Monday, February 27, 2012

Memory Monday - Is that a Good Thing?

There once was a girl, she was only five years old, and she went to Church with her Mom and Dad and little sister every Sunday. Now, sometimes, other people couldn't always come to church, and the preacher would announce why during the service.

Sometimes it was because of a good thing, like the person was on vacation, or had just had a baby, and sometimes it was because of a bad thing, like the person was sick.

One Sunday, it was announced that one of the men wouldn't be there because he had qualified for the Olympics. The little girl didn't know what the Olympics were.

So, she did what all non-shy little girls do in moments of confusion. She raised her hand.

"Is that a good thing?"

Thursday, February 23, 2012


For Christmas a few years ago, my Gma and Gpa got me this book. It's by Matthew Christian Harding, and is the first book of a trilogy called "The Peleg Chronicles." Now, if you know your Bible, you would know that Peleg was a man who lived between Noah and Abraham, which gives you a hint on what its time era is.

It took me a while to get into it, but mostly because, at first, I found some of it slightly confusing, mostly shifts between chapters and characters, and the book has a slightly peculiar writing style that takes getting used to, but once I got into it, I devoured it.

It's a rather new genre, without a real label, but it's category on Amazon is Christian Fantasy and Sci-fi. It doesn't even really fit with the normal young-earth genre book. There's no magic, and it takes place in the post-tower-of-babel era. There are dwarves, dragons, sea serpents, and pagan priests who want to make human sacrifices of some of the characters, and tons of adventure and excitement.

Since it was written by a man, it's not surprising that the cast is mostly male. Of the protagonists, there were only two girls, Suzie and Mercy. There also appear to be three more women in the other two books, Mercy's aunt and cousin, and the Witch Elsa, who is one of the villeins. The one thing I wonder about this book is some of the names, like Mercy and Strongbow, sound rather English and I would have thought that people living in that era and that people group wouldn't be speaking English, but something more like Hebrew, but that aside, I guess an author has a right to name his characters whatever he wishes.

The character that I liked best was Thiery, one of the titular foundlings.  The first thing I liked was his name. Don't ask why, I just liked it. Thiery, Thiery, Thiery ... It has a nice ring to it. Anyways, in the beginning of the book, he doesn't have any idea who his parents were, but he is an aspiring ranger of sorts and serves under slow-witted man whose father was a Giant named Oded. Oded follows the true faith, as does Thiery. Thiery then adopts the other titular foundling, Suzie, and makes her his sister, which causes some confusion to those who know who Thiery's father is when they assume that she is his real sister. He is very protective of his adopted sister. I also liked that he had a pet wolf. I personally believe that all growing boys need a pet wolf.

Well, at least a pet dog.

Anyways, this was a really great book, and I would love to get my hands on the other two books, especially since it had a severely cliff-hanger ending.

Here's a link to the author's site.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Want to be Beautiful?

I believe that there probably isn't a girl in the world who doesn't want to be beautiful. Well, here's a few tips from people from all over the world and all through history to make you such!

Bind your feet really tight so that they don't grow much and they stay really small. You might have to break some of the bones to do so, but it's so worth it!
 - Women from China.

Squeeze your head while you're a baby between two boards so that it will be narrow, and put a jewel in front of her face so that she's be cross-eyed. When she's older, you can file their teeth to points and put bits of pyrite and jade in them.
 - Mayan Women

Tattoo your lips and the skin around them black.
 - Natives from somewhere in the orient.

Put rings around your neck.
 - Giraffe People of Kayan People and the Zulus

Put holes in your ears and make it stretch and stretch until the bottoms of your ears reach your shoulders.
 - Natives of the Easter Islands.

Wear a Corset and powder your face with white lead!
 - Women of medieval and renascence and civil war eras and eras in between and some past ...

Please note that I do not endorse any of these methods and that you should only follow them at your own risk.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

One Year Adventure Novel

On my Amazon Wishlist, I have something called the One Year Adventure Novel. Those who have read my wishlist may be wondering what it is. Well, first off, it's a writing curriculum that costs almost two hundred dollars.

But it's so much more than that.

OYAN, as it's often abbreviated, was written by Daniel Schwabauer. I first found out about it when my mom stumbled upon it somehow and ordered the free sample DVD. I've watched the DVD, and I've looked at the sample lessons that are on the site.

So I did some more study on it, and read reviews of people who have used it, Here's a few:

OYAN is different from other writing curricula, as it is from a Christian perspective and it's thrust is not to teach you how to string words together, but how to tell a story. It doesn't teach you how to characterize, but how to build a character that people care about. It teaches that a good story tells a lesson and how to tell the lesson you choose to tell without sounding preachy. It's lessons are told not just on paper, but it has a video portion that makes the lessons come to life.

It also has a sequel curriculum that is only eighty dollars that is about Fantasy and Sci-Fi which teaches how to do those genres when the student finishes with OYAN.

Since I intend to pursue writing as a career, I would like to take this course. Sew, It's a Quest might be a good book, but I want to be a great author, and this is a curriculum that could help me get there.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Thankful Thursday - My New Glasses

I wear glasses. I got my first pair of glasses when I was six or so. I called them my Molly glasses because they looked the glasses that Molly the American wore.

The second pair were brown, not long after I got those glasses, I knocked them off of a dresser, and got them severely bent. We took them back to Wal-mart, and they got them mostly straightened out, but they were still crooked.

My third pair of glasses were a bluish-purple. Purple and blue are two of my favorite colors, so I really liked those glasses.

But as much as I loved that pair of glasses, sometime in the past year, I realized that I wasn't seeing things as well as I should. So my Gma and Gpa got me glasses for my birthday. I knew I needed glasses - but I hadn't realized how bad. My left eye severely changed. I had always been left-eye dominant ... but a few weeks ago, I had taken the eye dominance test ... and I was now right eye dominant.

So now I have a new pair of glasses, their base color is the same as my third pair of glasses, but the color you mostly see is dark purple. I like them. However, due to the fact that my left eye has been corrected more than my right, they're having to relearn how to focus. Mom says I need to find a patch to put over my right eye and make my left eye do all the work for a week. Anyone know where I can find a eye-patch?

I'm so thankful for my new glasses and being able to see again. (even if my eye unfocus a lot.)

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day!

As my Valentine's Present to everyone, until midnight tonight, the Kindle Version of my book will once more be free. If you missed out on this back at Christmas - here's your second chance! Hurry while it lasts!

Make sure you send me a review of what you think of it so I can enter you in the drawing.

Friday, February 10, 2012

The Believing Husbands

I actually know of three versions of this Fairy Tale. They all begin the same, it's the endings that are different, and the titles. I think this is the silliest ending. I got the text from here.

