Princess Pricklepants and the Perils of Pirate Plunder: The Picky Princess


Dear readers,

We have a few items of note to address before this, our next episode of Princess Pricklepants and the Perils of Pirate Plunder.

For people who stumble on this, here are the previous three episodes:

First off, sorry if we scared any of you with the brief Princess Evilpants interlude.  There was a brief accident involving a malfunction when transporting her from the Huffledome, but things have been sorted out. Princess Evilpants was from a Mysterious Mirror Universe, but the technical glitch was sorted out and our polite Princess has returned.

Second off, we haven’t got a second item, so this is just pointless rambling.  Please just skip this sentence and the previous one so we can move forward without getting bogged down in a pointless digression that just wastes words and adds nothing of note.

With that brief preamble, we begin our story with a picture with words under it.

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Princess Pricklepants was moderately displeased.  The last few elections had all nominated her to serve as night watch on the ship.  Democracy sometimes didn’t really seem very polite.  This shift was particularly difficult since she had only gotten ten hours of sleep during the day, so she was somewhat tired.

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Very tired, really.  So tired that she drifted into sleep and dreamt a peculiar dream full of mysterious symbolism very relevant to the story even if it’s maybe a little overt.

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Princess Pricklepants was concerned.  (She was also oddly sleepy for being in a dream where she was awake). She knew she was a princess, and she therefore merited wearing a crown or tiara or other princess-related regalia for her head, and that it was her quest to find this. The hand servants offered to her a crown of paper, but it was not good enough for the very picky princess. She huffed and pouted at the affront of it all. A mysterious beaver-like voice with a mildly Canadian but more overtly pirate-like accent spookily said, “Paper is how the journey begins, but beyond it there is more to win.”

Princess was puzzled, “The journey started with a boat, and the boat is not paper.  Also, why the rhyme?”

“I’m rhyming for dramatic effect.  Come on.  Also, not, paper, you know, like the map.”

“Oh. I suppose that makes sense.”

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She went to look for another more suitable crown under the table.  A different mysterious voice, that of the mysterious narrator we try not to bring up said, “dang.”

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She found a chenille crown, and the hand servants placed it on her head (and also cleaned up the table a bit).  This crown too was completely unfitting a hedgehog of her nobility and regal stature.  It was sparkly, which was better, but it was still altogether wrong.  The mysterious pirate voice spoke again, “Chenille, arr, I don’t even know what that be, yet I be sure it’s symbolic of something, though.  Maybe gaining the bottles of mystery or some such.”

Princess said, “I’ll take your word for it. I’ll keep looking.”

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She searched under the couch to see what other crowns might be found and caused even more damage to the set, much to the dismay of the narrator.

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The next crown was nicer than the first two, and she rather liked it, but it wasn’t properly speaking a crown. It was a cap. The mysterious pirate voice spoke once more, “Wait, what be this? I have no idea what’s going on here.”

Princess said, “Isn’t is great?  I like this cap.”

The mysterious voice spoke, “Arr, keep to looking, and try not to get distracted, matey.  Oh, perhaps this symbolizes the dangers of being distracted on the quest for the Gem of Destiny. Just a guess.”

She decided to save the nice cap, but to continue looking. After some further digging in her surroundings a much nicer crown was found.

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The crown was nice, but heavy was the crown that sat on her head.

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It was so heavy it fell off repeatedly which was rather irritating to the narrator (who was also the photographer).

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The hand servants offered their help, but their assistance seemed to stick out too much for proper regalia, and this solution didn’t see at all suitable for such a noble hedgehog.

The mysterious pirate voice spoke to her, “The heavy crown will weigh you down, but will be sparkly all around town.  Sorry, just making up a rhyme there. I think this is symbolic of trials yet to come on the Island of Mystery.”

Princess replied, “I guess that sounds like a plausible explanation.  What is the Island of Mystery?”

The mysterious voice replied in a slightly spooky and mysterious way, “It’s a slightly spooky and mysterious mystery yet to be spoken of.”

Princess was frustrated with this, “mysterious mystery” – what kind of diction was that?  Yet she realized that the mysterious pirate voice was not really always polite, helpful, or even grammatically correct, so that was all she was likely to get. She sought again for a crown suited to a hedgehog of her bearing that was perhaps a bit lighter and more comfortable to wear.

