly anyone was living there any more so it was difficult to find out what had happened but eventually an old owl, who had been watching me for some time, took pity on me.  He described a situation very similar to that depicted in Gertrude’s book, which led to the death of all the pollinating insects and fairies, and the exodus of many other species.”

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“Possessed of the knowledge of all of his ancestors, the owl was able to give me some hope.  He said that when such a wizard was vanquished, all their evil was undone.  But, he said, there was only one way to do it: the wizard must be tricked into tasting his own potion and, while he is doing so, his name must be repeated to him, three times, backwards.  Then the world would be as if he had never been born.”

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Story continues tomorrow, but if you don’t want to wait you can read it here now 😀


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My goodness girl!

The Princess Who Liked To Be Popular continues from last week:

They pleaded with Venustus to let them have the potion on credit, promising to pay him out of the profits from the sale of their produce.  Then he tells them that he will sell their produce – as they agreed in the contract they signed – and take his cut before passing to them whatever’s left!

What contract? they said, and he shows them the paper with their signatures on it – the contract had been added above their names.

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My goodness girl, there were many there at that moment who could have throttled him but, as the first man lunged, Venustus smiled and said, “Perhaps we can make a deal.”

He ummed and ahhed for a few moments before adding, “Give me your children in return for as much potion as you need,” and while they still reeled from shock he said, “If you starve, they starve.  With me they’ll live.”

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I swear on my life Gertrude, that’s what he said!  Well, according to Elsie, there was no holding people back after that.  Many of them flew at the wizard in their desperation at the thought of losing their children, and their anger at having been so cruelly tricked.  But Venustus didn’t flinch.  He smiled smugly as a glow of light surrounded his body and every strike just bounced off it.  He was untouchable.

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What could they do?  It was too late in the season to sow the seeds from last year which, by next year, would be too old.  They had to do as the wizard told them.  All children over ten years old were taken to a cocoa farm where they worked from sun up to sun down; slept in windowless sheds; and ate a very poor diet.  They were beaten if they didn’t work fast enough.

And Venustus just got richer.

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And as if that wasn’t enough for these poor people to cope with, they started to get sick.  After eating produce grown from the magic seeds, fed with the magic potions, this normally healthy community began to develop illnesses they’d never seen before.  Contamination by magic potions killed the fish in the rivers and the insects of the air and soil.  Birds and animals died or moved away.  Everything stank.

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“Oh stop!  Stop!”  The princess snatched the book from the duke’s hand and slammed it down.  “I can’t listen to any more!  It’s horrible!  This is the price of our cheap food!  This is why my people are sick!”  She dropped to the floor, full of remorse, and just sobbed.

“It’s all my fault.  I wish I’d listened to you.  I wish I’d listened to my father.”

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The story continues tomorrow.

Or you can read it here now 🙂


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Elsie’s story

The Princess Who Liked To Be Popular continues from yesterday:

The fruit and vegetable growers were having troubles.  They had had some bad weather which led to their harvest being poor, and some of them were worried that they wouldn’t have enough food to get them through the winter.

Luckily they have a good community and they had a meeting and realised that if they shared what they had, evenly between them, they would each have enough to scrape by.

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They also agreed to distribute equally what seeds they had between them for the following year.  They wouldn’t be able to sow as much as usual but, again, they knew it would be enough.  They would manage.

Satisfied and relieved, they were about to return home when a kindly stranger called their attention back to the meeting.  He said he thought he could help.

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Oh my word!  It would have been better for them if they had pretended not to hear him and walked away!  But they didn’t.

He said his name was Venustus and he could provide them with plenty of seed for next year, so that they wouldn’t have to scrape by.  He said he had more than he could use in a huge barn on his property, and they could have it for nothing to prevent it going to waste.

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Well, he looked so kind, and had such a warm smile, Elsie said, that they couldn’t help but trust him.  He asked everyone who wanted his seeds to sign their names on a sheet of paper so that he would know how much to ship to them.

The following spring, as promised, the seeds arrived and everyone was thrilled.  They sowed so many seeds that they looked forward to a bountiful harvest.

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So, green shoots began to grow and everyone was hopeful until, after a few weeks, they started to wilt.  They couldn’t understand why because the weather had been perfect – sunshine and showers and just the right amount of each.  So they contacted Venustus to ask his advice.  Well!  That’s when he tells them he’s a wizard!  He made them seeds special so they grow much bigger and faster but …

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…. only if they’re fed with his magic potion!  Without it they would not survive at all.  Of course the people asked if they could have some of his potion and he says: ‘course you can – it’s 20 pieces of silver per vat!

