John W Partington
suspend disbelief - Have an adventure

The Tales of Princess Meridian

The Magic Word

Once upon a time there was a beautiful young princess named Meridian. She lived in a huge, sunny castle that had dozens of towers and gardens. The walls of the castle were covered in ivy.

One morning she was exploring the castle, which was her favourite game. There were dozens of halls and rooms, corridors and pavilions, and all manner of things to see. The cook baked in the kitchen every morning, and it was interesting to watch. The stable hands took care of the horses, and they let Princess Meridian brush the animals. The blacksmith made all sorts of curious things out of iron, and he always smiled at the little princess when she came around.

After lunch she found herself high in a tower outside of a door she had never seen before. She tried to open the door, but it was locked. She tugged at the handle until her hands were sore, but to no avail. After a while she had a thought.

“I’ll get the Chancellor to open the door,” she said. The Chancellor was responsible for keeping the castle in working order. Princess Meridian led him to the door she wanted open. He pulled out a great ring of keys, and then put one in. He turned the key, but the door didn’t open. That surprised him because the key opened almost any door in the castle, but he smiled and tried a second key.

The second key didn’t work, nor did the third, fourth, or fifth. He tried all the keys on his ring, but none of them worked.

“I’m sorry Princess,” the Chancellor apologized, “but none of my keys fit this lock. There’s no way I can help you get in.”

Princess Meridian called for the Woodsman. The giant lumberjack arrived with a bundle of axes. He took one of the smaller axes, hefted it, and then smiled at the Princess.

“This should do the job,” he said, then swung the axe at the door, but the wood was too strong for the small axe. He took a larger axe, and again tried to chop through the door, but the wood was still too strong. He tried axe after axe, each larger than the one before. Finally he tried his last and biggest axe, but to no avail.

“I apologize Princess,” the Woodsman said, “but this wood is too strong for any of my axes to break through. It would take me years to chop through it.” The court Jester happened upon the scene, as he had been wandering the halls looking for something interesting to do.

“Perhaps I can help,” the Jester, suggested, “I’ll climb out among the vines, and then find a window to open the door from the inside.” Princess Meridian squealed with delight, for surely this plan would work.

In a feat of acrobatics the Jester danced out a hall window, and then climbed through the vines like a monkey. He climbed high. He climbed low. He capered all around the tower. He surprised several people when he bobbed his head into their apartments, but he could find no window that led to the locked room.

“I’m sorry Princess Meridian,” the Jester almost cried, “but I couldn’t find the right window. There’s nothing more I can do.”

“It’s all right,” she answered, “You tried your best. Perhaps the royal wizard can do something.”

The wizard arrived wearing his finest robes, and had a hat tilted at a crazy slant.

“You’ve tried going through, around, and over,” the Wizard said, “but I shall use my magic to go under the door.” With a puff of smoke the wizard changed into a kitten, but was too big to fit through the crack under the door. With a second puff of smoke he changed into a mouse, but was still too big. With a last effort he changed into a lady bug, but he was still too big to fit under the door.

“That…” the Wizard said as he changed back into a person, “that is one tight fit. Princess, perhaps I can show you a magic trick?”

“No thank you,” Princess Meridian answered, “I am going to try getting past this door.” Of course by that time word had spread throughout the kingdom about the Princess’s quest. A steady parade of scholars and philosophers, mages and mystics came to the door with all sorts of plans for opening the door. All their plans failed

In the evening Princess Meridian’s mother, the Queen, came to get her.

“Come Darling,” the Queen said, “It’s bed time.”

“In a moment Mother,” the Princess answered, “I want to try some more.”
“Tomorrow is another day,” the Queen answered, “and now it is time to sleep.”

Princess Meridian wheeled on the door in frustration.

“I’ve been here all day,” she said to the wooden planks, “I’ve tried everything I could think of to get you open, but none of my ideas worked. Just open! Please!”

As soon as the Princess said “please” the door swung open. She went inside the room, and found a beautiful dress arranged on a manikin. The dress became Princess Meridian’s favourite dress, and always reminded her of the magic word.

What do you have for me, and my kids:

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