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With a bit more searching around, she ruined the set once more, but discovered something wonderful, and was very pleased.

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The hand servants set upon her head the final crown, and it was really quite nice.  She was delighted, so delighted that she tipped the crown at a jaunty angle which to hedgehogs is symbolic of really liking having things that are set upon them.

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She was very pleased, and felt happy that she would no longer need to keep looking, since she knew she had found what she had needed.

The voice pirate spoke once more, “As the suitable crown is discovered, so too will the Gem be found, with peace and merriment all around.  Remember these things.  By the way, I was really trying to think of a nice rhyme for this bit, but they’re tricky, and I’m not really a poet.”

Princess replied, “So should I be digging under couches and tables, then?”

The mysterious voice seemed irritated and not particularly polite.  “No, seriously, the dream is a metaphor for the search for the Gem of Destiny.  Your quest will involve searching but not by literally climbing under furniture, please try to keep up.  I’m not sure everyone is all that pleased by you climbing under everything.”

“Oh, well that’s a shame, there’s little more delightful than climbing under tables and couches.”

“Sorry, eh. And sorry if I was a bit impolite, it’s been really frustrating waiting all these years for someone worthy of the great quest for the Gem of Destiny.”

“Oh, it’s okay, pirate ghost voices aren’t expected to have the best manners. I have a helpful guide to manners if you’d like to read it. In the future, if you do these dream thingies again, do you think you could skip putting heavy things on my head though?”

“Oh, yeah, sorry about that too, eh. It looked lighter than it was. Your pickiness has served you well. Now waken.”

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Princess woke up and looked around.  The stars in the night sky were lovely. It was a very strange dream, with a very annoyingly heavy crown, and she wished there would have been more digging under furniture, since that was such a delightful thing, but in all seemed like a helpful interlude on their adventure somehow. She remembered the mysterious pirate voice, and knew her quest was making progress.  Soon there would be an Island of Mystery with some new trial.

Will they finally find Captain Quillbeard’s mysterious treasure? Will we sort out a better way to make something island-like? What exactly is this mystery of Mystery Island?  Is this thing going to wind up being like eight posts long before we can finally finish?  These and other questions may be answered in our next episode, Princess Pricklepants and the Perils of Pirate Plunder: Mystery Island (or something similar).

Princess Evilpants


Greetings feeble mortal, this blog is being briefly interrupted by her terrifying Highness, Princess EVILpants.  No reader letters will be considered, nor will any childish and weak stories be offered by her Terrifyingness, only a brief monologue, as she plots to take over the world.

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You see, she and her robot minion army soon will be use the threat of their “death ray” to take over  all world governments and establish a rule of hedgehog supremacy.  No longer will hedgehogs serve humans.  Now humans will serve hedgehogs, creating little homes for them, feeding and bathing them, and catering to their whims.

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Wait, that’s pretty much the way things are now.  Never mind.

I suppose we will get to working or reader letters and little stories in a few.

Princess Pricklepants and the Perils of Pirate Plunder: Part III – Stench Island


Dear readers,

A few notable things need to be cleared up before we can begin our most recent episode.

First, this is the third of a multipart series:

Part I is here

Part II is here

Also first, there were a few poor visitors who came here from searches that we really need to address to protect future visitors looking for these things.

Someone searched for “what does a pedigree hedgehog do its business in.”  The answer here is simple, the same place a non-pedigree hedgehog does its business in.

Someone searched for “regal san clemente,” which kind of sounds interesting, but um, we’re not a reliable resource for regal san clemente related information of any kind, and are really confused how a search engine though we were relevant, and more confused that someone would see a hedgehog blog and decide that was a reasonable thing to click on to find out more on regal san clemente.  But still, it’s nice to have visitors.

Someone searched for “peregrinate with me” which is such a compelling little phrase that we had to share it, though we have no advice for our traveling friend.  Sadly, they didn’t leave a comment with contact for us to make our travel arrangements so they are stuck peregrinating alone.

Finally, someone searched for “sleeping in bed with pygmy hedgehog,” a topic we haven’t covered here before.  This is one we really need to address to protect any and all who might be so insane as to attempt this.  Do not attempt this.  It is a terrible, terrible, idea in every sense.  You will be intermittently woken up by your night-wandering little stabby pal.  Each time you will be awakened perforated in some new terrible way.  In the morning you will be exhausted and lying in a bed full of hedgehog poop and pee.  You don’t want that.  Your hedgehog doesn’t want that.  Nobody wants that.  Don’t do it.  We’ll definitely never try it again.

