“I am so sad,” Nina Walters said, “my mean stepsisters have ruined my dress and now I can’t go to the ball. Whatever shall I do?”
Then Becky entered their room. She was wearing a small crown on her head and white fairy wings on her back. And she was holding a toy fairy wand in one hand and a pillow case in the other.
“Who are you?” Nina asked.
“I am your fairy godmother,” Becky replied, “and I’m here to help get you to the ball.”
“But I have no way to get there,” Nina told her older sister.
“Never fear,” Becky said, “do you have a pumpkin?”
“No, but I have an orange,” Nina said as she handed her sister an orange.
“That should do,” Becky replied, “now watch my magic.”
Becky placed the orange on the ground and tapped it with her toy wand. She picked up a pillow from her bed and replaced the orange with it. Then they eight-year-old tapped a stuffed mouse with her toy wand. She put the mouse inside the pillow case, took out a stuffed horse, and placed it in front of the pillow.
“There, you have a coach and a horse to pull it,” Becky explained, “now you can go to the ball.”
“But I have nothing to wear,” Nina added.
“Leave everything to me,” Becky said.
She tapped Nina’s head with the wand and took a blue princess dress out of the pillow case. Nina lifted her arms as Becky placed the dress over her jumper shorts. Then Becky took some small slippers out of her pillowcase.
“Wow,” Nina said as she placed her feet into the slippers.
“Now you’re ready for the ball,” Becky replied.
“Thank you, fairy godmother,” Nina said as she hugged her older sister, “I can’t wait to dance at the ball.”
“Just remember that the spell wears off at midnight,” Becky stated.
“I will try,” Nina replied as she sat on the pillow and pretended to drive her coach to the ball.
“Nina,” Mrs. Walters called out, “Karen’s here.”
“Do you want to play with us Becky?” Nina asked, “we can be fairy princesses now.”
“No thanks,” Becky said as she took her wings off, “I feel like going outside; you two have fun.”
“Ok,” Nina replied, “see you later.”
Becky picked up her hand bag and ran outside to the trees. She transformed her ring into her wand and created the portal to the grotto. As she walked through the portal, the eight-year-old noticed that it was getting rather noisy. She made her way to the Grotto to find two navy goblins and one of them was holding a small tiger cub under his arms.
“Are you sure it’ll be a good slave Trem?” The first one asked.
“It’s something Prak,” The second one replied, “do you really want to go back empty-handed.”
“What do you mean by slave?” Becky demanded.
“Who are you?” Prak wondered.
“I think it’s that girl,” Trem stated.
“She’ll be an even bigger prize,” Prak said.
“Why don’t we improve our reward by bringing both the cub and the girl,” Trem bragged.
“Fine by me,” Prak added as he charged toward Becky.
Becky raised her wand and fired a blast that knocked Prak backwards. He got back up and started to move faster. Becky raised her wand again and knocked him right into a tree.
“Do I have to do everything myself?” Trem demanded as he handed the cub to Prak, “guard this thing while I take care of the girl.”
Becky held her wand up to zap Trem, but the other troll was a little more clever and able to dodge the blasts. But the eight-year-old wasn’t out of ideas yet. Just as he was very close to her; she released a magical rope that tied him up.
“How about you let both of us go and leave this place,” Becky told the goblins.
“No way,” Trem said, “give us one good reason.”
“Is this one good enough?” A voice added. It was Bendo and with him was a black lioness with violet marks on her forehead.
“That’s good enough for me,” Prak nervously replied as he released the cub ran off.
“Get back here you coward!” Trem demanded.
“I suggest you do the same,” Becky warned as she released Trem from her rope spell.
“I’ll get even with you,” Trem stated.
The cub ran over to the lioness while Bendo ran over to Becky.
“Great job,” He said.
“Thank you,” Becky replied, “who were those guys?”
“They’re some of Tengall’s minions,” Bendo explained.
“I take it he’s another Nightmare,” Becky added.
“Yes,” Bendo continued, “and he’s been capturing a lot of Grotto residents lately; including Talia’s cubs.”
Becky looked over to see the Tiger cub being comforted by Talia. Then the cub ran over to Becky and started nuzzling against her socks.
“Aren’t you cute,” Becky said as she knelt down to pet the cub.
Talia quickly walked toward them, making Becky feel a little nervous.
“Easy,” Bendo stated as he got between them, “Becky’s very friendly.”
“My apologies,” A voice said.
“Was that you?” Becky asked Talia.