Once upon a time there dwelt in the land of Erin a young man who was seeking a wife, and of all the maidens round about none pleased him as well as the only daughter of a farmer. The girl was willing and the father was willing, and very soon they were married and went to live at the farm. By and bye the season came when they must cut the peats and pile them up to dry, so that they might have fires in the winter. So on a fine day the girl and her husband, and the father and his wife all went out upon the moor.

So boy has already married girl. Obviously, this is not a romance Fairy Tale. It's a humor one.

They worked hard for many hours, and at length grew hungry, so the young woman was sent home to bring them food, and also to give the horses their dinner. When she went into the stables, she suddenly saw the heavy pack-saddle of the speckled mare just over her head, and she jumped and said to herself:

"That's in the wrong spot. I need to put it away ..."

'Suppose that pack-saddle were to fall and kill me, how dreadful it would be!' and she sat down just under the pack-saddle she was so much afraid of, and began to cry.

Honey girl, (her name's Else, by the way, according to the other two versions) you really ought to chose a different place to sit, than right under what you're scared of.

Now the others out on the moor grew hungrier and hungrier.

And Else got thirstier and thirstier, because she was crying, you know.

'What can have become of her?' asked they, and at length the mother declared that she would wait no longer, and must go and see what had happened.

Ah, mom will go talk the girl out of her silliness.

As the bride was nowhere in the kitchen or the dairy, the old woman went into the stable, where she found her daughter weeping bitterly.

And making an utter fool out of herself.

'What is the matter, my dove?' and the girl answered, between her sobs:

What's the matter, dear mother, is that your daughter is being foolish.

'When I came in and saw the pack-saddle over my head, I thought how dreadful it would be if it fell and killed me,' and she cried louder than before.

And the mother gives her a Look and says, "as if that's gonna happen. You know, it will happen if you keep sitting there. Come on, the horses are hungry, and so are our menfolk ..."

The old woman struck her hands together: 'Ah, to think of it! if that were to be, what should I do?' and she sat down by her daughter, and they both wrung their hands and let their tears flow.

Evidently, Mom is just as silly as the daughter

'Something strange must have occurred,' exclaimed the old farmer on the moor, who by this time was not only hungry, but cross. 'I must go after them.' And he went and found them in the stable.

Dad will set it straight .... Hopefully.

'What is the matter?' asked he.

What is the matter, dear sir, is that your wife and daughter are being silly. Tell them to get up and start  cooking.

'Oh!' replied his wife, 'when our daughter came home, did she not see the pack-saddle over her head, and she thought how dreadful it would be if it were to fall and kill her.'

"Well, then," says the father, "why then are you both sitting directly under it? Get up and get me some lunch!"

'Ah, to think of it!' exclaimed he, striking his hands together, and he sat down beside them and wept too.

And Dad is just as silly as his wife and daughter.

As soon as night fell the young man returned full of hunger, and there they were, all crying together in the stable.
'What is the matter?' asked he.

Young man, you'd better have your head on straight, or I'll ... or I'll ... 

Give me a second while I try and figure out how to threaten a Fairy Tale Character ...

'When thy wife came home,' answered the farmer, 'she saw the pack-saddle over her head, and she thought how dreadful it would be if it were to fall and kill her.'

Oh, I know! I'll send in a Evil Fairy who'll turn you all into frogs! Wait ... wrong Fairy Tale.

'Well, but it didn't fall,' replied the young man, and he went off to the kitchen to get some supper, leaving them to cry as long as they liked.

Nevermind, young man has his head on straight, I don't need to punish him

The next morning he got up with the sun, and said to the old man and to the old woman and to his wife:

"You are the three silliest people I've ever met. However did I end up marrying your daughter?"

'Farewell: my foot shall not return to the house till I have found other three people as silly as you,' and he walked away till he came to the town, and seeing the door of a cottage standing open wide, he entered. No man was present, but only some women spinning at their wheels.

And they turned out to be fairies who sent him off on a wondrous adventure full of ... sorry, wrong Fairy Tale.

'You do not belong to this town,' said he.

That's an interesting thing to say, young man. Whatever made you answer that way?

'You speak truth,' they answered, 'nor you either?'

Which leads me to wonder where they belong to, because the Fairy Tale gives no clue.

'I do not,' replied he, 'but is it a good place to live in?'

You thinking about settling down, young man?

The women looked at each other.

As if they had never seen each other before. 

'The men of the town are so silly that we can make them believe anything we please,' said they.

Well! This should be interesting!

'Well, here is a gold ring,' replied he, 'and I will give it to the one amongst you who can make her husband believe the most impossible thing,' and he left them.

The young man apparently agrees. Wonder where he got the ring ... his wedding ring maybe ...

As soon as the first husband came home his wife said to him:
'Thou art sick!'

And I'm thinking about how men around here never believe you about them being sick, even if he is sick ...

'Am I?' asked he.

No, sir, you are not, your wife is taking advantage of you to win a ring.

'Yes, thou art,' she answered; 'take off thy clothes and lie down.'

"Can I have supper first ..."

So he did, and when he was in his bed his wife went to him and said:

"This is all a joke!"

'Thou art dead.'

... dead?

'Oh, am I?' asked he.

Oh, he's talking. Good. He's not really dead. For a second, there, I actually believed her ...

'Thou art,' said she; 'shut thine eyes and stir neither hand nor foot.'

"And don't talk, either."

And dead he felt sure he was.

And silly he will soon feel sure he is.

Soon the second man came home, and his wife said to him:

After the first husband I can see him believing anything!

'You are not my husband!'

She decided she doesn't like him anymore, I guess.

'Oh, am I not?' asked he.

It must be really easy for the women to get divorce in this place ... all they have to do is tell their husbands that they aren't married anymore ...

Not really a good thing ...

'No, it is not you,' answered she, so he went away and slept in the wood.

But, still, that isn't as hard to believe as being told that you're dead!

When the third man arrived his wife gave him his supper, and after that he went to bed, just as usual. The next morning a boy knocked at the door, bidding him attend the burial of the man who was dead, and he was just going to get up when his wife stopped him.

Wonder what she's planning, since she didn't post her silly story as soon as he walked in the door ...

'Time enough,' said she, and he lay still till he heard the funeral passing the window.

I wonder if it's the funeral of the man who's just pretending to be dead.

'Now rise, and be quick,' called the wife, and the man jumped out of bed in a great hurry, and began to look about him.

I wonder if his name was Jack ... 

'Why, where are my clothes?' asked he.

Ummm .....

'Silly that you are, they are on your back, of course,' answered the woman.


'Are they?' said he.

At least the funeral seems to be an all-man affair ....

'They are,' said she, 'and make haste lest the burying be ended before you get there.'

I'm actually a tad bit worried about this woman.

Then off he went, running hard, and when the mourners saw a man coming towards them with nothing on but his nightshirt, they forgot in their fright what they were there for, and fled to hide themselves. And the naked man stood alone at the head of the coffin.

At least he has a nightshirt on ...

Very soon a man came out of the wood and spoke to him.

