The Tent Girls

Once upon a time …

There was a very blonde princess who lived through a terrible war. It raged and raged and raged, and she wanted to fight, but her wise and caring counselors advised her to stay away and not be involved, lest she be injured. They knew she had a tender heart and despite her very strong armor and her love of dancing with swords, would be easily wounded. So she climbed up many steps into the top of a tower and locked herself inside with her kittens and her books.

She read and read and read, and talked to her kittens, and wrote long letters who her friends, who she missed very much. Time passed and her hair grew very long. Long enough to sweep the floor, and no matter how often she braided it, it grew and grew and grew. She became lonely, despite her letters, and wanted to run outside in the sunshine, splash in puddles, dance with her sword, ride her horse, and, most of all, see her friends.

One morning she was drinking her coffee and reading her books when an anchor came flying through her window!

She looked down and saw a group of girls standing underneath her window, eying each other warily, not because they were enemies, but because they didn’t know one another and times had been tough. The princess smiled so brightly to see her friends, all so different, but still so alike in many ways! They were brave and strong and kind and beautiful in all their different ways. But as she was smiling and waiving at them suddenly she fell back as someone tackled her with a hug. “Oomph,” the princess said, tripping on her hair, and hitting the ground, her arms wrapping tight around the brown-haired girl. “Sweet pea, what are you doing here,” she asked. “Shhh,” Sweet Pea said, “I go by SuperGirl now, princess, and I’ve come to take you home, well, kinda home, sort of, mostly I’ve come to get you.”

The princess hugged SuperGirl and they packed all of her things, “do you really need all of these shoes?” SuperGirl asked. The princess stared because it was a very confusing question. Who doesn’t need shoes? Also, she had a plan. “YES!”

“Do you really need all of these dresses?” Again, the princess stared, but this time tried to explain, without giving away her plan. “Well, yes, I’ve always had 782 dresses. Why wouldn’t I need dresses?” SuperGirl tried to explain that after the war, things were tight before she snapped her fingers and called down STORMBORN!!

“You’ve gotten quite loud haven’t you, SuperGirl SweetPea?”

And in through the window came the princess’s friend Daeni, in her favorite medieval witch dress with a bow strapped to her back.”

“Daeni!” the princess yelled and hugged her very tall friend, who was almost her twin, except they didn’t look at all the same.

“Daeni Stormborn, now” she said proudly.

The princess gave her a surprised look and Stormborn shrugged. “I’m good at battles. But Princess, why is your hair so long, and why do you need 782 dresses?

Again, the Princess simply said, “I just do.”

Her friends were kind and understanding and used to her strange ways, so they heaved armfuls and armfuls of dresses out the window, the pile never ending, each dress dragging the next, SallyDraper yelling up, “she won’t leave ANY of them.”

“Wait till they get to her books,” muttered the magical Scottish princess.

“I heard that Bambs,” the princess yelled throwing a handful of books out the window, and climbing down the rope.

The girls packed all of the dresses together, along with the shoes, and the books, and the kettle, and the tea cups, and the brownie pan, and three tubes of lipstick on the Princess’s horses, and for several days they walked and walked and walked and walked until they found a spot in a little glade surrounded by trees near a bubbling brook.

The girls unpacked their light packs, while the Princess unloaded her horses, settling the dresses in a pile, the books in another, the shoes, and then the tea things.

“I still dinna ken why you needed all those dresses, princess.”

“How do you expect me to make us a home without all of this stuff? It took me long enough to sew it together!”

“I kind of just thought you wanted the dresses because you’re so girly,” SuperGirl SweetPea said. “Isn’t that why your hair is so long?’

The princess smiled a secret smile and shook her head slowly. She pulled her dirk out of her belt and sliced off her long braid, revealing a surprisingly stylish pixie. She pulled off her dress and in her very light riding clothes, climbed two big trees, tying her hair like rope. The, with a flourish, the princess and her friends stretched the 700 dresses sewn together over the rope to create a large and comfortable tent, while the kittens pulled the ends to make them tight, with the other 82 used to make cushions. They organized their library and Stormborn made a sign that said “The Tent Girls.” SallyDraper arranged the tea things and foraged in the woods for snacks with the oldest and bravest of the kittens.

When they finished, SallyDraper asked, “But princess, why did you need the shoes?”

“Oh! As a pathway! So that anyone who is lost or scared or in need of refuge can find the tent and stay with the tent girls.”

The girls cheered and took the horses on a very long canter through the woods before settling down with tea and brownies. They decided to rest a few days before their next adventure.

But in the meantime, they lived happily ever after.


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