Princess must choose between a lifestyle of luxury (boring!) and cleaning up a mountainous mess. The only question is: will her parents let her have her way? This ecological fairy tale involves an unplanned pony ride up steep and stinky Trash Mountain, and the simple steps back to an entirely different future.
Set on a vast and beautiful prairie, the story follows royal farming folk (the Hays) on their journey as they take neighborly advice and transition from “living off the land” to living a life of consumerism. Seeking “to live like the rest,” King and Queen Hay learn some difficult lessons. Lucky for them, their princess has eyes and ears, a nose, and a will of her own. Retracing their steps together, with the help of a wise old pony, they find their way home to a life with a future, one they can enjoy together.
Suitable for children of all ages, this story is about rural North Americans, and it leaves us questioning what we are doing to our own kingdoms and what legacy we will leave our children.
Following this fairy tale is a list of resources to current research on the effects of burning garbage and the alternatives—an indispensible tool in the practical teaching of environmental truths.
|Product dimensions:||8.50(w) x 11.00(h) x 0.08(d)|
Read an Excerpt
Advice Between Kingdomshow the hays moved trash mountain
By Delila Jahn-Thue
Balboa PressCopyright © 2012 Delila Jahn-Thue
All right reserved.
Chapter OneNot long ago or far away on a lovely prairie, reigned King and Queen Hay. They loved their kingdom, though some thought it plain, and they planned many days by the old weather vain. They'd plant royal crops each spring. Rejoicing at harvest; they'd dance and sing. Happy at home, it seemed they were free. In summer they'd picnic in the shade of a tree.
When their Princess was born the Hays celebrated. The King on cloud nine; his Queen so elated. It seemed there was nothing but joy for the Hays. Their future: as bright as the sky on hot days.
This news through the land spread like blooms on June berries. Gifts and well wishes from visitors were carried with advice, which was nice, even hard to refuse. The Queen got more than she could use.
"Be sure to buy new," said the Queen of the North, "You never know what's inside old things!" and so forth.
"Be sure to get diapers," quipped the Queen of the South, "You only use once, and then throw them out!"
"This is better," they reasoned, "quicker, and nice." Since they were such good friends, Queen Hay didn't think twice.
As their sweet Princess grew, she used many diapers and lots of canned milk and throw-away wipers. The Queen to her husband at just about harvest, asked: "What are you doing with all of our garbage?"
The Queen of the East had sent quick oven meals, so easy they kept buying dozens of these. The paper and plastic from packages too were fast to pile up so the King hauled them through to a pile far away in a pit that he'd dug. He pointed out the window as they stood on a rug and there in the meadow, a distance away, the Queen said, "Oh that; it's been growing each day."
"What shall we do with it now?" asked the Queen. "A heap like that growing there ruins the scene!"
"It smells when the wind blows it over our way," said the King of the land, "And it sure smells today!"
The Queen did some research when Princess would sleep, kept notes on some options for that swelling heap.
And meanwhile the Princess was cooing and growing. She crawled and she wobbled, she walked and was showing the kingdom how fast and how smart and how clever. This Princess might just be the best princess ever.
She had the most toys and the shelves in her room were full to the rafters. They should build on real soon. But King Hay had ceased all his usual graces, cutting family gatherings to pick up the paces. He got a new job for their lives were expensive; left farming for weekends though Princess grew pensive.
"She just doesn't play, like she used to," Queen Hay said, "When Daddy comes home, he goes straight to bed."
"The expenses of life," sighed the Queen of the South: "mean that my kingdom now lives hand to mouth."
Queen Hay put the phone down and wondered at that, gazed out at the heap that had piled up so fast then thought of her daughter in bed for a nap.
"Today would be nice for a picnic I think, if the wind didn't blow us that terrible stink."
When the Princess awoke, she wanted outside.
The Queen shook her head; this she would not abide.
Poor Princess sniffed sadly: "I do want a picnic outside with my Daddy."