Oh my goodness!  You can imagine how the people felt.  They had no money.  They couldn’t pay for the potion.  And they would have no harvest at all without it.

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Story continues on Monday (unless you don’t want to wait)

Have a great weekend 😀


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The Duke continued …

The Princess Who Liked To Be Popular continues from yesterday:

When he finished, Aequitas paused and looked at the princess.  He hesitated to continue burdening her when she looked so defeated, but there was more, and he had to go on.

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Aequitas went on to explain that he had found a record of Venustus among the surviving documents of the Procul County Gaol fire, one hundred and forty seven years previous.  It was slightly fire-damaged but the charges made against him were still clearly legible.

“It is uncertain how the fire started but Venustus was the only prisoner not accounted for after it was put out,” the duke added.

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“But by far the most useful information I have found is contained in this book,” he said as he placed a small, tattered volume on the table.  “It belongs to the estate of an elderly lady who recently passed, named Gertrude.  She was deaf her whole life and when she was a little girl her mother would write down every piece of news and gossip for her to enjoy in this book.  There is here a detailed account of Venustus.”

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Aequitas leafed through the book to find the story of Venustus, as told by Gertrude’s mother, while Princess Primrose looked upon the list of Venustus’s crimes with horror.  She nodded sadly at him, and he began to read:

Elsie from across the sea says they’ve had troubles over there.  She told a sailor, who told his uncle, who told his wife, and she told me.

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Oooh.  Find out what troubles Elsie and friends have suffered, tomorrow.

Or read it now 😀


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More bad news

The Princess Who Liked To Be Popular continues from yesterday:

The Duke of Aequitas stood before the princess for the first time in many months.  After an embarrassed pause she forced herself to ask: “Worse?”

“When I heard you were dealing with Venustus I tried to find out more about him.  He is very hard to track down and I could find only three references to him in our archives, one of which dates back four hundred years.”

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“Four hundred years?  That must have been a different Venustus.”

“No.  There are no others.  He’s a wizard Your Highness, he changes his appearance to appeal to whomever he’s attempting to fool.  But, apparently, he is unable to change his name, it’s the only thing he’s truthful about.”

The princess was exasperated.  “That’s absurd,” she said, “How do you know this?”

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The duke continued, “The four hundred year old reference to Venustus was written by the monks of the ancient Lunam Monastery.  It is in the form of a rhyme so that everyone would recite it and remember it.  When I read it I became very concerned indeed.  The monks only created memory rhymes for things they considered extremely dangerous.  It was vital to them that this be remembered generation after generation.”

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The princess listened apprehensively as the duke read aloud.

“Venustus he was,

Venustus he is,

Venustus he’ll always be.

He’ll lie about everything else in the world,

But truthful ’bout that he’ll be.”

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“Venustus is wicked

Venustus is false

Venustus will use and abuse.

Remember his name, remember his name,

Keep thyself safe from his ruse.”


Gasp! 😮

Learn more about the evil Venustus tomorrow.

Or read it here now 😀


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The Princess Who Liked To Be Popular continues from yesterday:

The old man had no family of his own but everyone called him Grandfather.  He was kind and cheerful and loved to talk.  He could talk for hours but no one minded because talking to him always brightened their day.

When news of Grandfather’s death reached the castle, the princess was saddened, but when she then learned that more people were falling ill, a cold chill shivered through her body.

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Princess Primrose desperately hoped that this was not her fault; that the sickness afflicting her beloved people was not caused by the cheap fruit and vegetables she had imported through Venustus.

But she couldn’t find Venustus.

The only thing she could do, she decided, was to tell everyone to stop eating the cheap produce; to admit that it might be the cause of their illness.

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But the people took no notice.  They dismissed as ridiculous the suggestion that the cheap produce might be unhealthy.

“Sickness comes and goes,” they said.

“It’s probably the weather,” they said.

“It will pass,” they said.

The princess was flabbergasted.

“It’s as if they’re under a spell!” she exclaimed.

“It’s worse than that,” said a familiar voice.

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Story continues tomorrow – or you can read it here now 😀


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An Alternative Deal

The Princess Who Liked To Be Popular continues from Friday:

The princess seethed.  The duke was nervous but stood his ground.  They looked at each other in silence for several moments until she, unable to counter his argument, dismissed him.  She slumped over the desk and felt very sorry for herself.

