Once upon a time there was a very beautiful and regal Queen who lived in a big brick castle in Des Moines. The Queen was very organized and very fair and a little bossy, but that was only because she lived with the Royal King her three golden-haired Royal Princesses and her strapping young Royal Prince and the Royal business needed to get done. The handsome King was a jovial and kind-hearted man, very good and generous to all his subjects, and his children loved when he came down from his Royal throne and played Royal games of chess and soccer and dolls with them. He rarely raised his voice or lost his patience with his children or anyone in his Kingdom.
The Queen on the other hand, tried to be as patient as the kind and loving King. She tried not to raise her voice to the Royal children, running from one end of the castle to the other poking each other with fencing swords, and refusing to put on their Royal robes and shoes so they could go to school and instead playing with their Royal toys in their Royal underwear on the floor of their Royal bedroom. She tried to not think about punching them in their Royal noses when the oldest Princesses were fighting over the locked bathroom door, even though the Royal Decree was very clearly posted on the outside of that very bathroom that read:
During the hours of 7-7:35am and 7:30-8pm when the Royal Commode shall be occupied by more than one royal child for the brushing of the royal teeth and silken hair, any business that requires the locking of the Royal Commode Door must instead be done in the King and Queen’s bathroom to avoid a repeat of the Great Battle of the Commode of 2012 which as we all remember with great sadness, resulted in near loss of life, serious name calling and many tears.
This is a Royal Decree and violation will be punishable by Death or Removal of the Royal Electronics.
But no matter how hard the Queen tried, no matter how many Self Help Scrolls she read, no matter how many cups of Royal Coffee she drank in the morning before she woke her Royal cherubs, she could not be as relaxed and laid back as the King was. She began to think that maybe the King had scored some Magic Beans from the long-haired magician living in a dilapidated old apartment in the sketchy area of the Kingdom, that perhaps he ate each morning to help him be so Regally Cool and Calm as a Royal Cucumber. But to her baffled disappointment and discouragement, because the Queen had rather liked the idea of having some Magic Beans of her own, she found no beans in his possession and decided that it was just his cheery disposition and nothing more.
So, one particularly exhausting Friday morning, after the princesses and prince had been woken, fed, brushed, dressed and wrestled into their shoes and Royal satchels, and wrangled into the minicarriage (that’s like a minivan, but there’s just no way to make that funny) and had been dropped at school, the Queen decided that she was going to call for her own minicarriage. She was taking a vacation alone to find the secret to the King’s patience and she wasn’t coming back until she found it…or until Monday morning when the Royal Children had to be driven to school again. She packed herself a suitcase with her Royal yoga pants, several scrolls to read, a big jug of bubble bath, a bigger jug of wine, and one small painting of her Royal Family because she knew that she’d miss them while she was gone.
Before she left, she climbed up to the highest tower of the castle where the eldest Princess slept. She fluffed her Royal pillows and gathered all the golden-haired daughter’s wrinkled Royal flannel shirts and Royal black jeans that were stuffed under her Royal bed and carried them down to the chambers where the other Royal children slept. From the Prince’s room, she stepped over his personal kingdom of Royal Legos to pull up his Royal covers and pick up his Royal pajamas off the floor. She sailed quickly into the youngest Princesses’ room to gather up bits of Royal duct tape off the floor left over from the Princess’ latest crafting session and stacked the tiniest of Princesses’ 47 books back into a pile instead of scattered all over the Royal floor.
Outside the Royal Commode, the Queen stopped to straighten the Royal Decree hanging on the wall and then proceeded inside to clean the Royal toothpaste off the sink, unplugged and put away the Royal flatiron, swept up the Royal golden hair that covered the floor, replaced the empty Royal toilet paper roll and gathered up the ten empty Royal cardboard tubes to place in the Royal recycling.
“Replacing the Royal t.p. IS a pretty complicated task,” she thought to herself.
The Queen turned to leave before realizing that the Royal Commode was in fact, covered in Royal pee because the dashing, darling, golden Prince, the next in line to the throne, had refused to lift the Royal lid before relieving himself. He’d probably locked the door to pee all over during the hours of 7am and 7:35am too, thought the Queen with a sigh, which meant that he would have to be put to death or surrender his Royal Kindle. She’d have to leave a scroll for the King reminding him to settle the matter when the Prince got home.
The Queen descended the stairs of the castle, gathering Royal stuffed animals and toys left behind no doubt by the Royal children as they were forced to quit playing against their Royal will to get dressed for school. She swept into the Royal Dining Room with just enough room in her arms to collect the Royal goblets half filled with milk and juice from the Royal Breakfast along with the mostly empty golden bowls of porridge and Cheerios. She bent down and carried The Royal Register newspaper to the recycle bin in her Royal Teeth. After starting the Royal dishwasher, starting the first of ten Royal Loads of Laundry, feeding the Royal Fido, and wiping down the Royal counters, she deemed herself at long last ready to leave the castle for her vacation.
That’s when she noticed the Royal bills sitting on the counter and remembered that she must pay them before she left or they would be sure to have their Royal water shut off. She sat down at the Royal computer to pay the bills, and promptly noticed in her Royal email that the RPTA (Royal PTA) would like her to help at the Royal Book Fair (of course she would love to help, she loved the Book Fair), their Royal Church wanted her to sing with the worship band next Sunday (absolutely, that was when the Queen felt like a Royal Rockstar), and there were several Royal Birthday invitations for the Prince and Princesses (I’ll just pick up a few books at the Royal Book Fair for gifts, she thought smartly).
Finally, the Queen was off. She kissed the King good-bye as she reminded him to pick up the Royal Children at 3 o’clock. He patted her hand and said, “Of course I’ll remember that. Have a good time dear.”
She checked herself into the first non-Royal Holiday Castle-Express she came across driving out of her Kingdom. She promptly put on her most comfortable Royal Yoga Pants, popped the cork out of her jug of wine while her bath was filling and she unrolled her first scroll, a new one by Royal Jane Austin.
She woke early the next morning, remembering her mission: Find some Royal Patience. She strolled around the neighboring Kingdom, asking everyone she saw if they knew where she could find some Royal Patience.
Go See the Witch at the Edge of the Woods, each person told her. So she did. Surprisingly, the Witch at the Edge of the Woods, lived in a lovely quiet cottage, completely decorated with Royal Pottery Barn furniture and she too wore yoga pants, Witchy Yoga Pants, but still. The Witch invited the Queen in for coffee and pumpkin muffins and Almond Joys and they had a delightful conversation about scrolls they’d read, they traded Royal recipes for Witchy Recipes, and they laughed and laughed. The Queen was feeling so at home and so relaxed that she almost forgot to ask about what she’d come for.
“Do you know where I can get some Royal Patience?” the Queen asked suddenly.
“Oh sure,” the Witch said.
Part Two Coming Soon…