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Children's Stories
by Margo Fallis
The Six Princes

Inside a big castle lived six princes. Their names were Oomba, Toomba, Joomba, Foomba, Zoomba and Yoomba. Their mother, the queen and their father, the king, were quite upset with the princes. They were all lazy. All they did every single day was lie in bed. They got up to eat sometimes, but always went back to bed.

“How will we ever teach our sons to be kings if all they do is sleep?” The queen sat on her throne and looked over at the king.

“We shall have to do something about it right now. I will make a royal decree that from now on our sons cannot sleep.” The king clapped his hands.

“Not sleep? Never?” The queen was aghast.

“Never! They have to work, play, run or skip. They can eat, brush their teeth, sweep the castle floors, but they can’t sleep.” The royal squire came into the room and bowed before the king. “Go and wake up my six sons and tell them I have sent out a royal decree that they are never allowed to sleep again.”

The squire bowed and headed straight for the prince’s bedroom. He opened the door. The six boys were all sound asleep. The squire pulled the curtains open and bent over Oomba. “Wake up!” He shouted in Oomba’s ear.

Oomba and his brothers jumped and sat in the bed.

“Your father, the king, has made a decree that his sons, the six of you, are not allowed to sleep again.” The squire bowed and left the princes on their own.

“Never allowed to sleep? What ever shall we do with our time?” Toomba yawned.

“It is a royal decree. We have no choice. I think I will get dressed and go and have something to eat in the royal kitchen,” Joomba said.

“I think I will get dressed and go for a walk in the royal gardens,” Yoomba said.

Zoomba, Foomba, Oomba and Toomba didn’t know what they wanted to do, but they got dressed and closed the bedroom door behind them.

Zoomba decided to go to the royal treasury and count the gold coins.

Foomba headed for the royal laundry to make sure his clothes were being washed the correct way.

Oomba went to the royal baths. He wanted to be clean and soak in bubbly water.

Toomba went to the royal chicken coops to make sure the hens were laying enough eggs.

The king and queen walked past the prince’s bedroom and opened the door. Nobody was in the bed. The king smiled and they walked on.

Joomba’s stomach rumbled with hunger. He’d slept so much that he was nothing but skin and bones. When he opened the royal kitchen door, the cook was polishing a copper pot. “Oh cook! I’d like something to eat. I would like to start with a plum pie with cream and an orange cake with marmalade.”

The cook made an angry face and started baking the pie and cake. After Joomba had finished eating them both he patted his tummy. “That was delicious. I’d forgotten how much fun eating cakes could be. I’d like another. I want a pie filled with raisin and chopped nuts and fresh raspberries and topped with vanilla ice cream. I’d also like a fruit cake covered in marzipan icing and topped with fresh cream.” The cook made an even angrier face and baked the second pie and cake. It went like this the whole day. Joomba wanted every kind of pie and every kind of cake he could think of. The cook didn’t have time to make lunch or supper for the king and queen because he was so busy cooking for Prince Joomba.

Yoomba walked down to the royal gardens. “This is simply lovely. Look at all the colored flowers. There are pink ones, red ones, blue, orange and white ones, yellow ones, purple ones, cream, salmon and crimson ones. I think I will pick them and sit under that tree and smell each one.” Yoomba walked around the gardens picking every flower he could see. When his arms were full, he carried them over to the willow tree, sat and sniffed them all. When he’d sniffed them all, he pulled each and every petal off and threw them in the air.  When the royal gardener came to the gardens to begin working, he saw that the flowers had been picked. He saw the prince sitting under a tree with bare branches near his feet and a huge pile of petals sitting next to him. The royal gardener wouldn’t be able to take the queen a bouquet of fresh flowers today. This would be the first time she’d not had any on her table.

Zoomba headed for the royal treasury. He opened the door and was thrilled to see all the gold and jewels. They were in nice piles, stacked neatly around the room. Zoomba wanted to play with the jewels and gold, so he knocked the piles over and picked one jewel up at a time, holding it to his eye to see how pretty things looked. He rolled the gold coins along the floor to see which one went the fastest. When the royal treasurer came to work, he saw the mess! The king wanted to have a pile of gold coins this evening to count and then give to another king as a gift. How on earth could he take any to the king now!

Foomba went to the royal laundry. There were at least ten people there scrubbing dirty clothes and hanging them up on lines to dry. Foomba wanted to see how clean his were, so he went to the first line and pulled a shirt off. “This isn’t mine! It’s Zoomba’s.” He threw it on the floor. He went to the next shirt. “This isn’t mine either. It’s Joomba’s.” Foomba went through every shirt and when he saw they didn’t belong to him, he threw each and every one of them on the floor. He didn’t know that his pile of dirty clothes hadn’t been washed yet. The laundry people were furious. Now they had to wash every single piece of wash again. The queen wouldn’t have clean table cloths on her tables tonight for her supper.

Toomba made his way outside and headed for the royal chicken coops. There was a lot of clucking noises and feathers flew all over as the chickens pecked at the seeds lying on the ground. Toomba went into one of the coops and lifted a chicken off its nest. “Look at the eggs. I wonder what is inside of an egg. The only time I’ve seen eggs is when they come scrambled on my plate.” Toomba was so curious that he purposely dropped an egg on the floor of the coop. It made a popping sound. “I like that. Look at what’s inside. This is fun.” Toomba was so excited that he broke every single egg in every single coop. When the chicken-woman came to gather eggs that morning and saw the mess, she became very upset. How would she be able to make the queen her omelet and egg massage for her face?

Oomba wanted to take a hot bath in a tub full of bubbles. He went down to the royal bath house and turned on the hot water. He poured the entire bottle of bubble bath into the water and then he took his time undressing.  He climbed into the tub and sank down in it. “Oh, this feels so good. I think I’ll go swimming now.” He swam around in the bathtub splashing water and bubbles all over the floor. When the bath house attendant came into the room, he slipped and landed on his bottom in a pool of water. There was water and bubbles everywhere. They saw that the prince had used all the queen’s royal bubble bath and all the hot water. How would he provide a bath for the king and queen tonight? The bath house attendant had to spend the whole day and night cleaning up the mess.

The king and queen went into the dining room to eat their lunch. “Where is the table cloth?” The queen sent for the laundry people and asked them what happened. They told the king and queen about the royal prince. Soon the chicken-woman came to the castle and the bath house attendant and the royal treasurer, the royal gardener and the royal cook. They told the king and the queen that something must be done about the six princes. They’ve made a mess of the entire castle. Now the queen and king can’t have a bath, an egg massage, a fresh bouquet of flowers, or anything else that the princes had made a mess of.

“Oh dear,” said the queen.

“Oh dear,” said the king.

“Maybe its better that we let the royal princes sleep all day. At least they can’t get into trouble and make a mess.” The queen used her royal fan to fan herself off.

The king sent a royal decree to the princes telling them that they had to sleep as much as they could.

The princes didn’t mind. They liked sleeping and would much rather sleep than be in the gardens, or in the treasury. The princes were happy and so was everyone else in the castle.

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