The Cobwebbed Princess

~ A Short Story by Andre Norton

This was Andre's last Short Story.


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Synopsis ~

A great sleeping curse has fallen on the land of Fallona until one day the Princess Charlita of Fallona, is awaken by her cat Cobweb. Together they battle an invisible being and in their escape from this threat they discover the Scepter of Margelee. The forces of old are awakened and the resulting battle brings an awakening to the land.

 

Write-up from a fan ~

A previously unknown version of "Sleeping Beauty" by the feline author, Perrault: A cat begins his day by jumping down from beside Princess Charlita of Fallan and making the usual cat's obeisance to Bast. He notes that Maid Mafry is still asleep, fallen over the laundry she'd been about to put away, and Diona, Lady of the Wardrobe was still asleep - her face into the gown that she'd been about to present to the Princess with were all stricken by the curse. The difference this morning  is that the Princess is stirring as if she was having a bad dream.  As he has done many times before, unsuccessfully, the cat touches the tip of his tongue to her lips, hoping against hope that his "kiss" will awaken her this time.

Princess Charlita arises and together her and Cobweb, the cats new name, explore the palace but find find no one else awake. But something moves in the Kings Library -- a parchment on the desk. Frightened, Charlita tosses an ink pot at it, which causes a dark stain to appear on ... some thing! Terrified, Charlita and Cobweb flee and find an unbarred door in the kitchen that leads them down to a strange underground chamber, with the inkblot following them. There they find the evil sorceress who had placed the curse, and the good on who had modified it. With Cobweb's assistance, the sorcerer makes the missing Prince visible. As he and Charlita kiss the curse is lifted. Cobweb's cat body can not handle the strain of the Power being channeled through it, and he passes on into Bast's Heaven. ~ SL

 

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Bibliography of English Editions ~

  • Magic Tails (2005) Edited by Martin H. Greenberg and Janet Pack, Published by DAW, PB, 0-756-40288-3, No.1339, $7.50, 320pg (Pg 287) ~ cover by unknown ~ 14 original stories of felines and fables...

Write-up from the back of the paperback ~

Cats being magical creatures in their own right, it's not surprising that so many people who are captivated by fantastical tales and classic fables are also enamored of felines. And MAGIC TAILS is the perfect volume for anyone who likes to curl up with a good book and a companionable cat. Here are fourteen excursions into the fantastic, new twists on well-remembered bedtime stories that will have you looking at the original versions in a whole new light.

From a cat genie who seems to have a bit of a problem fulfilling human wishes... to the quest which only sleeping Beauty's cat can complete... to a feline desperately seeking a way to best the devil... to a cat-assisted solution to the Three Pigs' wolf problem, theses ingenious, highly original tales are sure to cast their spell over all cat-loving readers of fantasy.

Contents
    1 • Introduction (Magic Tails) • essay by Janet Pack
    3 • Ali Babette • shortstory by Alan Dean Foster
    15 • Cat Among the Pigeons • novelette by Elizabeth Ann Scarborough
    39 • Dark Eyes, Faith, and Devotion • [Newford] • shortstory by Charles de Lint
    58 • Sleeping Beauties • novelette by Jody Lynn Nye
    79 • The Snow Queen • novella by Michelle West and Debbie Ridpath Ohi
    125 • The Devil's Bridge • shortstory by Edward Carmien
    135 • Pharaoh's Cat • novelette by Lisanne Norman
    171 • Cat-Friend • shortstory by Josepha Sherman
    182 • The Bedtime Story • shortstory by Edward Serken
    200 • Bargains • novelette by Richard Lee Byers
    233 • All the Pigs' Houses • shortstory by Mickey Zucker Reichert
    253 • Ever So Much • (2004) • shortstory by Bruce Holland Rogers
    265 • Suede This Time • novelette by Jean Rabe
    287 • The Cobwebbed Princess • shortstory by Andre Norton 

 

 

View the original contract

 

 

 

 

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