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Can I be a Princess, Please?

I wish I was a hero. You know, like in the stories—a brave protagonist who saves the day. Not a knight in shining armor, though, because I’m a girl. And while I would love to be a Disney princess, I’d be a heroine version. A brave princess.

I’d traverse the lands, battling evil with a pen instead of a sword. Because that’s the thing; I don’t want to be this vengeful warrior who slaughters any and all things that cross her path.

I’m much more of a gentle soul than that.

I’d rather fight with words.

They can hurt, you know. If you’ve ever been at the receiving end of a nasty remark, you know exactly what I’m talking about. I’ve been there, was there, for most of my life. The self-conscious, overweight shy girl tends to get picked on.

I know how much words can hurt, and how much you can hurt yourself with them. Like daggers, your thoughts can cut you up inside, leaving anxiety and depression in their wake. But words can also transform, also heal.

That’s how I would use words to fight.

Picture this: I’d be walking through a meadow, minding my own business and basking in the sunshine. My long skirt would swish as I walked (princess gowns are amazing, after all), my leather notebook and pen safely nestled in the pouch along my belt. The tall grasses and blooms would tickle my skin as I trailed my hands along them, and the light breeze would taste sweet on my tongue.

I’d be in my own little paradise. Then it would come.

From the distance, out of the tree line from the west. A big thing, brown and furry with teeth poking out from beneath its hairy rodent lips. But it would be no ordinary rat. This creature would be extreme, as big and foreboding as one of those souped-up monster trucks.

Instantly, fear would paralyze me. Rodents have never been friends of mine; I’m nothing like Snow White or Cinderella. Word-warrior Maddie would much rather run from a rat than make friends with it.

However, after the initial terror would pass, my determination would drown out my dread. As the beast would barrel towards me, I’d stay still, studying the little details—the scars etching grooves in its fur, the blistering claw marks slashed across its sad eyes, the briar piercing its front paw, making it whimper with every clumsy stride.

And I’d realize that somehow, sometime, this creature had been hurt just like I had been.

It was acting out in pain and fear, not out of vicious intent. I was simply encroaching on its territory—we both saw each other as threats.

I’d want to change that.

Once the jumbo-sized rat would get close enough, I’d reach my arms out, palms wide, in a gesture of peace. Startled and confused, it would settle down before me, lowering its head to rest on my open hand. It would trust me, like we were communicating in an unknown tongue, our pain reflected in each other’s eyes.

With my hand still on the hurt creature, I’d use my words to heal.

“Oh poor one,” I’d say softly, “you are not scary. You are harmless, aren’t you? I can see it in your eyes. You just want a home, don’t you, to be wanted? Well, I want you now.” I would feel its body melt beneath my touch.

Lightly, I’d trace my hands along its scarred face. “May you be healed, my friend, and come with me.” The wounds would fade, softened and soothed by the power of loving words. Trusting me now, the rat would allow me to take out the briar and bandage its paw, my soft encouragements whispering over its whimpers.

And then my rat friend, so misunderstood and rejected, like me, would stand and nuzzle its scratchy fur against my skirts, beckoning me, in that unspoken language of ours, to mount.

So I’d climb aboard the creature’s back and we’d continue to traipse along the meadow path, no longer along, but bound by kind words.

We would go on many adventures, this giant rat and I, traveling the lands speaking life and love to all who needed it.

We’d fight the hurt with healing, with a pen instead of a sword. We'd speak God's Truth and Love, mercy and justice and grace.

Maybe one day I’d meet a prince (in fact, I think I already have), but in the meantime, I’d be perfectly happy with my animal companion. I guess I would be like a little bit like a Disney princess after all :)


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