Siera Eden Casey Goes to School

Editor’s note: Jean Casey wrote this and other stories to commemorate and celebrate her own grandchildren. She now offers the stories up to other grand parents to be read to their children. As she says, “Just change the names to fit the family.”



Once upon a time in the castle Casey, Princess Siera and Princess Carlie were making straw dolls in the royal playroom. Carlie was holding the bundles of straw, and Siera was tying bright bows around the necks from snippets of cloth in every sort of color and pattern. Queen Caryn came to find them. “Come along with me, Siera. We have a date with the royal doctor.”

“Oh, must I?” asked Siera with her lower lip turning down.

“Yes you must, but it won’t take long and we’ll be back in time for lunch with Carlie.”

It was just a short walk to the doctor’s office, which was in a small building nestled close to the foundations of the castle and inside the castle walls near the bakery shop and the blacksmith and the butcher. Several chickens scurried out of their way and Princess Siera darted behind her mother’s skirts to avoid a large white goose that hissed at her.

The royal doctor was waiting for them with a wide smile on his face. He loved both the little princesses and he knew this was an important day, because the Queen wished his advice on whether or not Siera was ready to start classes at the royal school. Siera, of course, did not know this and thought it was simply like any other ordinary visit that took her away from very important things she and Carlie were doing. “Such a bother,” she thought and she pulled herself up to her full height against the wall with the measuring numbers on it.

“Well, she’s not very tall,” said the Royal Doctor with a tiny furrow in his brow. “Let’s see how thick she is.” With that, he took a cloth tape and encircled Princess Siera’s waist, and then he read some number from the tape and pronounced, “And she’s not very thick either. Has she been eating her vegetables?” Without waiting for an answer, he laid his ear against her chest and heard a very steady strong thumpety-thump. “Good heart sounds,” he exclaimed, and then he peered into Siera’s right ear. “Oh, that’s grand! I cannot see light coming through from the other side which means there is a wonderful brain in between.” He looked deep into her eyes and pronounced them “Clear as a bell,” and he said her legs were “straight and strong.” Then, with a meaningful look toward the Queen, he said, “I think she will do very well.”

Princess Siera didn’t give this visit anymore thought. The next day, however, when she and Princess Carlie were lining up the straw dolls and giving them names, Queen Caryn came again to interrupt them. This time, she announced that Siera must come with her to visit the royal Wizard. Now, Princess Siera knew that the royal Wizard lived in the highest tower of the castle, but she had only caught glimpses of him standing on the balcony way up there with the wind blowing his long white beard and ruffling the long white hair under his tall pointed hat. He seemed to keep very much to himself and he had a reputation for being very, very wise. She thought he looked very fierce, and she said so to her mother. “Nonsense! He is a dear man, and your father, the King, would not have him living here if he were not!”

The Queen and the little Princess climbed up and up the winding stairway, pausing now and then to catch their breaths, until finally they came to the big oak door at the entrance to the tower. Queen Caryn used the heavy brass knocker with the face of an owl on it, and after just two taps, the door was flung open, and the Wizard with his arms open wide and a smile almost as wide welcomed them into his rooms. He gave the queen a hug and, turning to Siera, he said in a wonderfully kind voice, “Let me have a good look at you, beautiful Siera!” Siera noticed he was not nearly as tall as her father King James. She thought he had the most wonderful eyes she had ever seen. There were pinpoints of light in them, like stars, which twinkled and danced as he spoke. His tall hat was almost as tall as he, and it was decorated with all the shapes of the moon from a thin crescent like a fingernail to a round full circle. He wore a long robe of wool dyed the color of the night sky and tied at the waist with a sash of golden thread woven to the queen’s design on the royal loom.

The Wizard led the Princess around his study where a crackling fire in the fireplace took away the dampness from the thick stone walls. There were bookshelves all the way to the very high ceiling and halfway up the walls there was a walkway with a sturdy railing so that the Wizard could reach all his books. Even then, because he was so short, there were ladders here and there that he could climb. In the center of the room was the biggest table Siera had almost ever seen except for the Royal Dining table in the great banquet hall, but the Wizard’s table was piled high with books and papers. There were several simple high-backed chairs around it and one had a foot stool to keep the Wizard’s feet off the cold stone floor when he read for hours at a time.

“Sit down, sit down, my dear child,” said the Wizard and Princess Siera climbed up on a chair next to the one she knew was his. The Queen went over to the fire and warmed her hands, while the Wizard arranged himself and his long robe into his chair which has an owl carved into the back. He turned his full attention to the little Princess and began to ask her the simplest of questions. “What color is the sky, Siera?”

“Why, blue, of course!”

“And the grass…?”

“Why, green, naturally!”

“And the crow’s feather…?

“Oh, very, very black.”

“And the petal of a daisy…?

“Oh, very, very white and there’s a big round yellow spot in the middle like the sun. The moon is sometimes yellow but not nearly as yellow as the sun. Most of the time the moon is silver like the ones on your hat, but sometimes when it is just coming up in the sky it is very big and very yellow! Have you ever noticed that?”

“Yes, my little Princess, I have indeed.” The Wizard smiled his broadest smile and looked at Siera with great love and affection. He lifted off his tall hat, placed it on the table and rubbed the red mark it made on his high forehead. He took Princess Siera’s two small hands in his and said, “I want you to listen carefully to me. You and I are small people but we carry the world inside our heads. Listen, see, ask, and learn and that world will grow bigger and brighter. Come see me often so that I can learn from you and you can learn from me. You just passed a very important test today. Go along with your mother and she will tell you all about something wonderful that is about to happen in your life.”

“Oh, please, you tell me. Please, please,” said Princess Siera, jumping down from the chair to give the Wizard a giant hug.

“No. No.” said the wise old man, gently but firmly. “What you are to be told must come from your mother and your father. That is the way things are done in this kingdom.”

Princess Siera and Queen Caryn said their good byes to the Wizard and went down the long winding stairway. When they reached the bottom, King James was waiting for them. The Queen smiled a happy smile at the King, and the King said, “Well, well, my daughter, it seems you have passed all the tests.”

Siera was very puzzled and very impatient. “What does that mean? Please, please tell me.”

The king laughed his deep rumbling laugh, scooped the Princess Siera up into his arms and said the magic words:  “You are going to start school at the Royal School in just a few days!”

Siera’s heart gave and extra thumpety-thump. She was very excited. She remembered what the Wizard had said about the world in her head, and she knew he was right. There comes a time when princesses must leave the royal playroom, for a few hours at least, and her time had come.