The man who's convinced he's not his wife's husband ...

'Do you know me?'

Apparently they aren't aware of their wive's friendships.

'Not I,' answered the naked man. 'I do not know you.'

I wonder if he knows the man in the coffin ....

'But why are you naked?' asked the first man.

Because, like you, he's very silly and will believe anything his wife tells him.

'Am I naked? My wife told me that I had all my clothes on,' answered he.

And you believe everything your wife tells you? Wait, I forgot, you do.

'And my wife told me that I myself was dead,' said the man in the coffin.

I was right! The man in the coffin was the first husband!

But at the sound of his voice the two men were so terrified that they ran straight home, and the man in the coffin got up and followed them, and it was his wife that gained the gold ring, as he had been sillier than the other two.

And the young man went home and back to his wife and in-laws and they lived happily ever after. Somehow.

Clever Else

I actually know the basic plot of this fairy tale under three different titles. This one is Clever Else, and I got the text and image from this website.

There was once a man who had a daughter who was called Clever Else, and when she was grown up, her father said she must be married, and her mother said, “Yes, if we could only find some one that would consent to have.”

Was she that bad of a girl? Okay, now I'm worried. You would think that a clever girl would be quickly married off. Apparently not.

At last one came from a distance, and his name was Hans, and when he proposed to her, he made it a condition that Clever Else should be very careful as well. 

She has to be careful. That might get them in trouble.

“Oh,” said the father, “she does not want for brains.”

But Hans wasn't asking about brains, he was asking about how careful she was.

 “No, indeed,” said the mother, “she can see the wind coming up the street and hear the flies cough.” 

See the wind? Wind is invisible. And flies don't cough. They're almost as bad as the girl's father in Rumpelstiltskin!

“Well,” said Hans, “if she does not turn out to be careful too, I will not have her.” 

You know, I'd think that if I had a stipulation for my potential spouse, I wouldn't tell it to her. That way, she can't pretend to have the traits you seek. But, to each his own, I guess.

Now when they were all seated at table, and had well eaten, the mother said, “Else, go into the cellar and draw some beer.” Then Clever Else took down the jug from the hook in the wall, and as she was on her way to the cellar she rattled the lid up and down so as to pass away the time. 

Um ... talk about a nervous habit. Hey, Hans, this girl looks to be a bit hyper! Are you sure you want her?

When she got there, she took a stool and stood it in front of the cask, so that she need not stoop and make her back ache with needless trouble. Then she put the jug under the tap and turned it, and while the beer was running, in order that her eyes should not be idle, she glanced hither and thither, and finally caught sight of a pickaxe that the workmen had left sticking in the ceiling just above her head. 

You know, I wonder how often this girl went down to the cellar to get beer - and if she had been down there often enough - why hadn't she noticed it before?

Then Clever Else began to cry, for she thought, “If I marry Hans, and we have a child, and it grows big, and we send it into the cellar to draw beer, that pickaxe might fall on his head and kill him.” 

Define big. Big enough to react in time to get out of the way in time? But she has to worry, anyways. She's supposed to be being careful, after all.

So there she sat and cried with all her might, lamenting the anticipated misfortune. All the while they were waiting upstairs for something to drink, and they waited in vain. At last the mistress said to the maid, “Go down to the cellar and see why Else does not come.”

So they were rich enough to have a maid. 

 So the maid went, and found her sitting in front of the cask crying with all her might. “What are you crying for?” said the maid. “Oh dear me,” answered she, “how can I help crying? if I marry Hans, and we have a child, and it grows big, and we send it here to draw beer, perhaps the pickaxe may fall on its head and kill it.” 

"You see, Hans wants me to be careful - so I'm being careful!" Yes, I see why she's called clever. It takes cleverness to be this manipulative!

“Our Else is clever indeed!” said the maid, and directly sat down to bewail the anticipated misfortune. After a while, when the people upstairs found that the maid did not return, and they were becoming more and more thirsty, the master said to the boy, “You go down into the cellar, and see what Else and the maid are doing.”

They're rich enough to have a boy too. Unless the maid and boy are Else's younger sister and brother ... They might be, actually.

The boy did so, and there he found both Clever Else and the maid sitting crying together. Then he asked what was the matter. “Oh dear me,” said Else, “how can we help crying? If I marry Hans, and we have a child, and it grows big, and we send it here to draw beer, the pickaxe might fall on its head and kill it.” 

Well, boys tend to be more intelligent than girls, so the boy might not fall for this stupidity.

“Our Else is clever indeed!” said the boy, and sitting down beside her, he began howling with a good will. 

Guess he isn't much smarter.

Upstairs they were all waiting for him to come back, but as he did not come, the master said to the mistress, “You go down to the cellar and see what Else is doing.” So the mistress went down and found all three in great lamentations, and when she asked the cause, then Else told her how the future possible child might be killed as soon as it was big enough to be sent to draw beer, by the pickaxe falling on it. 

And the mother, being utterly convinced that her daughter is completely clever, will go along with it.

Then the mother at once exclaimed, “Our Else is clever indeed!” and, sitting down, she wept with the rest. 

See my previous comment.

Upstairs the husband waited a little while, but as his wife did not return, and as his thirst constantly increased, he said, “I must go down to the cellar myself, and see what has become of Else.” And when he came into the cellar, and found them all sitting and weeping together, he was told that it was all owing to the child that Else might possibly have, and the possibility of its being killed by the pickaxe so happening to fall just at the time the child might be sitting underneath it drawing beer; and when he heard all this, he cried, “How clever is our Else!” and sitting down, he joined his tears to theirs. 

You would think that Dad, at least, had a head on his shoulder. But, no, he, too, had to go along with the clever Else. I say that that girl's spoiled!

The intended bridegroom stayed upstairs by himself a long time, but as nobody came back to him, he thought he would go himself and see what they were all about And there he found all five lamenting and crying most pitifully, each one louder than the other. 

I wonder how he didn't hear them from upstairs.

“What misfortune has happened?” cried he. 

He's worried she wasn't being careful.

“O my dear Hans,” said Else, “if we marry and have a child, and it grows big, and we send it down here to draw beer, perhaps that pickaxe which has been left sticking up there might fall down on the child’s head and kill it; and how can we help crying at that!” 

Oh, he sees, she was crying to show how careful she is.

“Now,” said Hans, “I cannot think that greater sense than that could be wanted in my household; so as you are so clever, Else, I will have you for my wife,” and taking her by the hand he led her upstairs, and they had the wedding at once.

Apparently he couldn't see through her act.

A little while after they were married, Hans said to his wife, “I am going out to work, in order to get money; you go into the field and cut the corn, so that we may have bread.” 

Since she hadn't yet any kids, she might as well work, ya know?

“Very well, I will do so, dear Hans,” said she. And after Hans was gone she cooked herself some nice stew, and took it with her into the field. 

