For the Busy Business-Parent

Whimsical Bedtime Stories for Children of All Ages

The King and The Cricket

Once upon a kingdom...
there lived a lonely, miserable, grumpy king who did nothing all day except sit on his royal throne and shout,


Doing nothing all day made the King very cranky. He had servants to dress him, feed him, and answer his every desire. He did nothing for himself and he shouted commands at everyone. With every new day, the King grew more and more miserable to be around. So much so, that his family and loyal servants were finally driven to leave the royal residence and retreat to the castle's guest house.

"You can ALL go!" the King shouted, as his family sadly packed up their bags and trunks and suitcases and walked over the drawbridge to live in the castle's guest house.

The King was SO miserable to be around that even his devoted dog packed up his favorite chew toys, and HE went to live in the guest house too.

And when the sun set in the distance, the king bolted the castle door, closed the drawbridge, and remained a sad hermit. Strangely, not even the king knew why he was behaving so badly.

The king spent his days sitting idly on his throne. As time passed, the once clean and orderly castle became covered with dust and spiderwebs. The moat dried-up and the drawbridge became rickety. The mechanism to raise and lower the drawbridge rusted and it finally stopped working altogether.

One night the king was awakened from a sound sleep by a strange noise.

"Chirrip, Chirrip" went the sound.

The king placed the royal crown on his head and looked down from the the window of his royal bedroom, located high up in the castle.

Down, down, down, into the darkness he looked. "Who has dared to approach the castle of the king?" he shouted into the night.

A gentle voice called up, "It is I, Sire...Chirrip...the Cricket."

The king frowned and squinted his royal eyes at the small figure illuminated by the moonlight. "Who are you? What are you?" he asked. But before any answer could came back, he shouted, "I AM THE KING!"

The cricket jumped extra high, landing on the windowsill so that the king could see him clearly.

"And I," replied the cricket softly as he introduced himself, "I am the cricket."

The cricket's tiny green body and long antennae sparkled in the moonlight. He rubbed his fore wings together and an ear-piercing chirp filled the castle.

The king stuffed a finger in each ear and shook his head. "What do you want, Cricket?" he asked.

"Some water, please," replied the cricket. "I see your moat is dry," he observed. "Who drank all the water?"

"I did. I AM THE KING!"

The cricket smiled. "I'm weary and suffering hunger pangs, Sire. If you could spare a bite of lettuce and a place for me to lay my head, I would be very grateful. We Crickets are a proud lot, so I assure you I'll work to earn my keep."

The king asked the cricket what kind of work would he do.

"I will bring happiness to anyone who shelters or feeds me," replied the cricket.

The king responded that he didn't need to be happy because he was the ruler of the kingdom. "I have a crown, a royal cape and, further more," he added, "I own this big castle."

The cricket flexed his hind legs and leaped.

The king raised a quizzical eyebrow. "How do you that?" he asked.

"It comes natural to me. I am a cricket."

"And I AM THE KING!" he bellowed.

"Yes," sighed the cricket. "Sounds to me like you have it all."

"Jump again!" ordered the king.

The cricket responded with a jump and added a double twirl for a finale.

The look on the king's face changed. It almost looked like he wanted to smile.

"How about that lettuce?" asked the cricket. "If I don't eat, I can't jump."

The king prepared dinner for the cricket and asked about the chirriping sound.

"It's a song of merriment," replied the cricket.

"Do you make it with your mouth?" the king asked.

"No," replied the cricket. "I rub one wing against the other wing."

The king grunted. "I can do that by rubbing my arms against my body!"

The cricket tried to explain that no human could duplicate that sound, but the king became enraged.


And so, the king began rubbing his arms against his body. He rubbed until the sleeves of his royal velvety cape became frayed. The more frustrated the king became, the crankier he got.

Breathless and frowning, he flung himself onto the soft red cushions of his golden throne.

"I am the KING," he declared, to nobody in particular.

