A Mother's Advice

See Author's Note on page One.

They walked through another small forest this time the forest was more open than the other ones and the trees were growing far apart from each other; letting plenty of moonlight shine through the forest. They were both glad because they did not like to walk through a dark forest. There were a few spruce trees as well as some chestnut trees filled with chestnuts, and apple trees that were covered with pink flowers. There were also a few bushes growing including a berry bush. They plucked some berries and popped a few of the sweet berries in their mouths before they placed the rest of them in their food bags. They saw a few more raccoons scampering about as well as a chipmunk, and a badger. When they passed they came to the end of the woods they saw two shelters about 20 ft away.

They approached the two shelters until they were close to them. One of them was a very beautiful castle with high towers and battlements on it. In front of that tower was a very beautiful "princess" who wore a long sky blue colored gown and had long blond hair that was the color of sunshine and eyes that matched her dress, but Mike noticed the evil look in them, and did not trust her at all because he sensed there was something sinister about her. Allen on the other hand did not notice her sinister look, but fell in love with her because he had never seen a more beautiful woman in his entire life.

The false princess began to speak in her honeyed voice, "come inside my castle gentlemen; you look weary. I will give you nice guest rooms where you can sleep on soft beds and have a very large breakfast in the morning and be refreshed for the next day's journey." Allen, who was captivated by her beauty and honeyed words, began to walk towards her, but Mike grabbed his arm and stopped him.

"Why did you stop me, brother?" Allen asked.

"Look," Mike said when he pointed at the shelter that was at the right of the castle. The other shelter was a small cottage that seemed to be in need of repairs in many places; the wood was splintering, and there was a hole in the roof. The woman standing in front of it was a plain looking woman who had dull brown eyes and straw like brown hair. She wore a green dress that had a few patches on it. She wasn't very attractive, but Mike noticed the warmth in her eyes and in her smile. Then he remembered his mother's advice.

"We should spend the night in that cottage, brother," Mike suggested.

"What for? The woman is not much to look at and the house is falling apart. We probably won't get much to eat if we do eat anything at all, and we will be tossing and turning on those hard beds overnight, and wake up wearier than before. I'm going to spend the night in that beautiful castle."

"Mother warned us not go into that castle," Mike said.

"Bah! What does she know; she knows nothing? Why should I miss out on a splendid breakfast and marry the most beautiful lady I have ever seen because of mother's silly advice."

Mike, annoyed at his brother's foolishness and not learning from his previous experiences when he ignored their mother's advice, said to him," you have ignored mother's advice twice before and look what happened to you; the last time you ignored her advice you fell into so deep a sleep that I almost could not wake you up, and you had a horrible nightmare. "

Allen looked at him.

"The second time was worse than the first time when you ignored our mother's advice. What if you fall asleep again and I can't wake you up this time, or your run into some kind of danger and you can't escape from it, and I can't save you? I know that she is a very beautiful woman but I do not trust her eyes or her smile because they have a sinister look to them, and I have a very bad feeling about that castle. Besides mother proved to be right two times before why wouldn't she be right this time? Remember, mother said 'things are not always what they seemed to be,' and you could put yourself in grave danger if you entered that evil woman's castle."

"Your brother is right, Allen, she is a dangerous woman; stay away from her," said the peasant woman.

At these words, Allen grew very angry and began to shout at his brother, LEAVE ME ALONE! I AM NOT GOING TO MISS OUT ON SLEEPING IN A WARM BED NOR MISS OUT ON THAT SPLENDID BREAFAST, BESIDES I AM IN LOVE WITH THIS PRINCESS BECAUSE SHE IS THE MOST BEAUTIFUL LADY I HAVE EVER MET IN MY ENTIRE LIFE AND YOUR ARE NOT GOING TO STOP ME FROM DOING THAT OR FROM SPENDING THE NIGHT IN THAT BEAUTIFUL CASTLE!"

Mike looked sadly at his brother while he walked towards the false princess.

