Princess Rosie and Joey Owl
One day Princess Rosie sat in the Palace Garden, her chin resting on her hand, as she tried to think of something fun to do with Sir Joey Owl.
"I wish we could go bye-byes somewhere exciting!" she said.
"Where would you like to go, Princess Rosie?" Sir Joey Owl asked. "What exciting place would you like to visit?"
"I would like to go to the beach!" Princess Rosie suggested.
"You mean the beach near where the Duchess of Still Pond lives?" Sir Joey Owl asked.
"Yes! But the Duchess is just Grandma, you know. And since we're going to be nearby there, maybe we could visit?" Princess Rosie hinted.
"How would we get there?" Sir Joey Owl wondered.
"Well, you can fly, Sir Joey Owl. Could you give me a ride?"
"Princess Rosie, I am just a little screech owl. If you climbed on my back you would squash me like a bug!"
"But I'm just a little princess!" Princess Rosie said, her little lip curling into a pout. "I am not very heavy! Even my mommy can pick me up and swing me around, and she's not as big as Daddy!"
"Princess Rosie, you have to understand that your mommy is much bigger and stronger than I am, but, I think I might know someone who can help us. Come with me." Sir Joey Owl said. "But first, tell Queen Mommy you will be going into the woods with me," Sir Joey Owl said, remembering the Princess Rosie Rule to always tell someone when she would be out of sight of the palace window.
When Queen Mommy had been told about the trip, Princess Rosie followed Sir Joey Owl's lead across the palace grounds and into the woods.
She liked going into the woods in the morning. The dew from the night before made the leaves and moss smell just lovely.
Soon Sir Joey Owl landed on a tree branch, and said to Princess Rosie, "See the little fairy door? Knock very lightly on it."
Princess Rosie tapped lightly on the door, and before she stood back up all the way, it was flung open.
"Aye, and who might you be?" a tiny little man with a pointed hat and funny, pointy shoes, stepped outside the door.
"I am Princess Rosie of Rosieland, and this," she raised her arm and gestured toward the treetop, "is Sir Joey Owl, of the Royal Woods."
"My, isn't that fascinating," the tiny little man said, pretty much unimpressed. "And you interrupted my reading hour for…?"
"Princess Rosie has a request, Ozzie. She needs some magickal help," Sir Joey Owl explained. "You have powers that no other gnome has."
"I'm sorry we interrupted your reading, Mr. Ozzie…"
"Just Ozzie, if you please, Princess Rosie," Ozzie said, and then his eyes twinkled. "So you want to fly around with the seagulls do you?" he said, as an all-knowing smile spread over his face.
Princess Rosie gasped. "However did you know that?"
"Saves time to be able to read minds. Don't have to go through all that chit chat until somebody thinks it's the polite time to ask a favor," Ozzie said, waving off Princess Rosie's surprise, then looked up at Sir Joey Owl. "I suppose you'll be the pilot?" Ozzie said.
"Yes," Sir Joey Owl kept his answer brief, knowing that Ozzie was a busy gnome.
"Well, fly on down here, let's get on with this!" Ozzie said, growing a little impatient."
Sir Joey Owl landed on the ground in front of Ozzie's funny pointy shoes.
Ozzie looked over at Princess Rosie and smiled. "Young Princess, is that a purple turtle over there?" he pointed.
Princess Rosie looked to her left where Ozzie pointed and saw no turtle, purple or otherwise, but when she turned back a second later, her eyes popped. "Oh my goodness! However did you do that?" she said, looking at a now very large Sir Joey Owl, who was almost as big as King Daddy!
"Young Princess, if I meant for you to see how I did that, I wouldn't have tricked you into looking the other way, now would I?" Ozzie said, waving at the two of them as he disappeared inside his door and slammed it. They he opened it again and stuck his head out. "You have three hours. That should be plenty of time to get to the beach, play with your feathered friends, take a swim and fly back," then, slam! Back Ozzie went to his chair and his book.
Princess Rosie looked at Sir Joey Owl, then at Ozzie's door, and bent to tap on it again. "He didn't give me a chance to thank him. Maybe I should…"
"Don't bother him again, Princess Rosie. He's probably in his chair opening up his book again. Climb aboard!" Sir Joey Owl squatted down and spread his wings. Princess Rosie climbed onto his back, sort of like climbing onto her pony. "Now hold on tight because if you fall Queen Mommy will clobber me!"
Princess Rosie held on tight. Sir Joey Owl took a couple running steps and flapped his strong wings and all of a sudden, they were in the air! A chill of excitement went through Princess Rosie as Sir Joey Owl soared over the tops of the trees of the Royal Woods! How thrilling! Flying is so magical! She thought.
On Sir Joey Owl's back, flying fast and easy, the breeze carrying them along, it only took a few minutes to get to Still Pond. "Look!" Princess Rosie pointed, "There's Grandma's house!"
