Princess Pricklepants and the Dinosaur Denouement


Previously: Princess Pricklepants, Startup Founder Extraordinaire

Dear reader,

We have a few points of note to present before beginning our tale that can’t be skipped for reasons involving word count.

First, we finally read Quentin’s email.  It was a link to a funny cat video.  Thank you Quentin.

Second, we got slightly better lighting set up, so the photos should be slightly better.

As a second try at a better second point, in an effort to be more dramatically friendly in case someone finds this out of context (not that context really helps much), and since we seem to have recurrent characters now, we’re including our dramatis personae:

Princess Pricklepants:  Princess Penelope Pricklepants, Grand Duchess of Tiggy-Winkle, Defender of Hufflepuff, Empress of Quillonia, and Dominions beyond the Seas.  Also, blogger, farmer, space traveler, occasional pirate, and hedgehog of mystery.

Jane the Cow: Accountant, Chief Financial Officer of Telstar Etiquettronics, their startup.

Christine the Cow: Cow safety officer.

Boris: Bear, Canadian, Masters in Comparative Mythology from University of Toronto.

Dinosaurs: Venture Capitalists at Yoyodynamic Capital.

Crocodiles: Former farm animals, now crocodiles, or maybe alligators.

Bessie: Generic Cow

That was pretty long so we’d better get to our first picture with words under it:

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Princess Penelope Pricklepants was distraught.  Someone had left her copy of Haley’s 2007 Compete Guide to Etiquette on the floor.  She’d been looking for this to reply to an automated etiquette request message for her new startup, Telstar Ettiquettronics.

Suddenly her computer made the bleepy sound indicating a Skype call was coming in.

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It was Jane, the CFO.

“So Princess, have you seen the news on TechCrunch?”  Now that they worked in tech., they started sentences with “so” to sound authentic. “The dinosaurs at Yoyodynamic Capital have taken over the board of Telstar Ettiquettronics.  They’ve installed a Tyrannosaurus as the new CEO, put a Deionychus in as the CFO, and rest of the board are Pterodactyls, or maybe Pteronadons. Hard to really tell. Some kind of Pterosaur. It’s tricky to get their taxonomies down, I think one isn’t a proper taxonomical category, maybe we should check wikipedia…  So the point is that we’ve lost control of the company.  Also, we’re almost out of money.”

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Princess Pricklepants was not in her best mood.  She’d only gotten 15 hours of sleep the night before.  Someone had left her etiquette guide on the floor.  And now this. (Since they’d started working in tech., they had also been practicing starting sentences with conjunctions.)  Her company that she’d worked for days to build was now stolen by dinosaur venture capitalists.

She called a council of the bear and cows.

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Boris had a degree in comparative mythology which seemed to Princess to be fairly close to a law degree. “Boris, what can we do to get our company…”

She was interrupted by a politeness advice request text. “I have a lovely 17-year-old step-daughter. Recently she’s developed a lot of anger issues and has loud, tantrum-like outbursts where she curses out her dad and says very hurtful things to him. What can I do to bring her in line?  – Frustrated Mom”

She began to type a response, “Dear Frustrating Mom, To get your daughter in line, take her to Disneyland, there are many, many lines there. Alternately you could…”

Jane interrupted, “Princess, this is not the time to be answering texts, we’re having a meeting.”

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Christine, the cow safety officer made a proposal, “So I suggest we ban all electronic distractions from meetings. And we should follow Robert’s Rules of Order, really.”

Boris stepped forth, “I wish I had my phone, sorry. I need to look up dramatic tropes during these things to stay in character. But to the point, I move that Christine never ask about Robert’s Rules of Order again. All those in favor?”

The ayes were over the nos.

Boris continued, “According to my friends on bearlawyercentral.com the contract is air tight, and we have no recourse. We are ruined. Sorry about that, eh.”

