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Distinguished Author & Artist Award, 2014

First Place Award, Great American Song Contest, 2014

Second Place Winner for Poetry

Many Honorary Mentions

Martin, the Brave Prince

Martin the Brave Prince (c) Jon Duguay

Original story by Silvana Goldemberg

creatively interpreted by Robert Max Tell Stelmach


Martin Little was small, but he stood as tall as tall. He held his head as high as high, as he marched up to his Aunt Natasha.

“Auntie,” he said, looking as brave as he could. “What do you think I want to be when I grow up? I’ll give you three guesses.”

“Mmmm,” said Aunt Natasha, as if she did not know.

“Auntie, guess,” said Martin, jumping up and down. “Please.”

 “Well,” she said, as he bounced about. “A rooster, that’s it. You want to be a rooster.”

“Guess again” he said, pacing back and forth.

“Wait a minute,” she said. “I’ve got it. You’re walking on the moon. That’s it. You want to be an astronaut.”

“No, no, no!” he said, pretending to draw a sword. “Look, Auntie. What am I doing?” He drew his sword again.

“I don’t know,” said his aunt, pretending to look puzzled. “I give up.”

“Oh no, don’t do that,” he begged. “You have one more guess.”

“Alright,” she said, smiling. “Give me a hint.”

Martin pretended to ride a galloping horse, while holding a lance and shield.

Suddenly, a terrible scream was heard: “Help! Martin! Prince Martin, Help!”

“A princess in distress!” said Aunt Natasha.

“I must save her!” said Martin.

“Your Royal Highness,” said his aunt, now sounding like a royal tailor. She pulled open a drawer, where she kept Martin’s royal robes folded neatly.

“Martin, hurry,” cried the voice from across the back alley.

Martin called back: “I’m not dressed, yet.”

“Here are your royal stockings,” said the royal tailor, then she corrected herself. “Your Grace, please forgive me. Modern princes do not wear stockings.”

They both laughed as they said together, “They always wear socks.”

“Help! A dragon!” cried the voice.

“Hurry!” pleaded Martin.  “Princess Haley is in danger.”

The royal tailor quickly handed Martin his royal pants, shirt, and hat. He buckled his royal belt. Then, she handed him his royal wooden sword, carved by the royal woodsman, his uncle.

Trixie, Martin’s broomstick-steed galloped from the royal stables that greatly resembled a closet.

He was no longer Martin Little, but Martin the Brave.

“Helllllp!” cried Princess Haley. “Save me!”

The royal gates of the back door swung open. Trixie galloped across the castle moat into the back yard. Brave Martin brandished his sword.

Suddenly, there before him, a great battle raged, as the wind whipped about a pair of long johns and a nightie. Prince Martin dodged this way, then that, leaving the battle far behind.

Trixie reared up as an aluminum ladder turned into a fierce, silver-plated knight on horseback. She raced between the charger’s legs, then ducked under the lance of a black knight that looked like a gnarled tree branch.

“That-a-girl, Trixie!” shouted Martin the Brave, waving his sword triumphantly. Then horse and rider came to a dead stop.

A tall wooden fence, with a heavy gate, blocked their way. It looked like a great stone wall as high as the clouds.  But even a rampart could not stop the worthy prince. With one great swing of his trusty sword, he cut the rusty bolt in two and the gate flew open.

There stood Princess Haley, framed in the lower window of her castle. Prince Martin could not help but notice that her radish-red hair was tied up with a beautiful blue ribbon.

“Save me! Save me!” she called.

“Never fear, your brave prince is here,” said Martin the Brave.

Then she waved her arms frantically. “Look out!” she cried.

From out of a doghouse, a fierce dragon called Pepper pounced on him. The beast blew its fiery breath in Prince Martin’s face, with a lick of his slimy tongue.

 “Pepper, go lie down!” shouted Princess Haley. “Be a good dog.”

Brave Martin wrestled the monster to the ground, mounted Trixie, then rode up to the castle.

He climbed onto the royal compost bin, threw open the window, and helped Her Royal Highness down to safety.

“My hero!” she said, throwing her arms around Martin the Brave’s neck, then kissed him on the nose.

“Forever?” he said hopefully.

“Until ants wear pants,” she giggled.

They rode back to Prince Martin’s castle. Trixie swayed her head back and forth, as proud as proud.

Aunt Natasha met them at the royal gates with milk and cookies.

As for Pepper the dragon, he ate a doggy cookie.

“Auntie,” smiled Martin with a milky mustache, “You have one guess left.”


Illustrated by Jon Duguy

Available on CD with Audio Book

(c) Robert Stelmach 2009

Max Tell is the pseudonym
 for Robert Stelmach

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