Queen Jennifer yawned and looked over at the next throne where her husband
sat. "Simon dear, you know what the doctor said."
He sighed. "Maybe it's something to consider, Jenny. I wouldn't mind going golfing and fish hunting, just like the days when I courted you! And our honeymoon! I never had gone to a honey moon before. Non-stop rides! The perfect carnival for a lovesick bear and his new bride."
"It was really sticky. Who would think the honey factory would explode at the time we were taking our honeymoon? Ah, we could go back and do it again. It would be healthy for you to retire from being king. But who would watch over the kingdom?"
"Nidhiki..." Simon thought for a minute. "That doesn't seem quite right."
Jennifer admired her fingernails. "I know what you mean. He can't do it by himself."
"Maybe we should stay for a while..."
"We can't. You should at least take a break. I'll talk to him, we'll find him a princess, and he'll fall in love..."
"And get married. The kingdom will be saved. If he needs help, we'll be back in a couple months. Perfect idea, darling," Simon smiled. "You always know exactly the thing."
"He hasn't gone outside much since Krekka went to college. This is the perfect opportunity for him to come out of his shell."
Jennifer got up and went to find her son.
[insert photo of Nidhiki's production studio]
Nidhiki turned the paper over in his claw.
"I'll edit it, Dad. Some of your selling points are a bit off."
Relieved, Jenny sighed. "That was easier than I thought it would be. Let's deliver the ad to the newspaper stands around the kingdom. Footman! Get the carriage, please. Come on, Nidhiki."
Pellet, the footman in all his hamster glory, ran up to assist.
The stagehands peeped around the corner. They were covered in dirt and Rolaids from trying to catch Benny. "Uh, Mr. Employer? What are we supposed to do?"
"Keep working on the set. I'll start filming when I get back."
The kitties grumbled and went back to the filming area. "Hey, at least we have some delicious chocolate to snack on!" Flip said brightly.
After placing the ad in all the newspapers, Prince Nidhiki and Queen Jennifer
headed home. They were passing a forest when they heard a rhythmic thumping.
"What's that?" the queen wondered.
Nidhiki tossed a half-interested glance out the carriage window. Pellet hurried to retrieve it. "It sounds like a rhythmic thumping to me," the prince said.
"Yes, but what's causing it?" Queen Jennifer ordered the carriage to a stop, much to the relief of the exhausted hamster, who was scurrying to catch up. "Pellet," Queen Jennifer said to him, "go see what's causing that sound."
Pellet tucked Nidhiki's half-interested glance into the luggage compartment for safekeeping and scampered into the forest. A few minutes later, he returned. "It's a princess," he squeaked.
"A princess!" the queen repeated. "News sure travels fast. Our first applicant, and we aren't even home yet! Nidhiki, you've got chocolate on your forehead. Clean it up, and we'll go meet her."
Nidhiki rubbed off the chocolate, and they all climbed out of the carriage and entered the forest. There, a blonde doll in a yellow t-shirt and loose red trousers was dancing hip-hop for all the animals.
[insert edited picture of Faith, Nidhiki, Jennifer, and Pellet in a forest]Nidhiki stared at her, his mouth gaping. Queen Jennifer hoped this was a good sign.
---Princess Lolly skipped through the field, stopping every couple seconds to pick up her fallen shoe, and stopping every other second to pick up herself. She came to a newsstand that appeared to pop out of the middle of nowhere or maybe it faded into the middle of nowhere. It didn't matter to Lolly. Either way, she picked up a copy of the local newspaper.
[insert picture of Nidhiki and Lolly mad and Jennifer in doorway with spatula]Hearing the racket, Jennifer came in to find Lolly in tears and Nidhiki frowning and sitting in the corner.
Meanwhile, far away, in the northern Land of Nofish, a royal family was in
"Whatever shall we do?!" Queen Pink Custard placed her paw over her heart and looked wistfully into the distance.
"I know what you mean, darling." King Spunky nodded vigorously. "This just can't go on!" He slammed his paw on a random table. "We must put an end to it!" He went on, "I don't know what your great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great grandmother was thinking" He slammed his paw on the table on every 'great' for emphasis "when she founded her legacy of cats in a landlocked land with no fish!"
