The Danna and Haniel Story
Once upon a time there was a beautiful princess named Hanna. She lived in an enchanted castle. The castle was enchanted with an enchantment that turned any man entering the castle into a dog. The princess had to remain in the castle at night. If the sun set and she was out of the castle, she would turn into a dog too.
One day the princess was out riding, when she met a handsome prince named Daniel. And that's where our story is so far!
So the beautiful princess Hanna meets the handsome prince Daniel. And what do you think happens? Do they fall in love? Nope! Hanna saw him and thought he was a stuck-up snob who could only talk about how good he was at hunting. And Daniel thought Hanna was a prideful little snob who didn't care about anything but her own horse.
And so they began to argue.
"My horse is faster than your horse," said Princess Hanna.
"It doesn't matter how fast your horse is, it only matters how good a hunter you are," said Prince Daniel.
"Hunting, pish! That's all you ever talk about," said Hanna.
"What would you rather talk about?" said Daniel, peevishly.
"Anything!" said Hanna. "In fact," said Hanna, her eyes flashing, "I dare you to talk about something other than hunting for 10 minutes!"
Daniel thought about this. Hmmm, he thought. I can take this silly dare.
To Hanna he said, "And if I succeed?"
Daniel: I Can
Hanna, thinking quickly, replied, "Then you may accompany me to my castle." She knew that the Prince would turn into a dog, and then she could laugh at him to her heart's content.
Daniel: I WILL SUCCEED
So then Daniel, his mind turning rapidly, made a dare to the princess.
"I dare YOU," he said, "to come hunting with me and to catch anything bigger than a squirrel."
"Ha!" said the Princess, but inside, she was worried. She had never been hunting before. But she thought, I can take this silly dare. How hard can it be to catch a foolish animal? Why, all I have to do is surprise a sleeping porcupine or a feeding raccoon.
"And what if I win?" she asked.
Daniel: YOU DIE!!! I SAID
Daniel, thinking quickly, replied, "Then you may accompany me to MY castle." He knew the Princess would not enjoy his castle, for it was covered with the heads of all the animals he had caught.
And so the Prince and Princess started their dares bright and early the next day. Prince Daniel had thought up a clever way to talk about things other than hunting. He talked about the forest, because he had learned a great deal about it from his hunting.
His eloquence was unequaled as he discussed the beauty of a stand of birch trees, his powers of description unsurpassed as he described the majestic splendour of the oldest oak in the woods. He talked about the ecosystem, about the food chain, about summer, and winter, and autumn and spring. He was beginning to talk about the crystal clear brook and how it babbled merrily usually, but would gush with torrents during the rainy season, when -- "Time's up!" said Princess Hanna.
Princess Hanna had an unhappy look on her face. "You have won your dare," said the Princess.
Then a big blue turtle came up to them. "What's orange and round?" it asked them.
They were momentarily taken aback. "Uh... an orange?" said Daniel finally.
"Right!" said the turtle. "Now, what's brown and sticky?"
This time Hanna spoke up. "Honey!" she said.
"Nope," said the turtle, and Daniel smirked at Hanna because she got it wrong. "Actually," said the blue turtle, "it's a stick."
Daniel: KEVEN BABA TOLD ME THAT
"Now I have one last question and then i must be on my way." The turtle looked up at them. "What's green and has wheels?"
Hanna and Daniel looked at each other and shrugged. "A green car?" guessed Daniel.
"Wrong!" said the turtle, and this time Hanna smirked at Daniel. "The correct answer is... grass!"
Daniel and Hanna were confused. "What?" they said at the same time.
The turtle looked sheepish. "I lied about the wheels," he said. Then the big blue turtle went on his way.
Hanna and Daniel stared after it, in a kind of daze.
Finally Daniel snapped out of it. "So I won," he said.
"Yes," admitted Princess Hanna. She was upset that Daniel had won on his first try, and so quickly, when she had the harder dare still in front of her. "You won, and thus, you shall accompany me to my castle." She smiled to herself, knowing that Daniel would turn into a dog.
