Category Archives: Children’s story

Thor Stories: The Fence….Nothing Is Harder to Defeat Than Grandma and Minnesota Gophers

Thor was just finishing washing and wiping the breakfast dishes.  He didn’t mind doing this chore as he could look out of the kitchen window that was over the sink and survey his backyard….otherwise known as…the jungle.


As he looked out the kitchen window he saw Rex, his trusty dog sniffing along the bottom of the backyard fence.  This fence was all that kept the jungle in and troublemakers at bay.  Why without the fence Ned the fainting goat would wander off and pass out only heaven knows where; there’s just no telling what kind of trouble Morton the Spitting Squirrel would cause for neighbors; and protecting the jungle from dinosaurs, rooster pirate kings, farting trolls, cat ghosts and mischief makers of all varieties and sizes would present an even greater challenge.  Yes, his backyard fence was just as essential as its big door that lets folks go safely in and out.

No sooner did he finish his sublime thoughts about the importance of the jungle’s fence, than heard Rex utter a loud yelp. Quick as a wink the whole dog disappeared under the fence in a “Pop”!


Thor spun on his heels and ran to the calendar…sure enough it was strawberry picking season. That means that Gus the buck-toothed  gopher, along with his family and friends, had burrowed under the fence and let Rex loose as part of their plan to decimate the strawberry patch.

Thor knew that of all of the enemies that had caused mischief in the jungle none were harder to beat than Minnesota Gophers.  Saving his strawberries from the gophers would be a supreme challenge.  Especially, since Rex was now stuck on the other side of the fence, howling his heart out.

First things first, Thor opened up the front door of his house and hollered “Dog Treats.” Rex was there in a flash.  With his trusty canine friend by his side Thor quickly began to formulate a “Save The Strawberry” game plan.

Going one to one with a  Minnesota gopher is never good strategy.  Too exhausting and too easy to trip.  No, what was going to be required here was a very offensive team with an even more offensive gopher elimination plan.  Thor had no choice, he was going to have to call Grandpa Walter.

grandma on phone
Vicki Lawrence as Mama in Carol Burnett Show

Grandma answered Thor’s phone call.  Thor got out two words…gophers and strawberries.

The line went dead.

He was on his own.

caddy shack.png
Bill Murray in the movie Caddy Shack

Thor had watched gopher fighting training movies and had learned that to catch a wily rodent you have to think like a wily rodent.

Morton.  Yes, Morton the spitting squirrel, Thor’s arch enemy was an expert at the obnoxious.  He would be just the ticket.


Thor grabbed his protective eyeglasses, rain hat and coat, rubber boots and umbrella, opened the mighty gate in his fence and entered the jungle.

The vision that greeted his eyes was disturbing.  Gophers gnawing away on fresh strawberry after strawberry. Their buck teeth emitting non-stop chatter like the clicker of the telegraph operator on the Titanic.  Strawberries as doomed as the ship.

He had to find Morton!

Thor braced himself to be assailed with spit wads and slimey loogies only to discover that Morton had gone over to the dark side.  He was taking a nap on top of the chicken coop.  At times, squirrels can be worse than useless.

Rex and Thor raced back into the house to formulate another plan.  First, Thor went down into the basement to get a plastic bucket.  Then, he went into the kitchen to get a fork, Styrofoam plate, a jar of maraschino cherries, a strong rubber band and a towel.  Thor grabbed his favorite cat and headed for the jungle.


By now the chickens were sounding the alarm, which made Rex began to howl again.  All of the noise distracted the gophers from their strawberry patch raid long enough for Thor to hook the wire handle of the pail into the fork, and fit the fork to the rubber band like an arrow against a bow string.  Thor pulled the rubber band as far as he could and let fly.

The bucket sailed through the air landing right in the middle of the patch. Since, everyone knows that a Minnesota gopher cannot resist getting a bucket, the gophers raced for the bucket excitingly dribbling all over the place.  Gus the biggest gopher was the center lead and got to the bucket first.   No sooner had he run into the  bucket and claimed it as his own than the cat pounced on top of the bucket trapping Gus.