Stew. I would have fixed myself a sandwich, actually, since stews don't keep well outside. Well, her prerogative, I guess.

And when she got there, she said to herself, “Now, what shall I do? shall I reap first, or eat first? All right, I will eat first.” 

No, Else, you're supposed to be working!

Then she ate her fill of stew, and when she could eat no more, she said to herself, “Now, what shall I do? shall I reap first, or sleep first? All right, I will sleep first.” 

I thought she was supposed to be clever.

Then she lay down in the corn and went to sleep. And Hans got home, and waited there a long while, and Else did not come, so he said to himself, “My clever Else is so industrious that she never thinks of coming home and eating.” 

Well, at least he assumes the best. There are others who would assume the worst... I think she got the better end of the marriage.

But when evening drew near and still she did not come, Hans set out to see how much corn she had cut; but she had cut no corn at all, but there she was lying in it asleep. 

And he was severely disappointed, and he realized that he should have made his stipulation "industrious" instead of "careful." 

Then Hans made haste home, and fetched a bird-net with little bells and threw it over her; and still she went on sleeping. 

Um ... Hans? What are you up to?

And he ran home again and locked himself in, and sat him down on his bench to work. At last, when it was beginning to grow dark, Clever Else woke, and when she got up and shook herself, the bells jingled at each movement that she made. 

And since she was clever, she realized that she had bells on her ...

Then she grew frightened, and began to doubt whether she were really Clever Else or not, and said to herself, “Am I, or am I not?” 

Or not. This reminds me of Alice in Wonderland, actually, when Alice is wondering if she's still Alice, then decides that she isn't and that she's really Mabel.

And, not knowing what answer to make, she stood for a long while considering; at last she thought, “I will go home to Hans and ask him if I am I or not; he is sure to know.” 

She's not clever enough to know if she's herself it appears.

So she ran up to the door of her house, but it was locked; then she knocked at the window, and cried, “Hans, is Else within?” 

And what does he answer?

“Yes,” answered Hans, “she is in.” 

Hans. You're the one who married her! Don't be so cruel to her!

Then she was in a greater fright than ever, and crying, “Oh dear, then I am not I,” she went to inquire at another door, but the people hearing the jingling of the bells would not open to her, and she could get in nowhere. So she ran away beyond the village, and since then no one has seen her.

And the moral of the story is, marry a girl who is industrious, not clever or careful.

Image: Clever Else (Grimm)

The Three Sillies

I know of three versions of this Fairy Tale. They're pretty much similar for the first half, but the second halves are all different, and all funny! The text and image come from this site.

ONCE upon a time there was a farmer and his wife who had one daughter, and she was courted by a gentleman. Every evening he used to come and see her, and stop to supper at the farmhouse, and the daughter used to be sent down into the cellar to draw the beer for supper.

Which was fine most of the time. At least, as long as she never looked up.

So one evening she had gone down to draw the beer, and she happened to look up at the ceiling while she was drawing, and she saw a mallet stuck in one of the beams. It must have been there a long, long time, but somehow or other she had never noticed it before, and she began a-thinking.

Thinking ought to be outlawed for Fairy Tale heroines, since it gets them in all sorts of trouble.

And she thought it was very dangerous to have that mallet there, for she said to herself: 'Suppose him and me was to be married, and we was to have a son, and he was to grow up to be a man, and come down into the cellar to draw the beer, like as I'm doing now, and the mallet was to fall on his head and kill him, what a dreadful thing it would be!'

Chill, Else! (that's her name, according to one of the other versions) First you've got to marry the guy!

And she put down the candle and the jug, and sat herself down and began a-crying.

All over something that probably won't ever happen.

Well, they began to wonder upstairs how it was that she was so long drawing the beer, and her mother went down to see after her, and she found her sitting on the settle crying, and the beer running over the floor.

She forgot to stop up the spigot before she let loose her tears.

'Why, whatever is the matter?' said her mother. 'Oh, mother!' says she, 'look at that horrid mallet! Suppose we was to be married, and was to have a son, and he was to grow up, and was to come down to the cellar to draw the beer, and the mallet was to fall on his head and kill him, what a dreadful thing it would be!'

And the mother ought to tell the daughter that she's being silly, but she doesn't.

'Dear, dear! what a dreadful thing it would be!' said the mother, and she sat down aside of the daughter and started a-crying too.

Mom's just as silly as the daughter, you see. Doesn't even think to turn off the tap!

Then after a bit the father began to wonder that they didn't come back, and he went down into the cellar to look after them himself, and there they two sat a-crying, and the beer running all over the floor. 'Whatever is the matter?' says he. 'Why,' says the mother, 'look at that horrid mallet. Just suppose, if our daughter and her sweetheart was to be married, and was to have a son, and he was to grow up, and was to come down into the cellar to draw the beer, and the mallet was to fall on his head and kill him, what a dreadful thing it would be!' 'Dear, dear, dear! so it would!' said the father, and he sat himself down aside of the other two, and started a-crying.

And I was hoping that the daughter only took after mom. No such luck, I guess. And he doesn't even think to turn off the tap either!

Now the gentleman got tired of stopping up in the kitchen by himself, and at last he went down into the cellar, too, to see what they were after; and there they three sat a-crying side by side, and the beer running all over the floor. And he ran straight and turned the tap.

Finally! Someone had the sense to turn off the tap!

Then he said: 'Whatever are you three doing, sitting there crying, and letting the beer run all over the floor?'

Let's just hope that the gentleman has the sense to see that this is a girl who he doesn't want for a bride.

 'Oh!' says the father, 'look at that horrid mallet! Suppose you and our daughter was to be married, and was to have a son, and he was to grow up, and was to come down into the cellar to draw the beer, and the mallet was to fall on his head and kill him!'

Honestly, it sounds rather pathetic to me.

And then they all started a-crying worse than before. But the gentleman burst out a-laughing, and reached up and pulled out the mallet, and then he said: 'I've travelled many miles, and I never met three such big sillies as you three before; and now I shall start out on my travels again, and when I can find three bigger sillies than you three, then I'll come back and marry your daughter.' So he wished them good-bye, and started off on his travels, and left them all crying because the girl had lost her sweetheart.

I'm glad SOMEONE has sense in his head, because he's the only sensible person in this Fairy Tale.

Well, he set out, and he travelled a long way, and at last he came to a woman's cottage that had some grass growing on the roof.

Must have been a sod house.

 And the woman was trying to get her cow to go up a ladder to the grass, and the poor thing durst not go. So the gentleman asked the woman what she was doing.

You know, whenever I read this part of this Fairy Tale, I think of the Little House on the Prairie series for some odd reason.

