Mummy and Daddy didn’t understand why Josie didn’t want to play with her little brother. “He’s so cute!” they said. “He’s just like a doll!”
Worst of all, they decided Alfie should pull his carriage, and then he was too busy for Josie to ride anymore.
Life with a little brother felt a lot less lovely for Princess Josie. A lot more lonely too.
One day Princess Josie was swinging on the gate outside her forest castle with nothing to do, when a funny little man came by. He had a long brown beard that he tied around his waist like a belt. He smiled at Princess Josie, then stopped right in front of her.
“Hello little Princess,” said the funny man. “I haven’t seen you here before.”
“I am usually riding my unicorn,” said Princess Josie. “But now he has to pull my baby brother’s carriage, and I’ve got nothing to do.”
She couldn’t help herself. She pulled a face.
“Everyone thinks he’s so nice, and nobody wants to play with me any more!”
The little old man looked thoughtful. “Why don’t you play with him?” he asked.
“He’s way too little,” Princess Josie said. A silence fell over the two of them. Josie looked very glum.
Suddenly the little old man looked sly. “What would you give?” he asked. “If I were to take him away?”
“What do you mean, take him away?” asked Princess Josie.
The little old man looked crafty, leaned in close, and whispered.
“I mean, turn him into a slug, and let him loose in the garden. Your parents would never find him…”