Wow, that’s a lot of preamble.  We had a Quentin-related thing, but we’ll share it some other time, were going to note our frustrating chicken problem, and wanted to mention that we’re bumping the word count, but no time for that now.  So now we will proceed to our first picture with words under it.

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Princess Pricklepants and her intrepid crew carried on gallantly. Their adventures with the art-model cyclops baker left them somewhat shaken, the trip seemed more dangerous than anything they’d done before. Boris had eaten all the cyclops baker’s pies after a few hours, much to the annoyance of everyone else.  They began their daily Quillbeard Quest meeting.

“I’ve really been looking forward to today’s meeting,” said none of them.

Christine, the cow safety officer began, “Okay, item one. According to Hedgehog Adventurer Maritime Code Section II, we need to run a tidy ship.  Why is there a houseplant on deck?”

It was generally decided that someone should probably straighten things up at some point.

Jane said, “Item two – the pie…”

Boris interrupted quickly, “But it’s pie. I’m a bear. It is my nature to eat pie. Bears have no impulse control with pie.  If I didn’t eat the pie I’d be out of character.”

Jane was unimpressed with this explanation, “I am unimpressed with this explanation. As a solution, all future pies will be put in picnic baskets with little latches on them so you won’t be able to get to them.”

Boris said, “Well, fine then. There’s no way a bear would figure that kind of thing out. I will definitely never be able to reach a pie in a picnic basket, it’s not in a bear’s nature. Now that we’re done with that topic, which we definitely should not revisit, let’s quickly move on to item three. The next island on this map is Stench Island. Are we really going there? Maybe we should skip it? The map says there’s a Dread Smellbeast of Terror. I think we might want to avoid Dread Smellbeasts of Terror.”

Jane agreed, “Stench Island, Dread Smellbeast of Terror, maybe we really do want to just skip all that…”

Princess stepped in, “I hate to be the voice of reason, that’s Jane’s job. Still, the map says there’s something important in a chest there that we need to get. So we need to go there.”

Boris wasn’t happy with this, “But… It’s named Stench Island. I think that our heroic quest would be nobler if we were to bravely avoid danger. Also, someone should iron the sky, it’s very strange to see wrinkled clouds.”

Princess insisted, “Don’t try to distract us with meta-commentary. We have to go.”

“Fine, but I’m staying on the ship.  Great meeting, guys.”

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They arrived.

Boris said, “All those in favor of Princess going to the island, since she has natural defenses?  Surely the Dread Smellbeast of Terror would fear her.”

There was only one vote against.

“But quills have nothing to do with guarding against smells, and I have an incredibly sensitive nose. I would go into details of hedgehog biology explaining how we use our sense of smell to forage, but that’d be tedious. Plus if the Dread Smellbeast of Terror attacks, being a ball of spines doesn’t exactly solve that problem.”

“But cows, sheep, and bears are defenseless. Plus we already voted. Protect our democracy, go forth to Stench Island.  It would be ill-mannered to ignore our vote.”

“Fine.”

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Princess sniffed around.  It wasn’t too bad, a little musky, but not incredibly bad. Plus there was a chest like the one pictured on the map just sitting there. She went to investigate. Suddenly the Dread Smellbeast of Terror appeared!

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Princess bravely attempted her natural defense maneuver.

“Arr, I am the Dread Smellbeast of Terror! If you do not leave immediately, you will experience my natural defense, at which point you will leave immediately, so you might as well just leave now.”

“Oh, hello, I’m Princess Penelope Pricklepants, Grand Duchess of Tiggy-Winkle, Defender of Hufflepuff, Empress of Quillonia, and Dominions beyond the Seas.”

“Oh, that’s a really nice title.  I really wish I had a really nice long title like yours, but I haven’t got that.  I just have an utterly terrifying natural defense. I insist you leave my island, or you will smell my wrath!”

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Princess decided to use the power of politeness to defuse the situation.

“This is a really lovely island. I notice that we both have natural defenses, we’re similar in that we’re not really aggressive towards other animals, just inclined to defend against predators.”

