Princess Rosie and Joey Owl
Joey Owl, though his beak couldn't show it, smiled big and bright, for he was on his way to visit his best friend, Princess Rosie of Rosieland. The feeling that they would have a wonderful adventure today gave him reason to flap his wings that much faster, and to fully enjoy that sudden burst of energy and excitement, he did a loop-de-loop right then and there!
Within moments he swooped around the palace, to land on Princess Rosie's windowsill. "Whhoooo!" he hooted excitedly, hoping his friend was already up and dressed and ready to jump-start the day. No response, in fact, no movement, no sound, no Princess Rosie.
She heard the tapping on her window, recognized the beak signal, and pulled the covers over her head.
Joey Owl frowned, looking quite fierce, as owls will look from time to time, and leapt into the air flapping his way around to the front door of the palace. He aimed himself just right and pecked the doorbell.
Almost instantly the door swung wide, and Queen Mommy, looking very busy with Prince Joseph in one arm and his sip cup in the other hand, smiled at Joey Owl. "I'm glad to see you, Joey Owl! How are you today?" Queen Mommy said, ever pleasant.
"I'm well, of course, Your Highness. But I'm concerned about Princess Rosie…" Joey Owl said.
"As we all are, Joey Owl," Queen Mommy said, looking a little worried.
"Is she not well?" Joey Owl asked, knowing how strange it was for the princess to sit still.
"Her body is fine, but she doesn't seem to care about anything." Queen Mommy said, glancing back at Princess Rosie's bedroom door. "Not her toys, not her schoolwork, not her playmates, just her TV shows."
"Oh dear," Joey Owl said, already in flight to Princess Rosie's room. "I'll think of something," he promised Queen Mommy, wondering what he would think of. A bored princess was a grumpy princess, and that would never do.
Joey Owl perched on the safety rail of Princess Rosie's bed. "Good morning, Princess Rosie! Mr. Sun is wondering why you're not outside running around enjoying his company!"
"I see Mr. Sun every day. I'm bored running around in the yard. It's boring." Princess Rosie yawned a grumpy sort of yawn, and Joey Owl jumped onto her pillow.
"Oh pish posh, Princess Rosie! You love to play outside! We have such fun adventures! Come and play with me."
"No thanks, Joey Owl. We play every day, and it's boring." Princess Rosie said, not seeing Joey Owl's sad eyes. He'd so hoped for a fun adventure with his friend today, and it hurt his little feathery feelings to think that all the fun times they had bored Princess Rosie. He found it hard to believe, actually, remembering her giggles, smiles, shrieks of delight when flying on his back, her wide thrilled eyes whenever they met a new friend.
"Well no wonder you're bored, Princess Rosie! You're lying there telling yourself you're bored! Whining that you're bored over and over is like building a little wall around yourself that no one can get through!" Joey Owl said, and flapped his wings, flew over his friend, grabbed the covers in his talons and dragged them off of Princess Rosie, who frowned.
"Stop it!" she said, grabbing at the covers, but Joey Owl was too quick and they were well out of her reach.
"See, you're already sitting up. Might as well come outside with me and we'll see if we can't find some interesting playmates." Joey Owl said, while Princess Rosie glared at him. "Uh oh…I'm getting 'the look,'" he said, pretending to be frightened, then laughing, trying to get Princess Rosie to laugh along.
Princess Rosie swung her legs out of bed, and then crossed to her dresser for clothes. Joey Owl sat on the windowsill facing out, to give her some privacy. When he was sure she wasn't going to change her mind and go back to bed, he flew over to the garden bench to wait for his friend outside.
Soon Princess Rosie joined Joey Owl in the garden, flopped on the bench. "We do this every morning almost! It's boring!"
Joey Owl ignored Princess Rosie's bad manners for the moment and tried not to get upset with her. "I have an idea, Princess Rosie, let's play news reporter. Let's interview all our friends and see how many of them get bored," Joey Owl suggested.
Princess Rosie tilted her head, a little confused. "What's a news reporter?" she asked.
"A news reporter is someone who travels around their neighborhood, city, state, country or even the world and finds out what's going on, writes it down or records it, and then their stories are put in newspapers, on TV news shows, or on the internet."
"I don't want to write anything. I'm tired of writing! It's hard work!" Princess Rosie grumbled. "And it's boring!"
"Well, then we'll just remember our stories. It's not like we're writing a newspaper or going on TV. Come on, Princess Rosie, let's go talk to our friends," Joey Owl said and flew off before Princess Rosie could argue, though she did manage to roll her eyes as she got up off the garden bench and followed her friend's flight path.
First of all they went inside and talked to Queen Mommy. Joey Owl perched on the back of a chair in the royal kitchen while Princess Rosie began interviewing her mom. "We are news reporters," Princess Rosie said, looking over at Joey Owl to make sure she got it right. When he nodded, she continued. "We are asking all of our friends if they get bored."
