As always, our host shared a photo prompt to guide us. This week's prompt is this lovely image here.
Growing up, I always enjoyed watching the Disney movie Mulan, and this photo prompt immediately made me think of a scene or two from that animated film. The original, animated Mulan came out when I was roughly 9 years old, and I watched it more times than I could count. For those who don't know, the movie Mulan is more or less about a young Chinese woman who pretends to be a man in order to take her aged, injured father's place when he is essentially drafted into the Chinese army following the invasion of the Huns. Mulan thereafter learns to fight, saves the day, and is ultimately found out and then proves herself a hero regardless of her gender. As a kid, and even to do this day, I think I was just really glad to finally see a leading lady in a Disney movie do more than just seek a prince and wear pretty dresses.
Now, moving on from the rambling above. This week's photo prompt indeed made me think of Mulan, and so my poem ended up being very vaguely based off of that sort of concept. And now I'll just stop there and let you read the poem, should you wish.
A Book by Its Cover
In the ancient times of an ancient place,
Some sought a life filled with fortune and grace,
Complete with pretty dresses and a beautifully painted face.
Others sought to lead a life of great talent and skill,
In which they could achieve a great many cheers and thrills.
In that ancient place of those ancient days of old,
There was a young boy who wished for the latter, truth be told.
He wanted to grow strong and bold and swing a sword.
This boy decided he would seek that life on one fine day when he felt bored.
With a pep in his step he walked through the streets,
Nodding and smiling at everyone he did meet.
He passed women with lively faces and dressed in silks of all colors,
A bright life filled with pretty things being what they most preferred.
As for the boy, he had great plans ahead for his own life.
He would be a warrior so that he would know no strife.
His dreams having been in place for a great many years,
The boy knew exactly where he was headed as he smiled ear to ear.
He stopped at a quaint little shop at the end of a quiet street.
He knocked on the door and was surprised at what he did meet.
Above the door sat a sign that always made the boy smile.
THE SWORD MASTER'S LAIR was written so boldly it could be read from a mile.
When on that day the boy did knock at that sword master's door,
He was met by something surprisingly small, whiskered, and orange.
A cat with a long tail is what stood on the other side of the entrance.
It looked at the boy with eyes that clearly questioned his presence.
Pointing up at the sign swaying in the wind above the door,
The boy said, "I need to speak with the sword master. Please. I implore."
The cat shook its head and chuffed,
But then it nodded for the boy to follow with a huff.
The boy was led by the cat through the tiny shop and out the back door.
They entered a quaint garden in which the wind did soar.
When he saw a blade nearby, the boy's heart made an excited leap.
It was a glistening sword leaning against a blossoming cherry tree.
From behind the tree then appeared a woman.
She wore hair and a gown that were simple yet pretty looking.
The orange cat rubbed against the woman's legs beneath her garb.
She picked up the feline so that it no longer stood on the grass of the yard.
"Hello," the boy said to the woman with a grin on his face.
"Might you be able to show me to the sword master who runs this place?"
The woman raised an eyebrow as she petted the cat in her arms.
The boy could not tell if the woman was happy or perhaps wished him harm.
After a painfully long silence, the woman finally spoke.
"Why do you want to see the sword master of all folk?"
"I want to learn to be a warrior," the boy answered, his words eager.
He added, "I wish to ask the sword master to be my teacher."
The woman stared at him, shrugged, and then sighed.
She walked over to the sword by the tree, picked it up, and said, "Fine."
"You mean you'll introduce me to the sword master?" the boy asked her.
"I mean I'll teach you," she said, "because I am the sword master."
"What?" the boy could not help but splutter.
"You're the sword master? But, well, you're—"
She finished his sentence, saying, "A girl?"
She swung the sword this way and that in a twirl.
The sword cut through the air with a swoosh and a swish.
The boy cleared his throat, feeling like a waterless fish.
The woman said, "You can be anything you want, from a butcher to a drummer.
If it's a warrior you wish to be, start by learning not to judge a book by its cover."
In case you're curious, in her namesake movie, Mulan had a small red dragon as a sidekick. Obviously, that sidekick had to become an orange cat in this case. Because obviously.
Another great thing about Thursday is that it's a great day to give thanks. This is especially the case thanks to Brian's Thankful Thursday Blog Hop.
As always, Thimble is here to share some gratitude. Today, she's thankful for sunshine that makes glamour shots possible.
Thimble and all of us here wish you lots of sunshine, but we also hope it's not too hot for you. Sometimes there's a fine balance when it comes to the joys of sunshine.
Last but not least, we have the fill-in statements for tomorrow's Friendly Fill-Ins challenge. Ellen of 15andmeowing came up with the first two and I came up with the second two.
1. When this pandemic is over, I _________.
2. I have zero interest in _________.
3. I always look forward to _________.
4. _________ is the bane of my existence.
Did you know?
We're going to somewhat repeat a bit of trivia we've mentioned before. So, did you know that in both Chinese and Japanese culture, cats are often seen as good luck? Especially in Japanese culture, black cats are seen as lucky, and crossing a black cat's path is seen as a good omen. Japanese culture and somewhat Chinese culture also have the Maneki-neko, which is the figure of a cat with its right paw raised as if waving. This Maneki-neko is translated as "beckoning cat", and it's a sign of good luck, so much so that it's often simply known as the "lucky cat".