Kristy Kasady O' Donnelley is a typical young girl, an only child with a lot of free time on her hands. She loves her colorful room, her stuffed animals and her dressing table. Her ceiling is painted blue and she has little balls of cotton pasted on it to look like clouds. The wall paper displays flowers of all sorts and her carpet is a deep green.
She had helped her dad decorate it and she thought it was just perfect! For Kristy, it had become a place of wonder and amazement as she would take fantastic trips in her imagination into all sorts of wonderful places.
Kristy loves adventure stories, especially ones that involved mystical places and interesting characters. Nightly, just before going to sleep she would read until sleepy. Then shutting off the light and closing her eyes, she would try to imagine being a part of the particular story she had read. The story she had been so caught up in on this night was entitled ‘The Enchanted Kingdom.’ It featured a gorgeous young maiden with golden blonde hair, complete with beasts, a dragon and of course one very handsome prince.
She read until her eyes became heavy, then she took her schrunchee out of her hair and laid it and her book on the nightstand. Lying back down, she drifted into her own private dream land.
She imagined an adventure to an enchanted kingdom from long ago in a land far, far away; a place where dragons were friendly and beautiful unicorns roamed free. Her dream also included a handsome knight. He always came dashing to the spot where some damsel in distress was screaming for help. Arriving just in the nick of time, frightening away some hideous monster. Of course, the young damsel, as most young girls would, would fall in love with the handsome hero and they would ride off into forever land and live happily ever after.
Kristy snuggled closely to her stuffed animals and began to get sleepier and sleepier.
Oh, how she longed to live in such a mystical, magical land as the one in her dream. A place where there was no school, no chores or annoying parents to make her life miserable.
As she drifted off, she thought over and over, I wish to live in a place like that... I wish to live in a place like that... I wish to live in...
She finally fell into very deep sleep, one that seemed like an eternity.
As she slept, she could feel herself tumbling over and over, falling backwards... backwards in time. Deeper and deeper into sleep she went and farther back in time, until she felt a thud and then awakened.
She found herself lying in a beautiful little meadow, with golden daffodils, multicolored roses and other flowers of all kinds growing all around. She heard the chirping of many different birds as they seemed to be singing directly to her, "Welcome... welcome... welcome..."
She rubbed her eyes and looked around.
Where am I? Wow, it is so enchanting! She thought.
For everywhere she gazed, in whatever direction, she could find not one single flaw.
She located a tree, one perfect for climbing and shinnied up it to take a look around. From this higher position she could look out over the meadow. She noticed the glorious blue sky with tiny puffs of clouds and the luscious green grass, how it carpeted the little valley. It was like a dream! But, was it?
Just then, she spotted a crystal clear brook trickling through the center of the meadow. Straining, she thought she heard music coming from its direction!
She was rather thirsty, so she jumped down from the tree and walked over to the brook. Standing still, she listened. The joyful musical sound was coming directly from the stream as clear water babbled over the rocks. She bent over and scooped up some water in her cupped hands. She had never drank such sweet water before, delicious!
"Excuse me, excuse me, young one from the Future World" startled she heard a strange voice say.
Turning, she saw a beautiful peacock with a full train of gorgeous feathers protruding from its feather laden body.
"Well, hello, Mr. Peacock, are you speaking to me?" she asked, looking straight at the astounding bird.
"Mr.! Mr.! My name is Fancy Feathers, and I would have you know that I am a lady! What is your name, young one?" the feathered creature asked.
Kristy was shocked that a bird could talk, and answered, "Oh, I'm sorry, Miss Fancy Feathers. My name is Kristy Kasady O' Donnelley. You are a... a bird... and you, you can talk!"
"Why of course I can talk, so can all of the creatures in our world."
"And what world would that be?" Kristy inquired.
"It's the mystical world you wished for! One in which you can find many exciting adventures! You did wish for a mystical world, didn't' you?"
"Well, yes, I seem to recall that I did. But, that was just a wish and wishes don't come true. Do they?"
"Obviously some do, Kristy Kasady O' Donnelley from the future world. This one did, for there you are and here I am."
"Oh," Kristy said, as she pushed back the long blonde hair out of her eyes, "and what do you call this place?"
"It is called Wonder Valley" Miss Fancy said rather proudly. "Here we have everything a creature could wish for, beautiful scenery, wonderful food and all sorts of friendly creatures. We love friendly visitors too. You are friendly, aren't you?"