'Why, lookye,' she said, 'look at all that beautiful grass. I'm going to get the cow on to the roof to eat it. She'll be quite safe, for I shall tie a string round her neck, and pass it down the chimney, and tie it to my wrist as I go about the house, so she can't fall off without my knowing it.' 'Oh, you poor silly!' said the gentleman, 'you should cut the grass and throw it down to the cow!' But the woman thought it was easier to get the cow up the ladder than to get the grass down, so she pushed her and coaxed her and got her up, and tied a string round her neck, and passed it down the chimney, and fastened it to her own wrist.

And having him tied around your wrist is going to keep him from falling off how? He's heavier than you.

And the gentleman went on his way, but he hadn't gone far when the cow tumbled off the roof, and hung by the string tied round her neck, and it strangled her. And the weight of the cow tied to her wrist pulled the woman up the chimney, and she stuck fast half-way and was smothered in the soot.

As I said ... it didn't help. It actually hurt ...

Well, that was one big silly.

Yep, the big number 1.

And the gentleman went on and on, and he went to an inn to stop the night, and they were so full at the inn that they had to put him in a double-bedded room, and another traveller was to sleep in the other bed.

This was back in the day, if you will remember, back when travelers slept in the same room as strangers.

The other man was a very pleasant fellow, and they got very friendly together; but in the morning, when they were both getting up, the gentleman was surprised to see the other hang his trousers on the knobs of the chest of drawers and run across the room and try to jump into them, and he tried over and over again and couldn't manage it; and the gentleman wondered whatever he was doing it for.

And his eyebrows were up so far, they touched his hairline.

At last he stopped and wiped his face with his handkerchief. 'Oh dear,' he says, 'I do think trousers are the most awkwardest kind of clothes that ever were. I can't think who could have invented such things. It takes me the best part of an hour to get into mine every morning, and I get so hot! How do you manage yours?'

You see, this man's father died before he was born, and, since his mother wore dresses, he never learned the proper way way to put on his trousers.

So the gentleman burst out a-laughing, and showed him how to put them on; and he was very much obliged to him, and said he never should have thought of doing it that way.

And did the man a huge favor.

So that was another big silly.

One that was far less lethal.

Then the gentleman went on his travels again; and he came to a village, and outside the village there was a pond, and round the pond was a crowd of people. And they had got rakes, and brooms, and pitchforks reaching into the pond; and the gentleman asked what was the matter.

A huge firedrake was hiding in the water maybe ...

'Why,' they say, 'matter enough! Moon's tumbled into the pond, and we can't rake her out anyhow!'

Apparently, they didn't understand the principle of reflection.

 So the gentleman burst out a-laughing, and told them to look up into the sky, and that it was only the shadow in the water. But they wouldn't listen to him, and abused him shamefully, and he got away as quick as he could.

Oh, dear. He was just trying to help ...

So there was a whole lot of sillies bigger than them three sillies at home. So the gentleman turned back home and married the farmer' s daughter, and if they didn't live happy for ever after, that's nothing to do with you or me.

I love how this Fairy Tale deals with the happily ever after. They might have had one, but, even if they didn't, it's none of our business!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Thankful Thursday - Grandparents

I have three living grandparents and a step-grandmother. I am thankful for all of them.

Grandma, who I usually abbreviate to Gma on my blog, is my paternal grandmother. She's the one who proofreads my books for me. She mastered and minored in Bible and Business in college, and as a result ... became the church secretary. She's not the secretary anymore, though. She's now the church librarian.

Grandpa, or Gpa, the grandparent I was named after. He used to teach math at the local college, but has since retired. He loves fishing, and running, and often takes me to races. He tends to just 'pick up things' and he's always bringing home the most interesting thing. He also likes to collect things for you - and has probably provided at least half of my nutcracker, giraffe and ladybug collections - especially the more unusual ones.

Papa, my mom's dad, is a mechanic, who's recently retired. We used to call him Poppy, but when my cousin couldn't say Poppy right, and Papa liked being called Papa better, we've called him that. He has a tendency to tell stories that ... may or may not be true. And he tells them so earnestly, you often wonder. He had my sister convinced that she would grow up into 'a dirty old man'

Grammy died almost three years ago. We still miss her, but we've learned to cope. She was an adoptive woman, and there were plenty more than just her own grandkids who called her Grammy. She would had been Grammy to the world if it had been possible.

Mimi is Papa's new wife, who he married last year. She's a sweet lady, doesn't say much, but we like her.

I'm thankful for all of my grandparents.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Tasty Tuesday - Spaghetti

1 lb. Package Spaghetti Noodles
1 lb. Hamburger Meat
16 oz Tomato Sauce
Garlic Powder
Onion Flakes

Fill a large saucepan half-full of water (helps if you add a pinch of salt and some vegetable oil). Brown Hamburger meat in a skillet. When you have a rolling boil, add the noodles and turn down the heat. When Hamburger meat is thoroughly browned, add Tomato sauce and spices to taste. When Noodles are at edible softness, strain and put back in the sauce pan. Add the Hamburger meat and Tomato sauce, serve, and enjoy!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Memory Monday - Keep the Balloon in the Air and Don't Pop it.

There once was a girl who was four or five years old, and she was at a birthday party for a friend of her's. It had been a fun party, but the person who was running the party had run out of things for the kids to do, and everyone was getting bored, and there was still quite a bit of time before all the parents would be coming back and picking all of the kids up.

The little girl was a creative little girl, however, and knew the perfect cure for everyone's boredom. There were lots of balloons just sitting around - filled with regular air, not helium. The little girl came up with a brilliant game! They could play keep the balloon in the air!

And so, until the end of the party, they played keep the balloon in the air. However, there were so many balloons popped, that the little girl had to add a second part to the game the next day, making the name of the game Keep the Balloon in the Air and Don't Pop it.

This game continued to be one of the girl's favorite games, and she would play it whenever she had a balloon that wasn't full of helium.

Now when the little girl had her sixth birthday, she had her party at her church. The big teenagers were blowing up balloons and goofing off, and came up with a game for them to play. Unfortunately, they wouldn't listen to the little girl. The little girl kept trying to say that she had already invented this game, that she had already given it a name - Keep the Balloon in the Air and Don't Pop it.

The little girl was upset, it was her party, after all, shouldn't they be listening to her.

Nevertheless, they didn't. But she never gave up claim to inventing the game. To this day, it is one of her favorites.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

East of the Sun and West of the Moon.

The other night, we watched a movie called The Polar Bear King, which is based on the Fairy Tale East of the Sun and West of the Moon, which can be found in Andrew Lang's Blue Fairy Book.

Once upon a time there was a poor husbandman who had many children and little to give them in the way either of food or clothing. They were all pretty, but the prettiest of all was the youngest daughter, who was so beautiful that there were no bounds to her beauty.

Honestly, why is it always the YOUNGEST daughter who is the beauty of the family? As the eldest daughter of my family, I think this is totally unfair. Could someone please tell me who I can complain to to get this slight righted?