It was late in the summer that Princess turned eight, the Queen took a job to support all that freight cost on goodies they purchased, the newest and best to boost royal standards and live like the rest. The Queen of the West had convinced her:
"Like me, with Princess in school now, there's so much to see. There's shopping and buying and always there's more; just plan to be home for the bus at the door."
The Princess kept growing and playing indoors, but when she was twelve, well, she really got bored. King and Queen Hay were off making money. What if she went for a walk? It was sunny that day, so warm and so nice. About the Queen's rules, Princess didn't think twice.
The kingdom was hers after all, she'd been told. That's why they both worked, looking tired and old.
The crops had been planted on weekends by King Hay. The garden with weeds grew (they said "It didn't pay). The cows in the pasture were out eating grass. The Princess could see them beside a big mass. She wondered: What's out there way back in the meadow? It looked like a mountain but smelled like a ghetto.
The Princess walked onward and forward beyond unweeded gardens, the granaries and pond. Then something happened that startled the girl: a lovely black pony trod by in a whirl. It spun around suddenly, lowered its head, lifted the Princess and then quickly fled.
The Princess held tightly but confident there on the neck of the pony and let go of care; for she knew that this Pony had come to her now to show and to teach her, to lead her somehow. She felt rather safe up on his strong back, as he galloped through pasture past cows toward the stack.
High and bold, scaled that Pony, ever so spry. What came into focus made our Princess cry.
Perhaps you would too if you took a gaper: broken toys, heaps of plastic, cardboard and paper; all throw away stuff from the years, stuff that was worked for and fussed for, and.... Bother! This was the hard work of Mother and Father.
That beast set his hooves most carefully climbing. The smell was strong here and some trash was sliming, but upward he struggled, crossing hard garbage bridges over loose styrofoam, and aluminum dishes used only once from great big store fridges.
"This kingdom will be yours," her father had said, in a fog as he stumbled from work to his bed,
"And that's why I work, to make sure that it's yours, with all of the trappings and so on instead of simply attending to chores on the land. One day I'm certain that you'll understand."
Against this memory of her Daddy's words, the Princess decided just which job was hers: "If this land is growing – and that's what I bet – It's my job to stop its biggest crop yet!" Pony climbed down from the jumble of junk where more plastic tumbled, more styrofoam crumbled.
"Was it always this way?" Princess asked the beast.
Pony shook his head: "Once your parents lived at peace. And the land, how they loved it, but somehow got lost. They're tired of their working but don't see the cost. It's money they're chasing; there's so much to buy and that's why Trash Mountain has grown up so high. I've been waiting for you to just come outside and see very clearly what no one can hide."
When King and Queen Hay returned home that night after working all day, and a very long drive, Princess asked quietly after that pile, just when was it started?
The King sighed, "A while ..." [In his voice was regret.] "It should have been burned. But your mother won't let ..."
"I looked into it dear!" [Now the Queen sounded mad.] "It poisons when burned – all this stuff that we had."
"Well, what should we do then?" The King answered back, "I've been hauling it out there for years in a sack and the pile's filled the meadow and grows more each year. Soon it will cover the pasture, my dear." "Forgive me dear Father, I try to respect, but is this my kingdom someday to protect? I met a black pony who showed me the scene. My old toys are piled in a mess I could clean."
"And so you shall child, but not now my deary; I'm so tired tonight and well beyond weary ..." King Hay made a move as if to get up, but his daughter went on, and she would not shut up!
"I know that you're tired. You go off to bed but never get rested and still work's ahead. We can't wait, dear Father. We can't make that choice," and for once little Princess did raise her voice.
"We can't wait for tomorrow!" sounded out far and near, "Pony just told me, it's already here. It's waiting in yesterday's trash in a heap. It's moving and blowing and stinks a mile deep. The rats go to live there. We'd better make haste. My future is buried in yesterday's waste!"
"If we burn it," Queen Hay spoke, "It may disappear, but poison soil, water and cattle, I fear."
"There is no hole big enough for stuff we bring home," said the King: "In this problem then; you're on your own."
Excerpted from Advice Between Kingdoms by Delila Jahn-Thue Copyright © 2012 by Delila Jahn-Thue . Excerpted by permission of Balboa Press. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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