"Oh yes, I am friendly, very friendly! I love all creatures and mystical places such as this!" Kristy said.
Then a tiny voice called out, "Here, let me help with that beautiful hair." It was a very sweet, babyish voice.
"Who's speaking?" Kristy asked.
"Oh hello young one from the future world, I am here, down here."
Kristy leaned forward, straining to see the owner of the soft voice. She spotted a slender, glittering snake-like creature grinning at her with a big smile that took up most of its face. It moved a little towards Kristy, frightened, she jumped back!
"Oh, he's harmless," Miss Fancy said, "the gentlest creature in Wonder Valley."
Kristy stepped closer and saw the creature more clearly.
"Hello" she said, "I am Kristy Kasady O' Donnelley, and you, you are very beautiful and you, you sparkle too!"
"That's how I got my name. I am called Sparkle Smiley, because I smile a lot and sparkle from the many different colors of my skin. I'm pleased to meet you Kristy Kasady, young one from the Future world!" The tiny creature squeaked without taking a breath.
He continued, "Now, let me help with that hair of yours before you go blind, for if you go blind you will not be able to see any more of the radiant items around you, especially me."
Just then, Sparkle started to shake, he trembled, he shook and trembled again, then he let out a tiny grunt.
Kristy watched as the creature began to squirm forward, leaving what appeared to be his skin behind.
"Please pick it up and twist it around your hair. It will keep it out of your eyes, and then you shouldn't have any more trouble seeing." Sparkle rambled on.
Kristy bent down to pick up the object, but that's when she heard angelic like twin musical voices singing and humming...
The gift is at your feet,
Amused, Kristy listened as they continued...
Pleasantly surprised, Kristy followed the voices. They were coming from above the tree where she had sat earlier. There she saw two joyful little birds, happily darting back and forth as their feathers gave off a purplish silver color.
"Oh, they are so adorable!" Kristy thought, reminding her of humming birds.
She watched as the birds flittered to the place where Sparkle's skin lay. Each took an end in its tiny feet, and then buzzed around to the back of Kristy's hair.
Here they sang out again...
Kristy had heard that tune somewhere before, she thought, it sounded like 'the Farmer in the Dale' one of her favorite childhood songs.
Looking more closely at the object, she gasped! It was the most brilliantly colorful schrunchee she had ever seen! More beautiful than any hair piece she had at home, and she had plenty.
She reached around and took hold of her long blonde hair and gathered it in a pony tail, and then she held it up a bit from her shoulders.
The tiny birds wrapped the skin around it and sang out;
Kristy made her way back to the crystal clear brook and glanced at it and at her reflection.
"It's beautiful and it glitters! Oh, Sparkle Smiley, thank you so very much!"
Sparkle turned bright red and his skin blinked on and off like a fire fly. "You are welcome, Kristy from the Future world," he called out.
The two little birds flittered down and perched one on each of Kristy's shoulder.
She looked at one and then the other and said, "Thank you my happy little friends, I am Kristy Kasady O' Donnelley. And what, may I ask are your names?"
The bird on her left shoulder sang out solo,
Then the bird on her right sang solo as well,
Next, together once again they sang...
"We love to do kind deeds,
Kristy was enthralled by all she had witnessed thus far in the enchanted place called, Wonder Valley.
"Are you hungry?" still another voice asked.
"Why yes, I'm famished, who asks?"
Kristy turned and saw another creature that favored a raccoon. He was pointing to a stone that was shaped like a chair.
She spoke up; "My name is Kristy Kasady O' Donnelley, who might you be?"
"I am known as Otis Paws. It is my nick name because I have the best paws of Wonder Valley!"
"Come sit down. Let us prepare a meal for you." Otis encouraged.
Happily Kristy went over and sat down on the chair-shaped stone. It was just right! She spread her hands on her lap anxiously awaiting what would come next.
All of a sudden she heard a jolly deep voice laughing, "Hee, hee, hee, oh, oh, oh."
She looked over and one of the trees was laughing and shaking at the same time!
Kristy was astonished by this laughing tree!
As it laughed, she saw several different kinds of fruit fall from its branches; grapes, cherries, apples and all varieties of berries. Amazingly, the fruit floated towards Kristy and fell neatly into a basket that Mr. Paws had provided.
