Princess Pricklepants and the Perils of Pirate Plunder: The Island of Mystery, Except Really This Time


Dear reader,

Happily, we’re really on a roll with getting back into the swing of infrequent posts, but as is our way, we have a few items to go over that are significant in some way.

We were thinking of mentioning the search for “comfortably annoyed” that brought some person with very mysterious emotions to our humble blog, and also mention the sudden onslaught of people searching for “imlovlinlit princess penelope answer key” (looks like school’s back in session), but then thought better of it, so we won’t mention those.

For our semi-first item of note, we wanted to mention that Quentin emailed in asking about where to find the imlovlinlit princess penelope answer key, though Quentin really wanted to know about when our next post was.  It’s now,Quentin.  We hope you’re comfortably annoyed.

For our very first item of note, for those souls who stumble on this, here are the previous roughly four-ish episodes:

For our ultimate first item of note, the observant reader might have noticed that we titled ourselves into a bit of a corner, so we’re just doing what we can with this title, and apologize to any titular purists who might be comfortably annoyed with our choices in this domain.

And with that brief preamble, on to our first picture with words under it.

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They arrived at the island.  There, they saw a few birds, which wasn’t really what they’d been expecting, helping the island to live up to its name.  It looked oddly familiar somehow.

Boris was agitated, “Maybe we should have a meeting instead of debarking? Did I mention I have a chronic fear of birds that aren’t chickens?  Chickens, cool.  Owls, ducks, the kind of things.  Terror.  In nature, bears and birds are natural enemies.  You should see the things those terrible sparrows say.”

Princess assured him “We’ll protect you from the scary birds and their scary bird words.”

Boris pouted.

The birds suddenly flew off, except the chickens.

“There we go, problem solved.”

Boris was still apprehensive, “Well, maybe we should have a meeting about this meeting, and then a post-mortem meeting to go over the meeting?  Perhaps a planning meeting for the post-mortem…”

“Now is the time to act,” said Princess with gravitas.

“How about if our action is to call for a delay. Let’s discuss how this meeting is going. I think it’s a bit too brief.”

“Now is the time to act in a way that isn’t calling for a delay or discussing the meeting.  It’s time to debark,” said Princess with gravitas.

They debarked with some trepidation onto the Island of Mystery.

Debarking

After they debarked, a mysterious figure appeared with a puff of smoke and a flash (not pictured).  The figure took a dramatic pose.

Mathematician

“Greetings, o strangers recently debarked from a boat from a far off land, I am Marvin the Marvelous Magical Mathematician.  What is your name?”

[Author’s note: dear readers, you may have noticed the use of the term “debark” cropping up more than might have been expected in normal usage.  We apologize for the over-use of the term debark and will attempt to reduce our use of the term now that they’ve debarked.  We just really like the word debark.]

“Hello, I am Princess Penelope Pricklepants, Grand Duchess of Tiggy-Winkle, Defender of Hufflepuff, Empress of Quillonia, and Dominions beyond the Seas.”

“Greetings Princess Penelope Pricklepants, etc. What is your quest?”

“To find the Gem of Destiny hidden by Captain Quillbeard.”

“Wonderful!  We have puzzles and riddles, conundrums, enigmas, and oh so very many brain teasers here.  If you can answer me these questions three, you will solve the mystery, and gain the final clue to finding to the Gem of Destiny.  Our questions are wonderful brain teasers – mathematical word problems, riddles, logic puzzles, that kind of thing.”

There was a soft groaning that came from the adventurers.

Boris said, “My brain really prefers to not be teased.  Also the meter on that little rhyme was terrible.”

“Well I’m not a poet, I’m a Marvelous Magical Mathematician. Now, you might have noticed these two chickens.  One always lies, the other always tells the truth.”

There was groaning of a less soft variety that came from the adventurers.

“Now, nobody on our island knows the color of their eyes.”

There were comfortably annoyed murmurs emerging from several of the adventurers.

“Also, one of the chicken’s last names has a Z in it, and at least one has a B in it, and one has no vowels.”

There were angry grumblings emerging from several of the adventurers.

“Now here is your first puzzle.”