Princess got a text: “My husband and I are having a disagreement. He knows that our dog, trufflefluff, likes coffee, but he uses artificial sweeteners. I am sure these are dangerous for dogs. How do I tell him to only give our dog real sugar?  – Sweet Mom”

Princess started typing, “Dear Sugar Mama, while this is a common problem, this is not a…”  Boris put his paw over her phone.

“Sorry to interrupt, Princess, but by responding you are helping out the dinosaurs who have stolen our company.”

“But, it’s impolite not to respond to text messages…”

“Fine, we will let the Universe decide.” He took the phone and threw it in the crocodile pond. “The Universe clearly does not want you to respond any longer.”

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Christine, the cow safety officer, said, “Boris, that phone’s batteries contain risky materials that can leach into the pond posing a risk to the crocodiles (or are they alligators?).  Also, how is you throwing the phone in a pond the Universe deciding?”

“Am I not part of the Universe?”

And so it was that our heroes were sad, especially Princess, who didn’t have a phone, but wanted to check what the hedgehogs on hedgehogentrepeneurcentral.com might advise, and also to see if there were any new hedgehog videos on Youtube, and also to look up crocodiles and alligators on wikipedia to sort out something she’d been puzzling over.

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Boris said, “I feel we must dwell on this disconcerting news for a while to make the middle of the story longer. This will add dramatic tension and improve our narrative. Still there is not much character development either, not sure what we should do ’bout that, though, eh.”

Bessie, the generic cow, said, “Boris, I believe we’ve explained this before. You are not a fictional character.”

“No, sorry, but seriously, listen. I am a Canadian bear who went to the University of Toronto and got a Masters in Comparative Mythology. Somehow I seem to also be Russian sometimes. I can’t explain it, but I wound up working on a farm, but then the hedgehog princess left in her spaceship and we had a war with a cat, and so now I’m at a startup that was taken over by dinosaur venture capitalists. I can’t remember anything but that, the rest is void. There are no humans in our world, just a hedgehog, some crocodiles, some cows, and the occasional robot, baboon, cat, and other animals, but we do human-like things. How does that make any sense? I must be fictional. And these stories I am in, they drive me up a tree – no character development, no proper beginnings, middles or ends, terrible narrative structure, ridiculous diction.”

“Have you been reading Kafka again? Besides if you were actually fictional, you’d see character development, and all that other whatever it was you said.”

“I fear it is worse. Not only am I fictional, but I am a fiction of a truly terrible author.”

Jane said, “You are no more fictional than I am, and no fictional cow would choose to be an accountant. By the way, we’re doomed. Just got the text – the dinosaurs fired all of us.”

Princess felt sad, and went to her quiet place to go play with some old toys that the family had passed down through the centuries. Jane followed her.

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“Princess, what’s that you’re playing with?”

“Oh, old play money. It’s just made of old gold and silver, not like real nickel, zinc, or copper coins, or that really pretty paper. Still, it’s nice to play with sometimes.”

Jane investigated, “Where did you get this?”

“Oh, it’s been in the family for generations. Apparently it used to be real money a long time ago, but now it’s so old you can’t buy things with it. I tried using some at a store once and the clerk said it wasn’t real money.”

Jane put her numismatic skills to work and determined that the coins were mostly English Guineas from the late 1600s, along with assorted Louis the fourteenth Double Louis d’or, and other gold currency. According to Jane’s careful estimate they were worth a ludicrous amount of money. She began a spreadsheet.

Within a short while they’d managed to get enough rare gold coins sold at auction at Christie’s for enough money that they could skip plots involving hedgehog careers for a long time.

Finally, Princess could pursue her true passion, living life as independently wealthy hedgehog royalty.

In our next episode, will we begin the Chronicles of Princess Pricklepants?  Will we finally get to Princess Pricklepants and the Live Action Role Playing Game?  Will we just ramble?  Tune in eventually when we finally get to publishing the next episode.

