Once upon a time there was a princess who lived in the forest. She owned a small house with a slate roof, carved front door, and a front walk paved with round river stones. The princess's name was Gwendoline, but her friends called her "Sparky."

Sparky new that she was a princess. Many years ago she had lived in a castle on the top of a mountain. But the princess business isn't all that it is cracked up to be, so Sparky decided to take early retirement and move to the forest at the bottom of the mountain. Living with her were two cats, a dog, a goat, and a trio of chickens.

The cats were named Leo and Lenny. Leo was gray and white, but Lenny was white and gray. The dog's name was Sylvester Sullivan Smythe. But that name was too long for his license tag, so everybody called him "S3." The chickens didn't have names, but were referred to as Pest #1, Pest #2, and Pest #3.