A True Princess
by Laura Beasley
The king got drunk at a party and got lost going home. He fell asleep traveling along the coast. When someone pecked his hand, he sat up in the saddle and grabbed the reins of his horse. He yelled at the six-foot crow, “Why did you attack?”
“You’ve been asleep for three days, your majesty.”
He stroked his beard for confirmation.
“Thank you. How can I repay you?”
“I’ll marry one of your three daughters. Give me your cell phone. Show them my selfie and let them choose.”
The two older girls were disgusted, but the youngest daughter giggled.
“Pack your things, Jill. Crow will come for you on Thor’s Day.” Said the king.
Jill’s mother died at her birth. Rabbit had been nursemaid, nanny and confidant. Rabbit hugged Jill and reminded her to always be a true princess. The wedding ceremony lasted seven minutes lacking any pomp or circumstance.
Jill rode her bay mare next to Crow on his gray gelding. They trotted to his mansion at the harbor.
“Cook dinner, bride.” Said Crow.
As a princess, she had been trained to ride dressage and curtsey. She knew which fork to use at royal dinners. She remembered one of Rabbit’s recipes. She tossed chopped purple cabbage with torn baby lettuce. She sliced the carrots and radishes on the mandolin. She dressed her salad with rice vinegar and Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
“I’m a man, not a rabbit.”
She woke alone on the beach grasping a single crow feather.
She remembered a voice in her dream,
“Write your wish with the feather.”
She gathered shells from the sand at low tide and filled the pockets of her jeans as she walked toward the pier. A homeless woman begged for alms. As a princess, she never carried cash. She reached for a shell. The shells had been transformed into gold coins. She gave the beggar woman three coins.
“Remember your feather,” said the woman.
Jill sat in the coffee shop at the end of the pier. As she ate an egg white scramble, a handsome blonde man offered,
“I’ll buy you a latte, sweetie.”
When he persisted, she wrote on the table with her feather:
“Stick the cup to his lip.”
He struggled to pull the cup from his mouth while walking away from her.
A more attractive man with long black hair approached, "I’ll get you an Americano, cutie.”
When he blocked her exit, she wrote with the feather:
“Trap him in the bathroom.”
She walked from the pier to the downtown shops. She saw the man of her fantasies. He had curly red hair. He attacked ripping her jeans. She could not reach her feather. She imagined the feather writing:
“Let him eat fire.”
He gulped, swallowing flames and was incinerated.
She searched for her favorite tree in the city park. The tree had been cut down. She wrote two words on the base of the trunk:
Her skin melted and feathers emerged as the painful transformation took place. She flew as a Crow to the mansion in the harbor to reunite with her love. After their chicks were born, Rabbit lived with them.
Rabbit was nursemaid and nanny, cooked and cleaned. Crow Princess Jill lived happily ever after.
Laura Beasley, the Grandmother who Tells Stories, lives in California. She has more than twenty published short stories.
Pieces Inspired by this Image
'No Worms Today'
'The Raven's Call'