Pink Custard sniffled. "Y-you know as well as I do, honey." Tears ran down her face, and she wiped them away with a purple handkerchief. "I-i-it was because..." Pink Custard burst into a waterfall of tears and wailed, "Sh-sh-she was allergic to fish!"
King Spunky frowned. "Well, that certainly would do it." He jumped up and slapped the table. "But we must end this famine!" Spunky beckoned to a small white mouse. "Cheesecake, call my daughters in."
"And our son," Pink Custard added.
"Yes, Your Majesties." Cheesecake obeyed and ran off.
Some time later, the Princesses of Nofish and their brother filed in. First came the eldest, Dolores, and then Denise and her twin bestie Titania, and then Crystal. Hello Kitty Cow Kitty Sonic Douglas trotted in with the other set of twins, Charlie Marshmallow (the prince) and Cherish S'more. Chic pranced in and behind her Sweetie carrying a pillow on which Dreamer was sleeping. Finally, Marmalade, Ribbon, and the youngest, Purry, entered. All twelve of the Nofish princesses and the one prince sat on their thrones, which made a half-circle around the King and Queen.
[insert picture of cats sitting in half-circle]"You called, father?" all the daughters and the son chorused, except for Dreamer.
"Tall?" Purry squealed.
"Attractive?" Dolores sighed.
"Green?" Dreamer daydreamed.
"A Bionicle?!" Sonic wrinkled her nose. "Ee-yuck!
"Sounds like the Prince of Kingdom." Spunky urged, "Read on, Pinkie, dear."
So she read the ad, including the fine print at the end, "'...and must be 100% Necktie approved.'"
Spunky jumped out of his seat. "NECKTIE?!" He started squealing and slamming all four feet on the table. "This is perfect, perfect, perfect!"
Pink Custard wiped away a tear. "Couldn't be better." She blew her nose on her soaked hanky.
"What's so important about this Necktie character?" Denise asked.
"Well, Didi, he's the Prince of Kingdom. And everyone knows that Kingdom has unlimited amounts of fish!" Pink Custard broke into tears. Cheesecake handed her a clean hanky. "And Necktie is looking for a princess, which we have plenty of and --" She soaked the new hanky and flooded her slippers with tears.
"If one of you girls would go and marry Necktie, then we could have all the fish we could ever want!" Spunky finished.
The girls looked at each other. "Who would want to marry to a Bionicle?" Sonic asked. "Ee-yuck!"
Dolores sighed. "I would." She whipped out her wallet and flipped through photos. "But I already have Ted, Bob, and Tim!"
"Does the soon-to-be wife of Necktie get any extra perks?" Marmalade asked.
"Well..." Pink Custard wiped her nose with a clean hanky. "She'd get all the fish she could ever want."
"Plus a tall, attractive, green Bionicle with a great inclination towards business." Spunky thought for a moment. "He's the founder of the Nidhiki Dog Shampoo company."
"What's Nid-hee-kee?" Purry asked, stumbling over the word.
"I think it's another name for the stock market," Ribbon said knowledgeably. "You know, the place where you buy cattle?"
Purry thought for a moment. "But why would you name a dog shampoo --"
"You could get a lifetime supply of dog shampoo, too!" Spunky interrupted.
Sonic wrinkled her nose. "A Bionicle and dog shampoo in exchange for fish and my relationship status. Great."
Dolores sighed. "He certainly sounds great, Sonic, but I already have --"
A moment of silence sat on the conversation. Spunky pushed it off and said, "Your paw in marriage for a tall, attractive, green Bionicle with a great inclination towards business, a lifetime supply of dog shampoo, and this is the best part -- fish for the entire kingdom! Double for the wife of Necktie. Who wants it?"
Denise jumped up. "My collar's green and I love fish! I'll go!"
Titania sniffled. "But..."
Denise sat down and wrapped her arm around Titania. "I'll make sure you get as much fish as you want, Titi."
The air was filled with "but-what-about-me's."
"Okay, okay. You guys, too." Denise looked around at her family. "All of you. I'm doing it for you." She stood up proudly. "And my kingdom."
"All right, darling." Pink Custard dried her thoroughly wet eyes. "You'd better go p-p-p...." Tears flooded down and soaked Pink Custard's third hanky.
