Thursday, 6 April 2017
#AtoZChallenge: The Princess and the Egalitarian Eel
What happened was this:
Emily had gone to bed upset. The King, her father, had put his foot down and said that Emily would definitely not be getting a dog as a pet because she wasn’t mature enough to take care of it. She’d screamed at him and said that he was being unfair, penalising her because her guinea pig had run away.
“It’s such a small thing—how would I know where it ran to? A dog is big enough it can’t get lost.”
The King disagreed. “If you can’t take care of a guinea pig, I don’t think you can take care of a dog.” And that was that, to him at least.
The Princess had continued whining, until the King said in exasperation, “Maybe I’ll let you have an Eel. You can’t lose an Eel, can you?”
“I don’t want a slithery, slimy Eel!” Emily had shrieked until she was sent to bed without dessert.
Now she blinked her eyes open to find that an Eel was standing in her room. Well, not quite standing. It was… swimming? In the air? Or was she the one in the sea?
“I do believe that you’re mistaken about us,” the Eel said.
“What? What are you doing in my room?” Princess Emily asked in a daze.
“You called us slithery and slimy. And said that you’d never take any of us as a pet. I’d like to protest that, if I may? Eels are definitely not slithery. We are very, very agile, that is all. And maybe a little boneless.”
“And we are not really slimy either. We live in the sea. It’s just wet.”
Emily sat up straighter and rubbed her eyes.
“But that’s beside the point. What I’m really here for, Princess, is to protest your discrimination.”
“I represent the Coalition of Companion Equality. The Coalition believes in an egalitarian society where all animals are equal. You said, ‘Eels as pets is a terrible idea,’ or something along those lines, which is highly discriminatory. I would have you know that Eels are extremely suitable companions. We’re really very smart and can entertain you for hours. Besides being really low maintenance.”
“So, while I acknowledge that you may have personal preference over what kind of animal you would prefer as a companion, it is a different thing to say that any kind of animal is unsuitable as a companion. All animals should have equal rights and opportunities to be chosen as your companion. I hope you do understand. This is very important to us, especially since you are the Princess, and many children in your kingdom will learn from your example.”
Princess Emily nodded mutely.
“Thank you for your time, Your Highness. I will leave you to your dreams now.”
The Eel disappeared into the night and Emily lay down again, too disturbed to fall back to sleep for a long time.
The next day, she told her father that she didn’t want any pet at all. It was all too unsettling after having been talked at by an Eel.
Head over to Yuin-Y's for today's illustration.