With their leader rendered helpless, the other gophers forgot their game plan.  They  began running around completely disoriented as their dribbling increased two-fold. It was a foul scene. At that very moment the backyard gate crashed open with a bang as loud as a shot out of a cannon.

There stood Grandma!   Wrinkled stockings and knees sagging down to her ankles with a huge kettle in one hand and large metal spoon in the other.  She began to bang on the kettle with the spoon with all her might creating sound so loud it would make thunder blush.  Of course this woke up Morton the Squirrel who immediately began spitting at grandma.

The situation was quickly getting out of control.  Thor took out his rubber band and loaded it with a maraschino cherry.  He aimed carefully and just as Morton took another deep breath before he lobbed another spit loogie at grandma, Thor let the cherry fly.  Into Morton’s mouth it sailed and he swallowed it with a gulp.  The high levels of artificial red dye and sweetener from the Maraschino cherry put Morton into an immediate sugar coma and he fell fast asleep.

Thor threw grandma the clean towel so that she could rid herself of squirrel spit.

Then, he did the most cruel thing he had ever done to an animal in his life, because Thor knew that you cannot show any mercy to Minnesota gophers or they will beat you every time. He pulled out the Styrofoam plate and flashed the gophers with a non-recycleable item.  The horror! With the environment of the jungle supremely compromised, the dazed shrieking gophers cried foul for being so severely penalized for merely being off-sides and double dribbling. They quickly bolted for the fence to get out of bounds.

By now grandma had cleaned off all of the squirrel residue along with most of her makeup, and was walking towards the bucket being guarded by the cat.  Grandma tipped the bucket up and grabbed Gus.  She then benched him by the picnic table.

grandma rules
Vicki Lawrence

She eyed him over as she said, “Well, what have we here? Looks to me like we have ourselves a strawberry thief. Do you have anything to say for yourself?”

Gus thought about it and then blurted out, “I did not take any strawberries.”  “You cannot prove that I did.”

Grandma’s eyes narrowed to a squint as she glared down at him over the rims of her bifocal glasses.  “Do I look like I was born yesterday?”  You have strawberry juice stains  around your mouth, your big buck teeth are as pink as a sunburned pig’s butt and your feet look like you’ve been line-dancing barefoot at a bloody vampire festival! Gus, you make bad choices. Do you know what we do to strawberry thieves in these parts?”

pig butt

Gus negatively shook his head as his pondered what his gruesome fate would be.

Grandma reached into the pocket of her apron.  At that moment, Thor’s heart sank as he realized the fate in store for the gopher.  “By golly, young fella, it’s time someone teaches you how to follow the rules.”  Then, out they came, a razor sharp pencil, a small notebook of paper, and a sheet of paper with writing on it.

It was a copy of Grandma’s rules for acceptable behavior.

Grandma believed that most things in life improve with practice. That includes rule following and writing.  Thor knew all of grandma’s rules by heart.  Whenever he was caught in a violation, you can be sure he would be found copying them 100 times.

“Gus in my opinion you could use some work on all of these rules, but numbers five and seven are the ones you really, really need to focus on. Oh, don’t think that you are going to take any short cuts or escape…I plan to sit right here to point out any omissions you  make.  As for escaping, well, I might be slow, Gus, but the dog, cat and chickens are not.”

Grandma’s Rules of Acceptable Behavior:

1.  Treat everyone just like you, yourself would like to be treated.
2.  Be respectful of your elders and others.  Always say please and thank you.
3.  Kindness like cleanliness pays.
4.  Be responsible and take responsibility.
5.  Always be honest with your words and actions.
6.  Don’t use bad words, unless you like the taste of soap.
7.  If it isn’t yours, it is not yours.
8.  When you want something, work for it.
9.   Don’t pick your nose.
10. Be thankful to God and count your blessings.
11. Never, ever, pull Grandpa Walter’s finger in grandma’s presence.

As Gus began his journey of human moral assimilation, Thor picked up the bucket.  While, grandma supervised the gopher’s character development, Thor filled the bucket with strawberries, then dumped bucket after bucket of the berries into grandma’s big kettle.