Next: Princess Pricklepants and the Perils of Pirate Plunder: Part I – The Great Beginning

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Princess Pricklepants, Startup Founder Extraordinaire


Previously: Princess Pricklepants, Entrepreneur

Dear reader, for our preamble we’d like to say a number of fascinating, witty, clever, and delightful things, but we can’t think of any.  Sorry.

A reader contacted us indirectly with a really brilliant idea that we can’t tell you about.  Also, sorry.

Quentin emailed in to say something, but we haven’t read that email yet.  We’ll do that really soon, though.

Our awesome and brilliant reader Mike sent in this superb graphic, which you should all admire, and which we plan to develop into a theme once Princess runs for President, which now must happen.

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On a separate note, we found someone reached our blog via a search for “when adventure trip on a ship. how can we do good manner.”  Cool!

And so, we begin our story with a picture with some words under it.

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Princess Pricklepants gathered the council of cows et al. to pitch her latest idea in the living room.  Startups were supposed to be in garages, but she didn’t have a garage, so the living room would have to do.  “Princess Pricklepants-pedia – an online encyclopedia of all things related to me.”  Jane, the cow accountant and general downer, explained that this sounded like a really fun idea, but had the problem that there was no way to possibly ever make money.

“Well, what about a blog?”

“You’ve got a blog, and so far you’ve lost money.  Your blog is free so you don’t even get anything from the ads other people see.  It’s just a vanity project.”

“Mugs and Tee-shirts?”

“No”

Princess turned to google “polite web startup ideas,” but the first result was an article titled, “Polite, Purposeful People Create Startups That Fail.”  Clearly google was confused.

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Christine, the cow safety officer, had a warning, “Since we’re starting a business we should use Robert’s Rules of Order and keep minutes so that we have accountability.”

Boris made a motion, “I propose that we never ever use Robert’s Rules of Order.  All those in favor?”

The ayes had it.

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Boris stepped forth with a daring plan, “We start a comparative mythology as a service company.  We create a platform for employees on their mythic and heroic quests.”

This was not well accepted.

Princess pitched another idea, “MaPaaS, Manners and Politeness as a Service, we architect a dynamic cloud platform for delivering the infrastructure of manners, refinement, sophistication, and politeness to the enterprise.  We’ll target mobile advice.  Also, synergy.”

Nobody could think of an objection, or if they had one they couldn’t find a polite way to say it (since the software didn’t exist yet), so they started their plan.

Their plan had three parts.

1) Develop dynamic MaPaaS cloud platform.

2) …

3) Profit.

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Boris said, “Oh, we also need to name the business, this is an important part of the heroic  journey.”

Jane suggested, “Politetronic Logistics”

“No”

“Manner Cloud”

“No”

“Telstar Etiquettronics”

“Yes!”

They googled it to make sure nobody had already taken the name.  Clear.  They still needed to register telstaretiquettronics.com, but would get to that soon.

Boris said, “Princess, there’s an important point I think I need to make.  If we look at this situation in terms of a literary structure, there’s no antagonist, nor are we following a traditional comic form of three separate minor conflicts that intertwine until they are resolved in a denouement.”

Princess explained, “Boris, we aren’t in some fictional universe, we’re real hedgehogs and cows and bears doing work things.  Real life isn’t like fiction, there aren’t usually antagonists or neat little situations that get wrapped up nicely.  It’s just you and your friends and family and coworkers doing your things as best you can, and trying to not waste all your time watching amazing hedgehog videos on YouTube or reading wikipedia articles when you should be getting important things done.”

She then checked wikipedia to make sure this was correct and wound up reading about grizzly bears for a while, then salmon, then the Yukon river.  Then she watched an amazing hedgehog video.  Then she visited boingboing.net.

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Eventually they got to working on part 1 of their plan.

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Part 1 was the fun and annoying part, since it meant they’d need to make a program.  They turned to Bessie, the generic cow, who was also a robotics programmer.  “Bessie, can you write the software tonight?”

