Saturday, 29 April 2017

#AtoZChallenge: The Princess and the Yodelling Yak

She woke up to the sound of singing. Well, yodelling, actually. Princess Yvette rubbed her eyes and yawned. It was cold high up in the mountains. Not what she was used to. Waking up to the sound of yodelling wasn’t what she was used to either. She slid out of bed and crossed over to look out the window.

The mountains were white with snow. It looked fresh, untouched, except for a spot of brown. Princess Yvette narrowed her eyes at the spot and rubbed at the window a little to make sure it wasn’t something on the glass. It wasn’t. The brown spot moved a little and the princess’s eyebrows lifted in surprise.

Curious, she dressed up in her warmest clothes and headed out of the castle. She looked around for a while to get her bearings, then gasped in surprise when she noticed that the brown spot was much nearer now. The yodelling was also getting louder. Wading through the knee-high snow, she soon found herself face to face with a shaggy, four-legged animal—which also happened to be the source of the singing.

“Uh. Hello?” she said, before stopping herself. Why on earth would she say hello? It was an animal. Well, it was a singing animal but—

The singing stopped. “Who are you?” the animal said.

“Uh. I’m Yvette,” she said. “Who are you?”

“I am Yasmin.”

Princess Yvette wasn’t sure if they were supposed to shake hands—the animal didn’t have hands—so she did the next thing she could think of, which was bob a little curtsy. “Uh, pleased to meet you. Um. What are you, if I may ask?”

“Pleased to meet you too. I’m a Yodelling Yak,” Yasmin replied. “The only one of my kind.”

“Uh. Okay.”

Yasmin gave her a look. “Do you start every sentence with ‘uh’?”

“Uh,” Princess Yvette said before covering her lips with her hands. “It’s just a very bad habit. I’ve been trying to stop for ages.”

“I see. Anything I can do to help?”

The princess shook her head. “Uh, I don’t think so. I only do it when I’m nervous and you’re making me nervous.”

The yak frowned. “Why is that?”

“Uh, well, I’ve never spoken to a speaking animal before.”

“I did say I was the only one of my kind.” Yasmin smiled. “Actually, I used to have the same problem. I found that it can be trained out of you fairly easily. If you want to.”

“Uh, how?”

The yak smiled. “By yodelling.”

Princess Yvette gave her a confused look. “Uh, I don’t know how to yodel.”

“It’s fairly simple. But you don’t really need to know how to yodel. You need to think about it.”


“See, you’ve already stopped.”

“I, uh, what?”

“The idea is to keep your mouth shut until you know what to say. And when you yodel, you have to do that. You have to know precisely where you start, even if you don’t know where to end.”

There was a very long silence before Princess Yvette said, “I am very, very confused.”

“You need confidence to yodel.”


“Yes, if not your ‘Oh-di-lay’ will not come out perfectly! It will be an ‘uuuuoh-di-lay’ which totally breaks the mood and the tone.”

Princess Yvette scratched at her head, which was suddenly very heavy and very confused.

“Don’t worry. It will come with time.” Yasmin the Yodelling Yak grinned at the princess and then went prancing up the mountain, still yodelling all the way.


Head over to Yuin-Y's for today's illustration.

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