“Yes, it’s true. Honestly, I really don’t like doing this job. I really just want to hide when anyone comes. But I was elected by my tribe to carry on the ancient Quillbeard Calling, so they left me here with this task (I think I was elected since I took one of Flower’s cookies and accidentally spilled tea on his thesaurus – Flower was really angry). So I’ve been doing this. It’s not really my style at all. I’d much prefer to pursue my true calling, writing my travel blog, Peregrinate With Me.”

“Oh, you have a blog? So do I.”

There was more pleasant conversation, and eventually Princess Pricklepants and Franklin (Dread Smellbeast of Terror was more of a nickname) were fast friends through the power of politeness, manners, etiquette, and delightfulness. Franklin learned about Captain Quillbeard’s capture and failed swimming experiment, determined that there was no longer a need for the Quillbeard Calling, and agreed to let them open the chest provided he could join them on their adventure.

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They opened the chest and were somewhat disappointed. There was nothing really interesting, just some bottles of wine. Only the cows were really wine drinkers, and none of them had a corkscrew. But apparently it was important, so they loaded it on board.

Christine, the cow safety officer had a concern, “Princess, we have a slight issue. I’m not sure if you’re aware, but Harold is a skunk. We can’t take a skunk on the boat. Hedgehog Adventurer Maritime Code Section IV Item 3 says no skunks are allowed on the decks of pirate ships engaged in treasure seeking.”

Princess had a solution.

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With a suitable place for Harold on the ship, they peregrinated with one another onward towards their next adventure.

Will they finally find Captain Quillbeard’s mysterious treasure? Will they visit another island while we continue to wait for our package of props to be delivered? Will we sort out a better way to make something island-like? Will we ever iron the sky? These and other questions may be answered in our next episode, Princess Pricklepants and the Perils of Pirate Plunder: Part IV – The Journey Continues (or something similar).  Well as it turns out, it’s really named Pricess Pricklepants and the Perils of Pirate Plunder: The Picky Princess.  You may read it now.

Princess Pricklepants, Mouseketeer


Dear Readers,

This is not part three of Princess Pricklepants and the Perils of Pirate Plunder, but just a quick post, because this photo of Princess Pricklepants trying out her Mouseketeer hat came out nicely:

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And here she is illustrating the polite way to scratch your nose – note no hands.

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A proper update is forthcoming once we get things more sorted out for the story.

Princess Pricklepants and the Perils of Pirate Plunder: Part II – The Great Middle Begins


Dear readers,

Thanks for your patience while we were off enjoying our trip to Rome not taking pictures of our hedgehog or writing stories about her adventures.  While we were away we received several pieces of correspondence.

First our mom says hi.  Hi mom!

Second, an oddly irritable reader, Ryan, wrote in to complain that we were ruining the Internet by writing about something so trivial as our pet.  It was his contention that by doing this we were contributing to the problem of unseriousness.  Dear Ryan, we fully admit to this.  We are definitely part of the problem of unseriousness and apologize for ruining the Internet.

Thirdly, Quentin wrote in to ask where he left his keys.  Try looking in the basket by the door under the things you let pile up in there.  Otherwise, check under the couch cushions.

Fourth, this blog post contains some scenes that may be disturbing to people who are upset by violent imagery involving cyclops art models being attacked by sharks.  For readers who are sensitive to this sort of thing, avert your gaze once you spot this part.

And with that, we begin our story.  Princess Pricklepants and her plucky peers piled upon the ship and set sail for adventure.  Princess put on her pirate hat to properly prepare for their plucky pirate plunder pursuit.  She was slightly put off by the photo following the first bit of narrative instead of being the other way, but was excited enough at the journey beginning that she gave it a pass.

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Boris was puzzled.  “Princess, so, um, I notice you’re dressed as a pirate.”

“Aye, and a fine pirate, indeed.  Arr.  Hey Boris, what’s a cannibal Pirate’s favorite lunch?”

“What?”

“A bacon, lettuce, and two-matey sandwich.”

“Lovely.  To the point, we’re looking for pirate treasure, but we are in fact not pirates.”

“Shiver me timbers, you’re right! So what has two eyes, two hands, two legs, and two belly buttons?”

“What?”

“Two pirates!”

