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The Foster Princess

26 pages23 minutes


Regina lives in poverty with her mother and 11 sisters in the shoe of a long vanished giant. She fights daily with her schoolmates who make fun of her ragged clothes and unkempt hair. Her mother fixes only one daughter’s hair per day via lottery—the one whose porridge contains the one raisin she can afford. Only one boy, Bemine, tries to defend her.
The king of the land encounters her in full battle and orders his men to stop the fighting and bring the young girl to him. When he learns of her circumstances, he orders that her mother be brought to the castle.
King Domineer and Queen Goodydo question Regina’s mother, Noluk, and learn of the many fathers: Lord Lunchalot (pie-eating contestant), Strum (wandering minstrel), Daretodo (dragon slayer), Brewtender (innkeeper), and Simon (simpleton). The outraged king decrees Regina will live as his daughter and the older sisters will serve in the castle kitchen. Despite the luxurious castle, Regina misses her family.
When the foster princess grows into womanhood, the royal couple seeks a husband via a contest to make Regina smile. Bemine learns of the contest and convinces his parents to allow him to compete. He and his fellow contestants face long lines and red tape to become one of the finalists. He waits with a hairdresser, Asyoulikit, holding a place for a wealthy client and hatches his plan.
Bemine lucks into being chosen despite his refusal to reveal his idea. The entire kingdom is invited to a feast and show. Preceding Bemine are a bird warbler, a cartwheeling jester, a clown buffoon, and a leaping dancer. Bemine carries a borrowed tray with a dome cover to Regina to reveal a bowl of porridge with a raisin. She recognizes him with surprise and delight after Asyoulikit steps forward to style her hair in coils, a favorite memory of her childhood. Bemine wins Regina’s hand, and coils become the style of the land.

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