Boris blurted out, “Did I mention I have a chronic allergy to mathematicians and logic?  I am suddenly feeling my ailment coming on. I think I need to just go off somewhere that’s not here to convalesce.”  He left.

Marvin continued, “You are a chicken farmer going to a market on the other side of a river.  You have one chicken, one bag of seed, and one fox. If left alone, the fox will eat the chicken, and the chicken will eat the seed. You have a boat that holds you and one passenger and must cross a river.  How do you get across and on to the market taking passengers across one at a time without the seed or chicken being eaten?”

Princess answered, “I take the chicken across first.  The fox will leave the seed alone.  Then I take the seed across.  Then I leave.  I’m a chicken farmer.  I hate foxes. I certainly wouldn’t take one with me, I’d get rid of it as fast as possible.”

“Oh, hmm, I guess that is sort of logical, but that’s not the answer.  Yet, since it was sort of an answer, we’ll say that one won’t count, and you’ll have to answer another question.”

Jane said, “You know, suddenly I’m feeling a bit ill too, I’ll just pop off for a moment to breathe.”

Princess said, “Would you please excuse us, Marvin, we must have a word.”

Meeting

They held a provisional Quillbeard Quest meeting.

Boris said, “You know how I always say violence is not the answer?”

“No.”

“Right, I never say that, lets get the catapult.  You know those bottles that were supposed to be important to the adventure? We should fling those at the Math beast.  Excelsior!”

Jane was concerned, “No, that’s just not right.  They’re too soft.  We should find rocks.  Does RedBot have any lasers?”

Princess said firmly, “No, violence is not the polite way to deal with this.”

“Well, if we have to answer these horrible puzzles, our quest is probably doomed.”

Franklin called down from the crow’s nest of the ship, “Perhaps you could let me answer them?  I have a math degree.”

They agreed that this sounded like a plan.  They let Franklin down.

Boris said, “I’ll bring the bottles.”

Skunk

They returned to Marvin.

“Oh, so, you, um, have a… skunk…”

Boris said, “Why yes, yes we do.  And I also have this set of bottles.  They are full of skunk juice.  Give us the clue or there will be smell to pay.”

Marvin said, “Would you really unleash that stench?”

“Yes.”

“Really?”

“Yes.”

“Seriously?”

“Yes.”

“Congratulations!  You’ve correctly answered three questions.  And here is the final clue.” There was a flash and a puff of smoke (not pictured) and an owl appeared.

Bubo (1)

“This is Bubo the owl.  Bubo has the power to lead you through to Treasure Island where Quillbeard hid the Gem of Destiny.  The island is protected by a illusory field that makes it look like open sea, but Bubo can see through it.  He will lead you to the Island of Henakau.  There are some things you should know about Henakau.  The Island is populated by the former crew of Captain Quillbeard, so the island is peopled by pirate chickens and cows.  They speak Canadian, so you may need a translator.”

Boris said, “Don’t worry, I speak Canadian, eh.”

“Excellent.  Now when you find the island, make sure to offer them a gift, it’s a tradition there.  If they accept it then you must tell them you’re on the Quest, and then, well, things should work out probably. Now off you go, and take the skunk and those bottles.”

And so they embarked and headed off to Henakau with their new owl guide, relieved that they didn’t have to solve any logic puzzles or math word problems.

Will they find the Gem of Destiny in the next episode and finally be free to pursue other things?  Will the hedgehog start start sitting still when we’re taking pictures?  Will she stop crawling under sets knocking everything over?  These and other questions may or may not be answered in our next episode, Princess Pricklepants and the Perils of Pirate Plunder: the Gem of Destiny (Or Something Like That, Depending on What We Decide To Name It).

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Princess Pricklepants and the Perils of Pirate Plunder: Mystery Island


Dear reader,

Happily, we’re back from a brief vacation and back into the swing of infrequent posts. We have a few items to go over that are significant in some way.

First, we are delighted to mention that we have a few search terms that are bringing multiple people in from google: “hedgehog fist,” and “princess filler.”  We clearly are making the web a better place.