Queen Mommy smiled and nodded, "My goodness of course I get bored! The chores that I do every single day are always the same, wash dirty dishes, wash dirty clothes, fold clean clothes, put away clean dishes, scrub bathrooms, make beds, cook food, bathe children, bathe myself, day after day after day," she said, as she put clean dishes away out of the dishwasher.
"Then why do you do all of that?" Princess Rosie said.
"Because at the end of the day, I look at my house and it's clean, and my children are fed well, healthy, and happy, my husband is healthy and happy, and everyone knows that I love them, and that I care about them and take care of them. And I know that my family loves me and appreciates all the things I do for them." Queen Mommy answered.
"Even if it's boring?" Princess Rosie asked.
"Of course! I just tell myself when I'm doing the boring stuff, that the faster I get it done, the faster I can do the fun things," Queen Mommy said. "And the boring things aren't so bad, really, especially if I sing songs while I work. And some things, like folding clothes I can do while I watch TV."
Princess Rosie looked at Joey Owl. "Okay, that's our first story," she said. "Thank you, Mommy," she said, remembering her manners.
Queen Mommy smiled, "You're welcome."
Joey Owl flew into Princess Rosie's room, perched on the windowsill, and faced inside. Princess Rosie sat on the edge of her bed, and turned to face her friends, all lined up. She picked up Olivia Pig and hugged her. "Olivia, do you ever get bored?" she asked.
"Sure! It's not easy laying in the same spot all day, staring at the ceiling or one little thing in your room until you decide to come and play with me. I can't move without help. I can only dance and play and get around when you do all those things with me!"
Princess Rosie's eyes got a little sad, "I had no idea!"
"It's okay, that's my job," Olivia Pig said. "And I have a lot of company in your room. And we can hear you laughing and playing and singing songs and that makes us very happy."
"Guard duty is very boring too, Princess Rosie," Gary Gargoyle said, "But even though I have to sit quietly and just keep watch all night, I know that I'm very good at my job. I also know that even though I have to sit still and work hard to stay awake all night, that I'm doing something important. I'm making you feel safe and loved."
Princess Rosie nodded. "Yes, I love you too, for watching over me at night. It makes me feel safe just knowing you're there. But I never thought about it being so boring."
"Well, Princess Rosie, nothing's perfect. And when I get bored, I just think of things that make me happy; sometimes I hum a song I like, or think of a story I've heard, or think of how proud my mommy and daddy are of me when I do a good job, and that makes me want to do my very best," Gary said.
Joey Owl and Princess Rosie finished their interviews in her room, then went downstairs to the computer. Princess Rosie Skyped Duchess Nana, who popped up onto the screen after a moment, looking busy.
"Hi Nana!" Princess Rosie said, and blew her grandmother a kiss, which was promptly returned.
"I thought you were bored with Nana School?" Duchess Nana said, looking a little sad. "I've missed you, though, I'm glad you're here."
"I want to ask you some questions. Joey Owl and I are interviewing my friends…we're news reporters." Princess Rosie explained.
"I see," said Duchess Nana. "What would you like to know?"
"Do you ever get bored?" Princess Rosie asked.
"Oh my goodness! Every day! It's so hard to find a job, and I have to because I need money to pay my bills, and buy food, and presents for my little prince and princess! But it's such hard work to keep looking up places to send my resume." Duchess Nana said.
"What's a resume?" Princess Rosie asked.
"It's a story about me and all the places where I've worked. It tells people who might want me to come and work for them, all of the things I know how to do. They read my resume and decide if they want to pay me to do a job for them." Duchess Nana explained.
"Is it boring?" Princess Rosie asked.
"Yes, just putting the resume into one email after another and clicking send is very boring. But I try and listen to music while I work, and think of how happy I will be when I finally get a good job." Duchess Nana said.
"Do you get bored with Nana School? Sometimes I think I'm never gonna learn to read!" Princess Rosie said, frustrated.
"I know it seems that way sometimes, Princess Rosie, but one of these days you'll be practicing your sounds, and then Mommy or Daddy will be reading a book and you will see words that you know. And you'll be able to look at the words you don't know and figure them out because you know all the sounds of the alphabet. You'll see!" Duchess Nana said.
"But do you get bored teaching me?" Princess Rosie asked.
"Oh no, Sweetheart! I love to see you learning a new letter every day, and seeing you write them down. And when you start figuring out the words for yourself I will know that all the hard work paid off! And it will! I'm so excited! I can't wait for you to learn how to read so we can email each other with fun messages!"
"That will be fun! Joey Owl and I have to go now. Love you!" Princess Rosie said, signing "I love you" to Duchess Nana, and blowing her a kiss. She hung up the Skype call and Joey Owl leapt into the air from her shoulder.
They left the palace after telling Queen Mommy where they were headed, and soon found themselves in the Royal Woods.
Soon they came upon Ozzie the Gnome's hollow tree, and to Princess Rosie's relief, saw that the tiny fairy-sized door was open, and Ozzie was already outside, trying to trim a bush into shape with clippers that weren't any match for the bush. Finally he spun around, first to the left, then to the right, then blew a kiss at the bush. The kiss that came from Ozzie's mouth was no ordinary, invisible kiss, mind you, it was like a puff of sparkly golden smoke that surrounded the bush for a moment, then slowly faded, leaving behind a beautifully trimmed bush in the shape of an elephant.