"Pack? Of course, Mother." Denise smiled at her family. "I'll miss you all, but it'll be worth it when I come home with a Bionicle husband" Here Sonic made a barfing noise -- "And all the fish you could dream of!"
Everyone clapped. Denise curtsied, stubbed her toe on the floor, and left to pack.
An hour later, King Spunky, Queen Pink Custard, and
their eleven daughters and one son hugged the second-oldest goodbye as she
prepared to leave on her long journey to Kingdom.
"I'll miss you," Denise murmured in twelve siblings' ears. To Titania, she said, "Goodbye, my best-friend-and-twin-forever-and-ever!" Titania responded with many types of tears, mostly sadness, but also joy at the thought of the fish.
Pink Custard cried and cried again when Denise hugged her. "Oh, Didi, did you remember your underwear? And your socks? And the money?"
"Yes, Mom." Denise jingled the money bag and hurried along to her father. She wrapped her arms around King Spunky and murmured, "Goodbye, Daddy."
After their hug, Spunky pulled the newspaper out of his pocket. "You'd better take this along with you." He rolled up the paper and handed it to Denise. "In case they ask why you're there."
Denise smiled. "Certainly." Then she took the paper in her arm, slung the money over her shoulder, and took off for Kingdom.
Simon the king fixed his royal crown, straightened his royal
bowtie, and opened the door. --- --- "Princess Elena Kat of Lollipoppins!" The royal announcer screamed into his
"Who is it?" he asked in the deepest voice a teddy bear can muster.
On the other side of the door stood a chubby white cat dressed in a white-polka-dotted purple dress, holding a rolled-up newspaper in one paw and a giant can of something in the other.
"Hermffgggmmble," the cat greeted.
"Hello to you as well." Queen Jennifer curtsied. "What is your business here?"
The cat swallowed. "Umm.." She nestled the giant can under her arm and struggled to unroll the paper. She looked at the queen awkwardly, and continued to struggle with the paper and the can.
Simon offered helpfully, "Perhaps you should set the can down?"
"Why, that's a great idea. Thanks, Mr. Doorman." The kitty set the can down at her feet and opened the rolled paper. "I saw your ad in the paper, Mr. Necktie. I've come to answer it."
The queen looked at her husband, and then back at the cat. "Who's Mr. Necktie?"
"Err, I mean Prince Necktie. I'm Princess Denise White -- you can call me Didi -- and I've come from the northern Land of Nofish for his claw in marriage." Didi smiled and attempted to curtsy, but only succeeded in stubbing her foot on the can.
The queen's son approached the door and peered out. "Who's that, Mom?"
"I'm Princess Denise White of the Land of Nofish," Didi introduced herself and stubbed her toe again. "I'd like to speak to Prince Necktie about his ad in The Sardine Times." Didi looked up from her poor toe. "Oh, hi, Prince Necktie."
The queen's son blinked. "I-I think you mean, Prince Nidhiki, Miss White."
Didi smiled. "My apologies."
The queen took Nidhiki aside and whispered, "She's perfect! She curtsies so gracefully, she actually brought the ad, and she even came packed in a practical, but not flashy can! It's even labeled with a pretty picture of a fish! She's the one, Nidhiki!"
Nidhiki looked back at Didi, who was reaching inside the can and pulling something out. "I don't know, Mom..."
Suddenly the door slammed shut. "Whoops!" Simon reached up and opened the door again. "Maybe I shouldn't be eating honey on the job."
The queen and her son returned to the door. "Well, Miss White, we've decided --"
There, outside, Didi stood with a large sardine in her paws, with the head stuffed in her mouth. "IcanmarryNecktie?!" She shoved the entire thing into her mouth and shouted, "Ohmyhshbrgleglrbsdmsdfdsishmdff!"
The queen looked away in disgust. Nidhiki wrinkled whatever he uses for smelling and whispered to Jennifer, "She smells like fish, Mom."
Queen Jennifer was led away by a servant and given smelling-salts while Simon politely dismissed Didi, closed the door, and called for the Febreze.
Princess Alexis of Hoofleboofle struggled to pull the bow across her violin strings as she stepped around a cactus, narrowly missing its prickly spikes.