So once--it was late on a Thursday evening in autumn, and wild weather outside, terribly dark, and raining so heavily and blowing so hard that the walls of the cottage shook again--they were all sitting together by the fireside, each of them busy with something or other, when suddenly some one rapped three times against the window- pane. The man went out to see what could be the matter, and when he got out there stood a great big white bear.

And he runs away, screaming, "AHHHHHH!!! IT'S A BIG WHITE BEAR WHO'S GONNA EAT US ALL!!!"

"Good-evening to you," said the White Bear.


"Good-evening," said the man.

Or not. I forgot. This is a Fairy Tale, and he's a Fairy Tale character, who know's the rule - animals are likely to talk and bring you good fortune.

"Will you give me your youngest daughter?" said the White Bear; "if you will, you shall be as rich as you are now poor.

The bear wants a beautiful meal. Got it. Serves the girl right, being more beautiful than her older sisters.

Truly the man would have had no objection to be rich, but he thought to himself: "I must first ask my daughter about this," so he went in and told them that there was a great white bear outside who had faithfully promised to make them all rich if he might but have the youngest daughter.

And give her the chance to refuse! I want to see her eaten!!!

She said no, and would not hear of it; so the man went out again, and settled with the White Bear that he should come again next Thursday evening, and get her answer. Then the man persuaded her, and talked so much to her about the wealth that they would have, and what a good thing it would be for herself, that at last she made up her mind to go, and washed and mended all her rags, made herself as smart as she could, and held herself in readiness to set out. Little enough had she to take away with her.

And he talks daughter into it and the daughter can now go get eaten. YAY!!

Next Thursday evening the White Bear came to fetch her. She seated herself on his back with her bundle, and thus they departed. When they had gone a great part of the way, the White Bear said: "Are you afraid?"

I'd be afraid ... Big white bear taking me to supper and away from everything I have ever known in my entire life.

"No, that I am not," said she.

She must be stupid as well as beautiful.

" Keep tight hold of my fur, and then there is no danger," said he.

Until you get to where he's taking you and he decides to eat you.

And thus she rode far, far away, until they came to a great mountain. Then the White Bear knocked on it, and a door opened, and they went into a castle where there were many brilliantly lighted rooms which shone with gold and silver, likewise a large hall in which there was a well-spread table, and it was so magnificent that it would be hard to make anyone understand how splendid it was. The White Bear gave her a silver bell, and told her that when she needed anything she had but to ring this bell, and what she wanted would appear. So after she had eaten, and night was drawing near, she grew sleepy after her journey, and thought she would like to go to bed. She rang the bell, and scarcely had she touched it before she found herself in a chamber where a bed stood ready made for her, which was as pretty as anyone could wish to sleep in. It had pillows of silk, and curtains of silk fringed with gold, and everything that was in the room was of gold or silver, but when she had lain down and put out the light a man came and lay down beside her, and behold it was the White Bear, who cast off the form of a beast during the night. She never saw him, however, for he always came after she had put out her light, and went away before daylight appeared.

Wait ... she's not gonna get eaten! She gets to marry a handsome king! (even if she never get's to see him) Youngest daughters get all the luck. I'm going back to writing that complaint and researching who to complain to.

So all went well and happily for a time, but then she began to be very sad and sorrowful, for all day long she had to go about alone; and she did so wish to go home to her father and mother and brothers and sisters. Then the White Bear asked what it was that she wanted, and she told him that it was so dull there in the mountain, and that she had to go about all alone, and that in her parents' house at home there were all her brothers and sisters, and it was because she could not go to them that she was so sorrowful.

At least it's dull! I'm starting to like this Fairy Tale again!

"There might be a cure for that," said the White Bear, "if you would but promise me never to talk with your mother alone, but only when the others are there too; for she will take hold of your hand," he said, "and will want to lead you into a room to talk with you alone; but that you must by no means do, or you will bring great misery on both of us."

And, watch, she's gonna break her promise!

So one Sunday the White Bear came and said that they could now set out to see her father and mother, and they journeyed thither, she sitting on his back, and they went a long, long way, and it took a long, long time; but at last they came to a large white farmhouse, and her brothers and sisters were running about outside it, playing, and it was so pretty that it was a pleasure to look at it.

You know, I sometimes wonder how old this youngest daughter is if her brothers and sisters are still running around and playing. Well, this is a Fairy Tale, after all. You're allowed to marry young. Although, why hadn't her father married off her older sisters already and gotten them off his hands?

"Your parents dwell here now," said the White Bear; "but do not forget what I said to you, or you will do much harm both to yourself and me."

One last reminder.

"No, indeed," said she, "I shall never forget;" and as soon as she was at home the White Bear turned round and went back again.

And she goes up and knocks at the door. Her dad answers. "Who are you?" "Oh, I'm your youngest daughter, the one you traded for all this."

There were such rejoicings when she went in to her parents that it seemed as if they would never come to an end. Everyone thought that he could never be sufficiently grateful to her for all she had done for them all.

Except for her sisters who were envious because she's younger and prettier.

Now they had everything that they wanted, and everything was as good as it could be. They all asked her how she was getting on where she was. All was well with her too, she said; and she had everything that she could want. What other answers she gave I cannot say, but I am pretty sure that they did not learn much from her. But in the afternoon, after they had dined at midday, all happened just as the White Bear had said.

I could have told you that it would happen. A warning is the number one sign that what is warned about would happen.

Her mother wanted to talk with her alone in her own chamber. But she remembered what the White Bear had said, and would on no account go. "What we have to say can be said at any time," she answered. But somehow or other her mother at last persuaded her, and she was forced to tell the whole story. So she told how every night a man came and lay down beside her when the lights were all put out, and how she never saw him, because he always went away before it grew light in the morning, and how she continually went about in sadness, thinking how happy she would be if she could but see him, and how all day long she had to go about alone, and it was so dull and solitary. "Oh!" cried the mother, in horror, "you are very likely sleeping with a troll! But I will teach you a way to see him. You shall have a bit of one of my candles, which you can take away with you hidden in your breast. Look at him with that when he is asleep, but take care not to let any tallow drop upon him."

Mother gives a warning, too. Sure sign that, should she take mom's advice, the youngest daughter will drop tallow on him.

So she took the candle, and hid it in her breast, and when evening drew near the White Bear came to fetch her away. When they had gone some distance on their way, the White Bear asked her if everything had not happened just as he had foretold, and she could not but own that it had. 

"Then, if you have done what your mother wished," said he, "you have brought great misery on both of us." 

"No," she said, "I have not done anything at all."

Yep, she lies through her teeth.

