There once was a Princess who was sent to live on a plot of land inherited by her grandparents.
It held many family secrets and was said to be a sacred place for the family.
On the land was a big house with many rooms and happy smells.
Everyday food was cooked to perfection and friends and family would line up to have dinner with the Princess.
One of the most special parts of the land was the garden. Now while the Princess was a proper lady, she was also a bit mischievous.
She spent hours and many days in the garden planting apple trees, corn, squash and flowers that would sing until the sun went down. The princess had no need for money or a career because she was content. She had a house and a garden and those two things protected her family and fed them.
The Princess would pick pumpkins from her garden and make stews right in them that filled the soul and the belly. The Princess was very content, but her Grandmama was not. Her Grandmama wanted more than their estate with the castle. She wanted to buy a grand boat so she could spend her last days at sea in luxury.
“Princess, we will sell this house to the Dragon Folk. They will build grand on this land. And I will have enough gold. Surely you must find somewhere else to live.”
“No Grandmama. You mustn’t sell this land for it is too ripe and too rich.”
“It is decided, my child. I have suitors coming all week to make me offers.”
The Princess was beside herself. She went into the garden to think of a plan.
She called to the flowers and told them to go get the pumpkin vines and tell them to come. The flowers did as they were told.
When the pumpkins arrived, she said, “You must go to the corn and tell them to listen.”
So the pumpkins went and when the Princess was sure she had her loyal garden’s attention, she spoke.
She told them of Grandmama’s plans.
She did not weep, but with a thoughtful stern finger she said:
“We must teach them a lesson. We must grow all of us. We must not let them put their heavy burdens of greed upon us. They must not put bricks where we grow.”
That week as Grandmama promised, the suitors came. Many Dragon Folk came to view the beautiful land, each offering more than the last, promising to build grand. So grand. But the Princess warned all of the Dragon Folk that nothing would be built grand because the soil was haunted and that the rose beds and pumpkin vines would take over anything that they built.
Grandmama was not pleased with the Princess and sent her back to the castle and locked her in a birdcage.
Finally, Grandmama settled on a suitor from the Dragon Folk. “They will knock down the beautiful house and build right on top of that garden,” she declared.
The Dragon Folk had paid grandmama handsomely. So she set off on her luxurious ship and headed out to sea.
The Princess was still locked in a birdcage.
The Dragon Folk started to build and build grand they did, as Grandmama had predicted.
But after each week the pumpkin vines would attach themselves to the brick and stone and each week the Dragon Folk would have to start over. The Dragon Folk were losing patience for each time they sat down on the ground, corn would crack it and shoot up high, the rose thorns would grow so big they would cut through anything.
The Dragon Folk had enough.
“This place is cursed after all, just like the Princess said.” The Dragon Folk went looking for Grandmama, but she was already out to sea enjoying her luxury ship.
So they went to her castle to find the Princess and give back the land, but the Princess was not there, only a loud cockatoo.
The bird was in a grande cage, the Dragon Folk intrigued, decided to open the cage, but this beautiful white bird had been left in a cage without food for some time and she was hungry so she feasted on the Dragon Folk.
When she had her fill, she transformed back into the Princess.
With a full belly she went back to her land and sure enough the house was in ruins, but her garden flourished She ran to her loyal friends and told them her story, how she was locked in a birdcage so long she became a bird, and how she ate the flesh of her enemies and now she was fearless and fearless she was she took to rebuilding the house and did so on her own.