One day me and my good wife, Clairebelle, was sittin’ in our rocking chairs in our cottage in the woods, when someone knocked.

I opened the door, and there stood two teenage girls what were identical twins. They were about five feet tall, with long black hair, big brown eyes and fair skin, and they were wearing matching tan dresses.

“My name is Bienna,” one said.

“I’m Percy,” said the other. “We’re on our way to the big city to find our future and got hungry on our way.”

“I hope the city is as grand as they say it is,” Bienna said.

“I hope so because I hate living in the village,” Percy said.

“My name is Buscrat, and this here is Clairebelle, my wife,” I said and invited them in.

“Why don’t you sit there on the nice soft sofa while I make you some stew,” Clairebelle said.

“I’d love some stew,” Bienna said

“I hate stew, but if it’s all you’ve got, OK, I guess,” Percy said.

I already couldn’t remember which was which cuz they looked identical. It had always been their fate, and nobody in their home village ever knew them apart. As Clairebelle served them supper, I explained it was a special magic stew.

“As you make your journey, this stew will do two things. First, it will magnify your outlook on life and make your inner self visible on your outward appearance.”

Confused, those poor girls looked at each other then shrugged their shoulders.

“Whatever,” Percy said.

“Sounds fun,” Bienna said.

It would make sense later, I told ‘em. Then I told them the second magical thing the stew would do: “It’ll differentiate the two of you so when you return to your village everybody will know who Percy is and who Bienna is.”

“Good,” Percy said. “I hate getting confused with Bienna.”

“That would make everyone in the village happy,” Bienna said.

The sisters ate their stew then went on their way to the big city. Along the trail they came across a beehive up on a branch of a tree.

“Ooooh, I love honey,” Bienna said. She climbed up the tree, took a handful and ate the honey while she climbed back down.

“I hate bees,” Percy said, and down fell the beehive from the branch and landed on her head. Honey dripped all over her hair, and the bees flew out and stung her face.

The girls ran for three miles until they were far away from the bees. Bienna’s hair turned a beautiful golden color from the honey. Percy’s face became bumpy from the stings.

__________

Bienna and Percy decided they would need money in the city, so they stopped at a farm with a “help wanted” sign out front. The farmer offered to pay them for cleaning out the pen where he kept his pigs.

Bienna was delighted. “What cute little pigs,” she said as she worked.

“Their snouts are ugly and they stink,” Percy said.

When the girls cleaned, the piggies squealed and giggled. Every time they giggled it attracted beautiful butterflies to land on their heads. Bienna saw this and giggled too. Percy complained about the noise and the smell of the pen. Suddenly, her nose began to stretch and widen and square off at the end. While Bienna giggled, a butterfly landed on her head that stayed with her during the rest of their journey.

When they finished the work, the farmer paid them, giving Bienna a little extra for her cheerful effort.

The sisters continued on their journey, eventually coming over a final hill where they saw the big city in the distance. There were tall buildings and paved streets.

“Look at the wonderful city,” Bienna said.

“It probably has a lot of bad people like everyone in the village says,” Percy said.

They walked on the sidewalk and saw a dog chained to a light pole outside a store, looking sad. He had something yellow on his face.

“Look at the cute little dog,” Bienna said.

Percy pointed at a hot dog wrapper on the sidewalk. “He must have stolen that hot dog,” she said. “It’s mustard.” She walked closer to the curb, away from the dog.

“Hello, little doggie,” Bienna said. The dog wagged his tail, then stood on its hind legs, put its paws on Bienna’s dress and licked her on the cheeks. Her cheeks became rosy, and her dress turned yellow from the mustard, with polka dots where the dog had left paw prints.

Right then a car drove by and hit a pothole of muddy water. The water splashed all over Percy’s dress and turned it brown.

The sun began to set over the city skyline.

“Look at the beautiful sunset,” Bienna said.

“That’s from the smog,” Percy said. They watched the sunset together, and Bienna’s eyes became flecked with blue, soaking in the sky’s colors. Percy’s eyes turned dark gray, influenced by the color of the smog.

When they finally walked home, the villagers were all happy to see the sisters again.

The villagers looked at the one with scraggly hair and gray eyes. Her face was lumpy, and she had a pig’s snout and a big scowl on her face. She was in a brown dress and smelled like a pig.

“This one must be Percy,” the villagers exclaimed.

Then they looked at the other sister who had a colorful butterfly in her beautiful golden hair. She had pretty blue eyes, rosy cheeks, a cheerful smile and a squeal of a giggle. She wore a yellow sundress with black polka dots. “This must be Bienna!” they exclaimed.

Percy looked at Bienna. “How did they know who was who?” Percy asked.

From that day on, everyone always knew the difference between Percy and Bienna. The magic stew had fulfilled its promise.

That’s the end of this story, friends.

Of course there’s another story about two boys who came by our cottage, too, and had some of Clairebelle’s magic stew. When they returned to their village, one of the young fellers had grown strong and handsome. A stranger passing through gave him a fine home and a piece of land, and when Percy and Bienna met him, he asked Bienna to be his bride.

The other brother wasn’t as attractive or fortunate. He asked Percy to go on a date.

“How come I get the ugly one?” Percy said.

Buscrat’s fables are simple stories that teach a moral. Buscrat welcomes you to visit buscratsfables.com and post your comments regarding the fable.