The Tale of Sleepy Beauty: A Modern Fable


Once upon a time, there was a beautiful young woman who could not wake up. She had stayed up well past midnight for three nights, studying for an important test.

Alas, on the morning of the test, she found herself barely able to move. She staggered to the shower, lurched to the breakfast table, stared unseeing at the morning paper and held her toast in unfeeling fingers. She stumbled to the shuttle stop, slept through the ride to campus, and collapsed into a seat in the lecture hall for the first class of the day. Her eyes drooped as the professor droned on, and the pencil fell from her fingers as she struggled to take notes.

Alerted (if you can call it that) by the bustle of feet as students rushed out of class, she shuffled off to the food court, mumbling her way through an order and off to a table. As she stared blearily at her sandwich, a young man took the seat next to her.

“Hey, sorry I’m late,” he said, kissing her hello. “Wait–are you okay?”

Lingering on her lips was an unfamiliar taste. Hints of chocolate, but also of something else. “What–what is this?” she asked.

“Hmm? Oh, this!” The young man lifted up a plastic cup with a straw. “Iced mocha. I stopped at Starbucks on the way here. You want some?”

The young woman took the offered cup, and tasted the drink. As she tasted it, something amazing happened. Her eyes began to open, she sat up straight, and she was able to think clearly for the first time in days.

Smiling at last, she set the cup down and threw her arms around the young man. “My hero!” she said. With the mocha lending her strength, she was able to pass the exam.

And they lived happily ever after.