Monday, August 6, 2012

The Twelve Dragon Riding Princesses: A TCWT Post

Harken, readers dearest!  Today I have the pleasure of posting for the Teens Can Write, Too! August blog chain. This month's topic is:  Write a retelling of your favorite fairy tale, myth or legend.  

I have chosen to rewrite The Twelve Dancing Princesses.  Here's my story (and before you ask, "mesonoxian" means "of, or pertaining to midnight"): 

The Twelve Dragon Riding Princesses
By Lily Jenness

You may have heard the story of the twelve dancing princesses.  A tale of twelve frivolous young ladies who dance every night on a special island for no apparent reason.  That story is not true.  That is what they told their father, the king. The real story is as follows.
There was evidence in the form of worn out boots that the twelve princesses of Spryll went on mysterious mesonoxian missions.  This dismayed the king greatly, for every night he had the door to the princesses’ room secured with more locks than he could count.
Anxious to know what his daughters were up to, the king offered his kingdom and one of the princesses to any man who could discover their secret. However, if the man did not discover the secret before three days had gone by, he would be put to death.
Many princes, knights, and even a private detective tried and failed to discover the princesses’ secret.
It happened one day that a soldier recently returned from war, heard about the king’s offer, and, having nowhere to go and having nothing to do, decided to try his luck at uncovering the princesses’ secret.  He spoke of his plans to an old woman he had met on the road, and she gave him a cloak that when worn, would render the wearer invisible. Along with this material gift, she gave an intellectual one in the form of advice: “Do not eat or drink anything the princesses give you”.
The soldier presented himself before the king, and was installed in a room next to that of the princesses.  As the time for sleep approached, the eldest princess came to the soldier and offered him a glass of wine.  He thanked her, and while she was not looking, tossed the wine out the window.  He bid the princess goodnight, then he faked sleep, snoring loudly.  Three of the princesses peeked in his room, and were satisfied that he was soundly asleep.  As soon as they were gone, the soldier donned his invisibility cloak, and snuck in their room as their door was closing. To his surprise, the princesses were dresses for battle.  As he watched, the eldest opened up a secret passageway in the floor. He followed them down, and bumped into the youngest princess’s sword.  She gave a shriek that something was amiss, but her sisters disregarded it as her imagination.
The passageway ended and opened up to a forest made of trees with golden leaves.  The soldier snapped a twig off one of the trees as proof he had been there.  The youngest princess again gave a shriek, but again her sisters ignored her.  The golden trees gave way to silver trees, and then silver gave way to diamond.  The soldier snapped a branch off of each, and each time the youngest princess shrieked her uneasiness.
The diamond leafed trees opened up to a cliff overlooking the sea.  On the edge of the cliff stood twelve majestic dragons, each having been saddled for battle.  By each dragon stood an armored man, holding the reigns.  These armored men helped each of the princesses onto a dragon, and then climbed on behind them.  As the soldier watched them fly away, he began to plot how he would follow them to their mysterious destination.  He went back to the palace, and faked sleep again when he heard the princesses return.   The next night, he followed the princesses again to the cliff, and he planned to sneak a ride on one of the dragons.  Unfortunately, a gust of wind blew his invisibility cloak off, and the youngest princess saw him.  The soldier felt a blow to the back of his head, and the world went dark. 
He awoke in his room with twelve pairs of worried eyes staring at him. 
“What should we do with him?” asked one of the princesses, “He cannot live and carry our secret. But if he disappears or is found dead, Father will be suspicious.” 
Then the soldier offered to go to battle with them the next night, and he promised that he would not tell their father what he had seen.  The princesses agreed to his proposal, and the next night he flew with them to an island in the middle of the sea.  The island was lit with small fires, and in their glow, the soldier could see a writhing mass circling the island.  A sea monster.  The men with the princesses dismounted on the island to fight on the ground, and the princesses took off on their dragons to fight the monster from the air. 
At one point, the soldier lost his sword. Then he saw a possibility, and he took it.  He acted as a decoy to draw the head of the monster to the center of the island. As the monster got ready to strike, the twelve princesses converged upon it, and killed it.  The monster fell with a crash, and the body slipped into the sea.  The princesses rejoiced, for now that their opponent was dead, they no longer needed to sneak out at night. 
The next morning, the soldier was brought before the king.  The king demanded to know if the soldier knew the secret of the worn out boots.  Not wishing to die, the soldier said “yes.” And he lied.  He told the king that the princesses snuck out each night to dance in a meadow surrounded by gold, silver, and diamond leafed trees, and he gave the king the branches he had collected on the first night.  He told the king that the princesses wore their boots because they lasted longer against the sharp leaves.  The king sent for the princesses, and asked them if the soldier’s story was true.  They said yes. The king was overjoyed to know his daughters’ secret at last, and promised to hold them as many balls as they wanted, as long as there were no more midnight adventures.  The princesses agreed. The soldier was then told to pick a princess for his wife.  He chose the eldest, for she was the closest to his age, and he admired her battle prowess.
The dancing version of the story was passed on around the kingdom and down through the years, until two brothers named Grimm heard it, and published it in a book of fairy tales.   

The awesomeness doesn't stop here!  Be sure to check out the rest of the blog chain:
Want to follow our blog chain? Here are the participating parties, day by day:
August 4– –Musings From Neville’s Navel
August 5 – – Crazy Red Pen
August 6 – – Lily’s Notes in the Margins
August 7 - Olivia’s Opinions
August 8 -, Slices, and Scenes
August 9 – Mark O’Brien Writes
August 10 – – One Life Glory
August 11 – – A Story of a Dreamer
August 12 – – Life, Among Other Things
August 13 – – Blog of a (Maybe) Teen Author
August 14 - The Teenage Writer
August 15 -– Scribbling Beyond the Margins
August 16 – – Dragons, Unicorns, and Other Random Things
August 17 – – Kirsten Writes!
August 18 ––The Zebra Clan
August 19 –– Miriam Joy Writes
August 20– – All I Need Is A Keyboard
August 21 ––The Incessant Droning of a Bored Writer
August 22 Teens Can Write, Too! (We will be announcing the topic for next month’s chain.)


  1. That was a lovely twist to a classic fairytale. Well done, Lily! :]

  2. I loved this story (both the original and your version). Good job! Thanks for stopping by my blog! :)

    Oh an unrelated note, Sense and Sensibilty is an awesome book. (I noticed the icon on your sidebar.)

    1. Thanks!

      Sense and Sensibility is one of my favorite Austens :)

    2. Mine's Pride and Prejudice, but I also love Sense and Sensibility! :D

  3. I lovee how you kept the "popular" story of what happens the same, but figured out neat internally consistent changes to make to completely overhaul the story.

    Have you ever heard of/seen the musical Wicked? It does a similar sort of thing to the Wicked Witch of the West. (and it's amazing!)

    1. Thanks!

      I haven't seen it yet, but I've listened to the soundtrack. I have Defying Gravity going through my head now :)

  4. Dear Lily the Ever Imaginative (<-- love that),

    Thanks so much for following me on Twitter! I'll be following you back and also, I followed your blog. What a delightful corner of the blogosphere you have here. :)


  5. Nice! Love it.

    I feel stupid that had to look up what the Twelve Dancing Princesses was originally. But I guess that means your is just creative? Or I'm clueless? Both, probably. :)

  6. I like this interpretation! I love the original, but it's much more fun to have warriors instead of dancers.

  7. Cool story! I like your blog title.


    1. Thank you, Emma! The title was my mom's idea. She's pretty genius.