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The Cat's Tale
Long ago and far away, in a kingdom much like those foretold in the stories of old, lived a handsome yet arrogant young king named Aaronde. His hair was long -to his feet- and mocha in color. His eyes were equally hued, and the ladies of the kingdom swooned once for every lash that adorned them. His noble birth and station afforded him the finest garments money could buy, which hung from his lanky but broad shouldered frame. Revered as the strongest of the strong, Aaronde could kill a boar with his bare hands (though he was often too disgusted by the thought to actually do so) and throw boulders fifty yards (unless he was in his good pants.... which are all his pants... seeing a pattern yet?). Truth is, Aaronde was a neat-freak, O.C.D. pansy. He rarely left his palace, as the peasants were so low-class that he believed it would disgrace him to interact with them.
Now came a time when the proud monarch was ready to wed, and have an heir. Decrees were issued in all the neighboring kingdoms that he was seeking a bride. Within the next few months, Aaronde’s palace was filled with letters of request from every kingdom. As the pompous King lay on his Tempur-Pedic, his scribe read out the letters one by one. None seemed good enough for his majesty, until the very last. It read:
“Her Royal Highness, Rayna of Allderon”
To this the king replied,” A wonderful country, this seems promising.”
To this the king replied,” Good she’s not too crone-ish.”
“Eye Color: Cerulean blue”
To this the king replied,” Such a lovely color.”
“Hair Color: Black....”
This went on until the end of the list, and by that time the King was smitten. He sent for the princess at once, and she was whisked to the palace. Princess Rayna was a quiet girl, brought up in a world of gentility and grace. Her raven locks hit her elbows in length and was as wavy as the sea by which her kingdom was established. Admired by all for her beauty and kindness, the princess had not one enemy until....
As the carriage carrying the princess came to a halt at the front gates of Aaronde’s palace, a grey and white she-cat came in to the light of the sun, having been roused from her nap in the shade. Rayna stepped out of the carriage, her dainty foot falling on the cat’s furry tail. The feline snarled and the fur on her back rippled in anger. “How dare you, you oaf! May you forever have a token of the injustice you’ve done today!” The cat hissed, issuing a curse on the Princess. Instantly two fluffy black ears and a furry black tail appeared on Rayna and she cried out in shock. “If you wish to be yourself again, you must find knowledge of the most important thing in life.”
After the cat disappeared, Rayna cried all the way in to the castle where her husband-to-be was perched on his lavender-scented throne, in his royal Snuggie. She hid her ears under a grand hat, and her tail under her skirts of silk. As the scribe announced her, she curtsied a little too deeply and her hat fell to the ground. The King gasped,”What vile trickery is this? I send for my bride and they send me a cat-woman? What beast? What witchery? How dare you enter my courts you filthy vermin!” The princess wept,”P-Please sire, if I may explain?”
After recounting the incident, Rayna play nervously with her new tail, wringing it between her dainty fists. King Aaronde was remaining as far from her as he could in his throne, curled in to a fetal position. His long luscious hair was surrounding him in all directions as he said,” I will only marry you after those hideous appendages are gone! Begone at once!” The princess and her company fled the castle and began a long journey to find the cure to the curse.
Not long in to her journey, Princess Rayna came to a small shack of a house to ask for a warm meal for her companions. She was greeted by a young man in worn clothes, holes adorning each article. His shoulder’s were broad and his muscles were large, this and the calluses of his hands told that he had worked hard all his life. His hair was a light blond color and curly, falling to the top of his ears. His eyes were green, sparkling like emeralds. He was very handsome, perhaps rivaling the charm of even the king. “Pardon me Sir, but may we please trouble you for a rest and perhaps some food?”
Rayna and her party were warmly welcomed and fed to the brim. The man’s name was Reyginoldo, and he was a black smith. After some time, Rayna invited Reyginoldo to join her on her journey and he gladly accepted. Reyginoldo proved to be a loyal companion and skilled fighter, protecting the princess from the many dangers they faced. Throughout the long adventure, Rayna and Reyginoldo became very close, and even inseparable.
When the days of the journey were numbered six-hundred, no evidence of what Rayna sought was heard of, and she and her companions returned to Aaronde’s palace. When the arrogant and petty ruler saw the princess he got fearful and angry, “Treasonous wench! I gave you a command. I will not marry a half-breed princess!. Who could love such a thing?”The princess wept. “I could,” the blacksmith bellowed, stepping forward to take this weeping princess in to his arms. “The courtiers gasped and looked to see the King’s reaction. It was a funny sight, the pale skin of the king’s face and neck turning first red and then purple with rage. His pretty eyes bulged from his head in a disturbing manner, and his lip curled back in to a sneer. “How dare you contradict me, you worthless beast of burden!”
Rayna looked up at Reyginoldo, blushing as only a maiden could, “You love me? But why? My ears.. my tail...do you not expect me to change, as he does?” The king was cursing profusely, using words he himself deemed to be tasteless. “Change? Why mar perfection?” The smith looked to the king once more, anger and dangerous rebellion welling in his chest, “Foolish monarch, do you not see what error you have made? Not one woman shall ever be as this one is. You cannot expect her to change anything for you. If you do, then love will never be.”
Rayna listened to her companion and thought deeply before leaving his arms and kneeling at Aaronde’s feet, “With all due respect sire, I cannot marry you. In the time I have been away, I have grown fond of my companion, and he loves me for who I am and I he. He is a peasant, and has no monetary worth...however I love him and wish for him to not change for my sake.” When this was said, a bright light flashed and Rayna’s ears and tail were no more and she was as she once had been. “Fabulous! Now we may be wed!”the king proclaimed, and as he did a furry tail sprang forth from his bum and his ears turned furry and were moved to the top of his head. “What?! What happened to me?!” The king cried, running in to his chambers to never emerge again.
Princess Rayna returned to her kingdom with her Black Smith and they were married. No one ever saw hide nor furry tail of King Aaronde, but it was said that the curse on him was issued because of how conceited and O.C.D. he was. Rayna truly had discovered knowledge of the greatest treasure. She found that you don’t have to change yourself for someone to make them love you, because if they truly love you they’ll never force you to change.