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Rusty’s Riddle, Slumberdown’s Awakening and the Cherry Pie Banishment

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In the far-off kingdom of Slumberdown, where the sun always seemed to be setting and the moon was perpetually on the rise, there was a curse of endless sleep. The curse had been cast by a disgruntled wizard who, after being denied a second helping of the kingdom’s famous cherry pie, decided to put everyone to sleep until someone could solve his riddle. The riddle, however, was in a language no one understood, and so the kingdom had been snoozing for quite some time.

Enter Rusty, a Turkish Van of considerable charm and a coat so white it could blind you on a sunny day. Rusty was a cat of many talents: he could open doors, fetch the morning paper, and even make a decent cup of tea. But his most remarkable talent was his ability to understand and speak any language, a skill he’d picked up from a parrot he’d once shared a flat with in Istanbul.

Rusty had been traveling the world, seeking new experiences and the perfect ball of yarn, when he stumbled upon Slumberdown. He found the kingdom’s inhabitants in various states of repose: the baker with his face in a tray of unbaked bread, the blacksmith snoring over his anvil, and the king himself, drooling slightly onto his royal scepter.

Intrigued and slightly amused, Rusty sauntered into the castle and found the wizard’s riddle inscribed on a large stone tablet. He read it aloud, his voice echoing in the silent hall, “What has keys but can’t open locks, notes but doesn’t write, and can make a king dance or a child cry?”

Rusty pondered the riddle, his tail twitching in thought. He considered various possibilities: a map, a book, a particularly persuasive salesman. But none of them fit. He decided to take a stroll around the castle, hoping that a change of scenery might jog his thoughts.

As he wandered through the castle, he came across the royal music room. His eyes fell on the grand piano, its keys gleaming in the moonlight. A thought struck him. Keys, notes, dancing, crying… it all made sense now. The answer to the riddle was a piano!

Rusty raced back to the stone tablet and declared, “The answer is a piano!” The moment the words left his mouth, a loud yawn echoed throughout the kingdom. One by one, the inhabitants of Slumberdown began to wake up, stretching and blinking in confusion.

The king, upon waking and learning of Rusty’s heroics, declared him a hero and offered him anything he desired. Rusty, ever the humble cat, simply asked for a ball of the finest yarn the kingdom had to offer and a lifetime supply of tuna.

And so, Rusty, the affectionate, gentle, and calm Turkish Van, saved a kingdom from a curse of endless sleep. He became a beloved figure in Slumberdown, often seen lounging in the sun with his prized ball of yarn, or sharing a cup of tea with the king.

And the disgruntled wizard? Well, he was given a lifetime ban from the kingdom’s annual cherry pie contest, a punishment he found far more distressing than any curse he could cast. As for the kingdom of Slumberdown, they learned a valuable lesson about portion control at dessert time, and they all lived, quite wakefully, ever after.

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What happens next?

Mild to Wild

1 = Keep it simple10 = Let's get wild

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