Cuteness Eversweet drew back her bow and eyed the target carefully. A hummingbird buzzed around a lilac bush.
Cuteness let the arrow fly, and a moment later a sudden shaft protruded from the center of a bull’s eye planted under a tree. Startled, the hummingbird darted away.
“Oh, I’m sorry, little one,” she said. “Don’t worry, no one’s going to hurt you on my watch.”
Cuteness Eversweet loved all living things in equal measure. Well, fine, she did not apologize to carrots when she chopped and diced them. But Cuteness loved animals and was a diehard vegetarian. Her friends stopped inviting her to dinner because of the sad faces she made as they savored their ribeyes.
One day a hungry bear approached Cuteness Eversweet in the forest. She led the bear to a raspberry bush, then a beehive brimming with honey, but the bear kept eying Cuteness like her friends eyed juicy hamburgers.
“Can’t we come to some agreement not to eat each other?” Cuteness Eversweet asked.
“Let me think about that for a second,” said the bear. “Um — no.”
So Cuteness sadly picked up a large stick and clubbed the bear on the side of his head. The great beast dropped like a stone, unconscious.
“I suppose you’re going to eat him now,” said the hummingbird.
“Goodness, no, of course not,” said Cuteness Eversweet.
“But I am,” said a hunter who suddenly appeared, wielding a great hunting knife with which to dispatch the bear.
Before he could do any such thing, however, Cuteness bashed him in the side of the head, too.
Now she had a dilemma: Two carnivores, side by side, unconscious, and likely more than willing to devour each other once they awoke. Also, both of them were too big for her to drag one or the other to safety.
She set to work with rope that the archery range coincidentally had stockpiled in its storage shed, and when they awoke the bear and the hunter were surprised to find themselves securely tied.
“If I release you, I want you both to walk away and leave the other in peace,” Cuteness told them.
“Are you crazy? I’m a hunter,” said the hunter. “I shoot bears.”
“And I’m a bear,” said the bear. “I eat people.”
“I sincerely wish you would not,” said Cuteness Eversweet.
“Yeah, well, if wishes were horses, then beggars would ride,” said the bear.
Suddenly a horse appeared, and a huge white-haired bearded man dismounted.
“Why it’s Duke X. Machina,” cried the hunter.
“That’s me,” said the duke. “And you two must depart these woods in peace, for I have so decreed.
Grumbling, the hunter and the bear skulked away in opposite directions.
“Thank you for resolving my dilemma, Duke,” Cuteness Eversweet said gratefully.
“It was my pleasure, milady,” said Duke X. Machina.
“I love a happy ending,” the hummingbird hummed.
And come to think of it, they all did live happily ever after.