The Birthday Story

For Barrett’s birthday this year my dad wrote him a fantastic story. I really want to get some illustrations for it and make it into our personal book. He included cousins and brothers in on the story to make it very personalized. My dad and aunt called on Skype so my dad could read it to him on his special day 🙂 It was really a fantastic story and I want to share it with you 🙂

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Once upon a time there was a kingdom far away in a land called Aksala. This land was ruled over by a great King named Scott. He had ruled the land for many years and had led the kingdom through a long period of peace and prosperity along with his beautiful Queen Melissa. Everyone in the kingdom loved the King and Queen, well, maybe not everyone. The King had an evil sister that everyone called Tricki Parson (we will call her Tricki for short) who was very mean and very evil.

She was jealous of the good King and the way his subjects loved him. But mostly she was jealous of the beautiful Queen Melissa. You see Queen Melissa was perfect in every way. Not only was she the fairest of all the maidens in the land but she could also cook, sew, decorate and clean house better than anyone else in the kingdom.

Tricki noticed that there was going to be a grand ball at the palace to celebrate Queen Melissa’s 34th birthday. It was going to be a gala affair and anyone who was anyone was going to attend. Of course Tricki did not get an invitation but she was planning to be there just the same. She stayed up all night working on the special potion she was going to slip into the Queens drink at the toast before dinner. With her plans complete Tricki laid down to rest for a while before the party started.

The castle was a hub of activity as they prepared for Melissa’s birthday party. The cooks were busy making the dinner and birthday cake while others were decorating the great hall for the coming festivities. Tricki (disguised as a servant) snuck into the kitchen and acted like she was busy shining the silverware and cups. When she was shining the Queens cup she turned her back so no one could see her and wiped a small amount of vile smelling paste on the inside of the cup. The paste smoked as it touched the golden surface of the cup and then appeared to disappear. Giving an evil little laugh Tricki snuck out of the kitchen and back to her home to watch the festivities in her magic crystal ball. After what seemed like a very long time the feast was finally ready and the guests started arriving from all over the kingdom and beyond.

As the guests settled in the great hall King Scott rose from his throne at the head of the room. All talk stopped and all eyes were on the King as he addressed the crowd. “Welcome Lords, Ladies, loyal subjects, visitors and friends from far and near”. Everyone clapped and loud cheering erupted from the enthusiastic crowd. “We are gathered here to celebrate the 34th year of your Queens existence in this life”. Again, the crowd clapped and cheered for their Queen. Melissa blushed at all the attention, stood and (much to the crowds appreciation) gave King Scott a kiss on the cheek. Scott reached out and filled his and Melissa’s cup with wine. Handing Melissa her cup he raised his cup into the air. Immediately all the people in the great hall rose as one and raised their own glasses. “Long live the Queen”, proclaimed the King and, as one, all the guests in the great hall yelled, “Long live the Queen” and put their cups to their lips to toast the birthday girl.
As Queen Melissa drank from her cup she immediately felt light headed then everything went black. As she opened her eyes she saw the King and opened her mouth to call him but all that came out was a CLUCK!

As the King turned to look at his Queen a woman in the crowd screamed. The King looked over to where his wife had stood a moment ago and there in the Queens throne sat a chicken! He bellowed “What is going on here, where is the Queen?”
At that moment there was a flash of light and a cloud of smoke on the floor in front of the Royal podium. As the smoke cleared there stood Tricki Parson. Tricki laughed an evil laugh as she turned to the King. “Your Queen is gone Scott, I have turned her into a chicken. No more will she respond to Melissa or Queen. She will only respond to Large Marge. You have ruined my life now I will ruin yours. Hope you enjoy the rest of your life with a chicken! As she started to laugh the smoke returned.

When it cleared Tricki had vanished without a trace. The King turned in horror to the chicken sitting in the Queens throne. He said “Melissa?” There was no reaction. Then he said “Large Marge?” The chicken clucked and an egg rolled out from under the chicken down the seat and broke on the floor. Several women in the crowd fainted. The king reached down, picked up the chicken and screamed “I want to see my first counsel in my chambers immediately!

