12 Princesses - Character Driven Sequel

January 28, 2010
The Twelve Dancing Princesses
By: the Brothers Grimm

This is a story of twelve princesses whose dancing shoes were worn out every morning, these sisters do not leave their bedrooms at night though, which their father, the King, was puzzled by. So the King set up a plan, that if any man could discover the secret and find out where the princesses danced all night, he would marry whichever sister he pleased and would later become King. Many tried, but they all failed, the sisters never gave up their secret, and would be put to death after living in the castle for three days. But when an old soldier passed through the kingdom’s woods, he met an old woman who told him the story of the sisters and how to trick them. Once the soldier did so, he uncovered a secret staircase under the princesses’ room, which led to their nightly dances. When they reached the bottom of the stairs, there was a lake with twelve princes, each with little boats, ready to lead them to the castle to dance. He followed the sisters for three nights and collected items from his journey to prove his story true when it came time to talk to the King. When the three days were up, he presented his story with his treasures in hand. The sisters were shocked that they had been tricked; they had done the exact thing with the other men. And later that day, the old soldier married the oldest daughter and soon enough, became King.

Character Driven Sequel

The next morning, after their marriage and the former Kings resignation, he woke up no longer an old soldier; he was now King of the land before him. But even though he had the approval of his people, his wife and her sisters were far less welcoming. In order to capture their liking, he planned a party for the following night and ordered their twelve princes to come late as surprise guests. The party was full of dancing nobles in great suits and extravagant gowns of all colors, their twirling blended the colors into a fluid mosaic; it was already a beautiful evening. The sisters though, refused to dance. Earlier that day, they went out on the town to get new gowns and new shoes for that evening. But when the time arrived, they would just sit at their table, with the older sister at the head, refusing to dance and what looked to be in immense despair. The new king frowned at this, for he had entertained his new friends but he displeased his family. When the king started to turn away, he noticed a small smile growing on the youngest’ face. He watched her slowly, as she poked at her sister and motion to the doorway, and as he turned towards to the door to see what they were looking at, the trumpets started to play.
The rest of the sisters quickly turned and their faces changed at the sight of their princes in the hall. The men were dressed beautifully; the gold and silver theme of the castle echoed in their clothing. It was almost if they sparkled. The men approached the table where the King and the sisters sat, smiled and graciously thanked him for the unexpected invitation, for they had not seen or heard from the princesses since the night before the royal marriage. As the King responded, his wife stood up and soon the rest of the sisters followed. The princes all went to their princess and asked them to dance, all expect the oldest prince. The oldest sister was still standing; she looked as if she was glowing. Once the soldier saw this he stepped back and let them join hands and dance. Each girl and her partner took the floor and blew away the rest of the crowd; everyone cleared the dance floor to watch the twelve princesses and their princes’ dance. The oldest sister joined in last; with her prince on her arm she danced the most gracefully and led her other sisters into a beautifully intricate waltz that no one had seen before. Mouths dropped as the girls leaped in the air, their gowns sparkling and entwining with the equally as beautiful males’.
The night ended and the princesses became distraught as soon as their princes left. The King thought he was successful in winning over their approval, but he realized that the girls were only happy when they could dance with the princes. But this created a problem, the other eleven sisters were still free to dance and date whoever they pleased, as long as they were suitable for their standards, but since the oldest sister and the soldier were King and Queen, she was not allowed to have such a relationship with her princes, for their kingdom would see this as a sign of weakness. So the King set up plans after plans to make the princesses happy, trying to both include the princes without dancing, or include dancing without the princes, but the only time the girls were happy was when they had both. So the sisters devised a plan of their own to trick the King into giving up the crown…

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