Stories from the Stringam Family Ranches of Southern Alberta

From the 50s and 60s to today . . .

Tuesday, June 16, 2020


Who does that?
I mean, seriously, who?
Maybe I should explain…
Jared was a prince. A real, bonafide prince.
The ‘son of a real king and queen’ sort of prince.
I know it probably sounds awesome, and for many years, it was.
But recently, it had become, well, a pain.
Stay with me, children, I shall tell all.

Jared had ‘come of age’, which, in normal you-and-me speak means he was old enough to get serious about finding The One.
*cue romantic music…
Now if it was us, we’d probably design a heart-stopping page in the ‘Swinging Singles’ or, depending on our age, maybe the ‘Sagging Singles’.
Or get a cute puppy and appear at the park.

Jared didn’t have those options.
I mean, there really isn’t a dating site for the ‘Stately Singles’ or whatever it would be called.
Jared was stuck with the girls his parents managed to find among their Rolodex of royal friends.
Most of whom he’d known since childhood.
Can we just say none appealed and leave it at that?

He searched.
Oh, my yes, he searched. Austria, Italy, France and the many and varied countries of continental Africa elicited no one who even remotely appealed.
He even put on his galoshes and winter coat and huffed and puffed his way across Canada.
And we all know just how attractive those Canadian girls can be!
Ahem . . .

But still no one seemed to strike that spark. Or if they did, they couldn’t prove they were ‘royal’.
Yep. Jared was in a pickle.
One evening, as he and his parents stood on one of the myriad balconies bedeck-ing their palace, enjoying the awesome lightning display accompanying a Hollywoodish rainstorm, there was a knock at their royal door.

Jared and his parents frowned.
“Maybe it’s a princess come to look for me for a change!” Jared said.
They all laughed.
Just then their Major Domo, Domo, came to the balcony entrance.
“A young lady has been caught in the storm,” he said. “She says she’s a princess and seeks shelter.”
“But of course!” the queen said quickly.

“Bring her in!” the king added as he ushered his family inside.
Domo disappeared.
“Wouldn’t it be something if she turned out to be amazing?” Jared asked.
“And a real bonafide princess,” his mother added.
“Yeah. That.”
Just then a young lady appeared in the doorway, with Domo behind her.
“Here she is, your majesties,” he said, bowing.

She was a rather sodden young lady, whose long, red hair hung in dripping hanks down what looked to be a formerly-pristine, decidedly expensive crystal-beaded dress.
She sank into a deep (and shivering) curtsey. “Your Majesties,” she said. Then she gave a massive sneeze. “Oh, excuse me!” She dabbed at her nose with the back of one dripping wrist.

“Oh, my dear, you must be frozen!” the queen declared, rushing forward. “Domo!” she waved a hand. “Prepare a bath in the Red Room and fetch some dry garments!”
The man bowed and left.
“Come, dear,” the queen went on. “Let us get you clean and warm!”
The girl stretched quivering, blue lips in a semblance of a smile.

“I am so sorry to come here alone and unannounced. But my carriage shed a wheel at the bottom of your drive and my driver sent me on to keep me warm and safe.” She looked down and smiled a little half-smile. “It wasn’t raining then.”
“Well, never you mind,” the queen said. “Let’s get you warm and comfy!”

She put her arm about the shivering girl and steered her toward the doorway.
“Now, tell me, my dear,” the queen said as they stepped out into the hall. “Domo was saying something about you being a . . .”
Their voices faded.
“…princess?” the king finished the queen’s sentence. He looked at his son a moment. Then grinned.

Jared was staring at the doorway where the girl (and his mother) had disappeared.
“Son?” his father said.
Jared blinked. “Is there really a silly rule that says I have to marry a princess?” he asked.
The king laughed. “I’m afraid so. Why else would you have been charging all over the globe these past few months?”
“Why, indeed.”

I don’t know about you, but I think I’m seeing a whole love-at-first-sight sort of . . . thing.
Who’s with me?
Meanwhile, down in the Red Room’s dressing room… The dressing room of the Red Room? The big room’s little room? Oh, never mind. …the girl was happily (and modestly) soaking in a tub of hot, soapy water.

At the same time, the queen was directing a vast army of servants in the placement of 40 mattresses atop the Red Room’s bed. The bed in the Red Room? Belonging to the Red Room?
Why am I having so much trouble with this?
Did Twain have this kind of distress? Or Dr. Seuss? I think not.
Moving on...

Unbeknownst (Oooh! Good word!) to the pile-ers, the queen had first placed a small, ordinary pea under the bottom mattress before the ‘pile-ing’ began. A pea that was now covered by, not 1, but 41 mattresses!
I know. Weird, right.
I guess she had her reasons.
Maybe she wanted to pre-pea the bed? *snort*
Sorry about that.
I digress…

When the girl emerged from her bath all warm, glowing and with her hair newly cleaned and arranged, the queen gasped.
Even in borrowed nightclothes, she truly was beautiful.
Some people are like that.
“Daphne, your bed is ready,” the queen said, patting the pile of mattresses.
Oh, right. I forgot. The girl had told the queen her name.

Daphne blinked, but obligingly climbed the ladder to the top, then snuggled down into the soft blankets.
“Have a good sleep, Dear,” the queen whispered.
But Daphne was already there.
The next morning, a smiling (and totally rested and happy) young face appeared at the breakfast table.
“Good morning, everyone!” Daphne sang out cheerfully.
People do that in stories.