“Um, well, you see, I, uh, write C for embedded systems, and for web things it’s all completely different.  We need to hire someone or learn these things.”

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Princess hit the books.  It was so boring, though.  All those letters and words that didn’t quite mean the right thing, and the jargon, that odd almost, but not quite English jargon.  Even with a montage this would be unbearable.  So they decided to find a programmer.

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While Mufiki, King of the Planet of the Baboons, might not have seemed like an immediately obvious choice, he had previous experience as a software engineer for a web company in the dot com days.  He was interested and would take low pay in exchange for equity.  Soon he had something running.  We’ll spare you the boring details of a code monkey.  He also wrote a module to measure how polite or impolite something was that was named polite-o-tron2000 that applied machine learning with vectorized Bayesean analysis on natural language processing, text analysis, and computational linguistics on the works of Emily Post on a Hadoop cluster (this obviously was a Big Data problem) to assign a score from 1 to 10, where 1 is something we couldn’t possibly say, and 10 is something really, really polite and appropriate.  Sorry, had to throw in boring details.

The software would send text messages to Princess’s iPhone where she would respond with helpful advice.  They ran their first test, sending an etiquette request:

“when adventure trip on a ship. how can we do good manner.”

Princess texted her reply, “When taking an adventure trip on a ship, always be sure to share treasure maps with any cows that want to go on the adventure with you.”  It went through the internet tubes and showed up in their software thing where it was supposed to.  polite-o-tron2000 ranked it a 10.  They were cooking with gas!

Many other things happened, but they were dull business things that nobody in their right mind would ever want to read about, let alone suffer through in real life, so we’ll skip to the interesting part – getting funding from venture capitalists.

They showed up at Yoyodynamic Capital to pitch their business. They did a great presentation on how Telstar Ettiquettronics was the premiere MaPaaS business in the industry, with exponential potential for growth, and presented their highly relevant buzzword catch-phrase – immersive big data and well-mannered disruption of advice columns through the mobile cloud, and also social media.  Negotiations were tense, but they were ultimately funded with a lot of money to start a business in ways that were complicated to explain, but which Jane, the cow chief financial officer thought were workable.

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Yoyodynamic Capital even forgave Princess for climbing on the table.

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Thus they were probable tech millionaires.  Maybe.  All they had to do was make an actual company with customers, a long term manageable strategy, and a way to make a profit – easy.

Next episode: Will they buy a foosball table, fancy espresso machines, and nerf guns with their startup capital?  Will the Yoyodynamic dinosaurs betray the company?  Will the platform do the right platform-related things?  Will Princess become a tech millionaire?  Will this whole episode be explained away a few sentences in the next preamble?  Will they ever get a decent lighting setup so the color temperature and shadows aren’t all over the map?  These questions and others may or may not be answered in our next installment:

Princess Pricklepants and the Dinosaur Denouement

Princess Pricklepants And The War Against Cats


Dear readers,

We have three apologies to make before this post.

First, some reader feedback – Quentin, a council of the cows was held, and no, we can’t use small words.  One cow politely recommended that you might want to buy a dictionary.

Second, sorry for creating a post so soon after the last two.  It was raining, we weren’t able to go out, and so another post happened.

Third, sorry that we don’t have one other thing to list in our apologies here, we’ve run dry a little early.

Fourth, sorry, that we’ve now apologized for one more thing that we’d originally said we would.

Now, our first picture with words under it:

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Princess Pricklepants was delighted, her trip to the Planet of the Baboons went nicely (she had helped Mufiki, the Baboon King to reclaim his throne from the evil uncle Blemish, perhaps more on that later if we get enough baboons to illustrate), and Mufiki, the Baboon King had returned with her to see her robo-farm to learn about new alien cultures and technology.  But when she arrived, things seemed amiss.  There was a castle.  There were no cows.  There was no bear.  The crocodiles were sitting in a moat, looking sad.