 So when she had reached home and had gone to bed it was just the same as it had been before, and a man came and lay down beside her, and late at night, when she could hear that he was sleeping, she got up and kindled a light, lit her candle, let her light shine on him, and saw him, and he was the handsomest prince that eyes had ever beheld, and she loved him so much that it seemed to her that she must die if she did not kiss him that very moment. So she did kiss him; but while she was doing it she let three drops of hot tallow fall upon his shirt, and he awoke. "What have you done now?" said he; "you have brought misery on both of us. If you had but held out for the space of one year I should have been free. I have a step- mother who has bewitched me so that I am a white bear by day and a man by night; but now all is at an end between you and me, and I must leave you, and go to her. She lives in a castle which lies east of the sun and west of the moon, and there too is a princess with a nose which is three ells long, and she now is the one whom I must marry."

I'm cheering for the long-nose princess, myself. Ugly girls need their day in the sun. We beautiful gals get all of the princes. Let's let one ugly princess get one of the princes.

She wept and lamented, but all in vain, for go he must. Then she asked him if she could not go with him. But no, that could not be. "Can you tell me the way then, and I will seek you--that I may surely be allowed to do!"

Okay ... I'm almost feeling sorry for the youngest. I mean, she was married to the prince. But ... I'm still working on that complaint about all of the most beautifuls being youngests.

"Yes, you may do that," said he; "but there is no way thither. It lies east of the sun and west of the moon, and never would you find your way there."

So he's going into outer space? Not that I knew that there was east and west up there ... guess there is.

When she awoke in the morning both the Prince and the castle were gone, and she was lying on a small green patch in the midst of a dark, thick wood. By her side lay the self-same bundle of rags which she had brought with her from her own home. So when she had rubbed the sleep out of her eyes, and wept till she was weary, she set out on her way, and thus she walked for many and many a long day, until at last she came to a great mountain.

You know, I'm curious as to what happened to the wealth of her family. Did they loose it as well? Or did they keep their wealth? The Fairy Tale never says.

Outside it an aged woman was sitting, playing with a golden apple. The girl asked her if she knew the way to the Prince who lived with his stepmother in the castle which lay east of the sun and west of the moon, and who was to marry a princess with a nose which was three ells long. "How do you happen to know about him?" inquired the old woman; "maybe you are she who ought to have had him." "Yes, indeed, I am," she said. "So it is you, then?" said the old woman; "I know nothing about him but that he dwells in a castle which is east of the sun and west of the moon. You will be a long time in getting to it, if ever you get to it at all; but you shall have the loan of my horse, and then you can ride on it to an old woman who is a neighbor of mine: perhaps she can tell you about him. When you have got there you must just strike the horse beneath the left ear and bid it go home again; but you may take the golden apple with you."

This is another classic employment of the "three old ladies out side their houses, none of whom know where to find what the seeker is looking for, but knows someone who can, and will send seeker there" ploy.

So the girl seated herself on the horse, and rode for a long, long way, and at last she came to the mountain, where an aged woman was sitting outside with a gold carding- comb. The girl asked her if she knew the way to the castle which lay east of the sun and west of the moon; but she said what the first old woman had said: "I know nothing about it, but that it is east of the sun and west of the moon, and that you will be a long time in getting to it, if ever you get there at all; but you shall have the loan of my horse to an old woman who lives the nearest to me: perhaps she may know where the castle is, and when you have got to her you may just strike the horse beneath the left ear and bid it go home again." Then she gave her the gold carding-comb, for it might, perhaps, be of use to her, she said.

Oh, and forgot to mention the "gives them some item that 'might come in handy'" part. It's in about half of the Fairy Tales that employ the "Old ladies outside their houses" ploy.

So the girl seated herself on the horse, and rode a wearisome long way onward again, and after a very long time she came to a great mountain, where an aged woman was sitting, spinning at a golden spinning-wheel. Of this woman, too, she inquired if she knew the way to the Prince, and where to find the castle which lay east of the sun and west of the moon. But it was only the same thing once again. "Maybe it was you who should have had the Prince," said the old woman. "Yes, indeed, I should have been the one," said the girl. But this old crone knew the way no better than the others--it was east of the sun and west of the moon, she knew that, "and you will be a long time in getting to it, if ever you get to it at all," she said; "but you may have the loan of my horse, and I think you had better ride to the East Wind, and ask him: perhaps he may know where the castle is, and will blow you thither. But when you have got to him you must just strike the horse beneath the left ear, and he will come home again." And then she gave her the golden spinning-wheel, saying: "Perhaps you may find that you have a use for it."

And now we leave the old women, and go to a less classic ploy, "Visit the winds!"

The girl had to ride for a great many days, and for a long and wearisome time, before she got there; but at last she did arrive, and then she asked the East Wind if he could tell her the way to the Prince who dwelt east of the sun and west of the moon. "Well," said the East Wind, "I have heard tell of the Prince, and of his castle, but I do not know the way to it, for I have never blown so far; but, if you like, I will go with you to my brother the West Wind: he may know that, for he is much stronger than I am. You may sit on my back, and then I can carry you there." So she seated herself on his back, and they did go so swiftly! When they got there, the East Wind went in and said that the girl whom he had brought was the one who ought to have had the Prince up at the castle which lay east of the sun and west of the moon, and that now she was traveling about to find him again, so he had come there with her, and would like to hear if the West Wind knew whereabout the castle was. "No," said the West Wind; "so far as that have I never blown; but if you like I will go with you to the South Wind, for he is much stronger than either of us, and he has roamed far and wide, and perhaps he can tell you what you want to know. You may seat yourself on my back, and then I will carry you to him.".

At least everyone who's sending her places are giving her rides there.

So she did this, and journeyed to the South Wind, neither was she very long on the way. When they had got there, the West Wind asked him if he could tell her the way to the castle that lay east of the sun and west of the moon, for she was the girl who ought to marry the Prince who lived there. "Oh, indeed!" said the South Wind, "is that she? Well," said he, "I have wandered about a great deal in my time, and in all kinds of places, but I have never blown so far as that. If you like, however, I will go with you to my brother, the North Wind; he is the oldest and strongest of all of us, and if he does not know where it is no one in the whole world will be able to tell you. You may sit upon my back, and then I will carry you there." So she seated herself on his back, and off he went from his house in great haste, and they were not long on the way. When they came near the North Wind's dwelling, he was so wild and frantic that they felt cold gusts a long while before they got there. "What do you want?" he roared out from afar, and they froze as they heard. Said the South Wind: "It is I, and this is she who should have had the Prince who lives in the castle which lies east of the sun and west of the moon. And now she wishes to ask you if you have ever been there, and can tell her the way, for she would gladly find him again."

Well, now she comes to the last of the four winds. North has GOT to know where to find lost prince. I'm getting tired of this bouncing here and there and everywhere.

"Yes," said the North Wind, "I know where it is. I once blew an aspen leaf there, but I was so tired that for many days afterward I was not able to blow at all. However, if you really are anxious to go there, and are not afraid to go with me, I will take you on my back, and try if I can blow you there."

Somehow, I picture the girl as being heavier than an aspen leaf, but, if he thinks he can do it. But how did he blow an aspen leaf into outer space?