The King walked down the long hallway to his chambers wondering if he would ever get his Queen back or would he spend the rest of his life with a chicken for a wife. He no more than sat in his chair when there was a knock on the door. He knew it was his First Counsel. The King’s first counsel were actually two brothers named David and Landen. Apart they were quite ordinary people but together they were very smart and had given the King very good counsel over the years and the King respected their opinions above all others in his kingdom. The King bellowed “Enter” and the two brothers, sensing the Kings anger, sheepishly entered the chamber.

“You called for us your Majesty?” the boys spoke in unison. For some reason, unknown even to them, they always spoke in unison when addressing the King. The King explained the events that had happened at the royal party and held up the Queen (oops, I mean Large Marge) for the boys to see. The boys turned their backs to the King and discussed the predicament in hushed tones. As one, they turned to the King and said “My Lord, you must call upon the royal magician and see if he can find a way to reverse this evil spell”, “He is the only one in the kingdom that has the knowledge you require”. The King dropped his head into his hand and shook his head. Why couldn’t someone else help? He found the royal magician a bit on the irritating side. He was a rather strange person whose only form of communication was screaming the top of his lungs. He would have sent the magician away long ago but as David and Landen had said he was the only one in the kingdom that had the knowledge in areas of magic. “Alright”, said the King, “You may go, please send in Kierran”.

The King sat trying to think of another way to get the Queen back but he agreed with his counsel that Keeran was his best chance. A knock sounded on the door. The King reluctantly said, “Enter”. The royal magician Keeran entered the room. “YOU CALLED YOUR MAJESTY”, yelled Kierran. The King cringed at the loud screeching of the magician’s voice. “Yes Kierran, as you can see the Queen has been turned into a chicken by my evil sister Tricki”. “You must find a way to break the spell and turn her back to her former self” Kierran thought for a moment then looked up at the King and said. “I AM NOT FAMILIAR WITH THIS SPELL YOUR MAJESTY BUT LET ME GO BACK TO MY ROOM AND DO SOME RESEARCH AND I WILL UPDATE YOU ON WHAT I FIND”. Kierran bowed to the King and turned and left the room. The King sighed and as he held the chicken to his breast he prayed that Kierran would find the answer that could end this nightmare.

That evening the King had a hard time sleeping. First off, don’t try to sleep with a chicken. They make too much of a mess on the sheets. He had to call in the royal carpenters to build a royal coop for Large Marge to sleep in. After the carpenters left and Large Marge had settled down the King was just falling to sleep when there was a loud knock on the door. “YOUR MAJESTY I HAVE FOUND SOMETHING”, yelled Kierran. The King was rather irritated at being disturbed but he was more anxious to hear what Kierran had found so he told Kierran to enter.

“YOUR MAJESTY”, yelled Kierran. “IN THE OLDEST MANUSCRIPTS I FOIUND ONE CASE OF SOMEONE WHO WAS TURNED IN TO A CHICKEN. TO BREAK THE SPELL YOU NEED TO FIND A BOY WITH 7 TEETH MISSING. YOU MUST FIND THIS BOY WITHIN 48 HOURS OR THE SPELL BECOMES PERMANENT.  Time was running out for the Queen, they had to find a boy with 7 missing teeth. Who had ever heard of a person with 7 missing teeth? The King knew he needed help from the police department so he got a horse from the stable and rode as fast as he could to the police department. Inside he went to the police chief’s office. He paused outside the door. Was that music that he heard? He listened carefully and thought he could hear someone singing BBBBB Bad to the Bone. What sort of strange song was this? He shrugged his shoulders and opened the door. He was not prepared for what he saw inside. The police chief was dancing in the middle of the floor! The King said “Merrick! What are you doing?” “Why I am dancing my Lord”. “Would you like to join me?” The King walked over and turned off the music. “Not now Merrick, I have a very important job for you”. “Cool” said Merrick. You see, since the kingdom was a peace and everyone was happy there was hardly any crime and Merrick didn’t often get important jobs from the King. “What is it my Lord?” “How can I help you?” The King relayed the story of the Queen becoming a chicken and the need to find a boy with 7 missing teeth. Merrick thought for a moment and said he didn’t know of anyone with 7 teeth missing but he would ask around. The King told him that he didn’t have time to ask around because there was only 24 hours left before the spell would become permanent. “Can you do it?” asked the King. “Well, I will sure give it my best shot”, said Merrick. “If I can’t find a boy in time Lord, can I have the chicken?” “I like eggs and a chicken stew would be nice.” “MERRICK!” yelled the King. “Ok, ok,” said Merrick. “I was just asking”. “If I am going to find this boy I will have to use my magical police dog Sunny.” “If he is out there Sunny will find him.” “Well get going” said the King, “and don’t waste time with any more dancing!”

