written by Debbie Williamson
Princess Anna lived in a castle in a country far, far away. Princess Anna was eight years old and was as cute as a button. She wore the fanciest dresses, the prettiest hats, the most fashionable shoes. Some were jealous of Princess Anna and some loved her to death.
One day Princess Anna was outside in her country courtyard pruning her rose bushes with her attendant, Julie. Princess Anna was getting her new shoes dirty in the process. Julie tried to brush them off but to no avail.
“I’m afraid these shoes are soiled for good,” said Julie.
“It is okay,” said Princess Anna. “I’ll keep these shoes just for garden work.”
“Now,” said Julie. “Why didn’t I think of that?”
Princess Anna laughed and amid her laughter she could hear someone sobbing. Princess Anna stopped laughing and listened.
“Oh my!” she exclaimed to Julie. “Someone is crying.”
“Yes,” said Julie. “You are right. It sounds like it is coming from over the far wall.”
Both Julie and Princess Anna rushed over to the garden wall. They opened the gate and they saw a little girl sitting on a bench. She had her hands over her eyes and she was sobbing like a little baby.
“Oh dear,” said Julie to the girl. “What is the matter?”
“I’m lost,” said the girl. “My Mommy and Daddy and going to be looking all over for me and they’ll never be able to find me.”
Julie and Princess Anna took the girl inside the castle with them. The girl was so distraught that she didn’t even notice her surroundings.
“Okay,” said Princess Anna, while Julie went in the kitchen and fixed up a snack for the child. “It is okay. We’ll find your Mommy and Daddy. Don’t worry.”
“You will,” said the girl, the hint of a faint smile on her face.
“Absolutely,” said Princess Anna.
The girl ate the cookies and milk that Julie brought for her. She didn’t realize how hungry she was. She hadn’t eaten since early that morning.
“Thank you,” said the girl. “That feels so much better.”
“So, I’m going to phone the authorities and we’ll find your parents,” said Julie.
“My name is Princess Anna,” said Princess Anna, holding out her hand to the girl.
“My name is Anna too,” said the little girl. “I’m not a princess, but we have the same name.”
“Yes,” said Princess Anna. “We do, don’t we?”
Julie brought a wash cloth for Anna so she could was her face which was streaked with tears. Once Anna had finished washing up, Julie noticed a strange resemblance between Princess Anna and Anna. She took the two girls to the large mirror on the back of the parlour door.
“Oh my!” exclaimed Princess Anna. “Not only do we have the same name but we also look alike. We could have some fun with this.”
“What do you mean?” asked Anna.
“Well,” said Princess Anna. “How would you like to be a princess?”
“Oh,” said Anna. “That would be wonderful. I could dress up in pretty dresses and wear pretty shoes! Oh, Princess Anna, I would love it.”
Princess Anna took Anna upstairs to her bedroom and she let Anna pick out whatever dress she wanted to wear. Anna was having so much fun. She loved Princess Anna’s huge choice of clothes. She, herself, only had a handful of outfits at home to wear and none were as beautiful as what she saw in front of her.
Princess Anna took her clothes off and put Anna’s tattered dress and shoes on.
“This is fun,” said Princess Anna. “I’ve always wanted to be just a regular little girl with just regular clothes to wear.”
“What do you say if when we find my parents that we trick them?” asked Anna.
“You mean trade places,” said Princess Anna.
“Yes,” said Anna. “Do you think we could fool them?”
“I guess we’ll find out soon enough,” said Princess Anna.
Anna’s parents came about an hour later and they could not tell the two girls apart.
“My,” said Anna’s mother. “This is uncanny. You two girls look exactly alike. The only way I can tell you apart is by the clothes you are wearing.”
Princess Anna went home with Anna’s parents. Anna had a wonderful evening in the castle with Julie looking after her every need. She was enjoying being a princess very much and she was enjoying being the only child for a change, too.
At Anna’s home, Princess Anna had so much fun being able to play with other children. Anna had two sisters and one brother. Princess Anna was in heaven.
One day, Anna became ill at the castle, deathly ill. Julie called for the doctor and he came to the castle immediately.
“This is one sick little girl,” said the doctor.
Julie immediately called Anna’s parents. They were very confused at Julie’s phone call but the came to the castle immediately with Princess Anna. When they found out it was their little Anna that was deathly ill, they immediately burst into tears.
“Bet you don’t want to trade places now,” said Anna to Princess Anna, weakly, with a smile on her face.
“You just get better,” said Princess Anna, holding Anna’s hand tightly.
Princess Anna did not leave Anna’s bedside throughout the terrible illness that Anna had. She stuck by her friend. She prayed that Anna would get better. She did not want Anna to take a turn for the worse. She sat and told Anna stories about her princess life. Anna loved the stories. She dreamt that it was her living through the stories. She dreamt that she really was Princess Anna.
That night, Princess Anna was holding Anna’s hand and she felt something. She felt a surge of movement throughout Anna. Anna’s fever broke and her illness passed. Princess Anna called the doctor and the doctor confirmed what Princess Anna had felt. Anna was going to be alright. She would need a long recovery period but otherwise she was going to be just fine.
Princess Anna told Anna’s parents that they could stay in the castle with them while Anna recovered. Princess Anna also apologized to them for the trick that her and Anna had played on them.
“I’m just glad our little girl is going to be okay,” Anna’s Mother cried.
“Look at it this way,” Anna’s Father cried, not only did we just get our own Anna back but we now have two Anna’s that we love and care for very much.
“Yes,” said Princess Anna. “And one of them is very, very, rich.”
Everyone laughed, including Anna.