Original: toothpick warriors

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this was again for a contest

the theme is from a little japanese fairy tale, called the toothpick warriors. i paste down the whole stroy, if you want to read:

ONCE upon a time there was a princess who had a very bad habit. She would lie in bed at night and pick her teeth with a toothpick. That wasn't so bad, but after she was done, instead of throwing the toothpick away as she should have, she would stick it between the straw mats that make the floor of a Japanese house and upon which the princess slept. Now, this was not a very clean habit, and since the princess did this every night the cracks between the mats were soon filled with used toothpicks.
One night she was suddenly awakened by the noise of fighting. She heard the voices of warriors and the sound of swords. Frightened, she sat up and lit the lamp beside her bed. She was so surprised by what she saw that she could hardly believe her eyes:
There, right beside her quilts, were many tiny little warriors. Some were fighting, some were singing, some were dancing, and all were making a great deal of noise.
The princess thought that she must be dreaming, so she pinched herself. But, no, she was wide awake, and the tiny warriors were still there making a terrible racket. They made so much noise that she couldn't sleep at all that night, and when she did manage to doze off, she suddenly woke up because it was so quiet. The tiny warriors had left.
She was very afraid, but she was ashamed to tell the lord, her father, because he probably wouldn't have believed her. Yet, next night when she went to bed, the same thing happened again, and the night after that too.
The tiny warriors made so much noise every night that she couldn't sleep, and each day the princess became a little paler than the day before. Soon she became very ill from lack of sleep.
Her father kept asking her what the matter was, and finally she told him. At first he didn't believe her, but finally he decided to see for himself. He told her that she should sleep in his room and he would stand watch in hers.
And so he did. But though he remained awake all night long and watched and waited, the tiny warriors did not come. While waiting, however, he noticed the many toothpicks lying about on the floor. He looked very carefully at the toothpicks and finally discovered what had been happening.
Next day he called his daughter to him and showed her one of the toothpicks. Its sides were all scarred and cut. The marks were so very tiny that the princess could just barely see them. She asked her father what the marks meant.
Her father explained that the tiny warriors had come to her room because she left toothpicks lying around. They had no swords of their own and wanted some very much. Now, for-a tiny warrior, a toothpick made the best possible kind of sword, and that was the reason they came every night.
They hadn't come last night, he said, because he was there with a real sword, and they were afraid. Then he looked at his daughter sternly and asked her why there were so many used toothpicks in her room.
The princess was very ashamed of her bad habit but admitted that she had used the toothpicks and stuck them between the cracks of the mats because she was too lazy to get up and throw them away properly. She also said she was very, very sorry and promised that she would never, never be so lazy again.
Then she picked up all the toothpicks, even those that were at the very bottom of the cracks, and threw them all away. That night the warriors did not come because there were no tiny swords for them. And they never came again.
Soon the princess became healthy again because the warriors no longer kept her awake. She became very neat about everything, and pleased her father greatly by even sweeping the garden every day. She never forgot the tiny warriors, and if she ever used a toothpick again, you may be sure she was very careful to throw it away properly.

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  1. MapleRose Retired Moderator Dec 17, 2007

    teehee, that's a very cute story, and you've done a good job portraying the scene :) I love those tiny little warriors and how dynamic they are ^__^ And the little girl is very cute as well :)

    Did you use watercolours for this?

  2. rukichen Dec 17, 2007

    Quote by MapleRoseteehee, that's a very cute story, and you've done a good job portraying the scene :) I love those tiny little warriors and how dynamic they are ^__^ And the little girl is very cute as well :)

    Did you use watercolours for this?

    thanks alot!

    yeah this are watercolours.

  3. fireflywishes Retired Moderator Dec 18, 2007

    I always loved this story when I was little. Lovely job on this one... it looks good enough to be an official illustration for the story! Great job with the watercolors, especially on the warriors! My only other comment would be maybe make her nose a little less prominent? But that's just personal preference. ;) Keep up the great work! :D

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