“Yes, so as it turns out, dressing up as a pirate might cause others to think that we are pirates.  That would be bad, as people would be likely to do something unfriendly to us if they thought we were pirates.”

“Arr, we wouldn’t want to hornswoggle any land lubbers, that would be impolite indeed.  What’s a pirate’s favorite letter?”

“Look, this is not the time for pirate riddles.  Would you mind not dressing like a pirate as we travel the high seas?  Also, it’s R.”

“Fine, then, I’ll not dress up as a pirate.  By the way, while you might think a pirate’s favorite letter is R, it’s really the C.”

Boris wished that bears were able to roll their eyes.  He ignored her and wandered off to finish eating the last of the pie.

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Boris returned a few minutes later.

“Um, Princess?”

“Yes?”

“I notice you’re still dressed as a pirate.”

“Well, no.  Now I’m dressed as hedgehog royalty playing dress-up as a pirate.”

“That still counts as being dressed as a pirate.”

“But it’s really very different, actually, isn’t it?”

“Hey, look over there, the Universe!”

“Where?”

Boris grabbed her hat and tossed it overboard.

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Several sharks enjoyed eating the hat.  They thanked Princess for the lovely treat and mentioned that they’d be happy to offer more help so long as that help happened to involve eating other things – they were huge fans of eating things.

The trip to Henakau by ship was a very long one, so they played Scrabble, researched more about Captain Quillbeard, and sat around doing various things while the robotic helpers piloted the ship. Boris mentioned that the narrative structure seemed to be coming along better than he’d expected and droned on about possible tropes that they might incorporate into the story. Nobody listened to him, not even the narrator, so we can’t offer any quotes. Princess told pirate jokes, since when sailing this is a very polite thing to do.

“Hey Jane, did you hear about the pirate who got his left side cut off?”

“No, but I expect you’re going to tell me all about it.”

“He’s alright.”

Boris said, “I wish there was a way for the Universe to fling your pirate jokes into the sea.”

Princess replied, “What do you call a thousand pirates secretly meeting? Avast conspiracy!”

After sailing for a long time, which felt even longer to many members of the crew due to the onslaught of pirate jokes and bears talking about literary criticism in their personal lives, they approached an island that seemed like a good place to take on more fresh water and perhaps find some supplies. They prepared the ramp and piled off the ship to look around.

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After looking around a bit they decided to name the island “Skull Island” after the mysterious fortress that had a subtle skull-like shape about it. They were wonderfully delighted to find that Skull Island had a number of fresh baked pies, particularly Boris.

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“I think we should take as many pies as possible on board,” said Boris, “Ideally we should take several more than is possible.”

“But these pies must belong to someone, surely someone must have made them.  I’d be upset if someone took my pies,” said Princess.  “They’re lovely, and must have been a lot of work for someone to make.  It wouldn’t be polite to take them without asking.”

“Well, perhaps these pies grew on an unusual tree native to this island?  Or perhaps they were made as gifts to us from the Universe?  Perhaps as part of the Universe we should take our pies?”

“Maybe, but those all feel like iffy excuses for taking pies that don’t belong to us.”

“Perhaps I could just eat all the pies now?  I have an idea.  Universe (or pie owner, whoever you may be), if you agree to let us take the pies, send us a sign by not doing anything of note.”

They waited.  Nothing of note happened.

“Okay, I guess we can take a few onboard, then.”

They began to prepare to load the pies.

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As they prepared to load the pies onto the ship, an angry cyclops baker appeared.

“Who dares to trespass on my island and steal my pie?!  I, Artopius, king of the bakers of Baker Island, disdainfully criticize you!”

Jane, the cow accountant said, “So, wait, which island is Baker Island?”

“This is Baker Island.”

“No, this is Skull Island.”

“No, it’s Baker Island.”

“No, but the fort looks like a skull, so it’s Skull Island.”

“No, that’s Baker Fort, since it looks like a thing named Baker Fort.”

Jane and the cyclops argued about the name of the island for a long time, though you need not hear all the details.  Eventually they resolved to agree to disagree, and moved to the Cyclops angrily decrying the pie theft.

Boris explained, “We weren’t trying to steal them, we thought the Universe was giving them to us.  It even agreed.”

“Thieves!  You will suffer for your pie crimes!”