“Yes,” The voice answered, “I can communicate to others through telepathy.”
“Amazing,” Becky said.
“But I need to get going,” Talia stated, “I have to find the rest of my captured pride. Bendo, you keep an eye on Puck while I find the rest.”
“Wait,” Bendo said, “it might be too dangerous to go on your own; who knows how many goblins will be with Tengall.”
“Bendo’s right,” Becky added, “you shouldn’t go alone, we can help you.”
“I don’t know,” Talia replied.
“But what will Puck do if you’re captured as well?” Bendo asked.
“Fine,” Talia said, “but we need to move fast.”
Then the lioness ran off with Becky, Bendo, and Puck right behind her. Becky quickly noticed some low-pitched growls from Puck.
“Are you trying to talk to me?” She asked as she picked the tiger cub up.
“He’s saying that Talia is very nice,” Bendo explained, “and asked you not to hate her.”
“I don’t hate her,” Becky told Puck, “I figured that she’s under a lot of stress right now.”
“She has to be,” Bendo added, “those cubs she looks after are the only family she has. Puck’s parents were captured by the Nightmares and we haven’t been able to find them, and it’s the same with all of the other missing cubs.”
“That’s terrible,” Becky said as she started to pet Puck.
“Talia offered to watch over the cubs,” Bendo continued, “she’s been like a big sister to them ever since.”
Becky couldn’t help but think of Nina when Bendo mentioned big sister. She remembered all the fun places they went to, all the games they played, and all the hugs they shared.
“What about Talia?” Becky asked, “does she have any family?”
“None that we know of,” Bendo explained, “unlike other lions, she lived by herself. And to make matters worse, we don’t know of any other lions like her. But knowing Talia, she doesn’t want the cubs to go through what she went through.”
“How long have they been together?” Becky said.
“A few grotto years,” Bendo mentioned, “they are very close.”
“Don’t worry, we’ll find your friends,” Becky said to Puck while she scratched his tummy, “a good big sister always helps her younger sisters and brothers.”
“I picked up their scent,” Talia stated, “they’re nearby.”
Meanwhile, the tall goblin Tengall was busy rounding up the various animals that his minions had captured, and he didn’t seem too happy with the results.
“Small animals!” He shouted, “do you really think small animals will make good slaves?”
Then he turned to Trem and Prak.
“And you two,” He continued, “you couldn’t even bring me back a single slave!”
“Well Mr. Tengall, we ran into some trouble,” Prak nervously said.
“But we did get one result,” Trem added, “we found that girl the Dark King is interested in.”
“You call that results!” He yelled.
“It’s something,” Trem replied, hoping to get out of this.
But Tengall wasn’t impressed and handed them some brooms.
“You two are going back to my castle,” Tengall explained, “where you will clean all of my thirty rooms!”
“At least we don’t have to use toothbrushes,” Prak said as the two goblins walked off.
Becky’s group quickly noticed Tengall’s camp while hiding in the trees.
“There looks to be about five goblins with him,” Bendo observed.
“Do you think we can take them?” Becky asked.
“We’ll have a chance against the goblins,” Bendo replied, “but I’m not sure about Tengall.”
“We have to do something!” Talia insisted.
“I know,” Becky said, “but we need a plan.”
“Becky’s right,” Bendo added, “and I think I just got one. But we’ll need to use some magic for it.”
“Don’t worry about me,” Becky stated, “I haven’t used too much and I don’t feel tired.”
“That’s good,” Bendo replied, “because we’ll be using quite a bit of it.”
The group crept through the forest until they came to a lone goblin guarding a few cages. Becky used her wand to tie the goblin up and Talia knocked him out with one of her lion punches. Bendo used his magic to move the unconscious villain into the bushes and break open the cages to find two toucans and a jaguar cub. The jaguar cub ran over to Talia and Puck while the toucans quietly flew away.
“That’s one saved,” Bendo said.
“We have to hurry and get the others,” Talia stated.
The group leapt back into the trees before anyone noticed. They approached another goblin guard and used the same moves to tie him up and knock him out. Bendo released the cages which contained a panther cub and a cheetah cub. The two cubs ran over to Talia and started to nuzzle her.
“Who’s there!” A voice called.
“Uh oh,” Bendo said as the other three goblins appeared in front of them.
Becky and Talia stood in front of the cubs as they got ready to fight their enemies. Becky fired a magical blast at a light green goblin while Talia charged towards the other two. The blast knocked the goblin back while the lioness pounced on a dark green goblin and knocked him out. Becky used her magic to tie the dark green goblin up while Talia chased after the enemy that was still standing.
