Once upon a time

Tell us about something that happened to you in real life last week — but write it in the style of a fairy tale.


Now it came to pass that one day Princess Alexandra felt ill and struggled to catch her breath. This did not please her.So she visited Ignelda the medicine woman who lived at the end of the village, near the enchanted forest.

The cottage was most strange, covered as it was in animal furs and unusual plant life. The door was oaken with a large brass frog-shaped knocker.

Alexandra the princess knocked. Soon an elderly lady wearing only purple opened the door. A white cat encircled her booted feet.

“Aha. I was expecting you.” Announced the woman. “Please come in.”

The princess explained her illness.

“Have you ever smoked?” Enquired the crone.

“No, never.” Replied Alexandra.

“Drink this my dear,” requested the medicine woman.

The princess drank the foul-tasting brew.

“Yuk!” Complained Princess Alexandra. “What’s in this? Frog’s eye or newt stomach or something?”

“Indeed,” replied Ignelda.

The princess pulled a face.

“Now please lie down on my couch and close your eyes whilst I examine your inhalations.” Asked the medicine woman.

Princess Alexandra lay down with a sigh.

Ignelda muttered some incantations and wafted floral scent. She then pressed gently on the royal’s chest and placed her ear closely to Alexandra’s mouth, the better to hear her inhalations.

After some time, the medicine woman declared that she had the solution.
She reached from a high shelf for a dusty blue bottle in a tear-drop shape.

“Drink a sip of this potion twice a day, once as soon as you wake and once before you fall asleep. Your breathing will improve.”

“Thank you.” Said the princess. “What shall I pay you for your trouble?”

“I would like that necklace.”

Princess Alexandra reluctantly removed the silver chain from around her neck and passed it to the old woman. It was one of her favourites and glinted with an ethereal light in the gloom of the cottage.

“Many thanks.” Grinned Ignelda. “And remember, don’t smoke.”

Princess Alexandra bid her farewell, clutching the blue receptacle.

As she left, she noticed a dwarf with a seagull on his head waiting outside.

“Blooming bird won’t come off.” He grumbled.

The sun shone bright as the princess mounted her black steed for the journey home. She turned at the sound of distant laughter, but no, it was merely her imagination.


Author: Alex

I work in a college library, and love reading, writing and drawing. I am a breast cancer survivor.

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