A newspaper blew by and wrapped around Alexis' face. The bow dropped into the sand, followed shortly by the violin.
"Hey!" Alexis pulled the paper off. "What's this?" Then she saw it: A full-color ad sprung out of the page at her. The swirly golden letters proclaimed,
"Looking for a single, beautiful, real princess. The prince is a tall, attractive, green Bionicle with a great inclination towards business." There was a picture of dog shampoo, and then the ad continued, "To qualify as real, the princess must be a talented musician, a wonderful skipper, a dainty eater, and a graceful dancer."
And underneath in fine print, "Must be 100% Nidhiki approved."
Alexis looked off into the hazy sky. "I don't care much for marrying a Bionicle, but I'd love to perform for royalty." She sighed. "That's sure to win me some fame."
She tucked the newspaper into her violin case, picked up her bow and violin, and headed towards the castle, with the sound of cats being stepped on by elephants behind her.
Elena stepped out of the carriage, dressed in a pink princess dress and a pink coat trimmed with white fur. Pink beads decorated her neck and shoulders and a pink ribbon adorned her hair. A fluffy white poodle, also wearing pink ribbons, followed her.
"Thank you, thank you!" Elena smiled and waved to the imaginary crowds on either side of her.
She picked up Muff-muff, the poodle, and hopped down the snowy mountain in her pink shoes, which were on her feet. Then she set Muff-muff on her head, and sang to the world in a hoarse voice,
your parachute, kids
otherwise you will DIIIIIIIIIIIIIIEEEE!!!!"
And then with a mighty leap, she went flying down the mountain. Her dress flared out behind her, and her jewelry tinkled with a celestial sound. Muff-muff tried to escape, but Elena had a firm hold on all four legs. As they fell down down down, Elena screeched in song,
"THIS IS REALLY
"That doesn't sound right," Elena pondered, and started again,
"THIS IS REALLY
"That sounds even worse." So she opened her mouth again and sang out,
"THIS IS REALLY
A newspaper flew into her mouth, and she gagged. "Harfharfharf," she coughed, and letting go of Muff-muff, reached in to take the newspaper out.
She had grabbed hold of it and was about to pull out the soggy thing when THUMP! she landed on the ground. Muff-muff landed beside her, yowled, and then ran off whimpering.
"Muff-muff, you little --" Elena began, but had to stop to get the newspaper out of her mouth.
Elena took a look at the soggy wet ball and was about to toss it aside when she spotted a full-colored ad. She unrolled the ball and smoothed it out on the snow, where it froze into a solid ice block. She squinted through the ice, and read the ad aloud, "Looking for a single, something, real princess. The prince is a tall, green something, something-or-other with a great something towards bus-ee-ness." She looked up. "What's bus-ee-ness?" She shrugged and continued, "To something as real, the princess must be a something musician--"
Elena screamed. "I CAN SING!" She stood up and straightened her crown, picked up the ice block, and raced off to the castle singing,
"I'm gonna marry
A tall green something
What a great DAAAAAAAAY!"
"Princess Elena Kat of Lollipoppins!" The royal announcer screamed into his
The Twin Princesses, Light and Charcoal of Duplicate, sat on their twin
hammocks reading twin newspapers.
[insert picture of Twin Kitties on hammocks with papers]
King Simon peered out the door. "Oh, here comes a fetching doll, son.
She's got blonde curls, red lips, and a violin case jutting out of her stomach."
"Sounds great, Dad," Nidhiki answered absently as he reread the label of his dog shampoo for the fiftieth time.
Queen Jennifer laid a hand on Nidhiki's shoulder. "Honey, he said there's a girl coming. Maybe she's the one!"
"Okay." Nidhiki turned the bottle and read the ingredients label for the hundredth time.
"It's a princess, Nidhiki!"
Nidhiki sighed. "Dad, let her in."
Simon nodded and opened the door. "Come in!" he commanded.
Two blonde dolls stepped into the castle.
"I thought you said there was only one, Dad."
Simon nodded. "There is. She's got blonde curls and--" He took a look at the guests. "And black fur?"
The Queen moaned. "Now there's four of them!"
Simon jumped up and slammed the door. "I'll stop more from coming!"