Otis joyfully sat it before Kristy saying, "Eat and enjoy my young friend. It is our very best for the young one of the future world." Then all the creatures chimed together, "eat, eat, eat!"
"Thank you very much everyone, this is my favorite food!"
Kristy picked up an apple and bit into it. "Delicious!" she thought.
As she ate, Kindness Kathy and Caring Cayce sang a few more cute little songs. Otis and Fancy danced about with some of the other little creatures. Sparkle was blinking his body lights on and off joining in the fun and the brook played its delightful music!
Finishing her meal, Kristy reflected; the fruit was delicious, the festivity had all been out of this world! It was just wonderful!
Having a full stomach, Kristy yawned. It had also been a very tiring adventure and she was beginning to get a little sleepy.
Just then the birds panicked, spreading their wings, they quickly disappeared.
The forest trembled and creatures large and small began to scurry out of sight.
Just like that they vanished, all except for Otis. He had returned quickly to get his basket and warn his new friend.
The valley grew eerily quiet.
With great concern, Kristy asked, "What's wrong?" What's happening?"
Otis frantically cried out to her as he ran towards his home in the ground, "It's the wicked beast of Fright Mountain. He's on the prowl! It's not safe for any one! Hurry, run and hide!"
Before Kristy could move, she heard an awful hurricane like wind. The cold breeze sent shivers up her spine.
Suddenly, there came a large creature swooping down from the sky, landing a few feet from where she now stood trembling. It was one of the most dreadful looking beings she had ever laid eyes on.
It had six large claw-like feet and one by one it placed them down on the ground. As each foot hit the ground there came with it a terrible thudding noise, shaking of the forest. The beast then reared up on its two hind feet, standing taller than the trees. It had four large wings and as it spread them out, they shielded the sun, causing dark shadows to fall over the meadow.
With saliva dripping from its mouth, it bellowed a blood curdling scream, "I smell the flesh of a human!"
Then turning towards Kristy it once again bellowed, "I smell you, my dear! You shall be my dinner tonight!" Then it moved closer towards Kristy!
Kristy found herself frozen, backed against a tree. She shivered and screamed as never before! She smelled the sour odor like that of rotten fish coming from the mouth of the creature as he breathed heavily upon her. She felt the heat from his breath like it was a puff from a furnace.
Her heart like a drum was beating in her chest!
The monster's eyes, gleaming with delight, leaned towards Kristy, opening its mouth wide to devour its prey...
Terrified, she closed her eyes knowing this was the end...
Suddenly from out of nowhere a strong voice shouted, "Leave her alone, you beast, and be gone now or else!"
Kristy opened her eyes and saw a tall handsome young man! With sword in hand, he was standing between her and the stinking beast.
Quickly, the beast turned from Kristy to face this young man.
As it was turning the young man raised his free hand to his mouth and whistled.
Just then a flapping noise was heard overhead as another large creature came flying towards the frightened Kristy.
Is that a dragon? She thought. Yes it was!
The dragon came over and whispered, "Young one, quick, on my back!"
Without hesitating she grabbed a part of the dragon's wrinkled skin then pulled herself up.
The dragon turned to face the wicked beast from Fright Mountain.
Now the young man and the dragon stood face to face with the terrifying monster.
The beast let out another blood curdling roar, shaking the trees! Then it snapped out at the young man with its razor-like teeth! The closing of the animal’s teeth sounding like that of giant steel trap slamming shut.
The dragon took a deep breath and blew out a red hot spray of fire from his mouth and hit the beast. It let out a loud yelp and began to back away.
Kristy could smell the odor of burning flesh, similar to that she had smelled as when grandpa had so often burned the bacon.
The beast cried out in pain indicating it had been wounded. It turned quickly, lifting itself up. Then like a flash of lightening, it was gone!
The dragon gently let Kristy down saying, "Quick, get down young one. You must stay here for I shall chase this beast back to Fright Mountain! “
With that the dragon winked at her then turned to fly away.
Kristy spoke up, "Wait! Mr. Dragon, what is your name?"
"I am called 'the Faithful One,' and I need to hurry!"
With tears of joy streaming down her face she gave the dragon a quick hug. With that Faithful One spread his wings and disappeared over the horizon, following fast after the beast.