As Thor picked, grandma cleaned the berries.  By the time Gus was done learning right from wrong, the strawberry patch was empty.

Grandma carried Gus to the fence and tossed him over the side.  Everyone knows that Minnesota gophers know how to bounce.  No harm no foul.

No sooner had the rodent disappeared than Thor’s dad came home from work and walked into the jungle alongside Grandpa Walter.

Thor’s dad wondered why on such a bright sunny day and with the garden hose off that  his son was wearing rain gear and eye protection.  He then noticed that there was a squirrel sleeping on top of the chicken coop, a jar of Maraschino cherries had been left outside, a towel was hanging on the line covered with mascara stains and goo, his mother was there without makeup on, and there were sheets and sheets of paper with her rules for acceptable behavior copied on them floating around the yard like dry leaves in the fall.

Suspicious that his mother had his son spend the afternoon practicing writing skills Thor’s dad asked, “Son, what have you been doing today?” “Nothing much.” Thor responded.

Thor’s dad saw all of the picked cleaned strawberries and said, “Your mom has ice cream in the house for those.”

On the way into the house they all walked past Grandpa Walter. Grandpa Walter stuck out his finger and Thor’s dad pulled it.  As Grandpa Walter ripped a leg lifter fart that fluttered the fabric of the seat of his pants and sent Thor running, Grandma handed Thor’s dad her notebook, pencil and her list of “Rules for Acceptable Behavior.”

grandma angry
Vicki Lawrence

“Get copying son, and focus your attention specifically on Rule Number 11. It is just luck that a strong breeze prevented Grandpa’s wind from spoiling all of the strawberries and rendering us all blind and unconscious! For Pete’s sake, most of your garden is wilted and uprooted, and the ferocity of the release of all that hot anal air blew half of your fence over!  A methane emission of that magnitude could advance climate change by decades! There are reasons for rules!”

In grandma’s world, with the single exception of Grandpa Walter, no matter how old you are acceptable behavior is acceptable behavior whether human or beast.

Thor immensely enjoyed eating fresh strawberries and ice cream while watching his dad improve his penmanship.






Children’s Story: On The Day I Was Born…Frost Killed All The Corn

I wrote this story for my daughter in 1996.  It is a silly farm parody of the Children’s book, “On the Day You Were Born”, by Debra Frasier.

My baby girl will turn 30 in a few weeks.  She is no longer the little girl, who asked her mother to write her stories with pictures, but a married woman with a Ph.D in Analytical Chemistry conducting post-doc bio-chemistry research on fertility with a National Institute of Health (NIH) grant.

They grow up fast! Your time is the greatest gift you will ever give your child or any child.

Time really does fly by…and according to this story so do fish.

page 1

On the day I was born, frost killed all the corn.

page 2

The cows in the barn, mooed in alarm.

page 3

The cats in the hay, forgot how to play.

page 4

The pigs in the shed, turned green and red.

Page 21

The cat saw this sight, and ran away in its fright.
Right past the dog, who had never seen a Christmas hog.

Page 5

“Something new is in the air!”, said the wise old purple hare.

Page 7

The pink chickens thought so too.
For, the horse was now aqua blue.

Page 6

The strong old bull was now very yellow.
Still, he was quite a handsome fellow.

Page 8

Outside, the ducks in the pond were as orange as the lawn,
and hopped on their heads which every duck dreads.

Page 10

Gladys the goose kept her goslings strictly in line.
Counting only six, but bragging there were nine.

Page 11

Now, grandpa looked up in obvious delight.
Granny had hitched up her skirt and was riding a bike.

page 22

He shook his head, then shouted in fright. As, her front wheel hit a rock and she took off like a kite.

She soared through the air with the greatest of ease. And, landed in his lap as pretty as you please.

Page 12

The cousins ran wild chasing the hogs.
Uncle sat on the porch and howled at the dogs.

Page 13

Auntie came over with fish in her purse, leading a sheep she had dressed like a nurse.

Page 14

The farmer smiled this whole crazy day through.
The hare had been right there was something new.

