Not so long ago and not so far away in a quiet family house on an average neighborhood street, a sad and lost soul wiled away the days alone and bitter. Everyone who met him couldn’t help but be turned off by his prickly personality and that was fine with him. He was CRABBY and being crabby was all he ever knew. He had a motto: “I’m Cactie and I’m CRABBY!” And with that kind of attitude exuding from his scratchy skin,people and stayed away.
This caught Cactie completely off guard. NO ONE had ever touched him on purpose – much less nuzzle him! “What’s wrong?”, he thought. “Are my needles malfunctioning? Have I lost my prickle? Oh no! Not my prickle!”
But as the days and weeks passed Cactie realized that his prickle was in fine working order as everyone else still avoided him and yelped in pain if he got too close. But his prickles didn’t seem to bother Einstein. In fact, Einstien seemed to enjoy them. And after a while, Cactie didn’t mind Einstein too much, either. He supposed that being friends with one cat would not harm his crabby reputation too much.
And as the friendship grew Cactie paid more attention to Einstein and began to wonder why he seemed so happy and carefree. Why wasn’t he CRABBY? Being a curious and scholarly cactus, Cactie executed a research observation study to learn the secret of Einstein’s happiness. His research led him to two conclusions: that he might want to try out this “happy” thing as it looked like a lot more fun than crabbiness, and that the source of Einsteins happiness seemed to be his cuddles and nuzzles with all of his friends.
This insight did not bring peace to Cactie because he knew that he would never be able to experience the cuddles and nuzzles of his family as long as he was prickly. One day he tried to pull out his needles but passed out after the first one. His only hope was a legend he had heard when he was just a baby cactus, still on the cactus farm. Like all baby cacti, he was told of the Great Cactus Fairy who could make your wish come true if you just believed.
At first, Cactie didn’t know if he could believe – it seemed like such a far fetched notion. But one night he mustered up all of his concentration and thought about the Great Cactus Fairy until he was very sleepy. He drifted off to dream-land repeating “I believe in you, Cactus Fairy” over and over again.
And in spite of any doubts, the Great and Powerful Cactus Fairy appeared to Cactie in his dream and said: “Yeh, little Cactie. I have heard your request and am here to grant your wish. Upon your waking, ye shall be transformed into a soft toy – a toy which will bring joy to everyone who sees it. And people from near and far will come to cuddle and nuzzle ye. And lo, I will give thee a new caretaker who will love and cherish thee. Plus, I’m throwing in a free sombrero because its Free Sombrero Month in Cactiland. Now wake up and be prickly no more!” And in a flash, the Great Cactus Fairy was gone.
Cactie woke up excited for a moment and then realized he’d been dreaming and his spirits fell. But maybe….just maybe…..it wasn’t a dream. Was it too much to hope for? Cactie slowly opened his eyes and looked down at himself. Somethine MAGICAL had happened to him! It was true – he was a soft toy! The burdonsome prickles were all gone!