Princess Maya was a very wise, kind, tall and beautiful princess with long black hair. All the people in her kingdom and many people from far away loved her very much. One of the many things that Princess Maya did very well was build things. She built castles and fortresses and keeps and all manner of other buildings. She became very famous throughout the land in this role and she was known as Princess Maya the Amazing Architect. In fact there was a waiting list years long of kings and queens and princes and princesses who wanted Princess Maya to build something amazing for them.
In a somewhat distant land there lived The Rainbow Dragon. The Rainbow Dragon once had scales of brilliant colors, red, blue, yellow, pink and so on. But over time his colors had faded somewhat and now The Rainbow Dragon was much better known as The Crochety Dragon. He had a tendency to set the people who came to see him on fire. So fewer and fewer people came to see him. And he got crochetier and crochetier.
The Crochety Dragon had heard of Princess Maya’s fame. One day he looked around the damp and dark dining room of his dismal, dank, drafty, dreary fortress and roared out loud that if Princess Maya was such a good architect why didn’t she come and renovate his fortress. When he had said that out loud, it sounded like an excellent idea, and he wrote a letter and sent it to Princess Maya. Sadly the letter was quite rude, short, demanding and, of course, crochety.
When Princess Maya got the letter she saw that it was quite rude, short, demanding and crochety. So she wrote back to The Crochety Dragon telling him that she would be happy to talk to him, but he had to first ask her much more nicely. The messenger who brought the letter back to The Crochety Dragon has still not, to this day, grown all of his eye lashes and eye brows back. The Crochety Dragon roared and raved and crocheted. He burned down the stables in his fortress, he burned down the forest near his fortress, he scorched the clouds around his fortress so they looked blacker than usual, and for good measure, he burned down several villages somewhat near to his fortress.
Eventually he calmed down and realized that the only way that Princess Maya was going to help him was if he asked more nicely. So eventually after burning up many, many letters and pens and writing desks, he finally wrote a halfway decent letter to Princess Maya, inviting her for tea and ice-cream and asking her if she would care to discuss the issue of the possibility of renovating his fortress.
Princess Maya, being a gracious princess, agreed to meet him and came with her friends to tea at The Crochety Dragon’s fortress. They all sat in the damp, dark, dreary dining room and ate some moldy cake and drank some watery tea. The Crochety Dragon did his best not to be crochety and he even smiled once and was mostly polite and very few of the guests got their hair singed.
Finally, because the Crochety Dragon had done his best not to be crochety and he had asked so very nicely, Princess Maya agreed to renovate his fortress and turn it into something awesome. She declared, however, that she would only do this under two conditions:
- The Crochety Dragon agree to whatever changes Princess Maya decided to make, and
- The Crochety Dragon left the fortress and went somewhere else for six months while Princess Maya worked
At this the Crochety Dragon roared and flailed and set fire to the dreary drapes in the dreary dining room. He set fire to the stables in the fortress, set fire to the forests around the fortress and, for good measure, set fire to the some of the villages somewhat nearby. But Princess Maya did not budge and finally the Crochety Dragon gave in because he really wanted his fortress renovated by Princess Maya the Amazing Architect.
“What will I do for six months? Where will I go?” wailed the Crochety Dragon in the end.
“Why don’t you travel the world? See new places? Talk to new people?” suggested Princess Maya kindly.
So, The Crochety Dragon flapped his wings and flew off over the sea in search of new places and people.
Princess Maya then went to work. First she had her friends demolish the entire fortress right down to its stony foundations. Then she designed and built an entirely new fortress that was twice the size of the old one. The new fortress had high ceilings and an enormous courtyard so that the sunlight reached inside every room and there were no dark corners anywhere in the fortress. At night one could stand in any one of dozens of balconies and watch the moon and the stars sweep majestically across the sky. (The Crochety Dragon’s fortress was built on top of a very tall mountain so it stood above the clouds so the skies were always clear)
She had her friends paint the roofs of the towers and keeps in bright primary colors. The walls were painted yellow and pink and orange. Around the castle she built a wide moat. But, instead of filling the moat with crocodiles and pirhanas and snapping turtles she filled it with rainbow fish and clown fish and had the bottom lined with shiny blue and white mosaic that shone and sparkled in the sun as the colorful fish swam past. Inside and all around the fortress were gardens and fruit trees with colorful blossoms.
Princess Maya created a giant roost for The Crochety Dragon at the very top of the fortress. The roost had very high roofs and tall pillars and a huge soft bed on which the Dragon could lie on and see the sunrise and the sunset (which he really liked to do, even though he had never told anyone). The Crochety Dragon’s favorite color was pink and so Princess Maya painted the pillars and roof of the roost all in pink.
Finally, the six months passed and The Crochety Dragon was flying back to his fortress. At the start of his journey around the world he was quite crochety and many villages had to rethatch their roofs and many men had to regrow their beards. At the middle of his journey his mood had improved considerably and he was making much better attempts to control his temper and not set fire to things around him. At the end of his journey he had turned into a very polite and well mannered Dragon and ended up being quite helpful. On his journey back he saved four princesses and one prince and defended two peaceful kingdoms from being over run by hordes of some very nasty ogres. Interestingly the color of his scales had grown brighter and he was now covered in red, blue, pink and orange colors everywhere.
As he flew back he caught sight of the shiny pink roof of his roost and immediately became even happier and started to fly faster and faster. He was so amazed and joyed by his new fortress that he flew around it ten times without stopping to land, taking in each fruit tree and each fish in the moat. When he finally landed in the wide sunny courtyard in the middle he bowed deeply to Princess Maya and thanked her profusely for the wonderful fortress she had built for him.
“I can not thank you enough for this wonderful home you have built me, princess,” he said. “I am forever in your debt. If you or anyone in your kingdom need any help please call me anytime.”
Princess Maya smiled and bowed to him and then left with her entourage and headed back to her kingdom. The Rainbow Dragon sat on his roost high up on his fortress and waved goodbye to them until he could not see them anymore.
(Transcript from memory of a bedtime story I made up on the spot to try and get a little one to sleep)