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A cat approached, and delivered a sinister monologue. “Greetings, Princess Pricklepants. I am Mittens, a humble farm-cat (with an Electrical Engineering degree from MIT – go Beavers!), and I have taken over this farm! You now are a former-hedgehog farmer, as I now control the farm! A-ha-ha-ha-ha! Using my advanced programming skills, I reprogrammed the robots to serve me to do my wily feline bidding. A previous advice column of yours had advised flinging cats via catapults, and now I have my revenge! Also, I banished your cows, forced the crocodiles to serve as slaves in the moat, and your literary bear friend is stuck in a paddock with no books to read! Bwa ha ha!” It was strange to hear a cat laugh. Regardless, the cat continued on for a while explaining how it accessed the reprogramming interface port of the robots, and some other details, but you don’t need to hear all of it. It was a very long monologue.

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Droidon and Galaxy came out and hugged the villainous cat since we had a photo of that. It was taken with the intent of adding to the drama and sense of just how sinister this cat was, though in retrospect, hugging cats doesn’t quite deliver the right mood. So, we ask you, dear reader, to please imagine that the photo illustrates the cat hacking up a hairball on your couch instead.  Thanks!

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Princess explained to Mufiki that nothing like this had ever happened before in her adventures, normally dramatic conflicts were far less overt, but given the situation they needed to form a plan. So they formed a plan.

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Princess went and found the cows. Together they formed The Cows Of The Round Table (the members were not all cows, but Cows, Baboon, and Hedgehog Of The Round Table just didn’t roll off the tongue). Together, they planned a great battle – a siege against Castle Mittens to defeat the wicked cat and bring justice and order back to the farm, then Princess granted them knighthoods authorizing them to serve in the battle. She looked up the wikipedia page on knighthood to see if they had the details of the ceremony, but it was missing most details, so she winged it.

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Princess ordered several catapults from hedgehogfarmsupply.com (some assembly required) and prepared for battle. They had only ever seen one movie that involved catapults, so they loaded the cows into the catapults and began to fling them onto the castle.  Christine, the cow safety officer, said something before they were loading her, but in the fog of war they were far too busy to get caught up in digressions.  Now was the time for action.

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Unfortunately, they didn’t have many cows, so soon they were out of ammunition. Lady Bessie (they weren’t sure of the right title for female knights, and Wikipedia didn’t mention what to honorifics to bestow on cows knights at all, so they settled on that), Sir Unintentional Product Placement, Princess, and Mufiki realized they needed another plan. Bessie lamented that while she was a generic cow, she did have a Computer Science degree and before joining the farm had worked as a contractor doing programming work for a few companies developing robotic Artificial Intelligence software. With that kind of nerdy desk-job skill set, she was useless for most things, especially in medieval conflict…

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“Don’t feel bad, Bessie, we still like you,” said Princess gracefully. Mufiki said, “Wait, didn’t the cat reprogram these robots? Can’t Bessie just hack into their robotic computing mainframe matrix, or whatever you Earthlings call it, and override the program?” They hatched a cunning plan.

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Princess lured Redbot out while Bessie snuck up and reprogrammed his loyalty circuits to bond to hedgehogs and not like cats.

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They then reprogrammed Galaxy, while Sir. Product Placement tried to distract Mittens.  That distraction worked poorly, so Princess licked her nose.

The ploy worked!

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And so, the farm returned to its former state, Princess was delighted, and things returned mostly to a normal state, though they now had a castle on the farm, an evil imprisoned cat, a pig had shown up from somewhere, the bear was freed and given some interesting books, the Spinosaurus returned to doing Spinosaurus things, and the word count was a little low but was good enough to declare The End.  For now.

Princess Pricklepants, Farmer, etc.


Dear readers, we’ve made a few small changes thanks to your feedback.  We’ve made images smaller and lower quality to load faster (you’re welcome, reader H), are using simpler vocabulary (you’re welcome reader Quentin), and we’ve added more characters to stories (can’t remember who mentioned that).  We also will digress less, since someone mentioned that digressions are distracting and don’t add to the narrative form we work so hard to perfect.