They headed over to her castle. Along the way, Daniel talked excitedly of how Hanna was going to have to hunt for the rest of the day, and she still probably wouldn't catch anything.
I'm not going to hunt if I can help it, thought Hanna. Because you are going to turn into a dog! Haha!
Finally, they reached the castle. The instant Prince Daniel set foot inside the castle walls, he was transformed into a large, scruffy-looking dog!
Daniel: RUUUUUUUFFFFFFFFFF RRRRRRRUUUUUUUUFFFFFFFF!!!!!!!!!
The dog that was Daniel looked around, confused. He wondered why he was standing on four legs instead of two. And why could he see his nose? And what were those smells and why hadn't he noticed them before?!
"Wha-- what's happened?" said Daniel, looking back at himself.
Princess Hanna could only laugh. "Hahahaha!" she laughed and pointed at the poor Prince and doubled over with mirth.
Daniel finally realized what had happened. "I've become a dog!" he blurted with horror. "An Irish water spaniel!"
At least Irish water spaniels are great hunting dogs, thought the prince.
Suddenly a new thought occurred to the princess, and she spluttered with renewed laughter.
"You're-- hahhaha! you're -- AAAAAHahahahaha!!" she could barely get it out, she was laughing so hard. "You're Daniel the Spaniel!!" she finally shouted, and began laughing even harder, rolling around on the floor.
Daniel had to admit, this was pretty funny, and Hanna looked pretty funny herself because of how hard she was laughing, so he began to laugh himself. Except since he was a dog, his laughs came out as strange howls. This only made Princess Hanna laugh even harder, which made Daniel laugh harder, which made Hanna laugh harder... and so on.
They were both laughing so hard that they couldn't stop. Finally they were both totally exhausted and went to sleep.
The next morning, Hanna woke up and there was a dog right in front of her! She almost screamed! But then she remembered in the nick of time that Daniel had been turned into a dog yesterday. She almost began laughing again, but she remembered what had happened last time she laughed at Daniel, and so she held it in.
Then Daniel woke up, and was totally shocked to discover he was a dog! "Oh no!" he said. "I hoped it was a dream, but I really am a dog!"
"Yes," said Princess Hanna. "You are a dog, because this is an enchanted castle. All men who enter it become dogs."
Daniel became very angry at the Princess and he almost jumped at her and bit her head off, but he remembered something.
"Well, I won my dare, and you must attempt your dare today," said Daniel the Spaniel smartly.
"What?" said Hanna with shock. She had hoped that since Daniel was a dog, she would not have to go hunting.
"Well? Are you going to back out of your dare?" said Daniel, his eyes glinting.
The Princess knew she had no choice but to follow through and complete her dare. So she said, "I shall go hunting then. Let me get my horse." And with her chin held high, and after gathering her bow and arrows, she headed down to the stable.
She got her horse and set off, with Daniel the Spaniel following behind her to keep an eye on her and laugh at her obvious lack of hunting ability. Hanna obviously hadn't the least idea how to go hunting.
Hanna searched and searched for an animal larger than a squirrel. She finally came across a raccoon, and stopped her horse. She slipped an arrow in her bow, but by the time she was ready, the raccoon had climbed up a tree and into its nest.
Hours and hours dragged by. Hanna was tired and hungry, but still too proud to ask for help from that silly dog Daniel. He had been following her all day, with his tongue lolling out of the side of his mouth in a doggy grin -- it seemed he was mocking her with his very appearance. She began to get very annoyed at him.
Several more hours passed. Hanna just could not find anything bigger than a squirrel. Finally, in frustration, she turned to Daniel.
"Can you help me?" she asked, angry because she had to turn to him for help. "Just help me locate something, I'll shoot it myself."
Daniel looked up at the bedraggled Princess. Weariness was written all over her face. She has learned her lesson, he thought, and decided to help her. "Sure, I'll help," he said. "Irish water spaniels are great hunting dogs. Follow me."
