The Princess And The Vacuum Cleaner - Julie

Once upon a time in a land far, far away there lived a King with a beautiful but haughty daughter. She has proud and fussy and could not bear a speck of dust, or fluff, or dirt anywhere.

“This castle is a disgrace. Look, LOOK over there!”

Everyone turned at her fearful shrill and saw nothing.

There see on the table”

They all edged round the table, courtiers, councillors and chamber maids looking at their wood-grained reflections.

“Are you all blind, look at the dust” She jabbed a long finger at the mote.

Her father sighed and slumped in his throne, who would ever marry such a shrew? He thought.

“Clean it all again” she shouted as she flounced out.

“We need a magically device that cleans” advised the chief adviser, “one that cleans beyond the seeing of mortal eyes.”

And then the King had an idea.

“Send a royal proclamation throughout the land – who so ever had the perfect cleaning machine can have my daughter’s hand in marriage”

“Yes, yes of course Sire” and the courtiers went to leave.

“…But whispered the King, “don’t proclaim within my daughter’s earshot.”

They all nodded and rode with great haste to the eight corners of the kingdom to announce the King’s intention.

And so it came to pass that many a hopeful suitor arrived with contraptions of cloth, and fur, and feather, with unctions of water, soap, oils, beeswax and even blood to clean for the Princess. But she scolded them all. Then one day a young man in shabby clothes turned up at the castle gate.

“Wot you want” demanded the guard.

“ To clean the palace and win the hand of the princess”

“ Huh, good luck to that – cross the courtyard, first door on th’left”

“Thank you,” the young man hurried on politely doffing his cap.

Behind the first door on the left was a room, its windows open to the plains below so a fine veneer of dust covered everything.


Said a notice in large red letters. So he did.

Then as instructed he rang a bell to summon the Princess to inspect his efforts. Angrily she stomped in – tired of this ridiculous game.

Then she stopped, so suddenly all the courtiers tumbled one into the other, although mercifully avoiding bumping into her. She turned to the young man. They cringed. Then she smiled. They gasped.

“This room is clean” her joy was a sight to behold.

“How have you done such a thing? What miracle is this?”

“Allow me your Highness to demonstrate my invention. It is called the Vacuum Cleaner. It sucks up all the dust like sucking up drink through a hollow straw.”

Causally he tossed dust from a bag in his pocket onto the floor.

“First you place this brush made from finest beaver bristle onto this tube made from a cow’s windpipe. You attach this to an empty glass wine flagon. Then you engage the vacuum pump with you foot using this ivory leaver and run the brush over the area to be cleaned in a firm back and forth manner. See, you try.”

He placed her hand on his as he pushed the brush back and forth. She was smitten. By the time he had shown her the attachment made from squirrel tail to clean the drapes she was quite delirious and the wedding was planned for the following week (to first allow for a thorough cleaning of the castle with the new device of course).


They stood at the altar, the sparkling clean altar and the priest said “repeat after me. I … James Dyson do take thee……..”


(And they lived cleanly ever after)