Once upon a time the King’s daughter, lovely 10 year old Princess Rosa leigha, made her first trip outside Castle Leigha’s walls, and into the village below.
The King’s plan was to give Princess Rosa a simple solo visit. The queen reminded him, however, that royalty never travels alone, so she assigned Nanny and Teacher to make the trip with her. Nanny insisted that two ladies-in-waiting be included to care for the princess’s needs. Teacher wanted a historian to record the event. Historian would not go if the opening moment was not made significant, so he enlisted an announcer and three trumpeters. There had to be guards, even though the kingdom was at peace, so four of the King’ finest soldiers were attached to the group. The soldiers, knowing battle logistics, called up carriages to transport the royal visitors, and of course carriage drivers and footmen had to be included as well. It took much of the morning but the solo entourage seemed to be on time leaving the castle on the designated Saturday.
Oh, and two younger maid-servants begged Princess Rosa to include them, and since there were secretly best friends, she make them Rose Petal throwers, to walk before her. Oh, Oh! Of course Princess Rosa had to bring her evil cat “Pinky.”
The King sent a messenger into the village square to announce the visit the previous week. In joyful response the little town made itself absolutely ready, dressing itself up in the finest of holiday wreath and fluff. Multicolored buntings were hung from every rampart and bulwark. Festive flags displaying every prominent family crest topped each high tower and building peak, A banner welcoming the princess was strung across the main street, and the sidewalks were painted gold.
The people thought they were ready, as well. Every shop owner spent the week preparing their finest goods in hopes the sights and smells of their displays would catch the eye of Princess Rosa. Tailors were busy making new suits and dresses for the people, and even Leighaville’s street cleaners worked extra hard with broom and brush to make the town sparkle.
Yes, the village was almost sure it was ready when the princess’s entourage arrived, and stopped at the edge of town, a little after midday, and just before tea time.
First came the trumpeters, blasting harmonizing “Ta-das!“ from their 10 foot long double looped Leigha horns. Then the announcer stepped forward, and without needing a megaphone declared the King’s blessing in complicated verbal bouquets that both awed and confused everyone listening. Eventually he announced the princess, raising the timber of his voice with each syllable of her name, dazzling the crowd with oral fireworks, and bringing them from their knees to their tip toes in total rapture and worship.
“Your future queen, Protector of the Outer Realms, Defender of the Inner Sanctuary, Provider of the Emnosotical Obscantiveary, and most Precious Daughter of King Omnefortus Alouisious Defortia Medronicas Esponoza Jones the 31st, Her Royal Highness Prin-cess Ros-a-leigh-a High-tow-er Es-pan-oz-a J-O-nesssssss!”
The trumpeters “Ta-da-ed!” again, and the people went wild with their praise, yelling and chanting the princess’s name, leaping and jumping, and dancing with each other.
Teacher and the historian loved it, the guards were wary, and Nanny covered Princess Rosa’s eyes, saying “My, my, and mercy me!” The Princess peaked between Nanny’s fingers and giggled. “What wonderfully silly people,” she thought. “Teacher? What is an Emnosotical Obscantiveary?”
“Ah, well, dear. . .(That announcing scoundrel! I think he‘s making it up as he‘s going along!) we’ll look it when we get home.”
The carriages began to move again, until they reached the trumpeters and the announcer who had walked to the corner of the first block. It was time to disembark.
First to hit the side walk were the guards of course, who used their lances horizontally to push and hold back the crowd. Next were the footmen, who jumped from the top of the carriages to place exiting steps in front of each carriage door. They opened the last of four carriage doors first. Out stepped the ladies-in-waiting who ran to the first carriage while the crowd cheered. They skipped the third carriage because it was full of luggage. The footman opened the second carriage and out jumped Rosa’s servant friends, who also hurried to the first carriage, throwing petals behind themselves as they ran. They stood at attention next to the ladies-in-waiting, who were next to the footmen, who were waiting for every one to be in place before they opened the door to the princess’ carriage.
The trumpeters “Ta-da-ed!” again. The announcer announced again. The crowd cheered even more wildly, and then all went silent as the door was opened. The footman holding the door bowed, and a delicate foot appeared, gingerly searched for the step. The crowd hushed and then gasped, and then prepared to cheer, but it was only Teacher. The people gave a disappointed groan.
An arm reached out to pull its body outside the carriage. The crowd prepared to cheer. They were up on their toes again staring expectantly when Nanny pulled herself out of the carriage. The people relaxed and sighed.
Finally, the crowd knew there could be no one else in the carriage, the next foot or arm, or human they would see had to be the princess! The trumpeters “Ta-da-ed!” again. The announcer spoke brilliantly again. The servants began throwing petals and the ladies-in-waiting prepared themselves again. The footman’s back began to cramp, but he continued his bow. The people began to chant the princess’name.
The door was open for a long time, but no one came out. And the door stayed open for an even longer time, and still no one came out. Eventually the crowd tired of chanting and stood silent again. Nanny, feeling the heat of the people’s expectation and confusion, gave a little bow and hurried back to the carriage. She was inside for a long time, and eventually popped her head out for moment and called the footman.
The footman nodded his head as Nanny whispered in his ear, and then motioned with his hand that everyone should quickly return to their carriages, which everyone did most earnestly. Before the crowd knew it all the carriages were full again, and turned around, and headed back to the castle in a quick trot.
“But why had they come so far only to leave so quickly?“ asked the towns people? Was the princess afraid of us? Was the town not pretty enough for her? What urgency would call her back to the castle without even tasting what they had to offer.
“She did not taste my bread!” complained the baker.
“She did not taste my candies!” whined the chocolate maker.
“I had such a lunch planned for her!” lamented the chef from the café.
Even the street cleaners were unhappy. “Such a scrubbing we gave these gold sidewalks, and she didn’t even put a slipper out of her carriage!”
One person knew the answer. It was the butcher‘s wife, and mother of his 13 children, who was standing nearest the footman when Nanny made her whispering command. She couldn’t help but overhear “The Princess has to go potty!”
She didn’t tell anyone what he knew. The next day she called the mayor, and the two of them ordered the finest woods they could find, and hired the finest carpenters they could hire, also landscapers and plumbers, and painters and woodcarvers.
They also commissioned a full time guard to stand outside the royal privy they had built, just for Princess Rosa, just outside the main gate.
The mayor vowed, they would be fully prepared for Princess Rosa’s next visit.