Saturday, April 20

The Tale of Bella Bocca

Blondine and the Tortoise by Virginia Frances Sterrett
Once upon a time
there was a fair blonde dame 
she was traveling through a forest
Bella Bocca was her name

She was lost in desperation
didn't know where she was stepping
the forest was enchanted
she found it all upsetting

darkness to the right of her
darkness to the left
darkness swallowed up her sky
of hope she was bereft

when she laid down to cry
she prepared herself for death
how could she escape this life?
she pondered with every breath

and that's when she heard it:

Bella Bocca, Bella Bocca, lift your head up high
Bella Bocca, Bella Bocca, I have heard your cry

The fair dame did lift her head
and looked all around
and though the darkness did engulf her
she soon spotted a mound

the voice had come from this knoll
queer as it did seem
did she dare approach it
and discover it was a dream?

before Bella Bocca could decide
the mound began to move
it rose upward from the ground
and slowly did assume

the shape and form of a tortoise
ample from its age
with a withered neck with shriveled skin
surely a wisest sage

Dear Bella, come and mount my back
I'll take you away from here
the tortoise spoke with words so slow
he pulled away all fear

The little dame, she did obey
and climbed the tortoise's shell
she clung on tight and rode all night
away from that forest hell

And in the morning dawn's bright light
it was time to bid adieu  
to her tortoise hero- a kiss of thanks
payment where it was due

But just when the lady turned her back
a power did her movement restrain
it seemed that the world became paralyzed
frozen still were even droplets of rain

And in this strange new moment
a transformation occurred
the figure of her gentle friend 
with force became obscured

and as the figure melded 
twisting terribly as if to fright
a new form began to emerge 
a man began to alight

onto the outskirts of the forest floor
a handsome prince appeared
and kissed the dame with fervor 
all sentiments sincere

And so is the tale of Bella Bocca
the princess who seemed so doomed
to wander a forest aimlessly 
until her soul was consumed

But fate had other thoughts in mind
and the girl, she did not fail
but was rescued by her true love
thus giving a bright ending to this tale


  1. my oh my- what a lovely story. Have a great day!

  2. Charleen, I commend the effort that went into this tale: the time spent on meter and rhyme, as well as the story you have told.

  3. WOW! This would make a book ... nice job!!!

  4. Quite an engaging ballad. I especially love the heroine's euphonious name.

  5. Nicely done, Charleen. I smiled when I read the second stanza — I'd have found it more than upsetting, I'd have been terrified, but your heroine was made of stronger stuff, and found her true love in the end, as befits every fairy tale.
    Good work!

  6. Charleen, I don't recall reading your work before, but this must have either taken hours to create, or spilled out of you like fairy dust. Either way, a lovely take on the illustration. I chose the same one!

    Bella Bocca, "beautiful mouth," indeed. Thanks so much for this, Amy

  7. What a lovely fairy tale,,wonderfully crafted,,,I was so pleased to see that her tortoise rescuer became her prince,,,so well done,,,

  8. Wow! A fairy tale written in perfect rhyme and meter. I needed a happy ending today!

  9. Very nice.I wish I had your vocabulary.

  10. Every visit here just gets better and better! Bella Bocca - a beautiful name and story that does it justice!

  11. Well, that was a fun story with an unexpected ending! :)

  12. very, very nice. i too enjoyed the "upsetting" line, somehow it just works and is very charming. i think i'm going to read this one to my kids. thank you!

  13. This was a very enjoyable story. I really enjoy your post!

  14. What a lovely tale. I really enjoyed it. ^_^

  15. I think it was absolutely lovely. You really should consider making this into a book with perhaps a few more stories. Nice to see your take on that prompt!! Laurie

  16. Wonderful storytelling I was completely absorbed I think my mouth was even hanging open lol

  17. That was so beautiful. This really would make a perfect book for children...and us adults who still believe.

  18. Wow, this is seriously good! Thanks so much for using this weeks Carry On Tuesday prompt.