Once Upon a Wednesday

by Mrs. Smith on October 27, 2021

Once upon a time, we didn’t know exactly when the bus came to pick kids up on late-start day.

…And it was on a late-start that our story begins.

The 8 year old princess had chosen to don polka dot shorts on that chilly Wednesday morning, and t’was discovered by the Queen Mother just a few minutes before their magical horseless carriage was departing.

The Queen Mother gestured to the glorious basket of clean laundry full to the brim of beautiful, warm clothing, and the clever Princess replied with, “But Mother Dear, I cannot use them!”

“Pray tell, why,” asked the patient monarch, while watching the clock ticking and carefully weighing options.

“Because, oh wise and wonderful matriarch,” she explained carefully, “If I scavenge through those lovely clean clothes, I risk making a mess of my beautiful room. And thou knowest how much I love it being clean.”

The Queen Mother nearly choked on her cheerios, but stayed focused to the task at hand: Getting the Princess dressed as is fitting one of her station.

“Oh smart and clever child! Indeed, that would be most unseemly. I have an idea… If you will unceremoniously dump that entire basket on top of your bed and change into nice warm long pants, I shall graciously transform myself…


“The Laundry Fairy!”

“And after dropping you off at school, I shall put away all those lovely clean clothes.”

The Princess considered the offer carefully.

On the downside, she has to change clothes.
On the upside, she gets to flip that basket over and scatter the contents on her bed with reckless abandon… and she is spared the peasant-like task of putting away those clothes.

It was a good deal and the clever Princess knew it.

She sped away like lightning, ready to be speedy fast.



The Princess did not want to take off her shoes.

So. She picked the perfect pair of leggings, and proceeded to carefully shove her foot AND its tennis shoe into them.

The Queen Mother found her a minute later engaged in the impossible task. The leggings were barely big enough to fit over her delicate foot. The tennis shoe was NOT going to make it.

Oh, the agony!

“But Mother,” she stated firmly, “I am much too lazy to take my shoes off. It cannot be done.”

Oh, to be a Princess.
To be completely stuck and not know it.

Sigh. Another deal must be struck, lest she sit there all day at The Impossible Task.

“My lovely child, as removing thine shoes is so far beneath thee, I shall do it for thee and save thee from this terrible predicament.”

The Queen transformed into Personal Assistant and released the pantless Princess from her entrapment, AND with some difficulty wriggled the large little feet through the tiny little holes at the bottoms of those leggings, cursing inwardly about the clear design flaw in this particular garment.

(Queens, of course, do not inwardly curse, but Personal Assistants do.)

This all took considerably more than the minute allotted for this endeavor, but everyone was a good sport about it, even if the Princess did insist that, actually, the shoes WOULD have fit through them.

(The queen discovered later that her magnanimous service tragically came at the cost of ruining the Princess’s entire life. It must be evidence that the Princess really is of royal blood that she withheld such important information during the time of crisis.)

As you might have guessed, the children did in fact miss their golden, horseless carriage, and the Queen Mother transformed yet again, from Personal Assistant to Chauffeur…

Those punctuality-loving princes, who had been patiently waiting for their escort down the mountain to the appointed magical carriage pickup place…

Oh, how they mourned the potential of tardiness. Oh, how tragic, to yet again have their hopes and dreams dashed by the clever, time-sucking ingenuity of their little sister!

The youngest Prince (who attended the same royal academy as the Princess) grieved especially loudly and longly and nearly wept over the potential loss of school breakfast.

But did the Chauffeur lose her mind?
Indeed, she did NOT!
Impressively, she did not even curse inwardly, though it would be well within the rights of a Chauffeur in such a predicament.

She maintained her dignified and regal disposition, extending sympathy and the annoyingly persistent, happy hope that maybe, just maybe, it would all work out okay. All was not lost. The clock hath not struck 9:10… yet.

In fact, the older princes were dropped off at The Middle Earth Academy for 9:03. All would be just-barely-well for them.

At 9:06, when a solid red curse beamed down on them from above, the Queen Mother made a desperate choice. Another deal must be struck, this time with the Universe. For the love of the Prince’s teacher and the horror it would be to attempt to teach a hungry young monarch, she abandoned the approved path to the Academy for Younglings and took the route she knew would be fastest, though it would be risky:

She flipped the silver chariot around, thus avoiding the glowing curse AND the much longer roundabout drive through the kingdom and country that the Emporer insists everyone in the land follow who desires to send their offspring to the academy.

T’was then she noticed that there was in fact, a representative from The Emporer sitting in his own chariot nearby, just waiting to catch desperate parents such as she.

The queen had already cast her lot in this unconventional maneuver that would surely be frowned upon, even if technically she was doing nothing worthy of imprisonment. Better to lose one’s head than deal with the wrath of a hungry, disappointed child.

Right under the nose of that soldier, she bravely (foolishly?) pulled over into the miniature lane reserved for one-person, man-powered miracles of efficiency, at the corner nearest the short street forbidden to chariots only during those precarious pickup and dropoff times. She quickly, lovingly, tossed the Prince and Princess out onto the pathway leading to the Academy, casting protection spells and well wishes as they went.

Fare thee well, precious offspring! Worry not that thy mother doth break the rules! Scurry onward, minions, and may thy upcoming hours be pleasant!

The Prince ran off like a hound on a fox hunt, with 3 whole minutes to secure his prize in the school cafeteria.

Victory was his! We hope.

The Princess was a bit slower, but was likely assured of a timely entrance. At any rate, Princesses are never late – they arrive precisely perfect whenever it is they get there.

As Our Hero drove back down the road, so did the predictable soldier, who lit up more flashing, glowing curse-lights behind her.

She got off with a warning (thus minimal inward cursing), as this was the first Youngling Academy Dropoff Offense, and drove home somewhat disturbed and somewhat satisfied. That could have gone better but it could have been worse.

And that was the happy end of the adventure of this morning’s dropoff.


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