Also first, for people who stumble on this, here are the previous four episodes:

Secondly, you might have noticed that this particular adventure has been dragging on for far more episodes than any previous one.  We apologize, and will work to resolve all the conflicts, and wrap things up in a nice neat conclusion as quickly as we can.

Also secondly, an alert reader might notice that the extended time on the surprisingly small ship together is beginning to cause some tension among the crew.

As a final secondly you might have noticed that we aren’t sure what “first” and “secondly” actually mean.

And with that, peregrinate with me as we offer our first picture with words under it.

meeting

Another day, another daily Quillbeard Quest meeting.

Boris was excited, he had several items for the meeting, “Okay, eh, item one, epithets.  I think we all need epithets. It’s fitting for participants in an epic, and at this point things have been dragging so long on this accursed boat that this is clearly an epic.  I shall be Boris the Awesome. Jane will be Jane the demanding. Christine will be Christine the safety obsessed. Bessie will be Bessie the generic. Franklin will be Franklin the marginalized due to smelliness. Moonflower will be Moonflower the grass aficionado.  And Redbot will be Redbot the one who doesn’t need an epithet but has one anyway.”

“Um, no,” said everyone else emphatically.

Boris the Awesome continued, “So glad we’re all onboard. Now onto my item two – catchphrases.  We each need a catchphrase we regularly say that is a trademark of our persona.  Mine will be ‘excelsior!’  Amusing, inspiring, clever, and sophisticated, much like me.”

“That sounds a little, um, off, so, maybe…”

“Excelsior!”

excelsior

Jane was annoyed, “Why, Boris?  Why would you say that?  That doesn’t even make sense!”

“So, I think Jane’s catchphrase should be ‘You see, I told you!’  And Bessie’s will be, ‘Fine, whatever.’  Princess should have something cool like, ‘Sounds like a fine time for a cup of tea,’ Redbot will say, ‘Beep-Boop-Beep,’ Christine will say, ‘That’s dangerous,’ Moonflower will say, ‘Groovy’ and Franklin won’t really say much since he’s quarantined in the crow’s nest where he belongs. It’s perfect.  Be sure to use them.”

Franklin called down, “I can hear you, you know!”

(Hi, author’s note here, since as an omniscient narrator we were able to see just what Boris was thinking when he came up with this, we offer this helpful illustration)

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(Hello, additional author’s note, Boris has a somewhat peculiar imagination which the properties of this image reflect. It is important to note that this image doesn’t really indicate a lack in the author’s Photoshop skills, and that Captain Quillbeard wasn’t just thrown in to fill in a blank space, but was part of Boris’ planned monologue that he forgot to mention.)

Jane said, “No catchphrases.  It will devolve into something annoying.”

“Excelsior!”

“You see, I told you!”

Boris giggled, “Maybe Jane’s could be, ‘Okay, you’ve had your fun, let’s get back to business.'”

Jane worked very hard not to inadvertently use this catchphrase.  “Okay, you’ve been entertaining yourself, but there are important things to discuss.  Item three – We are approaching Mystery Island.”

Moonflower was excited, “Mister Island!  Groovy!”

Jane cut in, “Look, these epithets, these catchphrases, they are simply… wrong… I move that we never surrender to this frivolousness.  We are approaching the island, though.  We need to prepare.  Let’s just end this meeting and get ready.”

Boris was pleased, “Maybe, Jane the pushy would be a better epithet.  Or Jane the demanding.  Or Jane the control freak.”

Jane the control freak became increasingly annoyed.  “You see, I told you! You’ve had your fun, let’s get back to business. No epithets! No catch phrases. Isn’t there some Hedgehog Adventurer Maritime Code regulation against catch phrases?  If there isn’t there should be. “

Princess Pricklepants was concerned, “I don’t think that if we use epithets we should use any that are impolite.  Perhaps Boris the Bear, Jane the Cow Accountant, Moonflower the one who doesn’t have an epithet, and Redbot the one who doesn’t need an epithet but has one anyway would do?”

It was generally agreed by most, excluding Boris, that this would probably work, and given the grand island adventure approaching it was time to engage in adventure-preparation related activities.

