Princessa

by Sama Daga, age 11
Princessa Sama is a writer and public speaker. She lives in New York City. In her free time, she draws and goes to the park to hang out with friends.

“People say you should stay calm in unfamiliar situations, but I think it’s appropriate to freak out in this situation. Here I am, in a huge, comfy, and probably very expensive bed. It is so much nicer than the floor I slept on at the farm.”

I am woken by a bright light. I shield my eyes, only to realise I’m not at home. I’m in a huge, puffy, pink bed with purple pillows. I, for one, hate the colors pink and purple. Those colors are signs of a princess. A butler walks through the door, and I shriek.

 “Sorry, Your Highness. Didn’t mean to startle you, Your Highness. Here is your breakfast, Your Highness,” said the butler. 

 “Uhhh,” I said. What was going on!? Since when was I royalty? The closest I had ever gotten to royalty was our dog named King. “What’s this?” I say. It looks absolutely gross! It’s a big bowl of oatmeal with pineapple on top. I hate pineapple and oatmeal is so plain.

 “It’s your favorite,” says the butler, with a little concern in his voice. 

“Oh, really?” I say, and the butler looks at me like I’ve gone crazy. At this point, I have. “Thanks, I totally love it!”

 The butler is so confused at this point. “Are you feeling alright, Your Highness? I will set up a visit to the royal nurse today, Your Highness.” 

The butler leaves, wondering what just happened. People say you should stay calm in unfamiliar situations, but I think it’s appropriate to freak out in this situation. Here I am, in a huge, comfy, and probably very expensive bed. It is so much nicer than the floor I slept on at the farm. I work there, and the pay is very low, barely enough to support my family. My mother is very sick, so she can’t work, and my father died last year. My brother, Bob, is too young to work, since he’s only five. My grandma lives with us too, but she’s very sick. Now I actually have my own room, with gold jewelry and a very cute, very huge, and very fluffy teddy bear. “Bob would love this teddy bear!” I mumble. 

I get out of bed, feeling like a princess. In this world, I am a princess. 

An old but very stylish lady runs into my room. “Enough sleeping, it’s time for your Proper Princess lessons,” she says.  That’s a thing?! Before I can say anything, she pulls me to a ballroom. 

“Whoa,” I say loudly. It’s gold and huge and gold and beautiful and gold. It’s just like the movies. Did I mention it was gold? 

“Enough dilly dally! We must get to work immediately!” says the lady. She hands me a book. “You know what to do.” 

“Yep,” I say nervously. 

“What is this word ‘yep’? Ug, the slang the children are using these days. You must say, ‘Yes mam’ or ‘Of course’. Do you understand?” 

She gives me a deathening stare. “Yes mam,” I squeak. 

Now, what to do with this book…Maybe I balance it on my head? That seems reasonable. I walk across the ballroom without the book falling once. I was good at this kind of thing since this is what I did for fun on the farm. 

“You’re getting much better at this, good job,” said the lady. “We are done for the day. You may leave.” 

I walk out and there is a grand staircase on the left. It has red carpet and silver railings. Seriously, a girl who was living with all of this for fourteen years has got to be spoiled. I walk up the stairs, and I can’t believe my eyes. There are thousands of gowns in so many different colors. Maybe not thousands, but you get the idea. They are all topped in jewels and more jewels and, well, more jewels!

 “Would you like to choose your dress for today, Your Highness?” asks the butler.

 I shriek, again. This guy has to stop creeping up on me! “Um, sure,” I say, even though I’m unsure on which dress I’ll choose. There are so many options! 

After 20 minutes of searching, I settle for a sea-green gown with blue jewels on top. I look in the mirror, and I can’t believe my eyes. I look like someone else, someone who is important.

“You usually pick a pink or purple one, Your Highness,” says the butler. 

“This one is just fine,” I say. I turn to him, realising he is too nice to lie to. “I have to tell you something, but you have to promise to stay calm,” I say to the butler. 

