There were many things that irritated Princess Sweetheart. Birdsong in the mornings. Too much syrup on her pancakes. Her stupid, stupid name. But none of these things irritated her quite so much as babies did. Silly, gurgling, what-on-earth-is-all-the-fuss-about babies. Smelly, crying, pooping babies. Seriously, she could never understand why most human beings within a five foot radius of a screeching infant suddenly seemed to drop twenty IQ points.
“Listen! She’s saying Mama!”
Princess Sweetheart stared down at the fat baby that was being shoved towards her arms. “Really?” She raised an eyebrow. “I didn’t hear Mama.”
“Wait, she’ll say it again, won’t you Mama? Mami-mama-googoo-baby, yes you will!” The baby’s mother proceeded to gargle in a language that sounded pretty repugnant to Princess Sweetheart’s ears. In the midst of this, the baby did blurt something out.
“I think I heard it this time.”
“Isn’t it just adorable? Mama.”
“I heard mammoth.”
“Mammoth. As in huge, humongous. Maybe he’s noticed that you haven’t managed to shift your baby weight.”
Her eyes flared viciously. “I’ve lost six pounds this week! AND SHE’S A GIRL!”
Princess Sweetheart shrugged. “Easy mistake. Babies all look the same, anyway.” She peered down at the tubby infant. “Although, your kid does have an unusually large nose. What did the doctor say about that?”
The exchange that followed must be censored, dear reader. Let’s just say the mother was not at all pleased that her darling baby was being insulted in such a blunt fashion. And Princess Sweetheart was never one to shy away from a heated argument. Things got pretty nasty, very quickly.
As unpleasant as all of this was, it might not have been all that catastrophic in usual circumstances. However, the circumstances were not at all usual. Princess Sweetheart had not just insulted any ordinary baby. She had insulted a VIB (Very Influential Baby). The baby in question was the child of King Pompotti, who was the most influential and important King in all the lands far, far away. As he was so influential and important, people actually saw very little of him – influential and important equals busy, busy. In fact, he was so busy that he had never actually met the King and Queen of Pleasantville. His secretary had always handled all the necessary correspondence.
The invitation that landed Princess Sweetheart in King Pompotti’s castle was actually in the name of her parents. Unfortunately, since they had both come down with the flu and were unable to attend the festivities, they sent their daughter as their representative.
(To the credit of the King and Queen of Pleasantville, along with their daughter, they had also sent thirty bunches of flowers, five baskets full of the Queen’s scones and the most charming and endearing ‘sorry we couldn’t make it’ note. Unbeknownst to them, Princess Sweetheart had chucked out the flowers since the smell made her nauseous, ate the scones because the journey made her hungry and threw out the note just for the sheer hell of it.)
King Pompotti had not yet had the chance to be enchanted by the niceness of Princess Sweetheart’s parents. However, one thing was for certain – Princess Sweetheart had enraged him (dear reader, here’s a free tip: don’t insult babies in front of their parents – it will never lead to Good Things).
Princess Sweetheart was promptly kicked out of the castle, which was no bad thing in her view, since the entire household of Pompotti seemed like dreadful bores. Little did she know, no more than five minutes after she had left the premises, another person had been summoned to the castle by the King’s orders…
The Evil Fat Tramp of Scowdown Valley…
To Be Continued