Enough preamble, here’s the first picture with some words under it (see Quentin, simple words):

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Princess Pricklepants was very busy working on her farm, but even with more cows than she could count (anything more than four is really hard), she wasn’t making a lot of money selling milk.  She held a council with the cows, and asked for ideas.  Bessie the cow spoke up, “I think if we got more animals we’d ultimately benefit from increased production.  Also, Quentin needs a dictionary.  Cows have large vocabularies, it’s the way we are.  Deal with it.”  So Princess went to the place where you get animals and got some more.

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The new crocodiles were happy in their pond.  The cows seemed moderately concerned but were hopeful that crocodile eggs would fetch a good profit.  Jane, the cow accountant ran the numbers, but even after a few hours there was still no new money coming in.  Strange.  She said some technical things about taxes and capital investment we don’t need to repeat.  She complained that she got a CPA, and we really should go into those details, but we ignored her.  While Jane complained that it would add to the believability and richness of detail to the story if we talked about tax benefits from depreciations of capital something-or-others, Princess went to the place where you get animals to get some more.

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The cows weren’t so sure about the bear.  Bessie, the generic cow, said something very inappropriate that we can’t repeat.  Other cows mentioned that the bear didn’t seem as polite as the crocodiles.  Jane, the cow accountant, noted that bears don’t actually produce anything that farms need.  Christine, the cow safety officer, mentioned that bears were potentially dangerous.  Bessie, the generic cow, also mentioned that the bear looked angry.

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“Rawr,” said the bear (whose name was Boris, and who was offended that nobody had really given any proper introductions, so impolite – he was Canadian, and was upset at how rude these animals were).  Princess and the cows decided to spend some time far from the bear whose name and nationality they didn’t know.

They had another meeting.  “Princess, you need to do something about the bear.”  Jane, the cow accountant, mentioned that there were some concerns about accounts, but maybe they could wait for the bear situation to be handled.

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They had a farm to run, so Princess bravely introduced herself to the bear formally and used her impeccable manners to make friends.  But still even with cows, crocodiles, and a bear, Jane, the cow accountant, was insistent about the fact that the farm still wasn’t earning enough money.  In fact it seemed like they somehow had less money, which she tried to explain in a long drawn out explanation.  While Jane was rambling, Princess left to go to the place where you get animals to get some more.

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In retrospect, it probably wasn’t a good idea to get a Spinosaurus.  The Spinosaurus was terribly rude as well as terrifyingly dangerous.  The cows all insisted that a Spinosaurus was not a farm animal.  Boris mentioned that he thought that Spinosauruses were extinct, though obviously he wasn’t a well educated bear.

Christine, the cow safety officer, mentioned that bears ate berries, roots, and honey, cows ate grass, crocodiles didn’t eat, but she was pretty sure that the Spinosaurus ate hedgehogs, cows, and bears.

The crocodiles were happy, though, as they basked in the sun at the pond.

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“I have an idea, eh,” said Boris, stepping forth with great gravitas and bearing.  “Things are getting complex.  It’s especially challenging with that hoser Quentin limiting our prodigious vocabularies.  I am a very erudite bear with a Masters degree in Comparative Mythology, so this is killing me.  Let’s check the internet to see what it says about hedgehog-run farms with cows, bears, crocodiles, and Spinosauruses.  There’s probably tons of web page site whatevers about that topic.”  So Princess searched websites, and finally went to a hedgehog farmer’s web forum (hedgehogfarmercentral.com) to try to figure things out.  The other hedgehogs on the Internet suggested she go to hedgehogfarmsupply.com to order some automated assistants.  One helpful forum member mentioned that if she used her Ink credit card she would earn points that might be useful to offset farm expenses. There was something else about how it would code as office supplies, but the post was too long to finish reading. Princess had online farm shopping to do. So she ordered some automated farm assistants.

