The Practical Princess
Princess Bedelia was as lovely as the moon shining upon a lake. She was as graceful as a cat. And she was also very practical, always ready to take actions instead of dreaming.
When she was born, three fairies came to her cradle to give her gifts as it was usual in that country. The first fairy gave her beauty. The second one gave her grace. But the third one, who was a wise old creature, said, "I' II give her common sense".
"I don't think much of that gift", said King Ludwig. "What is good in common sense for a princess? All she needs is charm".
But when Bedelia was eighteen years old, something happened that made king change his mind. A dragon moved into the neighbourhood. He settled in a dark cave on the top of mountain, and the first thing he did was to send a message to the king. "I must have a princess to eat up", the message said, "or I shall breathe out my fire and destroy the kingdom".
Sadly, Kind Ludwig called together his councilors, chosen to give advices, and read them the message. "Perhaps", said the Prime Minister, "we had better send for a knight to kill the dragon. That is what is generally done in these cases".
"I am afraid we haven't time", answered the king. The dragon has only given us time until tomorrow morning. There is no use in it. We shall have to send him the princess".
Princess Bedelia had come to the meeting because, as she said, she liked to mind her own business, and this was certainly her business.
"That may be so", said her father, "but if we don't send you along, he'll destroy the kingdom".
"Right!" said Bedelia. "I see I'll have to deal with this myself". She left the room in which the council sat. She got the largest brightest one of her state dresses, filled it with straw, and into the center of the bundle she packed about a hundred pounds of gunpowder. She got two strong young men to carry it up the mountain for her. She stood in front of the dragon's cave and called: "Come out! Here's the princess!"
The dragon appeared looking out of the darkness with interest. Seeing the bright dress covered with gold and silver embroidery, and hearing Bedelia's voice, he opened his mouth widely. At once, at Bedelia's signal, the two young men threw the dress right down the dragon's throat. Bedelia threw herself flat on the ground, and the two young men ran.
There was a great explosion inside the dragon. Bedelia got up, dusting herself off. "Dragons", she said "are not very bright".
She left the two young men sweeping up the pieces, and she went to the castle to have her geography lesson, for as you know, she was very practical!