What a Princess Wants
by Katina L. French
AszI brushes the endless knots out of my daughter's hair. She giggles and says, "It's like Rapunzel's, right?"
I snort and kiss the top of her head. I do not say what first springs to mind, which is that Rapunzel's real name was Persinette, and calling a girl "Rapunzel" is basically like calling a modern girl "spinach salad."
It's not her fault. Dawn's only experience with fairy tales is from children's movies with all their rough edges erased. They shimmer like stained glass, and if you have a special set of glasses, the illusion of depth.
My experience with fairy tales is more personal.
I look out her window, and spot a flash of iridescence. For a moment, I spy sharply pointed ears under a headdress of antlers and leafy twigs. Then the picture shifts into suburban shrubbery, bluebirds nestled in its depths.
I nod politely, in case my eyes aren't playing tricks on me. I know better than to risk offending my godmother.
Dawn squirms as I twist her blond tresses into the braid she requested for the Christmas program. It's her last year at Briar Ridge Elementary. She wants to look like a princess. I want to preserve her illusion that being a princess is a good thing.