Excerpt from Bella's Fairytales

Bella’s Fairytales by Deb Evans - Chapter One

Bella stretched lazily in the warm sun. She rolled over onto her back, straightened her long legs, wiggled a bit, and then rolled back to her side. Through half-closed, sleepy eyes, she snuck a glance over at her pups, Abby, Emma, and Freddy, who were playing in the field nearby. She stretched her paws towards them, then rolled back to her stomach, her feet tucked underneath her.

With a smile, she thought about their story time. She and the pups had started a tradition of a nightly story time. She had started it as a way to get the active puppies calm and ready for sleep. Soon, it had turned into a treat that they all looked forward to. The pups were getting bigger. Story time was still something they looked forward to, but they were ready for more than the short fables that she had been telling them.

Bella remembered her mother telling her stories when she was a pup. Her favorites had been fairy tales. She chuckled, remembering how she’d thought they were fairy tails - stories about fairies with tails - and could not understand why tail-less fairies were never in the stories. She looked over at her three pups. Freddy. Surely, he’d be the one to ask why the fairies didn’t have tails.

Yes, she decided. It was time for the pups to hear fairy tales for story time. She rolled back to her side and thought about some of her favorite fairy tales from her youth. Which story should she start with…?


Bella’s pups gathered around her in the evening sun, watching her with eager faces. This had become their evening tradition: story time.
“What story will you tell us tonight, Momma?” asked Emma.

“Yes, Momma! What story?” asked Abby.

Bella smiled.

“Tonight, I’m going to tell you a different kind of story. The stories I’ve been telling you are called fables. They are short stories with a message. This new story is called a fairytale. A fairytale is a bit longer. They are usually stories about magic with princes and princesses and talking animals.” She glanced over at Freddy. He was listening intently.

“That sounds fun, Momma,” Emma said.

“Get comfortable,” Bella said. The puppies piled on top of each other in their preferred story time positions.

Bella began.

This story is called “The Turnip Prince”. It is based on a fairytale from Germany.

The Turnip Prince

Once upon a time, there was a prince who lived in a faraway kingdom with his mother, the Queen. His father had disappeared when the prince was very young, and no one knew what had happened to him.

One day, when the prince was a young man, he was exploring the forest on the outskirts of the kingdom. He soon realized that he was lost! He didn’t recognize any landmarks, and he didn’t know how to get back home. He found a cave and decided to rest while he determined what to do next.

He was soon fast asleep in the cave. When he woke, he found an old woman and a giant bear in the cave with him. A warm fire lit up the darkness. He was scared, but the bear stayed back and didn’t seem to want to hurt him.

The old woman, however, demanded that the prince marry her! Well, he said no! He didn’t know who this woman was, and he had no interest in getting married. He tried to leave the cave, but a magic spell kept him from leaving. The old woman told him that he could just stay in the cave and think about it. Then, she left.

The prince was alone in the cave with the bear. After a few moments, the bear spoke to him.

“Do you see that rusty nail in the wall?” he asked. The prince nodded. The bear continued. “If you pull out that nail, you will be free to leave. If you then place the nail under a turnip in the field, you will find a beautiful wife.”

“I don’t want to find a wife,” said the prince. “But I do want to leave.” He pulled the nail from the wall. The cave shook. As the prince ran out of the opening, he thought he saw a golden crown appear on the bear’s head. He ran as far and as fast as he could. Finally, he fell to the ground, exhausted.

When he woke up, he was surprised to find that he’d grown a beard. He must have been asleep a very long time. He was still lost. He didn’t know where the cave was. He didn’t know where his home was. He wandered around, unsure of what to do. He thought he had dreamed the cave and the bear and the old woman. He reached into his pocket and found the rusty nail that he’d pulled from the cave wall. It was real! He thought about what the bear had said. Maybe he should do as he’d been told. Things couldn’t get any worse!

He wandered for two days until he found a turnip field. He chose the largest turnip he could find and carefully placed the nail under it. He waited, but nothing happened. Suddenly, the ground shook, and the turnip split wide open. There was an image of a beautiful woman carved inside the turnip. She was holding the key.

The prince closed his eyes. When he opened them, he found himself back in the cave. Using a rock, he banged the nail back into the wall. The cave shook, and the bear and the old woman appeared beside him.

“What did you do to the woman in the turnip?” asked the prince. “I did as you asked. Show her to me.” The old woman shook her head. The bear growled. Afraid, the prince grabbed the nail again. As he pulled on it, he felt the magic surround him. The bear and the old woman both began to transform into something else.

The prince pulled the nail back out of the wall. The old woman transformed into the beautiful young woman from the turnip. The bear turned into an old man with a golden crown on his head.

The prince fell to his knees.

“Father?” he asked.

“Yes,” said the old man. “I am your father, the king. I and this beautiful maiden have been held captive in this cave by a magic curse for many years. You have saved us.”

The prince hugged his father. He smiled at the young maiden. She smiled back.

The prince walked out of the cave and looked around. He knew how to get home. He led the king and the maiden back to the kingdom. The people were overjoyed to have the king back home. The maiden decided to stay in the kingdom and get to know the prince and his family. They all lived happily ever after.

“What did you think?” Bella asked the puppies.

“I liked it,” said Emma.

“I liked it, too,” said Abby.

“There wasn’t a fairy,” said Freddy.

“What?” Bella asked.

“You said it was a fairytale,” Freddy continued. “There wasn’t one fairy in the whole story.”

“That’s true,” Bella said. “But there was magic and a happy ending.”

“Do all fairytales have happy endings?” Emma asked.

“They didn’t always,” Bella answered. “Fairytales have been told for many years in many different cultures. Sometimes the endings are scary and bad. But, I prefer happy endings. What about you?”

Emma and Abby nodded. They agreed that happily ever after was what they liked, too.

“What about you Freddy?” they asked.

“Happy endings are good,” he said. “I still don’t know why there wasn’t a fairy, though.”

His sisters and Bella laughed. They curled up together for a good night’s sleep.


I hope you enjoyed this excerpt from Bella’s Fairytales by Deb Evans.