The Little Princess
nce upon a time there was a little princess. She was 27" tall and weighed only 16 pounds. This was not very big as princesses go but it didn't bother her, at least not much. After all, she could climb onto the couch with Papa, and she could reach the lower leaves of the tree that stood in her living room. (Author's Note: The reader may have expected me to say, "her father, the King" instead of "Papa", but this princess didn't believe in kings. Papa was an anarchist and didn't believe in kings either.) Playing with these leaves was great fun. It made the whole tree shake when she tugged on them, and sometimes she could even pull one off and taste it. The little princess noticed Papa didn't share her enthusiasm for leaf pulling, but she often did it anyway, reveling in her ability to affect the universe.
Her name was Kira and she held several strange beliefs. For instance, from all she could tell the entire universe moved around her. This pleased her no end because it meant she was someone special. Mama and Papa often confirmed this when they said, "Kirakins, you're our special baby daughter."
She also believed that she could learn just about anything about an object by tasting it. She could look at something, shake it, turn it, and feel it, but the definitive test was always the taste test. She marvelled at the sheer variety tastes. Breakfast cereal, potting soil, rubber froggy, zucchini, fingers, socks, and everything else she could find had different tastes. Given the opportunity, she could have spent hours analyzing leaf variations: tender new leaves, large robust leaves, and crispy dry crumbly leaves. However, much to her consternation, her parents were often interrupting these experiments. (Author's Note: The reader might assume from all this that she was often found with strange things in her mouth. This assumption would be correct.)
Kira was fierce and proud, not unlike Mama, and believed that she could do anything if she just applied herself in the right way. This of course included an occasional pout or fuss, something that was especially effective when dealing with Papa. Many considered her beliefs to be heretical, but this didn't bother her, at least not much. After all, when one is the center of the universe they get to establish all of the rules. The little princess considered most people foolish for not recognizing this basic principle.
One day Papa was doing the dishes. Kira rarely gave him time to do this unless it suited her fancy. This day she wanted to tug on the tree, and the dishes were a good distraction. She crept up to the tree. It grew in a very big pot next to the couch. Sunlight shown through the leaves and made pretty shadows on the living room rug. Kira liked shadows but she much more interested in the leaves themselves and not their tasteless counterparts. The little princess stood up carefully, using the tree's trunk for balance. She examined the leaves. There were many to choose from, but she wanted a dark mature leaf. Kira found the perfect specimen just over and behind her head. Reaching up, she firmly grasped the leaf and sat down to taste it.
...this was not planned...this was not even expected...big trees are not supposed to fall over...especially not on little princesses! What was she to do? Kira saw Papa coming toward her. He had told her many times not to pull on the leaves and here she was, leaf in hand, trapped under the tree. Papa set the tree upright and picked her up. He was laughing. She felt silly and ashamed, but Papa's arms were warm and safe. The little princess snuggled against Papa's shoulder and looked down at the tree. Maybe she wasn't the center of the universe after all...Kira pinched herself. "No, that's silly.", she thought, "Of course I'm the center of the universe."