Nidhiki sat in his chair, holding the dog shampoo and looking at the guests. The tall curly-haired one stepped forward and said, "I'm Princess Alexis of Hoofleboofle and I play the violin, and I don't know who these other people are!"
The second doll, clad in a pink dress and many pink jewels, asked, "What's happening? Who am I? Where are you? Why is everything so warm? Why am I -- ACHOO!"
Meanwhile, the two cats sat quietly side-by-side. One was light gray and fluffy, and the other looked exactly like her except she was black. They each held a set of maracas.
[insert picture of princesses]
Princess Margaret hippity-hoppitied through the puddles. "I'm a little bunny,
a furry little bunny," she sang. Behind her romped Crunchy-crunch Crunch-crunch,
Benny, and a dozen assorted doggies, bunnies, and kitties. Above, birds hopped
from branch-to-branch and chirped along with her. Even the thunder boomed along
and the rain kept time with her song. As she came to the outskirts of the
garden, she met another doll who was also hippity-hoppying.
"Oh!" said Princess Margaret. "Another friend! What's your name?"
The other doll, also soaking wet, danced up to her. "I'm Princess Faith, and I'm the greatest hip-hop dancer in the whole wide world!"
"Do you ever play bunny?" Margaret asked.
"I love to play bunny! I'm the best bunny player in the whole wide world!"
"Oh goody! Will you play with me and my friends?"
Faith hopped from one leg to the other. "I'd love to!"
And together they all hopped in the rain in the very wet and slippery garden.
Meanwhile, the king and queen sat in front of their computer, reading their
"According to this," the queen read, "The Real Princess Test can be interpreted
as 'the soul-longing of a prince in search of one like himself. One who is
authentic and who understands him. The Real Princess Test should never be
mistaken for a search for perfection, but is rather the need for an undefined
virtue, essential to happiness.'"
The king squinted at the screen. "The what?"
"That's what it says." The queen scanned down the page, then continued, "'While The Real Princess Test appears to insulate a princess from reality, she in fact feels her experience intensely. Despite layers and layers of social expectation, only a real princess is capable of feeling the nugget of the essential so directly.'"
Queen Jennifer sat back and stared at the screen. She opened her mouth and closed it.
"What does that mean?" the king asked.
"I haven't the foggiest idea. But it seems what we have to do is... Insulate the princess from a nugget?"
King Simon blinked his black eyes. "You mean we have to wrap her in blankets?"
"Blankets? Yes, blankets. No, not blankets." She thought a moment. "I have it. Feather beds."
"Yes!" Queen Jennifer nodded vigorously. "We must place the essential under Princess Margaret's mattress, then layer it with layers and layers of feather beds because of the social expectation of sleeping in comfort. Hundreds of feather beds to insulate her. And if she feels the essential reality, we'll know she's a real princess."
"Do we have hundreds of feather beds?" the king wondered as Queen Jennifer rang the bell. A moment later their faithful valet appeared. Fortunately, the thoughtful canine had taken time to shake and dry himself before entering the room.
"Crunchy," the queen said. "Please collect every feather bed in the palace and take them to... Where's Princess Margaret?"
"With the squirrels, Your Majesty."
"Yes. When you rang, we were in the garden playing bunny with the squirrels."
"Ah, that's a good thing then. While the princess is occupied, please collect all the feather beds you can find and take them to her room." She thought for another moment, and then added to herself, "I didn't know squirrels like to play bunny."
Crunchy-crunch Crunch-crunch bowed and left.
"What about the essential?" the king asked.
Queen Jennifer shook her head thoughtfully. "I can only think of one thing."
Princess Margaret and Princess Faith both paused in their dance.
"I smell fish," Faith said.
"I do, too," said Margaret. "I like fish! It's coming from behind that tree."
Faith peeked around the tree. A white cat in a purple polka dot dress was seated under the tree, stuffing fish into her mouth. "Oh, hi," she said when she saw Faith. Actually, Faith thought it was "Oh, hi." But with a mouth full of fish, it sounded more like "Ooiii."
"Who are you?" Faith asked.
[insert picture of Didi, Margaret, and Faith outside by tree]
As the cat swallowed, Margaret came around
the tree. "A kitty! I love kitties! Will you be my friend, little kitty?"