While they went off to do their activities, Boris took Moonflower aside.

the_plan

“Okay, now is your time to shine, eh. We all need you to be a wise counsel to Princess Penelope on her heroic journey. Take her aside, and say some things to help her prepare mentally for the challenges ahead. Say things that sound profound when you first hear them, even if they don’t hold up to a lot of scrutiny. Something like, ‘Wherever you go, there you are’ would be superb!”

Princess was tired of the ship.  She thought back to the wonderful times she had in her lovely home, the pie (all eaten by Boris), the cookies (all eaten by Boris), the tea, the cheese.

cheese_platter

 A voice called out, “Hey, like, Princess.”  The delightful recollection of happy times ended.

groovy

“Yes, o Moonflower the delightful and kind?” (Princess was trying out epithets despite Jane’s concerns.)

“So, you’re going to be on an adventure soon.”

“I think we’re already on one, aren’t we?”

“Well, I have some words of wisdom to offer – wherever you are, you’re already there.”

“Yes, yes, I suppose that’s true.”

“Your mind is like a book.  It’s better for it to be open.”

“Oh, but wouldn’t it be hard to keep books on shelves if they were all open?”

“Yeah, that’s kind of weird, maybe we should close our books and open our minds?  Oh, also do unto others or do not, there is no try.”

“Well, I’m afraid that I have to get going to do some important work, thanks for our little chat, perhaps we could talk more soon after I’ve finished?  Since you don’t have anything to do, sounds like a fine time for a cup of tea.”

Boris the Bear was moderately pleased.  The plan wasn’t exactly falling into place perfectly, but it was pretty much kind of working, and things could only get better. He said, “Excelsior!” to nobody in particular.

They approached the island. It was indeed a bit of a mystery.

tisland (1)

The greatest mystery was how we got to a thousand words (our standard cutoff) without actually reaching the Island which was the whole point. Also, why all the birds? Why is the sky still wrinkled? Was the author lying when they said that this was going to be wrapped up quickly? These and many other mysteries might be answered in our next episode: Princess Pricklepants and the Perils of Pirate Plunder: Mystery Island Again.

A Florid Adventure


The internet is full of cute photos of hedgehogs with flowers.  I found one years ago and thought, “oh, what a cute photo of a hedgehog with a flower.”  Here it is:

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I made it my AOL Instant Messenger icon.  This was many years ago.  I cropped it some so it was mostly the little face and flower.  You don’t need to know all these details.  It was the beginning of me wanting a hedgehog, though.  Interestingly Princess Pricklepants does bear a striking resemblance to that mystery flower-bearing hedgehog of yore.

Anyway, we were excited to have the opportunity to take pictures of our hedgehog with a flower.  I was, anyway.  Ideally we’d get a picture with a little yellow dandelion stuck behind her ear, with her standing in a cute little pose. Perhaps I could use it as my Facebook icon for a while…

She wasn’t feeling cooperative.

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Princess Sophie’s help didn’t exactly help.

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We tried adding in a toy truck so it would be more fun.

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She didn’t find it fun.  On the plus side, we got a flower behind her ear.

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Soon thereafter she assaulted the truck.

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OK, no truck, just heap the flowers, and put her near them?  Still not a happy camper.

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How can a hedgie be so grumpy about flowers?

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Somehow shoving flowers in her face was considered an affront.

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She definitely did not like this.

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She worked on an escape plan.

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Her escape plans got more elaborate.

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Then she taunted us by posing with a flower under her face.  She stood half off the green cloth to ensure my inner picky photo critic would be extra annoyed.

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Posing near a pile, would that do?  With bad lighting that’s way too warm and the whites partly blown out by the exposure?

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Finally we got this one.  It’s not the hedgehog with a flower behind its ear that got us started on this quest, but it was late, and it was close enough.  Fine.

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Photos of hedgehogs with flowers behind their ears are really kind of overrated.

The Perils of Pet Prejudice Part 2


Previously.

We made our way on the long drive from Louisiana to Mississippi, a state with constant and consistent consonant complications.

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Princess liked it since it had two Ps in the name.  Fancy had many opinions about Mississippi but nobody was interested in hearing them.  So he rehearsed for “Annoying Private Ryan”:

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Nailed it.

