The Tiger Princess
More than a thousand years ago, far away in an unknown land, the young daughter of the emperor was playing in the bamboo forest and found a tiger cub. She fell in love with him immediately and took him to live with her at the palace. She named him Baelo, after the night sky. Every day, the princess would play with Baelo, feed him, and love him. The Emperor didn`t think a lot about it, thinking as she grew older she would care less and less about the tiger. But it was quite the opposite, actually. Every night, the princess would lie with the tiger, stroke his soft fur and whisper, "Baelo. I love you, Baelo. Never leave." And with these words the princess would fall asleep. As the years went by, both the princess and the tiger became more and more beautiful. Baelo grew huge, big enough to ride. His teeth were as big as knives, his intense green eyes were sharper than a hawk`s, and his black and red coat was glossy and smooth. The princess was tall, and the hours of training she chose to participate in gave her a perfect figure, and the gods granted her amazing blue eyes and long back hair. The Emperor presented many suitors to her but she refused all of them, only loving her Baelo. One of the suitors that was refused returned to his kingdom angry and spiteful. His kingdom declared war on the princess. The princess knew this was her fault so she suited up for battle. As the enemy came upon them, the princess rode Baelo at the head of their army into the fight. They won, but with many casualties. Baelo was one of those casualties. As the great tiger lay dying, the princess wept over his body, crying, "Baelo. I love you. Don`t go. Don`t leave. Baelo. I love you." A single tear fell from the princess`s azure eye, and landed on Baelo`s head. The tiger looked into her eyes, and the princess saw a sparkle in them. And with that, the body of the tiger lifted up into the air, started spinning slowly and was surrounded in different colors like the fireworks the princess had seen when she was little. Awe-stricken, the princess just stared. As the body lowered to the ground, the princess saw that it was no longer the body of a tiger. The tiger had transformed into a man, more beautiful and muscular than anyone the princess had ever seen. He had Baelo`s green eyes. "Baelo?" she asked, hope and love filling her eyes and soul. Baelo smiled, and wrapped her in his huge arms. As they were embraced, he said in a deep and passionate voice, "I love you, too."
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