Inside and Out

This morning Lucy started to tell me a story and then decided halfway through that I should finish it for her. I thought her premise was so quirky and perfectly expressive of her brain that it was worth a Lucy-esque ending. Here’s what we came up with together. Because nothing is more fun that making stuff up with my kids.

Once upon a time there was a beautiful princess who lived in a big castle. She lived there all alone because everyone else had died.

One day a huge giant came to her castle. “I’m going to eat you!” he said to the princess.

(Now, don’t worry. He isn’t going to…well, he IS going to eat her, but it will be okay.)

So then he ate her in one big bite, but she didn’t die. She went inside him. You know. And inside him she went to a beautiful land.

And the thing is that he was a bad giant, but he used to be a good giant, only all his niceness was down inside him now, and the badness was on the outside. So down inside him, she was in his niceness.

I want you to finish the story.


So inside his belly, all his niceness had made this beautiful land, and the princess wandered the beautiful land looking at rainbows and flowers and everything happy and nice, and there, under an apple tree she saw a boy. When she got closer, she realized that it was her brother!

She ran up and gave him a hug. “I thought you were dead!” she said.

Her brother laughed. “Well, I WAS eaten by a giant, but instead of dying I found myself here in the beautiful land. Ad guess what else I found?”

Then her brother took her by the hand and showed her where her mother and father and grandmother and aunts and uncles and cousins were all living among the rainbows and flowers. Every single one of them had been eaten by the giant!

Her mother hugged her. “We’ve missed you so much! We wanted to see you, but we couldn’t figure out how to get out of this giant. Now that you are here, though, we can stay here happy forever.”

The princess knew that was a bad idea, though. The people in the kingdom were counting on the royal family to protect them, and on the outside, the giant was still very bad and very likely to keep eating people. Then their families would be so sad, just like she had been when she thought her family was dead.

“We need to find a way out of here,” she said. And she came up with the perfect idea. She and her family picked thousands of leaves and flowers and wove them together into a giant hot air balloon. Then they built a little fire and puffed up the balloon and floated up, up, up, the giant’s throat and right out of his mouth!

The giant was so surprised when a beautiful hot air balloon came out of his mouth that for just a minute he forgot to be bad. “What is this? Where did you come from?” he asked.

“We came from inside you!” the princess answered. “All these beautiful flowers were right down in your belly. You are still very, very nice in there!”

The giant was amazed, and he loved the balloon, and he remembered when he used to feel all those nice things all the time, so he decided that he would be a nice giant again, and let all that niceness back out.

So the princess and her family went back to live together in their castle, and the very nice giant helped them make their land the most beautiful land in the world.

(Image above courtesy of twobee/

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