"We will stop on the way back, if you wish, Princess Rosie. We only have three hours. If the magic wears off while we're flying with the seagulls we'll be in trouble."
Princess Rosie nodded. "I agree, Sir Joey Owl. If we stop on the way back, we will have a wonderful adventure to tell Grandma about."
"That's right, Princess Rosie," Sir Joey Owl said. "I'm glad you thought of that, and that you are being patient and waiting for the visit."
Soon Sir Joey Owl flew over Still Pond Beach. With the sun warm on Princess Rosie's shoulders, Sir Joey Owl swooped down and over the water.
That's where King Daddy wrote my name in the sand!" Princess Rosie pointed at the shore. "R-O-S-I-E!" she spelled aloud. Of course the waves had erased her name a long time ago. But in her memory the day Daddy had written her name in the sand was clear as the sky she and Sir Joey Owl now flew through.
All of a sudden, Sir Joey Owl screeched, as Screech Owls will do from time to time, and Princess Rosie would have clapped in delight except that she had to hold on as they were very high up in the sky now.
There was a seagull flying right at them! Closer! Closer! Closer he flew, almost beak to beak with Sir Joey Owl, the WHOOSH! He flew to the right at the very last minute!
"Wow!" Princess Rosie said, surprised and thrilled.
"That was Shecky! He's such a show-off!" Sir Joey Owl laughed. "But he sure knows how to clam!!"
Then there were two more seagulls, then Sir Joey Owl found himself swooping and gliding among ten or twelve gulls, all shrieking in seagull language, that was really very close to Screech Owl language, Princess Rosie thought. She held on even tighter as Sir Joey Owl dove and darted among their new found friends.
The seagulls dove down and into the water to grab little fishes, which they swallowed whole. And they caught bits of bread and food that humans on the beach tossed to them as well.
"They should play baseball as well as they catch!" Princess Rosie said to Sir Joey Owl, "The Thunder could sure use their help!"
Sir Joey Owl laughed at the thought of seagulls dressed up in Thunder uniforms, swooping around the bases and catching balls hit into the outfield. The other peewee teams wouldn't stand a chance! Ha-ha!
One of the gulls tossed Sir Joey Owl a clam, which he sucked out of the shell and gulped down. He loved seafood every now and then. He caught another one, got the shell open and let Princess Rosie take it out of his beak. She tried the clam, and liked it! Clams on the half shell way high up in the air was such a treat!
They played all sorts of games with the seagulls after their clam snacks: Follow the Leader, Tag, Loop De Loop, (Princess Rosie screamed a little when they were upside down), and hide and seek (the gulls would hide behind boat sails, they're so silly!
They played and played and breathed the fresh air and soaked up the warm sun and laughed and squealed with their seagull friends until Princess Rosie noticed that the sun was getting lower in the sky. "Is it three hours yet?" she asked Sir Joey Owl.
"Almost. We have to be going very soon, or we will have a very, very long walk home," Sir Joey Owl warned.
"Okay," Princess Rosie said, and couldn't help being a little sad. She loved her new seagull friends, especially Shecky who had tossed them the clams. He'd been so nice to share his lunch with Princess Rosie and Sir Joey Owl!
"Bye-bye, Shecky!" Princess Rosie waved with one hand and held on tight with the other. "Bye-bye everybody!"
All the seagulls swooped around Sir Joey Owl one last time, waggling their wings as they flew by, which is how birds wave. Shecky, last in line to wave goodbye, flew right toward Sir Joey Owl, as he had when Sir Joey Owl and Princess Rosie had first arrived. Then, just before crashing into Sir Joey Owl, he did one last loop de loop, and waggled his wings as he flew away. Then Sir Joey Owl turned for home.
Of course there was a quick stop at the home of the Duchess of Still Pond. (To Princess Rosie , of course she were simply Grandma.) She welcomed Princess Rosie and Sir Joey Owl inside for big hugs and kisses (and a couple of cookies for the road..shhhh!), and then Princess Rosie and Sir Joey Owl had to get going very quickly. Their three hour limit was almost up!
Grandma waved as Sir Joey Owl flew high above the trees and finally out of sight, Princess Rosie clinging tightly to his back.
Within a few minutes Princess Rosie saw the Royal Woods. And just as Sir Joey Owl landed on the Palace Grounds Ozzie's magic wore off and Sir Joey Owl poofed back to his original size.
Luckily Princess Rosie had already climbed off his back or she would have squished him into a feathery pancake!
Princess Rosie waved good-bye to Sir Joey Owl as he flew off to the Royal Woods and his nest for a snooze. He'd worked very hard flying Princess Rosie to play with Shecky and his seagull friends.
Princess Rosie loved Sir Joey Owl, and he loved her very much right back.
She hurried inside the palace. Dinner would be ready soon and Princess Rosie had a wonderful story to tell Queen Mommy and King Daddy tonight!
And when they all went to the beach together again in the summer, Princess Rosie would see Shecky and his pals…
…and maybe have another clam feast!