I am sure that you have heard the story of how Prince Yowler met his lovely bride Princess Whimbit but there are a few details that need to be cleared up, especially the part about the magic fish, which wasn't really a magic fish at all and so I will retell it for you now....

In the city of Catsburg, which is the capital of Catlandia, there was quite a bustle going on, on account of there being a coronation being planned. Lord Spoo the High Chamberlain had just brought in the royal robes of ermine to show the young prince and to try once more to encourage him to do his princely duty, pick a bride and settle down to a life of court functions, regal banquets and the day to day grind of governing a large principality of cats.

"I just don't see why I have to be king! I mean I love Catlandia as much as the next mouser but honestly Spoo, wouldn't anyone be better for this job than me? I mean I don't know anything about being a good ruler!"

Yowler groused as he looked out the castle window and down into the town. "I was a good soldier and happy to lead the Knights of Purr into battle but this is asking too much... even for the love of King Mousebane. Why do I have to be King?" He scratched behind his ear and looked out the window again as if sizing up his chances of jumping out and landing on his feet.

"Now, now, milord, we all have duties to perform in this life and probably the next, but His Highness, rest his souls would not have picked you to be king if he didn't think that you were the chosen one. You passed all the tests with such ease and grace that I am sure you will be a wonderful ruler once you've had some practice and as soon as you've picked your queen."


Mookaleen the Fool

I know that you've heard tell of Koshka Mookael the Elder, how he sailed the great ship "Moonweaver" from Catsport to faraway lands with many adventures here, there and all the world's places in between. But what you probably do not know is that before he became known as Mookael the Elder, Captain Mookael or even Mookael the Thief, that around his village in Catsport he was called, by a good many of the townspeople that lived there, Little Mookaleen the Fool.

And you may find it difficult to believe that someone so brave and so honored and so well known through every corner of the Lone Isles could have begun his life with such a low name. However it is true! Not a soul expected him to amount to much more than a shame and heart's sorrow to his dear parents, but after he met the Bear King everything changed. So if you are patient and sit with me here by the fire I'll explain what came to pass. Perhaps then, you will know, my friend, a little of how the strange, wide world works and often plays odd tricks of fate on the people that dwell in it.

Mookaleen as a boy was not like other mothers' sons. When most children were out in the fine weather, running and playing in the warm sunlight, young Mookaleen would be inside, working on some curious invention in his father's workshop. When the days were cold and winter's snow covered the hard ground and all good sons could be found inside studying by the stove's sweet warmth, Mookaleen walked high and low, here and there, wandering until his mother's heart would fill with worry. The boy would come home, wet to the skin, cheeks red from the breath of the north wind, carrying some bright feather or stone that he had discovered on his wanderings. And people began to say that he was naught but a fool and would never find his way in the world.


Patrin's Dream

Patrin’s dream started out warm and pleasant as firelight, family all together, the smell of gingerbread and roasted apples filling the kitchen and the kettle boiling merrily on the hearth. His parents were smiling and sitting side by side, while his older sister and brother peered into a small carved box with a mouse pantomime playing inside. The toy mice scurried back and forth getting ready for a party, setting baskets of berries and acorn bowls of cider on a little mushroom table.

There was a tall man standing by the table too, buttoning up his winter coat to leave. Patrin could tell he was a Toymaker from the long scarf that he wore tucked under the lapels of his white jacket. Curious to meet this honored guest in his family’s home, he crouched down to get a better look, but a wide brimmed hat kept the Toymaker’s face in shadow. Dreams will play tricks, so as many times as Patrin moved around the table, he could never quite get a true glimpse of the man’s face. And the more he tried to see who he was, the more the fire sparked and the kettle hissed, though not so cheerfully as the dream unwound.

A loud pop from the fire startled Patrin and he glanced away from the mysterious visitor to see a large toad sitting on the hearthrug, steaming from the heat of the fire. Three more sharp pounding taps shook the room, and Patrin noticed another grey green frog on the table next to the milk jug and two more on a shelf next to some platters. He tried to shoo them away, but as he did other bullfrogs appeared, croaking puffs of smoke from their wide stretched mouths. More and more of the fat, slimy creatures hopped from the fireplace to hide under the chairs and behind the pantry, their croaks filling the room with puffs of smoke. The tall man in the white suit melted into the swirling haze and Patrin awoke to the sound of someone knocking softly on his bedroom door.