Steven D. Kaufman

children's books

The Kitchen Zoo   The Purpleberry Problem   Abby's Smelly Toes   No Parsley!


A bad-tempered princess finds friendship in an unexpected place.


Once upon a time, there was a little girl named Abby. Abby was the ruler of her kingdom. Sometimes, it was boring being the ruler, so to amuse herself, she would run up to her subjects, take off her socks, and shout, "Here! Smell my toes!"

As it happened, Abby had really smelly toes. All it took was one sniff and her subjects would wrinkle their nose and shout "Peeeew! Stinky toes!" Then, they'd get dizzy, turn a sickly shade of green, wheel around in little circles and faint, right there on the spot.

This delighted Abby to no end and she'd parade around for hours, making people smell her stinky toes and watching them faint, one after the other.

One day, Abby went for a walk on a long country road. She saw a farmhouse with a big apple tree in the yard and lots of animals. "I've never been here before," she said. She went up to the front door and rang the doorbell.

An old woman with a wrinkly face and a wart on her nose answered.

"Hello," the old woman said politely. "How can I help you?"

Abby tore off her sock, shoved her foot in the old woman's face, and shouted, "Here! Smell my toes!"

Now, the old woman thought this was very strange but she recognized Abby as the ruler of the kingdom and she didn't want to insult her. She sniffed once, then twice, then three times. Nothing happened. "Is there anything else, your majesty?" the old woman asked.

Abby stared in amazement. The old woman hadn't wrinkled her nose, gotten dizzy, or turned a shade of green! Worse yet, the old woman hadn't wheeled around in little circles, and she certainly hadn't fainted!

What was wrong with her? Abby wondered. Didn't she smell my stinky toes?

Just then, she had an idea.