PILLOW   9' The princess and the magic pillow

A long time ago in the month of April in a land far, far away,
the entire kingdom celebrated the sixth birthday of Princess
April. The gift table in the royal banquet room was piled high
with gifts for the young princess. It took hours for her to open
all the gifts.

Finally, there was only one gift left on the table. But it
wasn't wrapped and there was no card or letter from the giver.

"What is it?" asked the princess.

"It looks like a little pillow." replied the queen.

"It's too small for my bed." said Princess April, "And it's too
big for my dolls."

"Does anyone know who gave this gift?" shouted the king to
everyone in the banquet hall.

There was no answer.

Then the princess concluded, "Maybe someone put it on the table
by mistake."

After the party, the servants brought all the gifts up to the
Princess' bedroom. But they left the pillow on the table. But,
later that night, when the princess climbed into bed, there was
the little pillow lying on top of one of the bed pillows.

"That's odd." said the princess, "I thought they left this
pillow downstairs."

Then she picked up the little pillow and was about to throw it
across the room, but...

"It's so soft!" exclaimed the princess as she held the pillow to
her face, "Maybe I'll sleep on it tonight."

Before she knew it, she was asleep. She dreamed of birds
swooping between the trees, hummingbirds hovering over flowers,
and eagles soaring over mountain tops. Finally, she dreamed of
dandelion seeds floating over fields of flowers. When she woke
up the next morning, her nosed was touching the wall.

"That's odd!" exclaimed April to herself, "My bed is not against
the wall. My bed is in the middle of the room! How could I be
against the wall?!"

But when she turned her head, there was another wall! And when
she turned her head in the other direction, she saw that her
nose was not up against the wall, it was up against the ceiling!

"I'm floating in midair!" she exclaimed.

Suddenly, the little pillow fell from under her head and bounced
off her bed and onto the floor below. Then the princess herself
fell suddenly with a scream.

She too bounced off her bed and fell to the floor below. But her
bottom bounced off the soft little pillow and she landed on her
feet. She wasn't hurt at all. Just then, the queen came running
through the door still wearing her nightgown.

"Are you alright, April?! I heard you screaming!" exclaimed the

April replied, "When I woke up, I was floating in midair! I
think there's something special about this pillow."

The queen smiled, "I'm sure you THOUGHT you woke up in midair.
But I'm sure you just dreamed it all when you fell out of bed."

"Oh." replied April, "Maybe I was just dreaming. But it seemed
so real!"

That night, when April went to bed, she remembered what pleasant
dreams she had with her head on the new little pillow, so she
fell asleep on it again. This time she dreamed that she was
climbing tall trees as easily as a squirrel. She swung from
branch to branch and jumped from tree to tree as easily as if
she was a monkey. She was awakened the next morning by the songs
of many songbirds and felt the cool wind in her face.

She heard the whispers of several small girls, but when she
opened her eyes to see who was whispering, all she could see was
the leaves of a tree. When she tried to roll over, she almost
lost her balance and discovered that she was lying on the branch
of a tree about thirty feet above the ground.

"I must still be dreaming!" exclaimed April to herself.

She tried to wake herself up by pinching herself. But when that
didn't work, she tried to wake herself by closing her eyes and
opening them again. But she was still thirty feet high in the

Again she heard the whispers of little girls. Finally, after
several tries at waking herself, April pushed herself up to a
sitting position. But when she did, the little pillow fell off
the branch and bounced off the grass on the ground below.

April continued to look for the little girls who were

"Where are you?" shouted April as she looked all around, high
and low, "I hear you whispering but I can't see you. Can you
please tell me where I am and how I got here?"

Suddenly, the whispering stopped. April looked around. But all
she could see for miles around were trees. She was in a forest.

"Please!" shouted April, "How did I end up in a tree? Can you
tell me? What is this place?"

Just then April lost her balance and fell off the branch with a
scream. She tumbled through the air and brushed by several twigs
and leaves. But nothing slowed down her fall. She fell faster
and faster until she landed on her bottom on the little pillow
and bounced up, landing on her feet. To her surprise, she was
completely unhurt!