"Yes," replied the cricket, "but only a cricket can make this sound. "Chirrip, Chirrip"

Meanwhile, the king was unaware that he was changing. He wasn't lonely anymore. The cricket made lots of noise around the castle. Every time the king would order the cricket to jump, the cricket would ask the king to do something. "Jump, cricket!" demanded the king.

"First let's clean this floor," said the cricket, and the king ran for the broom and cleaned the floor until it sparkled. On and on the work continued until the castle looked neat and clean.

"Cricket," the king called one day. "We're almost out of food."

"Can't jump or twirl without food," said the cricket. "Let's plant some seeds." They settled on tomatoes, potatoes, watermelon, and corn.

The king and the cricket went to the drawbridge. It was stuck in the up position. The cricket shook his head. "We'll never get out of here. Unless, of course, you repair this bridge."

The king thought for a moment. "You can jump out," he said.

"Yes," the cricket agreed, "but how will you get out?"

The king placed his hands on his hips. "I AM THE KING!," he shouted.

"Well, " replied the cricket, "that won't help us now."

So, the king repaired the drawbridge. He banged, hammered, sanded, filed, and painted until the bridge fairly gleamed. With one mighty push the drawbridge opened, and the bright sunshine flooded the castle.

The cricket gave a "Chirrip " that was heard for miles. The king laughed, and quickly composed himself.

Something interesting was happening to the king. He wasn't miserable anymore and he was fun to be with.

The cricket looked around. "Nice day for planting," he said.

"Jump in the grass," the king ordered.

"You call this grass? It's hay. I'll scratch my tender body. You'll have to do something about this," said the cricket.

The king jumped to attention. "I'll take care of this right now."

There was no doubt that the king was enjoying himself. He raked and plowed and planted, and even sang a royal song. By night, the king had planted rows and rows of vegetables and even seeded the entire royal lawn.

The cricket wiped his brow. "That was some day's work," he said as he sat back and admired the evening sunset. The king yawned and stretched his arms. "Cricket!" he said, "Let's hear those wings."

A "Chirrip, Chirrip" filled the castle and the king laughed all the way to the royal bedroom. He promptly fell onto the bed and slept soundly all night long.

There was a definite, noticeable change in the king

That night, while the king and the cricket slept, it rained. By morning, the moat was filled.

"What a perfectly spectacular day!" exclaimed the king. "Cricket," he said with great affection, "Come and jump and leap for the beauty of this day."

Certainly this was a joyous day. But the cricket knew that the king missed his family and his servants and his dog, and wanted them all to return to the royal household. So, the Cricket suggested that the king summon his people back to the castle for a party.

"I will give a royal performance for the entire kingdom!" exclaimed the cricket.

The king gave a welcome home party for his very surprised family, friends, and servants. When they left, the king was a cantankerous ruler who cared only for himself. Now, he was charming, cheerful, and kind. And, best of all, he wasn't cranky anymore.

"Thanks to my wonderful friend," he said, "I am a new person."

"And who is this wonderful friend?" asked the queen.

"He is THE CRICKET!" the king shouted joyously.

"And he..." the cricket proudly exclaimed,

"He is THE KING!"

The King and The Cricket by Diana Savastano - Copyright 1997 - All Rights Reserved

Illustrator: Cindy Remmers, whose bio we hope to receive shortly.

About the Author:

Diana Savastano has been writing professionally for over 20 years. She is the owner of DRS Internet Publishing Group, which consists of three Internet publications (Gourmet Fare Magazine, The COLLECTOR Newsmagazine, Tisk News Service), an Internet shopping plaza, and a public relations agency representing food, beverage, and specialty businesses.

Diana lives in North Carolina with her husband Anthony and a bunch of adorable characters from her stories. One character, a Siamese cat called Yo-Yo, (named after the famous cellist Yo-Yo Ma) sits atop the windowsill waiting patiently for the day when he will be brought to life in the mind and imagination of a child.

You may reach Diana Savastano at:

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