Olivia's Mission
Jodelle, Age 11, Vancouver, BC

A long time ago there lived a beautiful, white cat named Olivia.  Olivia made her home in a huge castle with her gorgeous princess, Grumplina. Grumplina may have been very attractive and intelligent, but her temperament was permanently grumpy, which made her very antisocial.  Her mother, Queen Betha named her Grumplina for her grumpiness.

One sunny day, Olivia was warming herself by the window. As her tail swished from side to side, she watched the cook’s children laughing and playing in the garden below.  It suddenly occurred to Olivia that her owner, Grumplina, had never smiled.  Not once! Olivia was feeling kind of perplexed. She looked back at her owner’s picture on the table. The face she saw was definitely grumpy. She looked back to the cook’s children with smiles on their faces. Her owner needed help, children were supposed to smile.

Olivia was determined to find a way to make Grumplina smile.  She knew it had something to do with happiness and she would have to  find a way to make Grumplina happy.    Lost in thought, she was distracted by a feather floating slowly to the ground. It landed on a squat, violet colored bottle with a distinctive blub shape at the bottom. Where had Olivia had seen a bottle like this before? She thought and thought and finally she remembered. This bottle had come from the wizard’s den, the same den she had been born in.

Olivia had found a way to make Grumplina happy!  She snuck out of Grumplina’s room and padded silently to the Wizard’s den.  There, she saw the wizard open the door and rush toward the court.  He had an agitated look on his face. In his rush, he forgot to close the door and this gave Olivia a way in.  She vaulted up to the counter with hundreds of violet bottles on it.  She scanned the labels and was euphoric to discover that she was on the counter for emotion potions. But after a moment she was distraught to see that she couldn’t understand the symbols on the labels. Just as she was about to give up, she saw a brown worn book at the end of the counter.  She took a chance and opened it.  There on the first page was a legend that explained the same symbols that were on the bottles. She chose happiness.

She quickly wound her tail around the bottle and marched back to Grumplina’s room. Olivia poured some of the potion into some alphabet soup that the maid left every day at lunch.  Just as she finished Grumplina rushed into her room with tears in her eyes.  She scooped Olivia up into her arms and complained that her parents wouldn’t buy her a donkey. As Olivia tried to comfort her princess, the girl took up her soup and drank it straight from the bowl.  Olivia watched Grumplina’s face as it started to move in ways it never had before.  Grumplina was smiling! Her parents were knocking on her door.  They had come to  say sorry, but when Grumplina opened the door with a smile on her face they were flabbergasted.

The Queen changed her daughter’s name from Grumplina to Happina on the spot.

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