After the King left Merrick went to the back door and called for Sunny. Sunny came bounding around the corner but he was all dirty and smelled terrible. “Oh no” said Merrick. “Have you been out looking for garbage and other smelly things to roll around in?” Merrick grabbed a pail of water and gave Sunny a quick washing (he couldn’t have people see a police dog all dirty and smelly). He sat down with Sunny and said “Ok boy, I can’t give you a shirt to get a scent off of or anything but I need you to find a boy with 7 teeth missing.” Sunny gave a short bark (as if saying no problem!) and bounded off down the street with Merrick running as fast as he could behind him.

On the far side of town lived an old man who was a minstrel. He made a meager living playing songs he had written about Aksala, but it was enough to keep him and his grandson Barrett happy and there was always food in the cupboard. The old man was cleaning his guitar when his grandson came into the house. “What are we doing today Grandpa?” asked Barrett. “Well”, said Grandpa, “I have a surprise for you, come with me”. So they walked together down to the local VFW where Grandpa played a lot. The usual gang was there for the jam session. Barrett liked going to the VFW and hearing all the songs and getting a soda to drink. He liked hanging out with his Grandpa. The other boys and girls his age had been making fun of him lately. You see Barrett had been going through a bout of losing his baby teeth. In all he had lost 7 teeth! He was tired of not being able to talk right or eat spaghetti and the kids had been making fun of him. He couldn’t wait for his teeth to grow back in. So Grandpa and Barrett headed off to the VFW. Once the got there Grandpa got Barrett a cool drink and sat down at the table. “I have a surprise for you all today. I have written a song for Barrett and would like to share it with all of you”. Everyone clapped. They looked forward to hearing Grandpas songs. Grandpa picked up his guitar and began to sing.
There is a boy I dearly love
He is a gift from up above
Lift his lips and looked beneath
You’ll see he is missing 7 teeth

Just at that moment the door of the VFW burst open. In ran Sunny and Merrick. When Merrick heard the music he immediately started dancing a jig in the middle of the floor. “Stop” shouted Merrick. “I don’t have time for this, I was sitting outside the door letting Sonny drink some water when I heard the song. Tell me it is true. Is there a boy with 7 missing teeth?” “Who are you and why do you ask,” asked Grandpa. “I am Merrick, the royal police chief and there has been a spell placed on the Queen that only a boy with 7 missing teeth can break”. “Time is short and we must return to the castle immediately or all is lost.” Grandpa set down his guitar and said, “If the King and Queen need our help we will go, that is, if it is ok with Barrett”. Grandpa turned to Barrett and asked, “Would you go to help the Queen Barrett?” Barrett looked at Merrick and Sunny then turned back to Grandpa and said “Yeath leth go. We musth help the Queen!” “Great” said Merrick, “Let us go there is no time to waste”. They ran out of the VFW and climbed on Sunny (after all he was a magic dog) and he ran them all the way to the castle.

When they got to the castle Merrick had someone run to get the King, Large Marge and Kierran and to bring them to the great hall. As Merrick, Grandpa and Barrett entered the great hall there were already crowds of people who had gathered when they had heard that Merrick was successful in his quest. As they approached the thrones the King (holding Large Marge) and Kierran entered from a side door.