"I'm Princess Denise White of the northern Land of Nofish, but you can call me Didi," said the cat. "I came in answer to Necktie's ad, but he sent me away. So I'm eating all the fish I can before I go back." She sighed deeply. A tear dribbled down her cheek and melted in with the rain. "We don't have any fish in the Land of Nofish," she sniffled. "I love fish."
"I love fish, too!" Margaret exclaimed. "Let's play the fishie game! Fishie! Fishie! Fishie game!"
"How do you play?" Didi asked before shoving more fish into her mouth.
"Does it involve water?" Faith asked, brushing the rain from her face. "Because I do not want to get wet."
"We get pretend wet!" Margaret said. "And we eat all the fish we want!"
"Then I'll play," said Faith.
"Sounds like my kind of game." said Didi around her mouthful of fish. "Count me in!"
[insert picture of Simon, Jennifer, and Crunchy by huge pile of pillows]
The three princesses, still dripping wet from the rain outside, pretended to swim through the castle corridors. "Oh, I'm a fishie, a wet little fishie," Margaret sang. Faith pretended to catch a fish and eat it.
Didi ate a real fish. "I like this game! I could play it everyday!"
"I like being your friend, too!" Margaret said, giving Didi a big hug. "We'll be friends forever and ever!"
From up the corridor, a brutal, bloodcurdling screech echoed. Didi covered her ears. "Eek! A cat has its tail twisted in a fish boning machine! And I should know what that sounds like!"
"Poor kitty!" Margaret cried.
"We must help her!" said Faith.
The three princesses ran up the corridor. The screeches grew louder, and now they were accompanied by a new sound an ear piercing wail.
"Oh, I hope we're not too late!" said Faith.
The noises were coming from behind a door. Faith threw the door open. "Where's the kitty in trouble?!"
Two kitties shaking maracas looked at her. "Meow?" said one. Next to them stood a tall princess with blonde curls. To her chin she held a violin, and the screeches came from the bow she ran across the strings. Beside her, another princess in pink was bellowing at the top of her lungs. A fluffy white poodle ran around her, yipping along with the maracas.
Margaret jumped up and down. "It's a party! Oh, can we play, too?"
"I can sing!" said Didi. "La-la-la-la-la!"
"Me, too!" cried Princess Elena of Lollipoppins. And she broke into song,
"I'm Elena of Lollipoppins
I got rejected like a dirty moppins
and it's sad because I can SIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIING!"
Faith picked up the poodle and began dancing around the room. "And I'm the greatest hip-hop dancer in the entire world! Hip-hop! Hip-hip-hop!"
"I can dance ballet!" Light pointed at her twin, Charcoal. "And she can do the polka!"
Charcoal muttered, "Do they need to know that, sis?"
"BZVTTTHCCHTTSSHHVVV," screeched Princess Alexis of Hoofleboofle's violin.
[insert picture of Faith dancing with poodle with as many musicians as possible
[insert picture Didi in front of cupboard filled with sardines]
As a servant rolled in a cart with several covered dishes, Prince Nidhiki
entered the breakfast room and took his seat at the table. "It appears Princess
Margaret is sleeping in," he said with a smirk. "Guess she failed the test."
"Don't jump to conclusions," his mother said. She gave Simon a look. "Perhaps she's lost herself in the halls? It is a large castle."
"Perhaps." The king arose and tugged the bell pull. "I'll send Crunchy to look for her."
They waited several minutes as the servant arranged the covered dishes on the table.
"I wonder where he is?" the king said.
"Excuse me, Your Majesty, but he wasn't at breakfast this morning," the servant said. "No one's seen him all morning."
"Maybe we should check on the princess ourselves?" the queen suggested as the king marveled at their valet's disappearance.
"Maybe she's left as mysteriously as she arrived." Nidhiki uncovered a dish and helped himself. "And took Crunchy-Crunch Crunch-Crunch with her."
Simon lifted the honey pot. "Nidhiki may be right," he said as he poured honey into his bowl. "Or she might still be sleeping."
Setting aside her napkin, the queen rose with a decisive air. "Well, I'm going to check on her. You come, too," she added as Nidhiki uncovered another dish.
"My breakfast will get cold."
"She's your potential wife. Don't you want to know if she felt the soul-longing of your essential through layers and layers of expectations and authentically understands you?"