"I am weary from my night's journey do you have shelter that I can stay at?"

"Yes, I do," she answered. I have some guest rooms for weary travelers and food that will fill you up. Come with me."

"You are the most beautiful lady I have ever seen. You are a princess; aren't you?"

"Of course I am," "the princess lied." "And you can be my prince because I want to marry you."

Like a siren, she took Allen's hand and led him to her castle and brought him inside. Allen was excited to see all the wonderful sights the castle held, but as soon as he entered a look of great disappointment was on his face; Instead of beautiful furniture and elegant paintings on the walls, the walls paint on the walls were old and pealing, there was no soft rug on the floor, the table looked shabby and the two couches were hard and lumpy. They looked uncomfortable to sit on. He knew right then that he was deceived. Fearfully he tried to open the front door to escape, but realized that it was locked and he couldn't get out, and to his horror a transformation took place, the princesses sunshine colored hair turned into the color of a mop an became brittle, her lovely blue eyes turned red, her nose grew long and crooked, and her chin became pointed, and her beautiful gown turned into an ugly black dress. The false princess was really an evil witch.

With a cackle the witch said, "fool, now you are in my lair and you will never escape from it as long you live."

Allen realized then that he was in greater danger than he ever was before, and before he can say or do anything, the witch pointed her wand at him, and his limbs began to harden until he became a stone statue. The evil witch, who was strong for a woman, picked up the statue and carried it to a room where other statues were.

Allen wasn't completely lifeless, he couldn't move, but he was able to see and feel and what he felt was an ocean of sorrow; he never felt so sad in all of his life, and he knew he brought this on himself when he ignored his mother's advice.

If only I listened to my mother's advice, I wouldn't be stuck as a stone statue. I would be with my brother in the other shelter. I don't even know if my brother can save me this time.

Tears began to fall down his stony face and hit the floor until the floor became wet, and he noticed ever statue in the room were also crying. Unfortunately, his brother was unable to save him and he remained a stone statue for the rest of his life and the wooden floor in front of him rotted from his tears just like it had rotted from some of the other statues tears when he was first brought into the awful room.

After Mike watched Allen enter the castle with the false princess, he walked towards "the peasant woman."

"I'd like to spend the night at your cottage because I'm weary from traveling all day."

"Of course," said "the peasant woman." "We will be glad to have you as our guest."

"Thank you very much," Mike said politely.

She took Mike's strong hand with her rough looking hand and led him gently to her cottage. As soon as they entered the cottage Mike's eyes became bright and his smile increased because he was met with a wonderful surprise; the room was filled with elegant looking furniture including soft comfortable couches. There were beautiful paintings mostly of gardens and magical forests on the walls, and a soft beige rug on the floor. The fire from the fire place was making the room warm and cozy. Mike was so delighted that he was speechless for a few seconds before he began to speak.

"This is the most beautiful room I have ever seen. I have never seen such beautiful furniture before and the paintings are exquisite. I am delighted with this."

"I'm glad you are delighted with the entrance room, and I have even more beautiful rooms to show you," said the peasant woman.

At that moment a transformation took place. The peasant's dull chestnut colored hair became thick and wavy and shone like gold her dull chestnut colored eyes also became shiny, her rough hands turned soft and white, and her patched green dress turned into a lovely green ball gown with laces on the cuffs and collar, and a sash tied on her waste. She was also wearing silver slippers, a silver crown on her head, and gossamer wings on her back. Mike recognized her at once as The Fairy Queen. She was more beautiful than he could ever imagine.

He bowed to the Fairy Queen, and said to her, "It's a pleasure to be here, your majesty."

"And it is our pleasure to have you here," she said.

The Fairy Queen led Mike down the hall and showed him many of the rooms each more beautiful than the one before. When she came to the ball room she opened the door and Mike saw many humans and fairies dancing and twirling each other around. The floor looked as smooth as marbles and pretty as snow. When they saw him they smiled warmly at them.

