Today Tiven shared with me a collection of stories that she & some of her girlfriends at school have written at recess. One of the stories was a classic princess tale where the princess basically made trouble and a handsome prince rescued her and they fell in love. I told Tiven that I was happy she didn't write something like that. I told her that, during her princess phase, I specifically sought out stories of independent princesses who make their own way, who don't make trouble for other people to solve, who try to rescue others, and who don't rely on a man to save the day. Tiven said, "Yes, you did. Princess Hyacinth."
I can't find the book tonight but the story is this: Princess Hyacinth floats in the air; she is at risk of floating away so her parents load down her clothing with heavy weights to keep her on the ground; Princess Hyacinth makes a friend of a little boy who enjoys flying a kite; Princess Hyacinth decides to ditch her royal weighted clothing and float away in her underwear; and every evening, when she's ready to come down, the little boy and his kite pull her back down to earth.
My take on Princess Hyacinth is that the little boy, being a friend, is doing what he can to help his friend be herself; he's not trying to make her into something she's not. And he's helping her get home safely which is what a good friend does. Tiven's take on it is that he's rescuing her because she can't get down by herself and that it's even more egregious because she knowingly takes off her weighted clothing every day to float away; she's putting herself at risk of getting hit by an airplane. (Her words.)
So, if you know the story of Princess Hyacinth, do you agree with me, or with Tiven? And in general, what are your thoughts about the kind of stories where the handsome prince has to save the princess from danger, or from herself?