I was cursed when I was born by a well-meaning fairy. She cursed me with very dainty feet and good posture and impossibly green eyes. Needless to say, everything since then has been an utter disaster.
I’m wild and ill-tempered. I know this because Mellie, the maid who raised me after my parents died in a ballooning accident, is always saying, “Why can’t you be less wild and ill-tempered?” I can never keep a petticoat clean for more than five minutes. This bothers Mellie, as well it should, because I am quite disrespectful of her time. But I must be in constant contact with mud to demonstrate how unlike other girls I am.
The other problem is that I am quite lean. Some would even go so far as to call me “wiry.” What awful luck, right? Everyone is always saying things to me like “You’re too skinny, but you’ll turn out alright.” The thing is, I know my small size conveys a certain amount of privilege. For example, I am always able to lurk in dark corners undetected and learn crucial pieces of information. And there was that time I needed to hide in a barrel full of cod while a gruff but merry band of fishermen secreted me away on a canal boat. What a stink! Still, every night I look out the window of my shabby yet comfortable hideout carved into an oceanside cliff and wish for exactly one-quarter-inch more flesh on my delicate, birdlike frame.
And my hair! Brown! And so much of it! Why me?
The other problem in my life is that I possess this really weird, niche skill. You see, I’m an extremely accomplished archer, and boys don’t like girls who can shoot a chipmunk with an arrow from 100 yards away. Well, except the three boys who are constantly fighting for my attention. They’re all dreamy but I think I’ll wind up choosing the truly tortured soul. And I also have a strange golden instrument that only I can read and it answers any question in the whole wide world. Weird, right? It’s funny, because for a while I thought that my only skill was that I was better at reading Dickens novels than every other three-year-old, but then it turned out that I was also able to move large objects with just my thoughts.
I haven’t even told you the most terrible part: I’m also a princess! Just when you thought it couldn’t get worse, right? I’ve only just learned my secret identity and I don’t know how I’m going to begin to cope with it. It’s bad enough that I’ve had to go through the first 14 years of my life never knowing why small children are always handing me roses. Now I have to reconcile all of this wealth and status with my identity as a very petite teen who likes mud.
I can survive for long periods of time on a bite of crusty brown bread and three dewdrops collected from a single blade of grass. However, when taken in by a kind stranger, I will vigorously wolf down the half chicken I am given. People will remark on how much I can eat for such a little, dainty girl, but I get the impression that they feel my appetite is ultimately warranted by my tininess and my active lifestyle of evading capture and foiling plots.
Look, I know that my life isn’t all bad. I’m blessed in that whenever I’m backed into a dangerous corner, I seem to be able to purse my pillowy lips (a sign of my deep concentration) and fashion an elaborate, life-saving machine from just two scraps of wire and a mousetrap. I know that if any normal person were in my situation they would just, like, die immediately. But you should just know that all of that talent and skinniness and wildness can be a real burden, Okay?