Bad Moooove! #3
Nancy Krulik; Illustrated by Ben Balistreri
Princess Pulverizer may not be a knight yet, but she won't let that stop her from saving the day!
The village of Ire-Mire-Briar-Shire has a problem: every single cow, goat, and sheep has vanished! That means no milk, no butter, no cheese. As an aspiring chef and grilled cheese lover, Dribble the dragon is outraged. Princess Pulverizer is less concerned, but she knows an opportunity when she sees it--they'll simply find the missing herds, save the day, and get even closer to completing her Quest of Kindness! But when an angry pink-haired troll captures Princess Pulverizer and her timid friend Lucas, doing her good deed might not be quite so easy!
Excerpt from Bad Moooove! #3
“Cheddar, swiss, and fresh ricotta.
Grilled cheese on rye is a party start-a.
Gouda, brie, and a mild havarti.
Cheese is welcome at any party.
Oh yeah, yeah, yeah. Whoa, whoa, whoa.”
Dribble the dragon was happily singing his favorite song as his best friend, Lucas, danced along. They were both in a really good mood this sunny morning.
“I love that song,” Lucas said as he kicked his legs and wiggled his hips. Clink. Clank. Clunk. His heavy suit of armor set the beat as he danced.
“Me too,” Dribble agreed. “Who doesn’t love a good cheese song?”
Princess Pulverizer, that’s who.
The princess wasn’t enjoying Dribble’s song at all. She was sitting by the riverbank with her hands clapped over her ears. She had a really sour look on her face. Even more sour than a big hunk of Tyrolean gray cheese.
But Dribble and Lucas weren’t about to let a grumpy princess stop their fun. So Dribble kept singing. And Lucas kept dancing.
“Roquefort, taleggio, and a smelly blue. The stinkier the better, they say that’s true.”
“Will you cut that out?!” Princess Pulverizer shouted angrily.
Dribble stopped singing.
Lucas stopped dancing.
They both stared at her.
“Come on,” Dribble said, trying to urge the princess out of her bad mood. “It’s a gorgeous day. The birds are tweeting. The crickets are chirping. Everyone’s singing.”
“And you’re all making me nuts,” Princess Pulverizer replied.
“Why are you in such a lousy mood?” Lucas asked the princess.
“Because we’re just sitting here, doing nothing,” Princess Pulverizer told him.
“No we’re not,” Lucas insisted. “Dribble is singing. And I’m dancing.”
“But you’re not supposed to be singing and dancing,” Princess Pulverizer shouted. “We are supposed to be out there helping people. That’s what a Quest of Kindness is all about.”
“Oh, that again.” Dribble groaned.
“Yes, that again,” Princess Pulverizer told him. “We haven’t helped anyone since we freed Lester the Jester from the clutches of the evil Wizard of Wurst.”
“That’s because we haven’t come across anyone in trouble,” Lucas said. “Which, if you think about it, is a good thing.”
“No it’s not,” Princess Pulverizer asserted.
Dribble and Lucas stared at her.
“I didn’t mean it like that,” Princess Pulverizer explained. “I don’t like seeing people in trouble. But I really do need to find someone to save. You guys understand that, don’t you?”
Dribble and Lucas both nodded. They understood exactly what she meant.
Princess Pulverizer wasn’t your average princess. She didn’t want to dance the saltarello at royal balls, sip tea with her pinkie in the air at fancy lunches, or balance a heavy crown on top of her head as she welcomed princes into her castle.
That was because Princess Pulverizer didn’t want to be a princess.
She wanted to be a knight. A full-fledged, horseback-riding, armor-wearing, damsel-in-distress-saving kind of knight.
And to do that, she would have to go to Knight School.
Her father, King Alexander, had actually said she could go—on one condition. She had to complete eight good deeds on a Quest of Kindness. Once she had done that, she could get her first set of armor and enter Knight School.
King Alexander had explained that knights were selfless people who spent their lives helping others. A Quest of Kindness would teach Princess Pulverizer to care about other people, the way all good knights did.
So now Princess Pulverizer was traveling the countryside trying to find folks who needed her help. She really, really, really wanted to take her place among King Alexander’s Knights of the Skround Table.