For all of the things that had turned out wrong.
The farmer kept whistling his so happy song.

Page 18

Even, when the bananado gave the whole barnyard a twirl.  The day had been wonderful.

Page 19

He had a new baby girl!

Page 20

Emergency Barnyard Plan:
1.  Good music.
2. Cheerful faces.
3. Lots of fiber in diet.
4. He who runs first, gets a head start.
5. No jumping in circles.
6. Plant all trees root side down.
7. Panic never helps.

signed….B.G.G.  (Billy Goat Grant)



What Is On My Mind Today? My Two Published Books For Sale on Amazon

Golden the Goose was the first children’s story that I wrote for my daughter Aurora and the only one for sale on Amazon.  When Aurora was four years old, she announced that she needed a story about a golden goose.  I told her there already was a story about a golden goose. To which she replied with a dreamy look on her little face, “I want mine to be in love.


So a goose love story was written by a young mother, fighting Thyroid cancer who knew that her little girl was too young to remember her, should her cancer battle go poorly.   I thought that writing and illustrating Aurora stories with a motherly moral message would be a great way to leave a legacy.

Golden the Goose’s message about domestic abuse…”being a princess in a palace is not worth the price, if you spend your own life with a king who is not nice.”


Over the next several years “Golden the Goose” was followed by other children’s stories written by a young mother to her young daughter.   Such as:

Golden the Goose.  A goose love story

He Who Thinks Well and Runs Quickly.  Native American Anti-Bullying Story.

Aurora’s School Bus Rules.  This is exactly what she said…almost.

The Evil Lizard of Nid A story about conquering the mighty tantrum.

Chloe the Water Lily Fairy Princess The best way to get willy-nilly children and busy, bouncing baby bunnies to go to sleep at night is to read to them.

Going to Get the Calves.  A story about growing up on the farm.  I did illustrate this story, but used all of the originals in a book I made as a gift for grandchildren.

The Hen Who Wanted to Fly.  Dreams can come true.

Pete the Christmas Apple.   The Christmas Story about Jesus and Santa Claus is told from the viewpoint of an apple.

A Family’s Farm Christmas Is a inter-generational family portrait of tradition.

On Grandmother’s Knee I wanted my daughter to know her Great Grandmother Esther.

On the Day I Was Born, Frost Killed All The CornIs not on my blog, but has illustrations.   It is a silly farm parody of another Children’s book, “On The Day You Were Born.”  Instead, of wonderment, the day is filled with chaos, but ends with farmer marveling over his new baby girl.

And, then there was “Carina the Brave.”  Several years ago I re-wrote this story to personalized it for my three-year-old niece who was battling leukemia.  Laney did not win her cancer battle.  “Laney, The Brave”,  is about loyalty, family and conquering fear.

book cover

The other book that I co-authored and published is a biography of Robert E. Hansen called “More Than I Ever Dreamed“.  This biography chronicles Bob’s childhood, military service during World War II, his tenure as Commander of the VFW during the Kennedy years and cold war and the Minnesota politics of his time.  Bob personally knew John F. Kennedy and most of the world’s post-World War II leaders, he lived and extraordinary life.

These books were sold through the Minnesota Historical Society, Minnesota Science Museum, Dakota County Historical Society and online.  They sold out rather quickly.

The prices being charged for the limited copies available of this book on Amazon are the very definition of optimism.  Interestingly, after working with Former Governor Tim Pawlenty on the World War II Memorial Dedication, Bob’s indicates in this book that he was no longer a fan.







Children’s Story: Hannah and the Evil Lizard of Nid

The Evil Lizard of Nid Story has also been updated to include its illustrations.

The Swedish Farmer's Daughter

When my daughter was young I was the preschool director at her school.  We had sixty wonderful students and had such good fun.  One of my students was named Hannah and she was always such a serious little girl.  Nothing to smile about.  So one day at snack break I made up this story for her.  She smiled. This became her favorite story.  I read this story many times to her and my other students when they were having a frustrating or sad day and we always ended with a smile.