“The first thing they ask me for and I can’t deliver!” she said out loud.

“Perhaps you can,” said a strange voice.

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“Ahhh!  Where did you come from?”  The princess jumped and stood up straight, embarrassed to have been overheard and alarmed to be looking at a strange person who had apparently appeared from nowhere.

“I’m sorry Princess, I didn’t mean to startle you.”  He smiled warmly.

“Who are you and where did you come from?” she asked again, calmer now but wary.

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“I apologise.  My name is Venustus.  I couldn’t help overhearing your conversation with the duke and I believe I can help.”

“First tell me where you’re from and how you got into the castle!”

As Venustus’s smile broadened, the princess’s mistrust faded away and she forgot her question.

“I can get you what you’re looking for,” he said, “make your trade with me.”

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“My father decreed that only Aequitas can make the trade.”

“With Calidum Terram.  But what’s to stop you from trading with another party?”

The princess hesitated.  “Nothing … I suppose.  But we’re already getting a fair deal, so I won’t be able to do better.”

“So says the duke, but how can that be true if I can get you those goods for half the price?”

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So Princess Primrose made a deal with Venustus and very soon the cheap goods were on the market.  Her people were delighted to find what they needed at such low prices and, as she’d hoped, loved her for listening to them and getting them what they wanted.  The princess was very pleased with herself and basked in the adoration of the populace which she read about almost every day.

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But not everyone was happy with the new arrangements.  The duke was very concerned as the produce from Calidum Terram went bad on the shelves, and he discovered that the princess was dealing with Venustus.

He urgently begged an audience with her but when she refused to see him he wrote to her, daily.  The first few letters she binned, but after a while she didn’t even bother to read them.

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After all, hadn’t her father told her that it wasn’t possible to please everyone?  Well, if the Duke of Aequitas wasn’t pleased then that was something she’d just have to live with – and, since he seemed to be the only one who wasn’t happy, she could  be pretty satisfied that she’d done a good job.

And she was.

For a while.

Until Grandfather died.

fairy tale


Oh no!

Story continues tomorrow – or you can read it here now 😀


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Summoning the Duke

Story continues from yesterday:

That very afternoon the Duke of Aequitas stood before the princess in her father’s study.

“From whom do we buy cotton, cocoa, fruit and vegetables?” she asked him.

“From the Calidum Terram nation Your Highness.  We have traded with their people for many years,” he replied.

“Well it’s time you got us a better deal!”

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Aequitas was taken aback.  

“Forgive me Your Highness, but we already have a good deal.  We pay a fair price for top quality produce.  It’s a good deal for us and a good deal for them.”

“My people want it cheaper, so that they can afford more.  And I intend to give them what they want.  Sir, I insist that you make it happen!  Renegotiate the deal!”

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Aequitas took a deep breath.  “Your Highness, I have in my possession a decree, written by your father, which gives me complete discretion in our trade agreements with Calidum Terram.  The king has put his trust in me and I will not be persuaded to betray it.  Our trade agreements are long-standing, fair and amicable and I will not renegotiate.”

fairy tale


Story continues on Monday but if you don’t want to wait you can read it here now 😀

Have a great weekend 😀


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First thing’s first

The princess’s story continues from yesterday:

Princess Primrose awoke the next morning to the sound of birdsong as sunlight streamed through her open window.  She smiled broadly.

“The first thing I’ll do,” she said to herself, “is call a public meeting and ask the people what they want.”

fairy tale

So, right after breakfast, she summoned the town crier and instructed him to announce the meeting.

“At ten o’clock,” she said, “on the green beyond the lake.  And I will ask them how I can best serve their needs.”

Thus he announced.  And they came.

fairy tale

Princess Primrose addressed the people by simply asking them,

“What can I do for you?”

At first the only response was one small voice.  

“Nothing, thank you Princess, we already have everything we need.”

The princess smiled at the child who stood among the sunflowers and smiled back at her.

fairy tale

Then more voices spoke up from the crowd:

“I wish I could afford to buy enough cotton to make two nightdresses, but it is expensive so I can only afford enough for one.”

“I work hard to support my family but most of my money is spent on food.  It would be nice if I was able to save some.”

“I have to save up two weeks’ pocket money to afford a bar of chocolate.”