She showed him a few more rooms before they came to a garden room, and when the Fairy Queen opened the door, Mike saw a very beautiful garden; it was so beautiful that all the other gardens including the deceptive one he saw before looked dull in comparison to it. There were many varieties of colorful flowers, most he had never saw in his life, and all the trees and bushes were filled with mouth watering fruits that were also unfamiliar to him. The clear water was moving over the rocks, making them as shiny as gold. There were many people in the garden laughing delightfully, eating the fruit off trees and bushes and enjoying each other's company in the magical garden, and many children were playing in it. The Fairy Queen took a green fruit off a tree and gave it to Mike. When Mike sank his teeth in the green fruit with the snow white center it tasted more delicious than apples, and when he swallowed it he felt refreshed.

"Can I have another one?" he asked the Fairy Queen.

The Fairy Queen nodded her head, and this time took a red fruit off another tree and gave it to him.

"Take this fruit with you, Mike," she said to him. "I'm going to show you, your room now."

The Fairy Queen and Mike walked several feet down the hall way until they came to the last door on the right.

"This where you will be spending the night at," she said.

Mike opened the door and looked at his room. His bed was huge with jumbo mattress on it. The dresser was chocolate brown in color with brass buttons, and there was a chocolate brown table next to it and deep soft blue carpeting on the floor. The carpet looked was so soft and comfortable enough for him to sit on. Mike put his fruit on top of the dresser and climbed in bed and pulled the soft silky blankets on top of him. The bed was so comfortable that Mike felt that he was lying on a cloud. The warmth from the fire place made him fall asleep immediately. Mike's dreams were pleasant and when he woke up the next morning, he walked to the window to look at the morning sun and feel the cool air, and when he looked out the window he saw that he was inside a castle. Mike was enjoying the cool air on the face, and watching the birds flying on the trees and singing to each other when he heard a knock on the door.

"Mike, it's time for breakfast," The Fairy Queen called from the other side of the door.

Mike put on his slippers that were left on the floor in front of his bed and walked out of the room with The Fairy Queen.

She led him to a dining room that was filled with many people and fairies and she took her seat in front of the long rectangular table, and Mike sat at her right side.

The table was filled with golden brown pancakes with butter and maple syrup dripping on them. There were different kinds of fruit including grapes, apples, etc; most were unfamiliar to him. There were different kinds of muffins including blue berry and banana. The eggs looked fluffy and the plump sausages looked tasty. Next to his plate was a tall glass of fruit juice.

"Welcome to our castle, Mike," said one of the male fairies.

"Thank you," Mike said.

"So you're Mike," said a man across the table and two seats away. "I'm Dan."

"It's a pleasure to meet you, Dan," he said to him.

"And I'm Katie, his wife," said a woman with long blond hair sitting next to him. She reached out her hand to him and he kissed it.

Everybody began to eat and to enjoy the food. Mike took a pancake and some strawberries and put them on his plate. He cut a piece of pancake with his knife and plunged his fork in it. When he brought it to his mouth he was able to taste the sweet pancake as well as the maple syrup and the butter and the pancake was so soft that it almost seemed to melt in his mouth. The others were watching his expression when he tasted the pancakes and knew he was enjoying the pancake because of the smile on his face and eyes.

"This is the most delicious pancake I have ever tasted," said Mike.

"Why don't you try one of the sausages?" suggested one of the female fairies.

Mike took a sausage and put it on his plate and when he was eating it he was enjoying it as much as the pancake because the sausage tasted even better than it looked.

Everybody at the table continued to eat their breakfast and talk and laughed with each other until everything was finished.

Epilogue: Mike enjoyed the time he spent in the castle with the Fairy Queen and the others. There were many parties, games; different kinds of dances etc, as well as listening to the fairies play musical instruments including violins, drums, pianos and clarinets. Mike enjoyed the Fairy Queen's company so much that he fell in love with her and married her.

The End.