The other reason I wrote this story was to help young parents with parenting their children.  A little humor can go a long way in stopping a tantrum and is so much more affirming that corporal punishment.

However more recently as I progress through this Stem Cell Transplant process to battle my bone marrow cancer, I have thought of…

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Children’s Story: On Grandmother’s Knee

After my post yesterday about my grandmother, I thought that I would reblog this children’s story and add the illustrations.

The Swedish Farmer's Daughter

When I was growing up on the farm, I spent lots of time with my Grandmother Esther.    I remember my grandmother.

The life of Esther Kronbeck was not an easy one.  She was the oldest child in a very poor pioneer immigrant household with a sickly mother.  When her mother died, her funeral was held on my grandmother’s birthday.

She spent most of her youth, raising her younger siblings. Her youngest sister always said that she was more of a mother to them, than sister.

As a child she  worked hard doing chores, cooking, cleaning, and did the family sewing. Her siblings always said that she was good fun, laughed a lot and saw to it that special moments in their lives were recognized, even when they weren’t in her own.   They described her as a treasure.

Her sister once told me of a Christmas, when they were so poor…

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Grandma Pat Letters: Cat Warfare….Lincoln Loved Cats, People and Our Union…..Political Cat Fight–November 8, 1864

Happy Birthday Abe Lincoln! Some history to celebrate your day!

The Swedish Farmer's Daughter

                           Abraham Lincoln in 1861                                  Dixie 

Dear Kids:

Howdy, I hope your week is going well and that you are pacing yourself with homework and Valentine treats.  Too much of either can make kids your age feel sick.  Actually, there are days when I feel sick just listening to all of the  political bickering on the news.  It’s probably best that video games were invented so you kids can avoid the never ending foolishness.

Although, in my day, we were just stuck watching the news. It was considered educational. We even had tests on it in school. They called it current events.  Which was nonsensical as many of us farm kids had no time to read newspapers and magazines.  Or, listen to…

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Grandma Pat Letters: Cat Warfare: Dr. Martin Luther King, England’s Two Black Queens and Abraham Lincoln

Dear Kids,

It is freezing out today, and boy did we get a lot of snow yesterday.  The most in seven years.  It’s suppose to be excellent snowman and snowball making snow.  I hope you are having fun playing outside.

Since, its so snowy and cold outside, I figured its a good day for me to stay inside, keep warm and write a letter.

I suppose you know that last week was Martin Luther King Day.  I sure hope that you had lessons in school learning about what a wonderful civil rights leader he was and how he died.  When I was young there wasn’t a Martin Luther King Day, because he was still alive.

    Dr. Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.                    Martin Luther

Just for the record Martin Luther and Martin Luther King are two separate people.  They did have somethings in common. They were both Christian pastors and fought for human rights.  However, Martin Luther was an old white guy who was a German professor of religion, composer, priest, and monk.  He began a movement called the protestant reformation.  Lutheran churches are named after him.

It is so important to learn about great men like Dr. Rev. Martin Luther King.   He taught that not liking or being mean to someone…anyone…because of the color of their skin is just wrong. Some people have this idea that they are better than others just, because of their skin color.  I am here to tell you that is utter rubbish!

I learned that lesson in Sunday School when I was only three years old.  One of the first Christian songs our teachers taught us kids was, “Jesus Loves the Little Children.”   It goes like this,

“Jesus loves the little children, all the children of the world.
Red, yellow, black and white,
They are precious in his sight.
Jesus loves the little children of the world.”

Truer words were never spoken.

I remember Dr. Martin Luther King very well and especially the day he was assassinated.  At that time in our country’s history it seemed like there was just one assassination after another.

First, it was President John F. Kennedy on November 22, 1969 in Dallas, Texas.  Then,  Dr. Rev. King  on April 4, 1968, Memphis, Tennessee, and just several months later President Kennedy’s brother Bobby was shot and killed campaigning to be president on June 6, 1968 in Los Angeles, California.

I was very young and so was television when President Kennedy was killed.  I do remember watching his funeral on a black and white television.  The image of his casket being pulled by horses stuck in my mind. I, also, remember news films of Dr. Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination and being afraid of the riots that followed his death.  I heard about Bobby Kennedy’s assassination on the radio.