Just then, she heard the clippityclop of horse hoofs and the
king's voice, "April?! Are you there? Where are you, my darling

"I'm here, father!" shouted April.

"We've been looking all over for you! How did you get all the
way out here?!" exclaimed the king as he dismounted his horse
and ran to the princess.

"I don't know." replied April, "All I know is I had a dream..."

Then she picked up the little pillow that had cushioned her fall
and said, "I think this little pillow had something to do with
my dreams."

The king lifted April to his horse, then they rode out of the
forest together.

"Did you hear the whispers, father?" she asked.

"Whispers?" asked the king, "You heard whispers?"

"Yes," replied April, "I heard lots of little girls whispering.
Did you hear them?"

"No," replied the king, "I didn't hear anything. But I'm not
surprised that you did. They call this forest "The Enchanted
Forest. I'm told that there are magical creatures living here."

When they got back to the royal palace, the king took April to
see the wizard. They told him about the dreams. But he wasn't
interested in the dreams. He pointed to the little pillow that
was dangling from April's hand.

"Where did you get that?!" exclaimed the wizard.

"My pillow? I got it for my birthday." replied April.

"Why?" asked the king, "Is there something wrong with it?"

The wizard explained, "It's not a pillow."

"It's not?" asked the king.

"No," replied the wizard, "It's the mattress of a wood nymph!
How did you get the mattress of a wood nymph?!"

"I told you. I got it for my birthday." replied April.

"What I mean is, who gave it to you for your birthday?" asked
the wizard.

"I don't know?" replied April.

"Noone knows." replied the king, "There was no card or letter
telling us who it was from. And noone in the birthday party knew
anything about it."

When the queen came in and overheard the conversation, she
exclaimed, "So, it's true!"

"What do you mean?" asked April.

The queen explained, "We never told you, but your father and I
were unable to have a baby of our own. So we adopted you when
you were a newborn."

But the king asked, "What does that have to do with the pillow
and the dreams?"

The queen explained, "After we adopted the baby from a gypsy
woman, there were rumors that the gypsy stole the baby from the
enchanted forest."

The wizard asked, "You said you woke up in the enchanted forest,

"Yes," replied April, "I woke up on a tree branch high up in a

"Did you hear the whispers?" asked the wizard.

"Why, yes!" replied April.

"You know what that means?!" exclaimed the wizard.

"What?" asked the royal family.

"That gypsy stole the baby from the wood nymphs." replied the

"What do you mean, she stole it from the wood nymphs?!"
exclaimed the queen.

"The whispers the princess heard were the whispers of wood
nymphs." replied the wizard, "Only a wood nymph can hear the
whispers of the wood nymphs."

"Are you saying that my daughter is a wood nymph?!" exclaimed
the queen.

"That's impossible!" exclaimed the king, "Wood nymphs are tiny.
Our April was a normal size baby and she has grown up to be a
normal size six-year-old!"

"Yes," said the queen, "and wood nymphs have wings. Our baby
didn't have wings."

The wizard explained, "When a wood nymph leaves the enchanted
forest, she loses her wings and her antennae. Outside of the
enchanted forest, the baby wood nymph grows to look like the
person who holds her."

The king replied, "Are you saying that if my daughter goes back
and lives in the enchanted forest, she would shrink and grow
wings and become like the other wood nymphs again?"

"Yes." replied the wizard.

And so the king decreed that the princess was never allowed near
the enchanted forest ever again. He also ordered that the magic
pillow be locked up with the crown jewels and the princess must
never be allow to dream on it ever again.

And so, the princess grew up as a human being, but everybody in
the kingdom were reminded of who she really was. Whenever she
laughed, she occasionally floated off the ground. And she could
answer people's questions before they asked them, because she
could tell what they were thinking as easily as she could hear
the whispers of the wood nymphs in the enchanted forest.

By and by, Princess April grew up and ascended to the royal
throne of her parents and became known as the magic queen. And
they all lived happily ever after.

2013 Bob Snook. Conditions for use:
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