“A rat!”

There was, in the banquet hall, a most beautiful and ornate chandelier. The crystals that hung from it caught the light of the candles on the table and the light from the face of the laughing princess. They danced to the rhythm of the minstrels’ music, swaying back and forth, twinkling and beckoning. What better place to view all this glory and beauty?

There was so much laughing and singing and juggling that no one noticed as Roscuro crawled up a table leg and onto the table, and from there flung himself onto the lowest branch of the chandelier.

Hanging by one paw, he swung back and forth, admiring the spectacle below him: the smells of the food, the sound of the music, and the light, the light, the light. Amazing. Unbelievable. Roscuro smiled and shook his head.

In the midst of all this beauty, what brings him down to earth (figuratively, for now) is the Princess Pea noticing Roscuro and pointing him out.

“A rat!” she shouted. “A rat is hanging from the chandelier!”


No one, in the midst of all this merriment, heard the Pea. No one except Roscuro.


He had never before been aware of what an ugly word it was.


In the middle of all that beauty, it became clear that it was an extremely distasteful syllable.

He realizes that he doesn’t belong there, in that world of light that he so longs to be a part of.


A curse, an insult, a word totally without light. And not until he heard it from the mouth of the princess did Roscuro realize that he did not like being a rat, that he did not want to be a rat. This revelation hit Roscuro with such force, that it made him lose his grip on the chandelier.

He hates what he is, but he has no idea how to be anything else. So he falls.

The rat, reader, fell.

And, alas, he fell right, directly into the queen’s bowl of soup.

Next time: Consequences…

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