Dr. King was only 39 years old when he died. That might seem old to you, but its not.  He was a young man in the prime of his life, about the same age as your parents.

Dr. King accomplished a lot during his few short years on this earth.  He was a highly respected leader in the Civil Rights movement. He devoted his life to saving souls for Jesus and ending the inequity and racism experienced by our black brothers and sisters that had never gone away since the end of the Civil War.

Dr. King helped end something called “Jim Crow” laws. In short, these laws separated white and black people.  By law black people could not use the same bathrooms or water fountains as white people.   I remember that I once went into a really expensive store and in their bathrooms each stall had a lock on it.  You had to use a dime to go to the bathroom.  I was a little kid, and thought that was terrible and felt bad that poor people couldn’t use those facilities.

So, imagine how awful it would have been to not be able to go in restaurants, on buses or attend a school just because of the color of your skin.  All “Jim Crow” laws were was slavery in another form.

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The night before he was killed Dr. King delivered one of his most remembered speeches.  It is often called, “The Mountain Top Speech.”  One of  the more famous quotes from that speech goes like this,

“We’ve got some difficult days ahead. But it really doesn’t matter with me now, because I’ve been to the mountaintop…And He’s allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I’ve looked over, and I’ve seen the Promised Land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight that we, as a people, will get to the promised land.”  

Like Biblical Moses, who thousands of years before him had led the Israelites out of slavery in Egypt, neither Moses or Dr. King would never enter the promised land.  Moses died of old age on a mountain and Dr. King’s life ended just a few hours after he made this speech with an assassins bullet.

If genius is defined by making the complex simple, there is no doubt that Dr. King was a genius.  Dr. King summed up in one sentence the goal of how people should be treated no matter what the color of their skin when he said, “I look to a day when people will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.

Yes, people are still judged and found wanting just because of the color of their skin.  Take for example the bride to be of a English Prince Harry.  She is a beautiful young woman whose mother was black and father white.  There have been several news stories about how some people don’t think, that the bride is good enough to marry into the English Royal family, because one of her parent’s is black.

Rude comments such as these are the absolute the definition of the term, “catty.”  Which the dictionary defines as someone who is, “unkind, spiteful, mean, malicious, or critical.” 

cats fighting

I have always felt that people who are just mean or who judge individuals by the group are in desperate need of prayer.  However, in this case their nasty comments are just reflection of their own ignorance, because there already is “black” blood mingled with the blue blood of England’s royals.

England has already had two, “black” royal queens of England….Philippa and Sophie Charlotte.

Queen Philippa was born on June 24, 1314.  She died August 15, 1369.  Philippa was the daughter of a noble ruler who lived in what is now the country of Belgium. He was of “Moorish” descent, which meant he was black and his ancestors had come from Africa.

Queen Philippa

Philippa was King Edward III’s wife and England’s Queen-Consort. Theirs was an arranged political marriage.  That means their parents picked out who they had to marry.  How would you like that?

Edward’s father, King Edward II, sent a fellow to Philippa’s kingdom to check her out and report back.  The report came back as follows,

“The lady whom we saw has not uncomely hair, betwixt blue-black and brown. Her head is cleaned shaped; her forehead high and broad, and standing somewhat forward. Her face narrows between the eyes, and the lower part of her face is still more narrow and slender than the forehead. Her eyes are dark. Her nose is fairly smooth and even, save that is somewhat broad at the tip and flattened, yet it is no snub nose. Her nostrils are also broad, her mouth fairly wide. Her lips somewhat full and especially the lower lip…all her limbs are well set and unmaimed, and nought is amiss so far as a man may see. Moreover, she is brown of skin all over, and much like her father, and in all things she is pleasant enough, as it seems to us.”

Philippa is considered a “most royal” Queen-Consort of England.  Four of her great-great-grandfathers had been the kings….in France, Aragon, Naples and Hungary.  She was intelligent, a capable ruler when her husband was away from the palace making war and was known for her patience, kindness and mercy. She often pleaded for her husband to spare the lives of those who were sentenced to death.