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The helper robots were very good at teaching the Spinosaurus manners.  The cows liked the robots, they worked with the bear to overcome his irrational fear of Spinosauruses, and the crocodiles liked the robots, bonding over the fact that they had a lot in common.

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The farm started making a profit, they were producing milk, crocodile eggs, the robots taught the bear to collect a lot of honey to sell, and the dinosaur did an incredibly nice job at being a dinosaur.  The only problem was that the robots did such a wonderful job at running the farm that there wasn’t a need for Princess to even be there any longer.

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So, with all her farm business humming along nicely, Princess decided to take a trip to the outer reaches of interstellar space to pursue her real passion – space exploration.

Next: Princess Pricklepants and the Planet of the Dinosaurs

Princess Pricklepants and the Planet of the Dinosaurs


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One day, while out looking for a nice bakery that carried some good macarons, her poor sense of direction left her exploring the outer reaches of interstellar space.  Due to poor spatial sense and a mistaken impression that she’d found a nice looking pâtisserie, she inadvertently made an unplanned landing of her ship, the Atelerix, on the surface of a mysterious planet in the middle of a theater of a primitive species of dinosaur dramatists.  Fortunately it was a surprisingly soft theater so there were no injuries or damages besides the theater being a bit askew.

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“Rawr” said an offended lead actor dinosaur, who appeared to have briefly forgotten his manners.  Princess took a moment to compose herself.

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She glared the best prima donna glare she could muster.  The occasionally appearing director on a stick began to attempt to direct the scene.  “Rawr!”

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“I must think of a clever, yet plausible solution to this strange predicament,” thought Princess.  She briefly wondered how her life had somehow reached the point that she was a royal hedgehog princess sitting in a spacecraft in the middle of an alien theatrical production being yelled at by a director on a stick, surrounded by strange alien relics of an ancient past that still practiced live dramatic arts.  She remembered that this was no the time for that kind of meandering reflection – it was time to act.

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She called out to her trusty translator droid, 2BORNOT2B, “Quick, translate those lines the director said.”  The droid used its highly advanced compu-matic circuits to produce a translation – “Rawr.”

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Unfortunately, there are subtle inflections in dino-speak, so she wound up saying, “Your mother is a hamster,” to a Spinosaurus supporting actor.  This was not taken well on a planet where, due to monitoring the distant radiation transmissions from Earth, the dinosaurs were all too aware that in millions of years hamsters would evolve into sophisticated talking apes with iPhones, while their descendants would be sparrows, chickens, and parakeets enslaved by the evil ape-overlords.

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The droid translated the dino-alien’s reply, “Gosh, that’s really impolite, space tourist hedgehog, you’ve hurt my feelings, also crashing space-ships into our theater is highly inappropriate.”  Princess was mortified.  She was an expert on manners, yet as the first emissary to the planet of the Thespisaurs she’d managed to make a faux pas.  More than one, really, but she didn’t know how to pluralize that word.

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She roused up her most dramatic pose, and recited a majestic soliloquy in dino-speak.  Her dialogue and delivery were so rousing, wonderful, polite, moving, and dramatic that the dinosaurs forgave her disruption to their production of Othellosaurus and also forgave her previous hamster-related insult.  They were so moved at her theatrical talents and refined manners that they declared her Princess Pricklepants, Queen of the Dino Planet, Prima Donna par excellence, and also said she was remarkably nice for a mammal.  They began the revels.

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“Wait, please, these revels are full of wonderful frolicking delight, and are truly extraordinary, but my noble bearing requires a level of seriousness, artfulness, and subtlety.  Perhaps we could play Scrabble?”  The dino-dramatists agreed, and she scored 128 points with ZLOTIES on a triple word score with the Z on a double letter, and they lived delightfully and politely ever after.

Next: Princess Pricklepants and the Surprising Set of Events