(I’ve started occasionally posting stories that I make up for my daughter here. This is the third one I’ve written up.)
The Story of Yuckyrella
Once upon a time there were a king and a queen who had seven daughters.Six of the princesses were very much alike. They were all dainty and wore beautiful clothes. They were all afraid of crawly things like snails and worms. They all tried to be the prettiest, and spent most of their days reclining on cushions in the royal palace.
But the seventh princess was different. Her name was Yuckyrella.
Unlike her sisters, Princess Yuckyrella liked running around and making noise. She wasn’t afraid of crawly things and her favorite outfit was a comfortable old flowered jumper with juice-stains on it. She preferred going on adventures to sitting around on a cushion.
Sometimes the other princesses made fun of Yuckyrella because she was different.
“Why can’t you be dainty like us?” they asked when she pretended to be a jellyfish.
“Princesses should be meek and polite!” they scolded when she practiced being a pirate.
“That’s disgusting!” they shrieked when Yuckyrella showed them the beetle she’d found in the queen’s flowerbed.
It made Yuckyrella sad when her sisters talked to her this way, but she couldn’t help it. The gooier, slimier, and dirtier things were, the more she seemed to like them.
She loved stomping in mud puddles. She adored tickling squirmy caterpillars. She was enraptured by the shimmery trails that snails left behind on leaves. Even her favorite foods were gloopy: yogurt, oatmeal and pudding.
One day when Yuckyrella was building a resort for the frogs that lived in the castle moat, a group of people came to see the king and queen. All of them looked worried. Yuckyrella was curious, so she followed them inside.
“Your majesties,” the people told the king and queen, “something terrible has happened! A giant slug has invaded the kingdom and is destroying the countryside!”
The queen frowned. “That is serious. Where has this terrible beast come from, and what is it doing?”
“We don’t know where it came from,” the people answered, “but it’s smashing our houses and ruining our gardens. Please, help us!”
“I will ride out with my bravest men and drive this brute of a slug away,” the king answered. He turned to the queen and the seven princesses. “Who will come with me?”
The queen turned pale. “Oh, darling, I can’t. I’m, going to get a haircut,” she said.
“A giant slug? Disgusting! We don’t want to go anywhere near it,” six of the princesses chorused.
Then Yuckyrella spoke up. “I’ll go!”
The king, and all of his bravest men on horseback, and Yuckyrella, found the giant slug in the middle of the village. The slug towered over the buildings and thrashed about furiously, knocking over nearby trees. The king and his men rode toward the slug but the horses slipped in the slime that the slug left behind. The men fell off their horses and all of them became frightened and ran away. Only Yuckyrella was left.
The slug was oozy and strange-looking, but that didn’t bother Yuckyrella. She had always enjoyed playing with slugs in the palace garden. And she knew that normally, slugs were peaceful creatures that didn’t bother anyone.
So in a quiet, kindly voice she asked, “What’s the matter, slug? Why are you behaving this way? You’re frightening everyone.”
When the giant slug heard her voice, it stopped rampaging. It looked at her, and then wriggled its eye-stalks toward its tail.
Yuckyrella looked closely, and saw that a splinter was poking into the slug’s soft body.
“So that’s why you’re so upset!” she exclaimed. “Here, let me help you.”
Yuckyrella waded through the slime. The slug remained very still. With both hands she tugged at the splinter and at last it came out.
The slug gave a shiver of happiness. It reached down and tickled Yuckyrella gently with its tentacles. Yuckyrella smiled and patted the slug. “You’re not a terrible beast at all. You just needed a friend, didn’t you?”
The slug nodded.
“But you can’t stay here,” Yuckyrella told the slug. “Come with me. I know the perfect place for you to live.”
She led the way to her favorite mud puddle behind the palace stables. The slug settled down with a contented sigh.
When the people saw that they were safe, they rushed to the castle to thank the king for saving them. But the king said, “Yuckyrella is the one you should thank.”
Then the king turned to the other six princesses. “You should learn from Yuckyrella’s example,” he told them. “Being a princess isn’t about daintiness or wearing beautiful clothes. A true princess is brave and smart, and most of all kind.”