Together Queen Philippa and King Edward III had thirteen children.  Their first child was born before Philippa was sixteen years old. Three of their children, a daughter and two sons, died from the black plague.  I already told you about the black plague.

Queen Philippa was very much respected and loved by the people England.  She promoted the arts, and was a sponsor of the famous author Geoffrey Chaucer. The Queen’s College at Oxford was founded in her honor.

Tomb effigy of Philippa of Hainault, Westminster Abbey.
Queen Philippa’s Tomb

The second of England’s black queens was Sophie Charlotte who was born in 1744.  Princess Sophie Charlotte was the eighth child born to Germany’s Charles Louis Fredrick and Elisabeth Albertina.  Her father died when she was only eight years old.

It was through her father that she inherited her black heritage.  There are six different royals lines directly connecting Sophie to Margarita de Castro y Sousa, the daughter of Alfonso III of Portugal and his mistress, Mourana Gil, an African of Moorish descent.

Queen Charolotte

While several generations separated both Philippa and Charolotte from their African or Moorish ancestors, the practice of marrying cousins practiced by the royalty in Europe kept that gene pool small and helps to explain why these two queens had dark skin.

Many of the people who knew them described them as having African features such as dark eyes, hair and skin.  Sir Walter Scott  wrote that Charolotte was “ill-colored” and called her family “a bunch of ill-colored orangutans.”  One prime minister once wrote of Queen Charlotte: “Her nose is too wide and her lips too thick.”   The Queen’s personal physician, Baron Stockmar,  described her as having, “a true mulatto face.”

So how did this German princess end up being Queen Charlotte of England and Ireland?Parents arranged the marriage. A marriage contract was signed.  She traveled from Germany to England, on September 8, 1761, within six hours of first stepping foot on English soil, at the age of 17, Sophie Charlotte married King George III.

King George III is the guy George Washington and his fellow Americans rebelled against to win our freedom. This king eventually went crazy, but that is another story.

On August 12, 1762, Queen Charlotte gave birth to their first child, a son who would become King George IV.  Their son Edward, Duct of Kent, was the father of Queen Victoria.

All together the royal couple produced 15 children.  Thirteen survived to adulthood.  Which was rare in those days as one out of even ten babies died before they were a year old and 30 percent of all children died before they were teenagers.  But, then the average life expectancy for people of the 18th century was just under 40 years of age.  Now, its almost 80 years.  Hurrah for modern medicine and vaccinations!

Queen Charlotte was a very great English Queen.  She, like Philippa, was a lover of art and music.  One of her music teachers was Johann Christian Bach.  When he was only eight years old, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart dedicated his Opus 3 to her.  She helped establish the famous Kew Gardens; a maternity hospital, the oldest in England; and was the Queen who introduced the Christmas tree to England.

Queen Charlotte is the great great-great grandmother of the present Queen Elizabeth II. Prince William’s little daughter is named after her.  Many cities around the world and in our country are named after her.

In the year 1818 two very great women died, Queen Charlotte and Nancy Lincoln. One lived in great palaces and the other in a one room log cabin with dirt floors. One was the mother of kings and queens who most people could not even name, and the other the mother of Abraham Lincoln, the most famous and admired president of our nation.

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Lincoln once said that all he was and could ever hope to be he owed to his mother.  He was merely nine years old when he watched his beloved mother suddenly die from sickness.  She was only 34 years old. Lincoln used a knife to whittle the wooden pegs that held his mother’s coffin together.


Lincoln would grow up to be the president that saved our Union during the Civil War and ended slavery.  Both he and Dr. King lost their lives to assassins because of their political convictions and while our nation still needed their leadership.

I think that had Abraham Lincoln and Dr. Martin Luther King lived at the same time and met, they would have been great friends.  For Lincoln wholeheartedly believed what Dr. King once said that,  “Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that.”

Don’t forget that Abraham Lincoln’s birthday is coming up and send me some pictures of your snowmen.

Lots of love,

Grandma Pat