Writing prompt :
spiderwebs, Prince Charming, gardening, lost in a forest, and indignant rabbit.
Theodore set his back against a particularly large oak tree, stuck one fore-hoof into his mouth, and began sucking.
He was too old to suck his hooves like a baby, but there was simply no hope for it. He was lost in the forest and he was, after all, only a very small piglet. Furthermore, none of his brothers were watching to tease and call him “Teddy-baby.”
Fairy pigs weren’t supposed to get lost, but Theodore didn’t feel particularly magical right now, covered in leaves and mud and spiderwebs as he was. The pain of the bee-sting on his tender backside had faded to a dull throb, but he vividly remembered the sharp terror that had led him to close his eyes and charge pell-mell into the dark and forbidding forest outside his home.
Ah, home! He wanted to be home. He wanted to be clean and tidy and tucked against his mother’s side while she stroked his ears and fed him hot acorn pancakes and said, “Theodore, one day you’ll be just as great as your father. You have his eyes, you know,” and he would lick maple syrup off his nose and gruntle contentedly.
Just the thought of how warm and happy home was, and how cold and unhappy here was, made him slump fully to the ground and let out a miserable moan. Fat tears slipped from his eyes to slide across the brim of his nose and land silently on the forest loam beneath his chin.
Likely, he would be eaten. Or captured. Or captured and then eaten. Perhaps it would rain on him and he would catch a cold before being captured and eaten. Any number of unpleasant possibilities danced through his imagination, each more dreadful than the last.
His bout of self-pity ended with a sharp, “Tut, tut!” and Theodore opened his cornflower-blue eyes to see a disapproving rabbit, long and thin and made of uncomfortable angles and shabby fur, scowling down at him. The particular brand of surprised disappointment on the rabbit’s face reminded him of his Auntie Druscilla and he half-expected the rabbit to burst out with a disapproving, “Ted!” just as she would have done.
On the other hand, this rabbit wore a scruffy overcoat with patches at the elbows and held a glossy red umbrella smartly under one arm. His Auntie Druscilla would never be seen in such an outfit, considering as she did any clothing beyond a simple string of pearls to be ostentatious. Theodore rather thought she might have approved of the umbrella, though.
“What’s this, what’s this?” the rabbit asked, then proceeded to answer his own question (which Theodore personally thought was rather rude). “A piglet! A piglet with blue eyes! I’ve never seen such a thing. It’s on my lawn, yes it is, and I don’t want it here. Scat, scram, scurry away. I’ll not have you rooting up my garden, you fiendish little beast.”
Startled by all this (and really, wasn’t “fiendish” rather a bit heavy-handed? He was only a piglet, even if he was distressingly dirty at present), Theodore dropped his hoof from his mouth and leapt to trembling legs.
“Please, sir, won’t you help me find my way back home?” he asked. Or rather, he tried to. He got no further than “sir” when the rabbit lunged at him, brandishing the umbrella threateningly. Theodore squeaked in alarm and scrambled backward. Despite the piglet’s obvious distress, the oak refused to budge so much as a single inch to allow him escape.
This is it! he thought, covering his eyes with his forelegs. I am done for. Slain by an umbrella-wielding rabbit in a patchy overcoat. Never again shall I taste acorn pancakes or maple syrup. Doomed, and at such a tragically young age!
“Oh, you poor thing!” cried a melodic voice. “Do stop, dear Rabbit, I am certain he means you no harm!”
The rabbit’s voice replied, “I worry for the welfare of my turnips, dear lady, not my person!”
The impending umbrella-blow never landed. Tentatively, Theodore lifted one hoof and peeked out. The rabbit had taken a few steps back and now looked up at (of all things) an actual, live, human woman.
Theodore was no expert on human beauty (how could one judge, when they had such small noses and tiny ears?) but her dress certainly seemed very impressive and she had rather a lot of pretty golden hair. A tiny tiara glittered from a riot of curls atop her head and she smiled at him.
“There now, little piglet. You are safe now. Do stop trembling, there’s a dear. I am Princess Arianna, and I swear by my father’s kingdom that I mean you no harm.”
A princess? Theodore’s eyes widened as he remembered the tales of adventure and derring-do his mother told before bedtime.
“Are you seeking your Prince Charming?” he asked tentatively. He hoped not. Fairy pigs were honor-bound to offer help in the case of questing, and he did not like adventure. As far as he could tell, adventure was uncomfortable. Also cold and also rather messy, he added, eyeing the muddy splotches along his normally pristine legs.
Regrettably, she replied, “As it happens, I am!” Her blue eyes shone with barely-contained excitement.
Theodore sighed loudly and wished, uselessly, that he’d never stuck his nose in that honey-tree. Clearly, his entire predicament was all the fault of that bumblebee.