“I promise, Your Highness,” says the butler.

 I took a deep breath, and broke the news to him. I told him that I’m not the princess. I told how my life was before, with being very poor and working on the farm. I told him how my grandma was sick and needed expensive medicine. I told him I’m the only person who works in my family. 

“Ever since my father died, my mother has struggled moneywise. She has no one to lean on. My brother is too young to work, since he’s only 4. My mother has to take care of my brother and my very sick grandma.”

“Oh my,” the butler says slowly, almost in a whisper.

“That leaves me. Even though I’m only 14 years old, I have a full-time maid job on the farm. The pay isn’t much, only five pence a day. Just enough to feed my family. 

“Life is so much easier here. I just need a little break. I still wonder how I got here,” I say. The butler looks at me long and hard. He stares at me for what feels like hours. I think he’s deciding if this is true, or just a sob story. 

“Fine, I believe you. I won’t tell, but you must figure out who, or what, did this to you. You must return the real princess to the throne.” 

“Thank you!” I tell him, relieved my secret won’t be revealed. 

“Now, you have breakfast with the queen and king, your ‘parents,’” says the butler. “Act like you are royalty and use very formal language.” 

Breakfast was scrumptious and the king and queen didn’t expect a thing. They actually didn’t talk to me at all. They were just talking about work and laws and things kings and queens need to worry about. The real princess must have felt neglected. 

After breakfast, I try to sneak outside. I’m this close to the door when a voice stops me. 

“Where do you think you’re going?” it asks.

 I turn around to see a man with a measuring cup on his shoulder and a scissor in his hand. “We must do the dress fitting for the ball tomorrow night!” 

I’m going to a ball? Wow, that will be so magnificent! 

“Okay,” I say, and I follow him to the dressing room. It’s huge and right in the middle is the most beautiful gown I have ever seen. It goes all the way up to the floor and it has gold jewels all over it. It’s pink, but I actually don’t mind it that much. I wear it, the man and his assistants adjust the dress a little bit. 

“PERFECT!” the man screams. I look in the mirror and I cannot agree more. I get out of the dress and I’m told I have a horse riding lesson. Apparently, I’m some national champion. I don’t know how to ride a horse! Well, let’s just hope I’m lucky…

I come outside, and a lady with the biggest horse I have ever seen is waiting for me. The horse is black and tall. He looks calm, which makes this a little less scary.

”Get on the horse,” she says sternly. After about 15 times, I’m on. “Trot,” she says. Okay, it can’t be that hard. Maybe I just take the rope, and hold it. Then, maybe I fling it. The horse starts moving, slowly. It’s not a trot, but hey, I’ve never ridden a horse before. “TROT I SAID,” the lady screams. 

You need to calm down, I think in my head.

 I fling it even harder, and the horse is running at full speed. I’m scared, but I pretend I’m okay. 

“Yes, good job!” the lady says. 

The lesson continued, and it wasn’t as hard as it seemed. She taught me tips and tricks and by the end of the lesson, I could ride a horse! 

After my lesson, the chef made me lunch. It was handmade pasta with red sauce. It was more delicious than anything I have  ever tasted. For the rest of the day I had Proper Princess lessons. It was a little boring for the first hour, since we were just balancing the books. Then we went over proper tea party attire and manners. It was annoying, because apparently I “keep on getting in wrong”. 

After an amazing-smelling caviar, I go to my bed. It was such an amazing day. However, I feel guilty. My family is probably starving and here I am eating caviar.  I am sitting in the most comfy bed I have ever felt, yet my brother was sleeping on the dirt. I had to find a way to go back soon, and figure out what happened.

It is the day of the ball, and I am already excited when I woke up. An actual ball, that I would be dancing and twirling and being really important in.

“Your breakfast,” the butler says, rushing in with breakfast of waffles. “Are you excited for your first ball?”