Ozzie moved to the next bush and blew another kiss, got a lion, the next an owl, the next a wolf, which brought him back to his front door. That's when he finally turned to his guests. "Bet you're not here just to say hello then be on your way," he said, a little impatient. "Make it quick, I have more chores waiting inside," he said, his foot tapping.
Princess Rosie glanced at Joey Owl briefly, cleared her throat remembering that she was a princess and controlled the nervous butterflies in her tummy and ignored Ozzie's gruffness. "Ozzie, Joey Owl and I are reporters and our question today is, do you ever get bored?" she asked, glad it was all out and Ozzie's turn to speak.
"Bored? Are you kidding? With all there is to do? No, I don't get bored! When I'm doing boring chores like laundry and dishes I think up stories to tell my grandchildren. And apparently when I'm doing gardening chores there are always people like you coming along to ask me dumb questions and keep me entertained." Ozzie said.
"You never get bored?" Princess Rosie repeated.
"Only when I'm asked the same question twice!" Ozzie said, rolling his eyes. "Look. Are you bored, or afraid of a little hard work?" he said, and Princess Rosie frowned, almost insulted. "Don't gimme that face! A lot of people start learning something—a new game, a new hobby, a musical instrument, a new job, a new subject, and they quit, say they're bored, but they're not bored, they just don't want to work hard and master it!"
"Like you didn't want to work hard and trim your bushes?" Joey Owl said, a featherly little smirk on his face.
"They're trimmed! And better than you can do, owl! I have magic tools! And the faster I do my chores, the more of them I can finish by the end of the day, and the more time I have to help other people! And don't get smart, owl!"
Joey Owl chuckled at the feisty little gnome.
Looking back at Princess Rosie, Ozzie said, "Do you know what a goal is?"
Princess Rosie looked confused and shook her head no, so Ozzie continued, "It's when you choose something important to work for, like driving a car, or learning to swim or read," he looked Princess Rosie right in the eye on that one, "you know it's going to be hard work every day, but you do it because reaching your goal will make you very happy. And it will make the people who love you very proud and happy too because you reached your goal and learned something to help you through your life. That's called achievement, or accomplishment. You accomplish goals. The more goals you accomplish, the smarter and stronger you are," Ozzie explained.
Princess Rosie seemed interested, so he continued.
"Some goals are little, like getting a load of laundry washed, folded and put away before lunchtime, or finding Daddy's car keys before he is late for work. Or finishing off all your peas in time for dessert.
"Some goals are big, like learning to read. You have to work a little bit each day for a long time to reach that goal.
"But once you learn to read, or walk, or go potty by yourself, or drive a car, or graduate from school, it opens up a whole new part of the world for you!" Ozzie said excitedly.
"Can you blow me a kiss and make me know how to read?" Princess Rosie asked.
"Nope. That's your goal. I already know how to read. You, my beautiful princess, have to learn how to read all by yourself. Everybody has to work hard in their lives to accomplish their own goals. That's what a person's life is all about: the goals they win! Now shoo! I have dishes to wash and a book to read—I'm learning to be an artist you know! My newest goal!"
With that, Ozzie blew Princess Rosie a kiss (the regular non-magic kind, though all kisses are a little magical just from the love), and disappeared into his tree house, slamming the door behind him with a little puff of gnome dust.
Princess Rosie and Joey Owl started back to the palace. "Do you have a goal, Joey Owl? Princess Rosie asked.
"Many. Some little, some big." Joey Owl answered.
"What's one of the big ones?" Princess Rosie asked.
"To be your friend and help you learn about life and become a grown up princess able to help people." Joey Owl said.
"That's a big goal, but I help people now," Princess Rosie said.
"Yes, but the more you learn about the world, the more you understand the problems that people have. And when you understand the problems you can help fix them. That's why princesses have powers. So they can help people, not just make themselves happy."
Princess Rosie nodded, seeing Joey Owl's wisdom.
"And remember about the sandwich," Joey Owl said.
"The sandwich?" Princess Rosie tilted her head, confused.
"Yes. If you try and shove a whole sandwich in your mouth and swallow it whole, you choke. So you take little bites and chew each one up well." Joey Owl explained.
Princess Rosie nodded, agreeing.
"That's how you reach big goals…little bites," he started, and Princess Rosie caught on.
"Like in Nana School, I learn new sounds and two or three words every day."
"Exactly! And pretty soon you'll know enough sounds to read whole books all by yourself!" Joey Owl said, excited that his best friend understood.
"And then I can read stories to my dollies and Gary Gargoyle so they're not so bored!" Princess Rosie said, too excited now to be bored, thinking about her big goal.
"A very kind goal indeed, Princess Rosie!" Joey Owl said, proud of her accomplishment this day: understanding goals.
And with that they went inside to ask Queen Mommy if she would help them write down their story.