And with that, he was off. Fortunately, Hanna's horse was fast, so it could keep up with Daniel as he ran. Suddenly Daniel slowed. "Shhh!" he whispered back to them. "We're coming to a group of about five deer. If we're lucky there'll be a stag."
They crept cautiously forward. Hanna got off her horse and walked with Daniel on foot. Daniel made sure to stay downwind of the deer as they drew nearer.
Then, there in front of them was a group of four deer. The largest of the deer was a magnificent 12-point buck.
Hanna knew without asking that this was the deer she wanted. Cautiously, so slowly she could barely stand it, she began to raise her bow and fit an arrow. She pulled it slowly back, aiming her arrow right between the buck's eyes.
Then TWANG! She released the arrow. It sailed through the air. Then two things happened at once. First of all the arrow caught the buck squarely between the eyes and it fell down dead. Secondly, Hanna turned into an Irish water spaniel.
"Oh!" she cried. Daniel looked at Hanna and, after his initial surprise, began to laugh his howling laugh.
Hanna looked at herself. She had definitely become a dog. Then she looked up at the sky. The sun had just set, and she was not in her castle, and thus, she had become a dog, too. She looked at Daniel, laughing hysterically as only a dog who is a human inside can.
Then she looked at herself, also a dog. She became fiercely angry with Daniel for making her stay out past sunset. Him and his stupid hunting dare! She thought. I'll bite off his head! But then she thought, no, be fair. You turned him into a dog, but you can't blame him for this, he didn't know you would become a dog if you stayed out too late... and so she thought, actually, that this whole thing was really quite hilarious. And she began to laugh.
Together the two Irish water spaniels laughed and laughed.
When they had finished, Prince Daniel looked at Princess Hanna and said, "Nice shot."
"Thank you," said Hanna, smiling a doggy smile at him.
They were both really hungry, so together they ate the stag, then they headed back to the Princess' castle.
Hanna: this is a good story
Me: I'm glad you like it
Hanna: is that all?
And the two dogs went to live in the castle. A year later, Hanna was about to give birth to puppies. Daniel paced back and forth outside in the hall as Hanna was in her chambers with the midwife.
Hanna: you mean,we married???
Me: haha yep. You're both dogs, and you aren't prideful anymore, and you've been through a lot together, and so quite naturally you fell in love.
Finally, the midwife came out, all flustered, and said to Daniel with her eyebrows arched oddly, "It's a boy!"
Daniel was confused by the midwife's manner, but he was glad he had a nice boy puppy to raise up in the ways of hunting, as all Irish water spaniels should.
But then the midwife came out, holding the boy in her hands, and Daniel looked at it in shock. For there in her hands was a little baby boy! A human boy!! It let out a cry.
"Surely there's some mistake!" said Daniel.
The midwife looked at him. "Well, you ARE really humans inside aren't you?"
Daniel could not reply, because he was beginning to feel quite odd.
The midwife headed back into the chambers and let out a scream. For there in her bed was Hanna, not the dog Hanna, but the human being Hanna! The midwife turned to Daniel.
Daniel was human again too.
They all looked at each other, completely confused. Magic hung heavy in the air.
Suddenly a chant could be heard coming from the air around them. The voice echoed the words of an ancient spell:
Enter, man, but pray, beware,
'Ere you leave you'll have more hair!
Caught out in the evening fog,
Surely thou shalt be a dog!
But when true love's son is born
Dog to human flesh return.
And so the birth of their son broke the spell on the castle, and from that point, any man who entered the castle did NOT become a dog! And Princess Hanna could be out of the castle after the sun had set without turning into a dog!
And so they named their son Fido, since they had both been dogs.
Actually, they named their son Charming, for his charmed birth broke the power of the spell that had enchanted the castle for so many years. (Incidentally, this is the same Prince Charming who later grows up and finds himself in some other stories. But you can read those stories elsewhere.)
And they all lived happily ever after.
© 1998-2021 Zach Bardon
Last modified 7.19.2019