Knight in Shining Coveralls


Illustration by Ethnie Calvert

She sent for Princes to rescue her from the horrible mess! Artwork by Ethnie Calvert


For Emaline, who often feels like a queen over her sloppy peasant sisters.

There once was a maiden in deep distress, she was beautiful and delicate. Princess Simone Dissposal ruled over the land Debrishire. And her land was filled with the most disgusting and abominable filth imaginable. All of the subjects in her kingdom were complete slobs. They would eat apples, and leave the cores on the ground. They would have feasts and leave the leftovers everywhere. I won’t even get into their bathroom etiquette, let’s just say EWE! She was so saddened, she had no idea what could be done. No one could walk in the park because there heaps of trash were piled everywhere. She couldn’t even go to “ye local grocer” because the mess was that awful.

One day, when she could stand it no longer, she sent out carrier pigeons’ in all directions pleading for some handsome prince to rescue her. She pledged her hand to the fierce warrior that could save her from the mountains of refuse. As you know, all most princes do is pick their noses, and rescue damsels in distress. Naturally, when they heard about a beautiful princess in danger they were all more than willing to help. On they came from their various lands. Each one was ready to slay a dragon, or make a sorcerer look silly. Whatever errand ensured he win the heart of said fair princess they would do, at least that was their notion.

When the first prince arrived in the land he turned tail and ran. The stench gave him a horrible migraine you see, and who could expect a prince to be valiant in such conditions, honestly.

The second made it a little farther into town, until he hit a road that was impassibly barricaded with garbage. The princess didn’t actually expect him to touch that garbage, did she?

The rest of the princes heard about the condition of the town from the first two as they ate finger sandwiches at the country club. They all decided that any princess who lived in such filth could not very beautiful anyway. And so it was that the princess was left with no champion at all. She waited and waited, and watched and watched, but not one prince came to her rescue.

One day a man was traveling from a nearby town of Tidyshire with his team of oxen, and cart. Conlan Knight had recently discovered that he was adopted and his real parents lived in the princess’s humble hamlet. So he was on a quest to find them, and offer oxen as a gift to the parents he never knew. As he drew nearer the town he noticed a pungent odor becoming stronger and stronger. He wondered what the smell could be. Soon he began to see bits of garbage on the sides of the road, not wanting to seem ignorant of civic duty he began picking up the pieces, and he continued on. As he drove farther into the town he noticed more and more debris on the sides of the road, and as before, he felt it irresponsible to just leave it lying about. After all what would his birth parents think if someone were to tell them that this stranger, who was actually their son, had just left rubbish on the sides of the road. So he picked up all the litter he could see. By the time he arrived at his parents’ cottage, his cart was teeming with waste.

In the castle across the square, Princess Simone looked dreamily out her window and imagined that her tiny kingdom was clean. She looked once, and thought, “Well I am getting better at this imagining thing. See what Nanny thinks of that.” She sat up and opened her eyes wider. Then she blinked, and rubbed her eyes, just to make sure she wasn’t still imagining things.  The entire town was clean!  She spied Conlan in his cart, and commanded her servants to promptly fetch her hero. She wished them to inform him that, “He had won the hand of the fair princess.” They were however too lazy to walk down the hundreds of flights of steps in the castle, and the princess eventually did it herself. The wedding was arranged immediately. Although the young man hardly knew why. His new found family was so proud.

On the grand wedding day he turned to the princess and said, “Princess, is this your kingdom?” She giggled flirtatiously, and replied to the affirmative. Then he said, “Well then, may I just say. You are a pig, and your people slobs! I have no desire to Lord over lazy people” He turned heel and walked away. Conlan might have been a head shorter, if Simones’ servants listened to her orders. As it was, she was lucky to get him caught at all before he left the town. “Wait,” she cried.  “We must have a King!”  A grand assemblage was held, and all of the townsfolk were present. The princess addressed her subjects, “I am going to make new rules, all of you must keep your garbage to yourself, under penalty of time-out or GROUNDING” Then Conlan stood up and made all citizens aware of the new procedures being put into action, “All citizens will put their trash in the barrels outside their homes. I have assigned a serf to pick up your things once a week, and take it to the designated dump outside the ogres’ lair. If you have followed all of these decrees for six months, then I will marry your princess, and be your king. If not I will take my oxen, and wagon and return to my home.” The citizens had come to love this newcomer, who was clean and polite, not to mention that he was biological cousin or uncle to about half of them.

For six long months the citizens worked harder than they ever had before, carrying their trash to the garbage cans outside their doors. It was, honestly, exhausting. One day the serfs looked about themselves and realized how beautiful their home was. The hills were a verdant green, the streams ran crystal clear, and the horizons shone crisp and beautiful. Conlan asked the princess if she would, once again, agree to marry him. They wed at sunset with the brilliant colors of pink and blue behind them, and in their clean kingdom they lived happily ever after, occasionally traveling to neighboring kingdoms giving motivational talks on how to establish “Ye Olde Disposal” Services. They, in fact, were the parents of the modern system of sanitation. One of their progenitors later invented the garbage truck. They were what I would call a very trashy family. (Bwah-wah-wah)

This entry was posted in Exhuberant Early Schoolers, 4-7 years and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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