The king, queen and Jared looked up and smiled. The king and Jared rose to their feet and Jared reached for her arm.
“Oh Daphne, my sweet girl, it’s so nice to see your bright smiling face at our breakfast table!” the queen said graciously. She patted the chair beside her. “Please, dear. Come and sit next to me!”

Jared led her over and released her arm.
Daphne sank into the proffered chair.
The queen smiled and pressed Daphne’s hand. “Now my dear, tell us how you slept. Every detail!”
Daphne smiled back. “Like a dream,” she said happily. “I can’t remember when I’ve slept so well.”
The queen blinked and frowned slightly. “Oh. Really? Well that is…wonderful.”

“Yes. I think I could happily sleep on a stack of mattresses for the rest of my life!” Daphne said.
“Oh. Well, I’m not quite sure . . .” began the queen.
“How we’ve missed meeting you all this time,” Jared broke in. He smiled warmly at the girl. “I think this is the beginning of a beautiful relationship!”

Okay, yes you’ve heard something like that before.
Go with me on this…
Well what did you think? That placing a pea under 40+ mattresses was going to make a bit of difference? I mean, I’ve slept like a baby (or like a teenager because we all know babies don’t sleep) with a tree root under my camping mattress.

Jared and Daphne were soon an ‘item’.
Then quickly moved from there to ‘affianced’.
The queen confided to Jared the whole '40 mattresses and a pea' story the evening before his wedding day.
When he asked her why she merely shrugged. “Mother always told me that a true princess should be as delicate—and bruise-able—as a rose petal.”

“Well that’s stupid,” Jared said. “How could she withstand the rigours of life?”
You’re probably wondering what rigours a princess/future queen would have to withstand?
All I have to say is: childbirth...
And you know what? It wasn’t important if she was a ‘real’ princess or not because to Jared, she was his princess.
And that’s all that mattered.

Word Counters is a word challenge.
Each of us happy participants donates a number.
Which is then distributed by our intrepid leader, Karen, to someone else.
My number this month was: 59
It was submitted by my good friend Mimi 
Thank you, my friend!
Now go and see what the others have created!


  1. Love these stories. Makes me want to dust off the Grimms' Fairy Tales!

  2. honest fairy tale for a change :) I prefer this kind!

  3. That really was a cute take on the "princess and the pea" story. I bet Jared and Daphne were a happily ever after duo.

  4. Sounds like how the story should have been written to begin.

  5. I love your twist on the story, you made me smile and even a giggle or two. I agree, what does it matter if as long as they were truly happy and in love.
    Dawn aka Spatulas On Parade


Thank you for visiting! Drop by again!

Real Estates: All Murders Included in the Price!

Real Estates: All Murders Included in the Price!
My FIRST murder mystery!

Blessed by a Curse

Blessed by a Curse
My very first Medieval Romance!

God's Tree

God's Tree
For the Children

Third in the series

Third in the series
Deborah. Fugitive of Faith

The Long-Awaited Sequel to Daughter of Ishmael

The Long-Awaited Sequel to Daughter of Ishmael
A House Divided is now available at all fine bookstores and on and .ca!

Daughter of Ishmael

Daughter of Ishmael
Now available at and .ca and and other fine bookstores.

Romance still wins!

Romance still wins!
First romance in a decade!

Hosts: Your Room's Ready

Hosts: Your Room's Ready
A fun romp through the world's most haunted hotel!

Hugs, Delivered.

Compass Book Ratings

Compass Book Ratings

Ghost of the Overlook

Ghost of the Overlook
Need a fright?

My Granddaughter is Carrying on the Legacy!

My Granddaughter is Carrying on the Legacy!
New Tween Novel!

Gnome for Christmas

Gnome for Christmas
The newest in my Christmas Series


A heart warming story of love and sacrifice.


My novel, Carving Angels

My novel, Carving Angels
Read it! You know you want to!

My Second Novel: Kris Kringle's Magic

My Second Novel: Kris Kringle's Magic
What could be better than a second Christmas story?!

Join me on Maven

Connect with me on Maven


A scientist and his son struggle to keep their earth-shattering discovery out of the wrong hands.

Essence: A Second Dose

Essence: A Second Dose
Captured and imprisoned, a scientist and his son use their amazing discovery to foil evil plans.

Looking for a Great Read?

E-Books by Diane Stringam Tolley
Available from

The Babysitter

The Babysitter
A baby-kidnapping ring has its eye on J'Aime and her tiny niece.


Haunted by her past, Melissa must carve a future. Without Cain.


Following tragedy, Devon retreats to the solitude of the prairie. Until a girl is dropped in his lap.

Pearl, Why You Little...

Pearl, Why You Little...
Everyone should spend a little time with Pearl!

The Marketing Mentress

The Marketing Mentress
Building solid relationships with podcast and LinkedIn marketing

Coffee Row

Coffee Row
My Big Brother's Stories

Better Blogger Network

Semper Fidelis

Semper Fidelis
I've been given an award!!!

The Liebster Award

The Liebster Award
My good friend and Amazing Blogger, Marcia of Menopausal Mother awarded me . . .

Irresistibly Sweet Award

Irresistibly Sweet Award
Delores, my good friend from The Feathered Nest, has nominated me!

Sunshine Award!!!

Sunshine Award!!!
My good friend Red from Oz has nominated me!!!

My very own Humorous Blogger Award From Delores at The Feathered Nest!

Be Courageous!

Grab and Add!

Search This Blog

Ghost of the Overlook

Ghost of the Overlook
Need a fright?