“YES, YES,YES, OH YES!” I say in a loud, but not screaming voice. 

The butler leans closer. “Have you figured it out yet?”

“Figured out what?”

“Why you’re here!”

“Not yet, I have to find a plan.”

“Well, do it fast.”

“I’m trying!”

“Try harder!”

We start laughing, and then the butler heads to the door.

“Wait!” I say.

“Yes?”

“What should I call you?”

“You can call me Robert.”

“Okay. You can call me Maybell.”

“Okay, Maybell.”

I smile, and he smiles back before he leaves. The same man who did my dress fitting comes in. 

“Time to get into your gown!” he says very loudly.

“Ok,” I say politely, but excitedly.

“Come on, come on, no time to waste!”

“Fine,” I say, a little reluctant to get out of bed.

We go to the dressing room, and I put on my gown. I look astonishing. They then take me to the hairdresser, and they put my hair into a neat bun. This is a literal whole new world. 

Now I have to go to Proper Princess lessons again, in order to prepare for the ball. We go over proper greetings and the way to walk. We also practice walking in heels. It is so painful. I don’t get what’s wrong with sneakers. They are so much more comfy. Besides, nobody’s going to see my shoes. The gown is floor-long. It goes on for hours and hours.  

By the time we are done, it’s time for the ball. I make a grand entrance with the king and queen. Everyone is awing at us, and I feel really special. People talk to me, and I make a lot of things up.

“Hello Your Highness, how are you this fine evening?” asks the duke.

“Very well, thank you. How about yourself?” I say, sounding very formal.

“Very well, thank you. How is the royal swim team doing this year?”

“Very well, we can expect a win this year.”

“Good to hear it.”

I have no idea what the royal swim team is. I don’t even know how to swim! I just came up with stuff along the way. 

It is time for the dancing part of the evening. I am going to be ballroom dancing with multiple young men who want to marry me. Great.

I danced and danced, my feet getting tired and the heels giving me blisters. The last boy I danced with, Henry, wasn’t like the others. His eyes were sweet and calm. He was a great dancer, and our eyes were locked on each other. When it was time to stop dancing, we went over to the side a talked. He was like nobody else, and he was funny and a great listener. It was almost like… no, it couldn’t be… it was almost like… love at first sight. He was staying over at the palace since his father had work to do with the king. 

We spent the whole week together. We ate at the fanciest restaurant in town, Souffle. We went to the water park and went on all the rides. He was a great company. We were having dinner at the palace when I hear something I’ve wanted to hear for a few days now.

“I’ve been wanting to tell you something for some time now. In other words, since the day I met you,” says Henry slowly.

“I’m all ears,” I say excitedly.

“I really like you, and I want to spend the rest of my life with you. Will you marry me?” He bends down with a ring.

I have no words. This is one of the best moments of my life. I would normally think he wants to just be king, but Henry’s different.

“YES!” I say, excitedly.

I hug him so tightly, he could pass out. We run to the meeting room, and announce our marriage. Everyone is excited and congratulates me. I know I made the right choice. 

You might be thinking we are pretty young to be married, but we love each other too much to wait. Besides, my grandma got married at my age, so did my mom. It’s kind of a tradition at this point. 

As I go to bed, I am excited to now have a financé. I have so many plans for us. Then I go back to thinking about home. Would mom approve? Would she be mad that I wasn’t there and I couldn’t find her? I have to tell Henry. Maybe he could help me sneak out. 

The next morning, I find Henry. I take a deep breath and tell him everything. I tell him about me not being a princess and my back story. After I finish, he looks at me with those sweet, calm eyes. Is he mad at me for lying? 

Henry looks at me. “It’s not your fault. I’m not mad.”

“Good. Will you help me find the original princess?”

Henry thinks for a minute. Then, he gives me a smile. “Of course.”

“Great!” This is finally getting to a good start.

