Once upon a time, there was a little girl named Muriel who was born a queen.
Well, technically speaking she was printed a queen.
In fact, she was part of a large deck of cards– a daughter of the family of Spades. That’s right: She was the Queen of Spades.
However, for her entire life, Muriel felt confined by being a card. Everyone in her family and extended family—the Hearts, the Clubs, and even the Diamonds—loved their lives and livelihoods. But the Little Queen of Spades knew there was more to life than marrying the born King of Diamonds (her betrothed) and being the victim of cheap magic tricks (for this particular deck of cards was owned by a wannabe magician).
What the Muriel really wanted was to be a human queen. What she didn’t realize was that most humans want to be queens too and never get their wish.
But her life wasn’t all bad. She had two very good friends: Joker, who was much younger than she, and Box, who was literally just the box her pack of cards lived in. Joker was fun-loving, innocent, and kind. Box was a square, both literally and figuratively. He never wanted Muriel to have fun and refused to let her do anything that would cause even one of her corners to get slightly dented.
One day, when Box allowed the cards time to get out and breathe, Muriel escaped with Joker (for no one ever noticed when he was gone) and planned to find her true love.
You see, Muriel had always been strangely attracted to many of the humans she encountered in the magic shows. Of course, she never wanted to fall in love with the magician or the sleazy friends he met with to play blackjack, but there was one man she thought she could love who returned her to the magician when she fell to the floor at a magic show for prominent community members last week.
Muriel and Joker slid across the floor of the garage where they were often kept. Other magical knickknacks were in the garage too, like one of those boxes where a lady could be sawed in half, a trick handkerchief, and a rabbit in a hat.
Muriel had always been fascinated by the rabbit in the magician’s shows and she decided to stop and say hello to her.
“Hello fluffy rabbit!” Muriel said cheerfully, “Why don’t you come out of that hat?”
The rabbit responded, “Dear sweet child, you are the queen! What are you doing so far away from your friends and family?”
If you think the rabbit sounds mildly sinister, you would be correct. She had always wanted to be the greatest magic trick in the show and thought, if she caused the Queen of Spades to leave her pack, then the magician would have to trash the card tricks altogether. And everyone knows that the “rabbit-out-of-the-hat” trick is second only to fancy card tricks.
Muriel answered the rabbit, “I no longer want to be a card! I want to be a human girl!”
The rabbit saw an opportunity, “If you put on this magic hat, you will turn into a human and be free to find the man your heart desires.”
This was exciting indeed.
“But,” the rabbit continued, “If you take off the hat, you will turn back into a card and I will eat you. Also, you must return before the magician notices his hat is missing and files a police report.”
This was concerning indeed.
Muriel weighed her options and just as Box was running up behind her to stop her, Muriel put on the magic hat and…
She actually turned into a human girl! THE HAT WAS REALLY MAGIC?!
Muriel found some silly magician clothes to wear, put Box and Joker in her pocket (she finally had pockets!) and ran out of the garage.
She visited every community center in the area until one looked familiar—the one where she had “met” that human she thought it might be possible for her to love one day.
She was in luck! For that very day, the man was volunteering at the community center. She intentionally bumped into him, making sure to hold on to her hat.
The two struck up a conversation and soon the man, whose name was Warrick, asked Muriel where she was from. She explained to him that she had no home and nowhere to go. Warrick admired her honesty and offered to allow her to stay at his mansion. Yes. Mansion. What? Did you expect the name “Warrick” not to belong to a snooty rich guy? Come on.
Muriel stayed here for three days and the two did begin to fall in love.
Although Warrick’s staff thought that Muriel might be a little insane because she wore a very outdated top hat around the house and even into the shower, Warrick admired her unabashed sense of fashion.
Unfortunately, time was running out for Muriel. She knew the magician would soon see that his hat was missing and come looking for it—especially now that she knew the hat was actually magical.
Meanwhile, the rabbit realized that she could not be part of the rabbit-out-of-the-hat trick without a hat, so she began her own search for Muriel. And, after days of searching, when the rabbit was pooping on the lawn of a large mansion, she saw Muriel through the window!
The rabbit hurried to the door, jumped through the doggy door, and bounded upstairs. She tackled Muriel, knocking the hat off of her head!
Muriel screamed, but no one could hear her because she was just a small card again.
The rabbit took the Queen of Spades between her teeth and, pushing the hat in front of her, began her great escape.
Just as she was about to leap out the door, Warrick came home!
Warrick saw this pesky rabbit stealing his beloved’s beloved hat and reprimanded her,
“Hey you pesky rabbit!” Warrick exclaimed, “Give me that hat back! Also, what are you doing stealing this card from me?”
Warrick was so upset with the rabbit that he decided to make his personal chef cook the small rabbit for dinner. And it would have been super ironic that Muriel would be the one eating the rabbit if Warrick had just reunited Muriel with the magical hat. But he did not and ate dinner alone.
In fact, he ate dinner alone every day after that for four months.
Warrick believed that Muriel had left him, for she never came back to him after leaving her hat behind.
But through being a card, Muriel got to watch and get to know Warrick for who he really was and loved him all the more (she also learned that Warrick was technically a prince of a small European country, so that was a bonus).
One day, many months later, Warrick was cleaning his room and tossed the Queen of Spades, the Joker, and the Box into the magical hat– and they all turned into humans instantly!
As they looked for clothing (and all held on to the magic hat for dear life), the three explained to Warrick what had happened. Turns out, Warrick knew someone who made magic hats and had a hat made for each of the three of them!
Warrick even bought the rest of the deck of cards from the magician so Muriel could be with her family for years to come.
And so, Muriel and Warrick lived happily ever after.
Er, I mean, THE END.