Nidhiki blinked at her. "The who-what's-it?"
King Simon placed a cover over his dish of honey. "I'll come with you, my dear."
[insert photo of Simon and Jennifer standing in doorway of room covered with pillows and sleeping toys]
[insert picture of Margaret in tub]
[insert picture of Nidhiki, Jennifer, and Simon looking depressed]
A few days later, the kingdom gathered in the ballroom for the possibly
temporary coronation of Prince Nidhiki.
Jennifer's and Simon's eyes filled with tears as they picked up the crown.
"Attention!" Simon called.
Lolly and Didi tore their eyes away from the table of desserts and other delicious food and turned to the front of the room. Kitties shuffled, dolls stopped talking, and there was silence.
Simon glanced at his notes and continued. "Today is the day I give up my throne and prepare to go on vacation. But I can't leave the kingdom unguarded. So I shall pass my crown, well, not my actual crown. That's still going to be on my head." Simon laughed, and then went back to his composed state. "I shall pass this new crown onto Nidhiki."
Simon and Jennifer walked over and placed the crown on Nidhiki's head. Nidhiki raised himself off his four knees and turned to face his people.
There were many cheers. Through the sound of their own cheering, the stagehands muttered to each other, "If he's king, he has no excuse but to give us a bigger salary!"
Queen Jennifer wiped her eyes and gave her son a long hug.
"And now, if I may say one last thing." The old king pointed towards the food. "Every one for himself!" They were about to jump on the table, but Jennifer stopped them.
"Order, please!" Nidhiki said in a loud voice. He grinned and cackled to himself as everybody jumped immediately into a single-file line. "I could get used to this."
After they had finished their food, Margaret went up to the microphone and called, "Let's play Bunny-Hop!"
"Yeah!" the dolls shouted. Tuffies played a merry tune on the piano. Faith proved she was the best bunny-hop player in the world and hopped more than anyone else. The stagehands had so much fun, they temporarily forgot their salary.
"Let's dance to the Hokey-Pokey next!" Light and Charcoal suggested.
"Yes! Crunchy-crunch Crunch-crunch is really good at the Hokey-Pokey!" Margaret said.
"I'll start it!" Elena went up to the microphone and belted out, 'You put your left foot in, you put your right foot out--"
From the door Jennifer and Simon watched the game. Simon patted his wife's shoulder. "Everything looks settled here, dear."
"I guess we should get going. But first we need to talk to Nidhiki." Jennifer took Simon's paw and pulled Nidhiki out of the game of Hokey-Pokey.
"We do?" asked the anxious Simon.
"Don't forget to get your crown polished every Sunday while we're gone. And make sure the castle is locked when you go to bed." Jennifer patted her son's shoulder. "Also, make sure Pellet gets his cheese everyday, but don't let him eat all the cheese, and "
"And enjoy the rest of your party." Simon broke in and hugged his son. "We're proud of you! Now, we have a plane to catch."
Denise was disappointed to discover that she now had no chance of marrying Nidhiki, and was prepared to return home without a handsome green Bionicle husband and fish for everyone, when an idea occurred to her. She could trade something Nofish had a lot of for the fish!
After discussing this with the royal family of Kingdom, she decided on trading her chocolate and Rolaids. "It may seem unfair," Denise said, "until you remember that fish is the best food EVER!"
So with the trade agreement in paw, Denise went home, where her family was happy to hear about the agreement. Sonic was especially happy as she "really didn't want to be related to a green Bionicle."
Now that the kingdom had fish, Denise suggested that they change the name of Nofish. So after days of discussing, Nofish was renamed to Yesfish.
Princess Margaret returned to the Chaos Kingdom, taking with her many of the forest animals and a few of the stagehands who had become her friends and hoped to earn a better salary than they had been making under Prince Nidhiki. Charcoal and Light returned to their hammocks. Faith, Alexis, and Elena became good friends and visited each other and the Chaos Kingdom at least once a month.
If you are wondering what happened to Lolly, she had so much fun at the party that she forgave Nidhiki for not making his chocolate in Strawberry Land. After that, she continued looking for Matau. As of this writing, we're not sure whether or not she's found him.
And they all lived happily ever after.