But doing good deeds was hard work. Luckily for the princess, she had stumbled upon Dribble and Lucas. They were a great help to her, which might surprise a lot of people. After all, Lucas was such a fraidy-cat that the other boys had nicknamed him Lucas the Lily-Livered and laughed him out of Knight School. And Dribble had been banished from his lair because, unlike other dragons, he used his fire for making grilled cheese sandwiches rather than burning down villages.
But Dribble and Lucas were a lot smarter and tougher than they seemed. The princess and her pals had already used their combined talents to defeat two very tough enemies. Unfortunately, that still left six good deeds to go before Princess Pulverizer could return home with eight tokens in hand.
Princess Pulverizer was not exactly known for her patience.
“Someone who needs our help will come along eventually,” Dribble assured her. “But for now, let’s enjoy this beautiful day.” He began singing again.
Lucas twirled onto a long, thick log that was sticking way out into the river.
Lucas whirled around in a circle.
“And fresh ricotta . . .”
SPLASH! Lucas twirled and whirled his way off the log and right into the river.
“HELP!” Lucas shouted as he struggled to keep his head above water. “HELP!”
“His armor is weighing him down,” Dribble gasped. “He’s going to drown!”
“I’ll save him!” Princess Pulverizer kicked off her shoes and dived into the water.
She grinned happily as she swam to her friend’s aid. Finally, the princess had a good deed to do. Lucas sure was a good pal to fall into the river just to help her out. Any second now she would . . .
Princess Pulverizer looked at Lucas and frowned.
While she had been swimming over to Lucas, Dribble had balanced himself on the long, thick log where Lucas had been dancing and simply walked over to where Lucas was bobbing up and down frantically. Now he was holding out his tail like a green safety line.
“Grab on, little buddy,” Dribble called to Lucas. “I’ll pull you out!”
Princess Pulverizer watched irritably as Lucas grasped the end of Dribble’s tail and held on as the dragon dragged him back to shore.
Princess Pulverizer swam back to the riverbank and climbed out of the water. “What did you do that for?” she demanded.
Dribble shrugged. “I couldn’t let him drown. He’s my best friend.”
“I was swimming to him,” the princess said. “I was supposed to save him.”
“You swim too slowly. He would have gone under for good by the time you got there,” Dribble told her. “My tail was faster.”
It was hard to argue with that.
“Fine,” Princess Pulverizer huffed angrily. “But now we have to get going. I need to find someone else to help before the sun goes down.”
“Maybe we should wait on that,” Lucas suggested.
“Why?” Princess Pulverizer asked impatiently.
“Because you and I stink of fish.” Lucas reached into his helmet and pulled out a flip-flopping trout. “Nobody wants to be saved by a smelly knight,” he added as he threw the fish back in the water.
Hmmm. He had a point there.
But Princess Pulverizer didn’t want to wait for the fishy stink to disappear. That could take a long time. There had to be some way to get rid of the smell.
Out of the corner of her eye, Princess Pulverizer spotted a patch of pretty pink flowers. Yes! That’s it!
The princess reached down and yanked the pretty posies right out of the ground—roots and all. She shoved a few of them in her hair and a few more into Lucas’s visor.
“Now we smell like flowers!” she told Lucas excitedly. “Problem solved.”
Dribble wrinkled his snout. “Not exactly. Now you smell like fish and flowers.”
“It’s good enough,” Princess Pulverizer said. “Come on. We—”
“BEE!” Lucas shouted, interrupting her and taking off. He tried to outrun a bumblebee that had been resting in one of the flowers Princess Pulverizer had shoved in his helmet. “GET AWAY FROM ME, BEE!”
Princess Pulverizer had never seen Lucas move that quickly. But she was glad he was moving. Now they could finally get on with their quest.
The faster they ran, the faster they could find someone in need of their help.
Of course, if Lucas was way ahead of her, he might stumble across someone to help before she did.
Princess Pulverizer could not let that happen.
“Wait for me!” she shouted to Lucas, quickly putting on her boots. “If anyone’s gonna save someone, it’s gonna be me.”
“ Ahem,” Dribble said, giving her an angry look.
“Oh, right,” Princess Pulverizer corrected herself. “I meant wait for Dribble and me! Good deeds are easier when you have the power of three!”