Saša Eržen (1973) has been writing for children and youth for more than twenty years. She has authored many stories, lyrics and songs for children's puppet shows (Tag, You’re It!, Wee Charlie’s Stories, Pinocchio, Goldilocks and the Three Bears), scripts for children and youth television shows (Firbcologi, Studio Kriškraš), and picture books. In 2020, a feature film for children, A Hat, based on her screenplay, will be produced. Her play Tag, You’re It! opened at the Ljubljana Puppet Theatre in November 2012 to great acclaim and has had more than 200 repeat shows. In 2017, it won a special award for a new play at the International Puppet Theatre Festival Golden Spark in Kragujevac, Serbia.
Eržen’s picture book A Tale of Fleas was shortlisted as one of the five entries for the best Slovenian picture book in 2011 and received the national Golden Pear token of recognition for quality literature. In 2019, it was adapted for the radio and broadcast in the series Good Night, Children.
Once upon a time, beyond seven mountains, seven waters, and seven mouse holes there lived a cat queen. When she was not busy entertaining her guests or holding parades, she loved napping on soft velvet cushions and purring. Her life was cat-like carefree and relaxed, until one day some weird creature bit her and gave her an unbearable itch. It gnawed and itched her more and more. The servants scratched the cat queen, but to no avail. They began to rumour, whispering to each other that the cat queen had fleas. The queen to have fleas! Oh, no! This can’t be! And so she sacked them all. She called on the sage scholars of her feline kingdom for help, but no one knew what to do. Finally, Coolcat came to her rescue. He whispered a wonderful piece of advice in her ear. It was something her feline royal highness yearned to hear.
A Tale of Fleas is a cheeky, amazing, and amusing story about a cat queen who refuses to admit that she has problems and therefore tackles them in a completely futile way. Running away from problems is never a solution, be it fleas or any other ailments. We can only get rid of the problems if we acknowledge them first, grab them by the neck, and bravely face them.