[Editor: This short story for children, by Eva Oakley, was published in Real Australian Fairy Stories (1945).]
The terrible Cat
Once upon a time, there lived, in a lonely corner of a big garden, a huge black Cat, with big balls of fire for eyes, and teeth a yard long. It could not eat nor drink, but just stood there and snarled and growled at passers-by. People began to go in other directions, for they did not care to pass this terrible looking Cat.
Nobody knew how it had come to be there; but the Fairy Queen did, for the Cat had been one of her Princes; however he would not behave, so she decided that she must make an example of him, or some of the other Princes might copy him, and that would have been too dreadful. Therefore she tapped him with her wand and wished hint to turn into “The Terrible Cat.”
One day the Fairy Queen thought he should have been punished sufficiently by then, and so she went to him and asked him what he would do to prove his sorrow for having been so naughty, if she allowed him to become a Prince again.
“Oh!” he said, “I would not go home to my beautiful palace, which 1 love so dearly, until I had gone to all the poor old people round about, and asked them if I could chop some wood for them, or run some messages, to save them from tiredness.
“Good,” said the Fairy Queen, “you have pleased me very much,” and she tapped him again with her wand, and he became the loveliest Prince of all, and set a wonderful example for all the other Princes to copy.
Eva Oakley, Real Australian Fairy Stories, Melbourne: Austral Printing & Publishing Company, , pp. 10-11
[Editor: The original text has been separated into paragraphs.]
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