For various reasons Mississippi claims to be “The Birthplace of America’s Music,” which seems like a very grand claim.  We could have been pedantic quibblers, but hedgehogs don’t really promote pedantic quibbling so we tried to work with it:

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Once again we encountered the sinister signage of institutionalized pet prejudice.

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While we were taking photos of our hedgehog out front, various people noticed our hedgie, and we were showing her to them.  One of the workers at the visitor’s center noticed Princess and liked her, and wanted us to bring her in, though when he tried to get us in, security actually stopped us.  The Man Holding the Hedgehog Down. (Technically security was actually a lady, and she didn’t hold the hedgehog).  Here was the worker who liked Princess holding her:

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We sort of took our a stand for pet civil liberties, in a way, by taking pictures of our hedgehog near the sinister signage of institutionalized pet prejudice.

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Others kind of joined us, in a sense, by also taking pictures of our hedgehog near the sinister… the “No Pets” sign.

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Given the circumstances, we left Princess safely in the car and went inside the Mississippi Welcome Center with Fancy to take a stand.  Inside there was this painting of an American ship exploding, as if Mississippi wanted to say, “welcome, ships explode here sometimes, but not often.”

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Since the Visitor’s Center was under Pet Segregation, only Fancy was able to pose before the state seal, though he tried to appear hedgehog-like in solidarity.  Next time we plan to bring toothpicks to really show them.

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Fancy also met Miss. Mississippi, who he enjoyed meeting.  Luckily she wasn’t Mrs. Mississippi since that would have been far too difficult to say, and also Fancy might have been challenged to a duel.

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After talking to the nice people and forgetting to mention that they really shouldn’t be prejudiced against pets, we headed back to the car.  Princess was sleeping in her huffledome, so we let her be without further photographic documentation.

Next – The Perils of Pet Prejudice Part  3 – Alabama’s Revenge (and Land of Too Many Signs).

The Perils of Pet Prejudice Part 1


On the day after Christmas we packed up a minivan and headed out on the road for a trip to go visit family in Alabama.  This was the first time we’ve traveled with Princess Pricklepants, so this was a learning opportunity for us.  So far we’ve learned that traveling with hedgehogs isn’t as bad as it might sound.  The kids have also learned that traveling with their parents is as bad as it sounds.

For this trip we took along another traveling companion, Fancy, who you probably remember from a previous post.  Fancy is our giraffe friend who was a costar in the theatrical release of the drama, “The Princess, the Dragon, and the Giraffe.”  Fancy has starred in many long car drive based dramas, including the early hit, “Ow!” as well as many other serial dramas like “Don’t Make Me Pull This Car Over,” “Does Anybody Need To Go To The Bathroom,” and the incredibly long running “No, We Just Got Food.”

After a long day’s drive, we pulled in for dinner at Cracker Barrel in Beaumont, Texas.  Fancy generously covered our dinner at Cracker Barrel.

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The Cracker Barrel cashier was quite surprised to be able to meet Fancy, we guessed that he had never met a giraffe actor of Fancy’s fame before.

Once we got checked in at the hotel Fancy called his agent.

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No new jobs, but a he did send over a script to look at called, “Annoying Private Ryan.”  Here’s a shot from one of the many, many rehearsals:

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The next day we made it to Louisiana.  The visitor’s center had a lot of construction work happening which created some tension between Princess and Fancy in the parking lot.

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Then we made a startling discovery.  The Louisiana Visitor’s Center was prejudiced against pets!

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Facing grave injustice, Princess and Fancy made up and joined together in solidarity.

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Together they laughed at danger:

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Unfortunately, Fancy had broken the law.  Princess was a strong law and order hedgehog, who felt she had no choice but to arrest him.

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Princess had stark plans for the scofflaw Fancy.

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Fortunately a very friendly and cooperative local construction worker stepped in and began the long needed process of bringing peace and healing between hedgehog and giraffe.

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(Side note, has anyone noticed that Christmas keeps coming earlier and earlier each year?  It’s not even January, and they already have these things up.)

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Coming after this, The Perils of Pet Prejudice Part 2.