As the King walked to his throne Barrett said “Nice chicken your Majesty!” The King glared at Barrett causing him to hide behind his Grandpa. “Forgive the boy Lord” said Merrick, “I did not have time to tell them about the spell. The boy had no way of knowing the chicken was the Queen”. “The chicken isth the Queen! I am tho thorry Lord. I had no idea.” “That is ok my boy”, chuckled the King, “It is in fact a nice chicken.” The King turned to Kierran and said “What must be done to break this spell Kierran”. Kierran rustled through some old papers he had with and then yelled “THE BOY WITH 7 MISSING TEETH MUST SAY “SUZI SELLS SEA SHELLS DOWN BY THE SEASHORE” FOR THE SPELL TO BE BROKEN. “Why is he yelling?” asked Barrett. “Never mind him boy” said the King. “Can you say the rhyme? We have only a few moments left before the spell becomes permanent”. “Thure”, said Barrett. He was a bit scared what with being in the Kings presence and all the people watching him so he grabbed his Grandpas hand and looked up at him. Grandpa smiled and said “You can do it Barrett, repeat the rhyme”.

Barrett cleared his throat and said “Thuzi Thells Thea Thells down by the thea thore”. You could hear a pin drop as every one shifted there attention off of Barrett and looked at Large Marge waiting for the change. The seconds ticked by with no change to Large Marge. The silence was broken by Kierran yelling, “OH NO! IT DIDN’T WORK WHAT ARE WE TO DO NOW? WE DID IT EXACTLY LIKE THE MANUSCRIPT SAID!” David and Landen worked their way up to the front of the crowd and addressed the King. “My Lord (they said in unison) the problem is obviously that the boy could not say the words clearly, therefore the spell was not broken.” The King said “How can they expect a boy with seven missing teeth to speak clearly”. Silence fell over the room as everyone was trying to think what could be done to break the spell and bring Queen Melissa back to them.

Just when everyone thought all was lost Merrick reached into his pocket and pulled out two Chiclets. He always chewed gum when he was nervous. Just as he was getting ready to pop them into his mouth Barrett yelled, “Wait! Give me those Chiclets!” Merrick didn’t really want to share his gum, as these were the last two pieces he had but he gave them to Barrett. “What are you thinking about Barrett” asked his Grandfather. “Watch” said Barrett. He bit off the ends of the Chiclets and stuck them to his gum. It looked like two big white teeth where previously there had been only a space. He ran up to the King and Large Marge and slowly began to speak. “Suzi sells sea shells down by the seashore”

A purple haze slowly enveloped Large Marge. The King quickly set her down on the Queens throne. Large Marge clucked a couple times and slowly began to transform before their eyes. There was a bright flash of light and were Large Marge had set now sat Melissa the Queen of Aksala looking none the worse for wear. She looked around at everyone staring at her. She said “Why is everyone staring at me and why, (as she stood up), am I sitting on an egg?” Everyone laughed and the King told her the whole story about how she was turned into a chicken and how Barrett was able to break the spell. Just then there was a bright flash of light and a puff of smoke. There in front of the King and Queen stood Tricki Parsons, the Kings evil sister. She turned toward Barrett and said “You awful little boy, you have ruined everything.” I am not done with you, you will see.” With that, and a flash of smoke, she was gone.

The King turned to Barrett and said, “Don’t be afraid boy, I will not let her hurt you. You and your Grandfather can come and live with us here at the castle. Your Grandfather will be the royal minstrel and you can grow up here as my son in the castle.” The crowd cheered out “Hip hip hurrah, long live Prince Barrett”. Everyone was glad all was back to normal and a great celebration ensued. At the height of the party Grandpa walked over to Queen Melissa and whispered something in her ear. Her eyes lit up and she rose from her seat asking everyone to quite down for a moment. When she had everyone’s attention she said “This is truly a special day. Not only has Barrett saved me from being a chicken the rest of my life and he has become a Prince but his Grandfather just informed me that he is celebrating his 7th birthday today!” So with Merrick dancing, Kierran screaming and Grandpa playing the guitar the entire crowd began to sing,


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