The creatures came out from hiding dancing all about and shouting, "Hurray! Hurray! Hurray!
The young man came then to Kristy and introduced himself, saying, "Young one from the Future World, I am Prince Lloyd of the Landing, located just west of Wonder Valley. My palace is in the Mysterious World Kingdom. Now, are you alright? And, what is your name?"
"Yes I am Ok, thanks to you and the Faithful One," she replied. "My name is Kristy Kasady O' Donnelley. I am very pleased to make your acquaintance!"
"You have saved me from a very horrible situation, it was very close, but you arrived just in time!" She exclaimed.
Kristy yawned slightly.
"You are very welcome my young friend. I can see that you are also very tired. You have had a very stressful and exciting time. Please allow me to take you to my palace at the Landing and give you a place to rest tonight."
"Oh, gladly," Kristy said sleepily.
She thought to herself, "Wow, a real Prince, a real palace, this is unbelievable!"
Turning to her new friends of the Wonder Valley she thanked them for everything.
The little creatures gathered around. "Goodbye, young Kristy of the Future World, please come again to see us!" they chanted.
Kindness Kathy and Caring Cayce started flittering about singing once again...
until we will meet again,
you'll always be our friend,
Kristy promised them she would think of them and try to return some day.
She then turned to the young Prince Lloyd and said, "I'm ready!"
He whistled and a beautiful white unicorn came prancing out, kneeling before him. He mounted then reached out his hand to Kristy. She grasped his strong hand, and was pulled up on the saddle in front of the prince, staring breathlessly into his hazel eyes.
The creature stood and then whirled around, heading away from Wonder Valley. It trotted west towards the Landing and the palace of Mysterious Kingdom.
Suddenly the unicorn seemed to lift like a floating cloud off the ground and towards the blue heaven.
Kristy looked down and stared at the unicorn huge feathered wings. They kept soaring, soaring as majestic eagles soar through the sky.
"We're flying! She gasped.
The prince just smiled and called out to his trusty unicorn, "Home, Thunder, home!"
She was feeling very sleepy. As they soared along she fell asleep resting on the Prince's chest, hearing his heart beating in rhythm with the flapping of Thunder’s wings.
She must have slept for hours, but it seemed like years.
Then out of this deep sleep she heard a familiar voice, "Kristy, Kristy..."
"What! She thought, "That sounds like mom's voice."
She awoke startled and looked around. She was home lying on the floor in her bedroom. She sat up quickly! Something was tickling her nose! She reached up and scratched, then pulled away a tiny purplish silver feather.
"Hmm, where did that come from," she thought.
Befuddled and half asleep she flopped herself back down on the bed.
"Oh no," she thought, "the Mysterious world, Wonder Valley, the handsome Prince, Thunder and the dragon... it was only a dream!"
She was so disappointed she wanted to cry. "I knew it was too good to be true," thinking to herself.
She heard her mom call again. "Kristy Kasady O' Donnelley, you need to get up and get ready for school!"
"Yes, mom," reluctantly she said.
Arising, she made her way to the bathroom to wash her face and brush her teeth.
Crazy as it was she kept humming a tune in her head, "Da, da, da, da, da, da..."
Then the words came, "The Farmer in the Dale, the farmer in the dale...."
Shaking her head she thought, "Why am I waking up humming that?"
After finishing her bathroom duties she went to her dresser then proceeded to get ready for school.
Sitting there thinking about just how she would wear her hair for school that day, she twisted a little this way and a little that, looking at herself in the mirror.
Talking to herself she said, "I think a pony tail would be good today."
So she picked up the brush and as she raised it to begin brushing her hair, she caught a glimpse of something glittering on the back of her head.
Another thing caught her attention as well, her hair was already in a pony tail!
"That's strange," she thought, "When did I fix my hair? And what do I have it wrapped with?"
Looking more closely at the shinny object in her hair, she thought, asking herself, "What is that?"
She turned around to be able to see her back better, then reached around, untwisted the glittering hairpiece from her hair and brought it around to where she could get a better look.
She was shocked, for she was holding in her hand the most beautiful schrunchee of any she had ever seen, that is, except the one in her dream of Wonder Valley!
© Loyd C. Taylor
Special thanks to Br Edwards, Edith Ragan, Siona Edffield and Joyce Shepherd for their wonderful help in editing and reviewing. Thank you!