"Get there I must," said she; "and if there is any way of going I will; and I have no fear, no matter how fast you go."

You're dealing with a girl who wasn't scared when riding on the back of a huge polar bear, North. She ain't scared of much.

"Very well then," said the North Wind; "but you must sleep here to-night, for if we are ever to get there we must have the day before us."

Personally, I would have though that they would of traveled at night when the wind is strongest.

The North Wind woke her betimes next morning, and puffed himself up, and made himself so big and so strong that it was frightful to see him, and away they went, high up through the air, as if they would not stop until they had reached the very end of the world. Down below there was such a storm! It blew down woods and houses, and when they were above the sea the ships were wrecked by hundreds. And thus they tore on and on, and a long time went by, and then yet more time passed, and still they were above the sea, and the North Wind grew tired, and more tired, and at last so utterly weary that he was scarcely able to blow any longer, and he sank and sank, lower and lower, until at last he went so low that the waves dashed against the heels of the poor girl he was carrying. "Art thou afraid?" said the North Wind. "I have no fear," said she; and it was true. But they were not very, very far from land, and there was just enough strength left in the North Wind to enable him to throw her on to the shore, immediately under the windows of a castle which lay east of the sun and west of the moon; but then he was so weary and worn out that he was forced to rest for several days before he could go to his own home again.

And everyone back home was worried about what happened to the wind. Well, you can't please everyone.

Next morning she sat down beneath the walls of the castle to play with the golden apple, and the first person she saw was the maiden with the long nose, who was to have the Prince. "How much do you want for that gold apple of yours, girl?" said she, opening the window. "It can't be bought either for gold or money," answered the girl. "If it cannot be bought either for gold or money, what will buy it? You may say what you please," said the Princess.

Is that all the apple is good for? Bartering? Sigh. I was hoping that it would do something amazing like ... summon soldiers! Or something ...

"Well, if I may go to the Prince who is here, and be with him to-night, you shall have it," said the girl who had come with the North Wind. "You may do that," said the Princess, for she had made up her mind what she would do. So the Princess got the golden apple, but when the girl went up to the Prince's apartment that night he was asleep, for the Princess had so contrived it.

She gave him a sleeping potion, you see.

 The poor girl called to him, and shook him, and between whiles she wept; but she could not wake him. In the morning, as soon as day dawned, in came the Princess with the long nose, and drove her out again.

You know, why do they always have to make girls known for their least attractive feature. I bet the princess with the Long nose also had long, beautiful golden hair, beautiful blue eyes, a perfect figure ... You know, drop-dead gorgeous if it weren't for .... that long schnoz.

In the daytime she sat down once more beneath the windows of the castle, and began to card with her golden carding-comb; and then all happened as it had happened before. The Princess asked her what she wanted for it, and she replied that it was not for sale, either for gold or money, but that if she could get leave to go to the Prince, and be with him during the night, she should have it. But when she went up to the Prince's room he was again asleep, and, let her call him, or shake him, or weep as she would, he still slept on, and she could not put any life in him. When daylight came in the morning, the Princess with the long nose came too, and once more drove her away. When day had quite come, the girl seated herself under the castle windows, to spin with her golden spinning-wheel, and the Princess with the long nose wanted to have that also. 

Honestly, I would have thought that the gifts from the old women would have been a bit more ... substantial.

So she opened the window, and asked what she would take for it. The girl said what she had said on each of the former occasions--that it was not for sale either for gold or for money, but if she could get leave to go to the Prince who lived there, and be with him during the night, she should have it.

Honestly, youngest daughter, you ought to have figured out by now that you need a new plan.

"Yes," said the Princess, "I will gladly consent to that."

And the Princess then goes to brew up some more of that sleeping potion.

But in that place there were some Christian folk who had been carried off, and they had been sitting in the chamber which was next to that of the Prince, and had heard how a woman had been in there who had wept and called on him two nights running, and they told the Prince of this. So that evening, when the Princess came once more with her sleeping-drink, he pretended to drink, but threw it away behind him, for he suspected that it was a sleeping-drink.

Maybe her plan will work after all. Good thing there were those Christian folk, Youngest Daughter, or you would have had a problem, being out of things to barter for nights with the prince.

So, when the girl went into the Prince's room this time he was awake, and she had to tell him how she had come there. "You have come just in time," said the Prince, "for I should have been married to-morrow; but I will not have the long-nosed Princess, and you alone can save me. I will say that I want to see what my bride can do, and bid her wash the shirt which has the three drops of tallow on it. This she will consent to do, for she does not know that it is you who let them fall on it; but no one can wash them out but one born of Christian folk: it cannot be done by one of a pack of trolls; and then I will say that no one shall ever be my bride but the woman who can do this, and I know that you can." There was great joy and gladness between them all that night, but the next day, when the wedding was to take place, the Prince said, "I must see what my bride can do." "That you may do," said the stepmother.

Um, she's going to save her prince by washing his shirt. Uhhh .... maybe it was a good thing that she let those drops fall?

"I have a fine shirt which I want to wear as my wedding shirt, but three drops of tallow have got upon it which I want to have washed off, and I have vowed to marry no one but the woman who is able to do it. If she cannot do that, she is not worth having."

And they look at him like he's crazy. Strange stipulation for your bride. "I want a bride who can wash my shirt." Honestly, if they were smart, they would have realized that that was a trick of some sort.

Well, that was a very small matter, they thought, and agreed to do it. The Princess with the long nose began to wash as well as she could, but, the more she washed and rubbed, the larger the spots grew. "Ah! you can't wash at all," said the old troll-hag, who was her mother. "Give it to me." But she too had not had the shirt very long in her hands before it looked worse still, and, the more she washed it and rubbed it, the larger and blacker grew the spots.

Growing spots! I love it! 

So the other trolls had to come and wash, but, the more they did, the blacker and uglier grew the shirt, until at length it was as black as if it had been up the chimney.

That's the easy way to dye a shirt black. Or is it the hard way? Unfortunately they were wanting to make the shirt WHITE, not black.

"Oh," cried the Prince, "not one of you is good for anything at all! There is a beggar-girl sitting outside the window, and I'll be bound that she can wash better than any of you! Come in, you girl there!" he cried. So she came in. "Can you wash this shirt clean?" he cried. "Oh! I don't know," she said; "but I will try." And no sooner had she taken the shirt and dipped it in the water than it was white as driven snow, and even whiter than that. "I will marry you," said the Prince.

And that's the easy way to get it white again.

Then the old troll-hag flew into such a rage that she burst, and the Princess with the long nose and all the little trolls must have burst too, for they have never been heard of since. The Prince and his bride set free all the Christian folk who were imprisoned there, and took away with them all the gold and silver that they could carry, and moved far away from the castle which lay east of the sun and west of the moon.

Wonder how they got back home. And why did the prince's father marry a troll? So many unanswered questions ...

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