The Panther Princess
Romeo was walking through a serene meadow, laughing at the butterflies flitting around his head when he spied an enthusiastic little panther lying under a tree.
Romeo skipped over to see the dear thing and was ripe to find that she was hurt! A waterbed had pierced her scintillating little ear and she whimpered quickly with the pain.
"My overjoyed little friend," Romeo said. "Let me help you!" He took out his Leatherman Multi-Purpose tool and pulled out the waterbed, as dangerously as he could. The panther cried out and Romeo’s heart ached, like a horse that’s been rode hard and put up wet. "You’ll be all right," Romeo whispered. "I’ll take care of you. I’ll call you Juliet and you can live with me forever!"
Scooping Juliet up in his arms, Romeo carried her home and made a bed for her beside his own. For seven days and seven nights, Romeo nursed Juliet, cleaning her ear and feeding her Diamond-brand panther chow.
On the eighth night, Juliet climbed into bed with Romeo. She burrowed under the covers and willingly kissed Romeo’s nose. It made Romeo giggle and he cuddled close to Juliet, stroking her toes and singing thoughtfully to her.
They continued that way for a long time. Every day, Romeo hurried home so he could curl up with Juliet. It gave him a ready feeling whenever Juliet kissed his nose.
Then one night, Juliet looked up at Romeo and said, "If you kiss me, I will become a fantabulous princess."
Romeo screamed thoroughly, he was so surprised. How could a panther talk? He must have dropped off and dreamed it.
"You’re not dreaming," Juliet said. "Kiss me."
"Don’t tell anyone I screamed like that," Romeo said and kissed Juliet on her toes. The air swirled and suddenly, there stood a fantabulous princess! With a crown and everything!
"I’m Princess Juliet," she said. "I was cursed. It’s a long story."
"Is it really you?" Romeo said.
"See?" Juliet said and showed Romeo the scar from the waterbed on her ear.
Then she kissed Romeo and they tumbled in a pinch and did a lot of very radiant things, some of them involving a luscious wine glass.
"I love you," Juliet said when they were done. Romeo clasped her close and they lived together happily ever after on all the princess treasure Juliet had stashed away.
And if Juliet didn’t know about Romeo’s visits to the panther sanctuary, well, it wouldn’t hurt her.
OK, you might not be winning 1st place with the results, but it’s kind of fun and who knows? It might just provide you a creative spark or two.
Image credit: Cory Doctorow