by Lexie V. Owen
We’ve all heard the classical tales of Sleeping Beauty, Beauty and the Beast, and The Little Mermaid. Everyone knows about Snow White, Cinderella, and Repunzel. To Catch A Prince is a farcical fairy tale about the only princess you’ve never heard of: Princess Gianna, the plainest in all the land. When this unlucky girl nears her 16th birthday, her parents resort to drastic measures to make sure she gets her fantastical tale and, of course, her happily ever after. But when things don’t go exactly according to plan, it’s up to Gianna to restore her kingdom and bring back the golden age of happy endings.
Once upon a time, the brightest golden age shone its light upon the kingdoms of this world. They called it the age of happily-ever-afters. Evil was thwarted throughout all the lands. Witches were defeated and monsters were slain. Wars ceased; peace prevailed. Miracles happened everywhere: princesses were awakened from death-sleeps, a prince was cured of chronic croaking, a mermaid emerged from the ocean, and a scullery maid appeared at a ball. Broken spells proved to everyone that true love was the most powerful magic. At last, goodness reigned and all was perfect. But in the midst of this extraordinary time, there was still one problem: her name was Gianna. This is the story you’ve never heard— the one The Daily Grimm never bothered to cover. This is the tale of Princess Gianna, plainest in all the land.
Gianna’s story began as everyone’s does: with a romance. Her mother, Angela, was the most famous princess of her time. She made headlines all over this world when she was captured by a dragon and rescued by the valiant Sir Phineas, who became this world’s most celebrated hero. Shortly after their marriage, Angela heard news of the births of such beauties as Snow White and longed for the day her own little princess would arrive. That day proved disappointing when Queen Angela held a not-so-lovely baby in her arms. As the little princess grew, her hair became no brighter and her lashes grew no longer, but her nose grew larger and her eyes drew closer together.
The distressed queen soon became suspicious that her daughter was the victim of an evil enchantment. She urged the king to summon the best sorcerers and fairies of the land. All of them assured the couple that no dark magic had touched the princess, only rotten luck. The queen sighed at this news and thought Well, there are other ways to catch a prince. She hired the finest tutors in the country to instruct the princess in the most enchanting pastimes. But, alas, the poor girl could accomplish nothing. Her singing voice shattered the conservatory window, her strong grip snapped every string of her harp, her dancing looked more like wrestling, and she spun copper rather than gold. No matter what the queen tried, Princess Gianna remained insufferably ordinary.
Had she been born to a peasant family, Gianna might have been content. But when one grows up with friends like Snow, one can feel pretty unspectacular. By their sixteenth birthdays, most of her royal friends had found true love and destiny. When she turned sixteen, all Gianna was sure of was that she was destined for failure. But, as she was soon to discover, even the world’s most ordinary girl can have an extraordinary story.
Lexie V. Owen has published book reviews for Christian Book Previews, Church Libraries, and The Aboite Independent, and radio scripts for WBCL Radio. Her feature articles have appeared in her student newspaper The Echo. She has published devotions in Pathways to God magazine and has co-authored a devotional book, The Spirit Calling.