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And so the princess wrote it all down in her blue book – her blue book where she kept a record of everything.  Everything she did, and everything she planned to do.  

She didn’t want to forget a thing.

fairy tale


Story continues tomorrow but if you want to read it now it’s right here 😀


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The story continues from yesterday:

Unbeknown to the princess, her mother saw her expression and guessed what she was thinking.  So, Queen Evangeline, on the eve of her departure with her husband, visited her life-long friend and confidante – Lady Beatrice.

Lady Beatrice was very old, very wise, and mostly kept to herself.

fairy tale

She lived in her cottage by the lake at the edge of the woods and the queen, not wanting anyone to know where she was going, visited her incognito.  When she returned home later that night, her mind had been put at ease and she was able to set sail happily with her husband the next day.

vegan fairy tale

On Princess Primrose’s first night in charge of the kingdom she went to bed very happy.  There were so many changes she wanted to make; so many ways she thought she could improve the happiness of her people; and therefore so many potential opportunities to increase their love for her.

fairy tale

As she closed her eyes a mist rose from the lake and engulfed the castle, causing everyone in it to slip into a sleep so deep that nothing could disturb them.  Then Lady Beatrice arrived.  She walked past the guards who didn’t wake up.  She walked past the dogs who didn’t wake up.  She walked through the corridors, past all the bedrooms, and no one woke up.  And so, with the ease and confidence of someone who knows they won’t get caught, she entered the princess’s chamber.

fairy tale


Story continues tomorrow but if you want to read it now it’s right here 😀


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Here begins the princess’s story

The Princess Who Liked To Be Popular

Once upon a time there was a princess who loved to be loved. She always did her best to make popular decisions so that her people would love her. And they did.

If the people were happy, she was happy.

If the people didn’t like her hair style she would change it. If the people said a certain colour didn’t suit her, she wouldn’t wear it any more.


vegan fairy tale

Her parents, King Jerome and Queen Evangeline, were about to leave her in charge of the Kingdom while they travelled around the world for a year, so the young princess was very excited.

Confident that she could make her people even happier, she was eager to run the kingdom her way so that they would love her even more.

fairy tale

Before he left, the king looked at his daughter, his face stern and serious, and he said,

“Primrose,” for that was her name, “remember you cannot always please everyone. Make decisions because they are right, not just because they are popular.”

vegan fairy tale

The princess smiled and nodded while he was talking but as she walked away from the king she raised her eyes to the heavens and thought to herself,

“Oh Father, you are old, you don’t understand the world of today. I will make decisions that will make people happy.

How could that ever be wrong?”

vegan fairy tale


Story continues tomorrow

or you can read it here now 😀


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The witch’s spell and how to break it

Wicked Witch

The Wicked Witch’s Plan To Get Rid Of Everyone, a new version of the fairy tale The Wicked Wicked Witch and the Ruinous Manipulation by Maud Earnshaw, illustrated by Beatrice Wilberforce, includes instructions about how to break the witch’s spell at the back 😉

Available from Amazon in the UK, Europe, USA and Canada


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And the Princess Who Liked To Be Popular winner is …

Princess draw

princess winner

Congratulations Vegan Mammy 😀

a copy of The Princess Who Liked To Be Popular will be on its way to you as soon as I have your address (tell me privately using contact form on About page).

vegan book for children

The Princess Who Liked To Be Popular is available on Amazon, and you can read it here on the Fairy Tales page 😀

This Week’s Giveaway: The Princess Who Liked To Be Popular

vegan book for children

This week we are giving away a copy of The Princess Who Liked To Be Popular which is a fairy tale about a princess who, when her parents go on holiday and she is left in charge of the kingdom, makes the mistake of trying to increase her popularity by giving the people whatever they ask for.

You can find the story on our Fairy Tales page, and the paperback is available on Amazon, but if you’d like to win a free copy just comment on this post to be entered into the draw.

We will draw a winner from the hat on Friday.

Good Luck 😀

The Princess Who Liked To Be in paperback

The Princess Who Liked To Be Popular

We are delighted to add The Princess Who Liked To Be Popular to our collection of printed books available on Amazon

vegan fairy tale

vegan fairy tale

vegan fairy tale

It’s big and colourful – we’re really pleased with how it’s turned out – and everyone we’ve shown it to really likes it 😉

vegan fairy tale

Though some are not quite as enthusiastic as others:

sharing Princess Primrose