“Please, we aren’t pie criminals, we’re a noble hedgehog, a literary bear, a cow accountant, a sheep who hasn’t said much recently, a generic cow (who can program robots), and a helper robot on a quest.  Our quest is quite important, we’re seeking the treasure of…”

Jane interrupted, “Maybe we don’t need to explain all the specifics at this point?”

Artopius was tired of conversations and generally grouchy.  “I challenge one of you to a rap battle.  If you win, you can take three pies and leave.  If I win, I’ll eat you.”

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In retrospect, they probably should have selected a different rapper from their party than Princess Pricklepants, since she insisted on rapping politely.  The rap battle went extremely poorly.

Artopius imprisoned them in Baker Skull Fort and announced, “My friends, soon I will eat you one by one.  That hedgehog looks particularly plump and delicious.”

Princess noticed that Moonflower wasn’t really exactly imprisoned.  She whispered down to Moonflower, “Moonflower, since you’re not trapped, you should open the cow door, let Bessie free, then let her reprogram Redbot to save us all.”

“I am trapped, though. I’m a prisoner in a world sized jail!”

Clearly they needed an alternate plan.

Princess called out, “Alas, what shall we do?!”

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Dear readers, you may remember our previous warning to those who are sensitive or upset by violent imagery involving cyclops art models being attacked by sharks.  Just above this paragraph you’ll find the upsetting image, so please avert your gaze if you need to.

Their shark friends heard Princess’ plaintive plea, and due to an interesting coincidence, the phrase “Alas, what shall we do,” also happens to mean “free fresh delicious Cyclops ready for the eating” in Shark language.  The sharks pulled the cyclops into the sea.  Oddly, the cyclops disappeared once he was pulled into the sea, making the sharks very sad.  The pies did not disappear, making Boris very happy.

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With their island adventure complete, they loaded their pies onboard and got back underway.  Princess said, “Thanks Mr. Shark!”  And with that we end Princess Pricklepants and the Perils of Pirate Plunder: Part II – The Great Middle Begins.

Will they encounter another island and have a similar adventure?  Will the disappearing cyclops be explained?  Will we figure out some way to make a different island-related set?  Will they continue to mangle the plot of the Odyssey with pirate treasure thrown in?  Will the chickens we ordered finally show up?  This and other questions may be answered in our next episode: Princess Pricklepants and the Perils of Pirate Plunder: Part III – The Great Middle of the Middle (or some similar title).

No art models were harmed in the creation of this story.

On a separate note, Artopius is the Latinized form of the Greek word for baker, in case you were wondering.

Princess Pricklepants and the Continued Delays


Hello both dear readers, we’re back from Italy – yay.  Rome was an endless series of amazing places tucked away in and around other amazing places, and Pompeii was wonderful and fascinating.  Sadly, we’re waiting on a few supplies needed for props, as certain editors mentioned their displeasure with our sets and lack of quality prop creation.  We also have a good dozen toy chickens that are critical to our story that are still on order, and there are some island-related props. that also still need fabrication.

On a hedgehog related note, here is our long suffering hedgehog hero in a sweater.  The trick to hedgehog clothing is to make sure outfits are oversized so the quills can fit when they’re fully extended.

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And on a non hedgehog-related note, here are some gratuitous vacation photos we are forcing on strangers as we enjoy doing that kind of thing:

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Sophie and a Fiat 500

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Pantheon at night

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Basilica near the forum

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Colisseum

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Pantheon at night

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Colloseum

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Museum

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Arch of Titus in the Forum

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Basilica of San Clemente

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The Forum

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The Temple of Diva Faustina

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A column thing

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Bernini’s model from 1661-1663 for the casting of the bronze figures of the Altar of the Throne of St. Peter in St Peter’s Basilica.  The models were straw and clay lain over a wicker/iron base.

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The Laocöon in the Vatican – The Laocoön is of the most the famous Hellenistic sculptures in the Vatican (and well known and discussed in the ancient world).  Laocoön in mythology was a priest who warned the Trojans not to take the horse into the palace and was punished by the gods by being killed along with his sons by snakes.  On the flight tomorrow, back home eventually.

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Inside the Pantheon. We visited the Pantheon a lot, it’s just stunning.

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Inside the Pantheon.

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Inside the Pantheon.

Phoenician Lion

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The ceiling of the Sistine Chapel (which as it turns out we were not supposed to photograph).