“Do you really think a weak shot like that will defeat me,” The light green goblin said as he stood up.
“I’m just getting warmed up,” Becky replied as she fired another magical blast.
Said goblin dodged the blast and continued to charge at Becky while he held a club in his right hand. But the eight-year-old wasn’t frightened as she fired a rope spell at her foe’s feet. This caused the goblin to trip and the little girl to tie him up with another rope spell. Then Becky felt someone grab her left arm and lift her up. She turned around and saw Tengall staring at her. Becky pointed her wand at him, but the large goblin knocked it away before she could do anything.
“So, you’re the girl,” Tengall taunted, “I don’t see why the Dark King is so interested in you.”
“You’d better let me go,” Becky warned.
Bendo charged at the Tengall and bit Tengall on the ankle, only for the large goblin to kick him away.
“Bendo!” Becky called out.
“I guess you two will be replacing the slaves you released,” Tengall stated as he picked Bendo up.
Becky swung her fist at the tall goblin, but her arm couldn’t reach him. Then Talia reappeared and pounced on Tengall’s back, causing him to drop both Becky and Bendo.
“Are you ok?” Becky asked as she crawled over to Bendo.
“Yes,” Bendo answered, “are you?”
“Just a little dirty,” Becky replied as she brushed the dirt off her legs and skirt, “but I can still help Talia.”
The eight-year-old stood up and saw Tengall knock Talia off of his back. The tall, green goblin picked up a large club and walked over to the black lioness, who was just getting back to her feet. Becky dashed to her wand and used it to fire some small blasts at Tengall, only for him to shrug it off.
“That was pathetic,” Tengall taunted as he started to make his way to Becky.
The little girl backed off as Tengall moved closer to her. Talia stood up and the marks on her forehead started to glow. Then a large beam of white energy flew out from her forehead and hit the tall goblin in the back. The blast knocked him to the ground and knocked him out. Talia fell to the ground and Becky ran over to her.
“Are you all right?” Becky asked as she ran over to her new friend.
“I’m fine,” Talia replied as she stood back up, “using that attack just drains my energy.”
“Thanks for saving me,” Becky said.
“You did help me save the cubs,” Talia explained, “I’m sorry if I was a little rough on you.”
Then the four rescued cubs ran over to Talia and Becky and started to nuzzle against them.
“Don’t worry about it,” Becky replied, “I have a little sister myself and I’d be worried if something bad happened to her.”
“Look who I found!” Bendo called out.
Becky and Talia saw him with a lion cub and a leopard cub who ran over to the black lioness.
“We should get out of here before Tengall waked up,” Bendo said.
The group made their way away from the goblin camp and headed to a safer part of the grotto. Becky couldn’t help but pat the cubs on their heads as she walked and the cubs returned the favour by nuzzling against her legs.
“They really like you,” Talia said.
“I’ve never seen jungle cat cubs up this close,” Becky stated.
“And you and Bendo did a great job helping me,” Talia replied, “I want to make you both honorary members of my pride.”
“Thank you,” Bendo said.
“Yes, thanks very much,” Becky added as she gave Talia a hug.
“If you ever need my help, be sure to call me,” Talia stated.
“Well I should head home,” Becky said, “I don’t want my family to start worrying about me.”
“Good-bye,” Bendo and Talia said as Becky headed to the tree portal.
Becky walked through the portal, returned the yard and made her way back insider her house. She found Nina in the living room and the five-year-old was wearing red slippers and holding a stuffed dog.
“There you are,” Nina said, “I was looking for you.”
Becky watched over to her younger sister and gave Nina a big hug.
“It’s nice to see you too,” Nina stated as she returned her sister’s hug, “though this is a surprise.”
“I just really wanted to give my little sister a hug,” Becky replied, “did you have fun with Karen?”
“I sure did,” Nina told her big sister, “and now I want to play with you.”
“That sounds great,” Becky said as the two stopped hugging, “do you want to continue Cinderella?”
“I was hoping to play we could play fairy-tale characters,” Nina replied.
“And I take it you’re Dorothy,” Becky stated.
“Yes, I am,” Nina answered, “is that fine with you.”
“Sure, that sounds good,” Becky replied, “I’ll be Alice.”
The two girls held hands and walked upstairs to their room. The area was filled with the sound of laughter as the sisters played their game.