This is the beginning of my first attempt at a children’s story. I think it’s probably around a second or third grade level. Illustrations would be included but not really needed to tell the story. Really, I just want to know if what I’m doing works. Should I continue with this or scrap it and move on to some other project?
Prince Charming sat quietly on an old tree stump. He was taking a little mid-day snooze. Snoozing was his second most favorite thing to do. The only thing he liked better than snoozing, his very most favorite thing to do, was eating. Prince Charming LOVED to eat! Snacking, munching, chomping, crunching, nibbling, gnawing, chewing, biting he loved it all. And as he slept, not actually being able to eat and sleep at the same time, an unfortunate state of affairs that distressed him to no end, he dreamed. His dreams, of course, were about food.
This time, Prince Charming was dreaming about his lunch. As he did, a broad grin crept slowly across his face. It had, after all, been an especially fine lunch, a few morsels of which still clung to his lips and chin. Prince Charming had always been a messy eater. There was a bit of mustard here, a piece of cricket leg there, and elsewhere, some nearly unidentifiable spider parts and almost an entire dragon fly wing. Prince Charming was a toad.
Now, when you hear the word toad, you undoubtedly picture a small, friendly, greenish-brown fellow that you might find hopping playfully around your garden. Prince Charming wasnt like that at all. No, he was, well, not like the other toads. For starters, he was a good bit larger than most. In general terms, he was roughly the size of a nearly full-grown hippopotamus. He wasnt anywhere near as pretty as a hippopotamus and he smelled a good deal worse. Prince Charming had an aroma remarkably like that of a liverwurst and tuna fish sandwich that had been left in the sun a few days too long. In other words, HE STUNK!!
At this point youre surely wondering how a stinking, overweight toad gets a name like Prince Charming. It happened in the usual way. The story is a sad one and one youve probably heard before.
For one thing, Prince Charming wasnt always overweight. In his younger days, he looked like the rest of the members of his toad family. He was lean, athletic, and about as handsome as a toad could be. He didnt even smell. Well, he smelled like a toad, but you couldnt really blame him for that.
Back then, even though Prince Charming looked like your ordinary, everyday toad, he was no average anphibian. He was, you may be surprised to learn, royalty. Its true. He lived in the royal pond, on the royal grounds of the royal castle. It was a nice place too, as royal castles generally are. And, although there were parts of the lifestyle Prince Charming truly enjoyed, especially the generous supply of royal flies which were delivered to him at any hour of the day or night, he really found the royal routine tiresome and sometimes downright silly.
Of course the king and queen were always about, wrapped in their royal robes, and doing what they could to look royally resplendent, distinguished and important. They were forever surrounded by what seemed like millions of royal minions. There were servants and cooks and cooks servants. There were knights in shining armor. Then there were those responsible for keeping the armor shining. There were guards and gate keepers and court jesters and lets not forget about the royal musicians, constantly making the royalist of rackets. Because there were always so many people busslig in and out, and here and there, and hither and yon, there always had to be several royal subjects on hand, ready to raise or lower the draw bridge at a moments notice. While all this was going on, the king and queen made every effort to keep things as chaotic as possible while they sat around on their ever-expanding royal rumps. To Prince Charming, it really wasnt like a castle at all, at least not the castles hed heard about. It was more like a grade school cafeteria on the last day before summer vacation. It was lound and obnoxious and unruly, and the whole thing gave him a royal headache.