After lunch, we sneak out of the palace and into the village. We have to disguise ourselves. We don’t want the paparazzi getting in the way. We look around and call out, “KASSY?”, the name of the original princess. Nobody has any ideas on where she could be. 

After two hours of searching, I sit down on a bench. “We’re never going to find her and I’m never going to see my family again.” No matter how much I try to hold it back, tears fall from my eyes. 

“We’ll find her,” says Henry. “I promise you”

“Some promises can’t be fulfilled.” 

I look at Henry. His face starts smiling, almost like he came up with the best idea ever.

“I just came up with the best idea ever!” Henry yells.

Called it. “What is it?” I say excitedly.

“The only thing that has changed is you and Kassy switching lives, right?”

“Yeah, so what?”

“That means your family lives in the same house and Kassy works where you use to work!”

“That’s genius. What are we waiting for? Let’s go!”

We run to the house and barge through the door. My brother is playing with his rocks and my mother is cleaning the kitchen. 

My mother looks at us, surprised.

“Who are you and why did you just come inside my house?” she says.

I want to tell her everything. I want to tell her I am her daughter. I want to tell her where I was. I want to say I’m sorry for not being there for our family. But I can’t. I have to wait till everything is resolved. 

“It doesn’t matter,” I say.

“Where is Kassy? I mean, Maybell. Where is Maybell?” says Henry in his stern prince voice. 

“She is at the Mare Berry Farm,” says my mother, a little scared at this point.

I feel bad, but there’s nothing I could do. Not until I find Kassy.

Henry and I run to the farm. I’m full of hope and fear. Would Kassy be mad? Can we fix our lives? At this moment, I’m glad to have Henry by my side. 

When we get to the farm, we find Kassy milking a cow. Wow, she is doing really well, even better than me. We run up to her. She looks at us, scared and surprised.

“I knew I would get caught at some point,” Kassy says, a little sadness in her voice.

“What do you mean?” I say, a little anger in my voice.

“I did this. I was the one who gave you the life of the princess.”

“How, What, Where, When, Why?” says Henry sternly.

“What is this, English class? Anyway, I was bored of my life at the palace.  My parents never talk to me. I feel like I have no family, no shoulder to lean on. Everyone just waits on me at a fancy place. I wanted to have family moments and actually do something for myself.”

“But it’s my family, my life!” I say, a little surprised that anybody would get bored of a life at the palace. 

“I know it was wrong but I was desperate. I made a wish on the magical well, just for fun, but I thought it was a myth. I didn’t know it would work!”

“Did you make the wish of June 27th?” Henry asks.

“Yeah, so?” says Kassy.

“All the wishes made on June 27th come true! There is no way to reverse them!” Henry yells in a worried voice.

“So we’re stuck like this forever?” Kassy and I say at the same time. We look at each other with sad faces. 

“Lets go to my actual house,” I say.

We all walk to the house and come in. My mother is reading a book to my brother, who is now asleep. 

“Will someone tell me what’s going on?” my mother says sternly.

Then she pauses, like something is wrong. 

“Take off your hood,” she tells me. 

I do as told, and my mother gasps. She pulls out the birth certificate of both Kassy and I. 

“We’re… sisters?” I say.


20 YEARS LATER

“Remember the day you officially moved to the palace?” Kassy says. 

“The day we came to know we’re sisters?” I say. 

A lot has happened since that day. Kassy and I realised we were sisters. Apparently, the king and queen adopted Kassy. My mom, grandma, and brother moved to the palace. The king and queen bought the farm. We were a huge, happy family. Henry and I got married, and we had a child named Rose.

“Today is your coronation,” Kassy reminds me.

“Thanks for reminding me,” I say sarcastically, a little nervousness in my voice. “What if I do something wrong?”

“You’ll be fine. I gotta go get ready”

As Kassy leaves, I look out the window. It’s dawn, and the sunrise is beautiful. 20 years ago, I was wondering if my family and I would ever find a good home. Now, I live in one of the grandest places in the world. 


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