A Mother’s Joy

Glad you could join us for the next joyful episode of Elliot’s Adventures. If you’re new here, you can catch up by returning to the beginning, and reading really fast…

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Photo credit: JSVDP

Standing before her King, Connie’s honesty tussled with the rare and exquisite pleasure of being singled out for praise, and won.

“Your Greatness, I did what any mother — any parent — would have done if they saw their baby in danger. As pleased as I am that my Arnold has told the world he’s proud of me, I can’t take credit for my instincts. Besides, Arnold’s elder sister, my first born, actually went back toward all those fangs to grab Bitsy and pull her into the house. She’s the brave one.”

“Permission to speak, your Greatness,” came a voice from the ranks behind him.

“Step forward, Knight.”

“It happened as the lady says, your Greatness, except that I have never seen such fierce determination in a civilian in the face of death as what the lady showed when she bit down on that viper’s tongue. I don’t believe my own mother would have been so daring. I thought sure the lady was a goner when I diverted the enemy’s attention with my spear.”

Heedless of etiquette in the presence of royalty, Connie cut off the King’s reply. “You’re the one who stabbed the serpent? Thank you! I thought I was a goner, too.”

“So,” his grinning Greatness once again regained command, “we have more than one hero to recognize. Young Arnold, please escort your elder sister forward and take your places beside your mother.”

Anticipation whispered through the crowd.

“What’s your name, young lady?”

“Polly, your Greatness,” she replied, standing straight and looking him right in the eye.

King Arnie’s voice softened to honey. “My mother’s name was Polly.”

“I knew her in school,” Connie explained, “long before she met your father. We weren’t best friends or anything, but she was a natural leader and I always admired her integrity and kindness. And then she became Queen of Bog. Of course I named my first daughter after her.”

“You’ve drawn her well,” the King acknowledged. “And your action honors her name, young Polly.” He addressed the assemblage. “From this day, your neighbor and friend, Lady Connie, shall be a Friend of the King and have ready access on behalf of herself, her family, and her neighbors.”

The crowd’s cheers were deafening.

Smiling at Lady Connie, he continued, “Your remarkable children, Polly and Arnold, are here invited to serve as Pages to the King to prepare for careers in the Public Service of Bog, if they so wish.”

Connie’s pride leaked from her eyes. She would miss them, but how easy it was to enjoy the praise her children deserved.

The cracking voice of her second eldest son, Eldin, broke through the noise, “Say yes! Then I’ll get to be the boss of the kids!”

Laughter filled the air. Connie made a mental note to speak with Eldin as soon as the King was gone.

To be continued. . .

Previously, on Elliot’s Adventures ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ Next time . . .

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Author: Sue Ranscht

I am a writer. Let me tell you a story...

15 thoughts on “A Mother’s Joy”

  1. Apologies for the late reply…I’ve been hideously lazy replying as guess what came from the library..”Shantaram”!! Fantastic read and brilliant recommendation thank you 💕
    Now. I think basically I am a naturally suspicious person…I’ve become very involved with your series and protective of the protagonists…lol…obviously it varies from person to person, but I just felt there was more to be read from the whole situation. Perhaps the lesson here is that I do need to be more accepting of people’s altruism.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m glad you’re finding Shantaram rewarding to read. A 900-page book is a serious commitment, isn’t it? 🙂

      I agree skepticism is a healthy mindset — I’m like that, too. Not only about “facts”, but beginning with the knowledge that people will tell you exactly what they want you to believe.

      Besides, doesn’t altruism return something to the altruistic? Look at King Arnie. His reward not only granted the promise of a bright future to Polly and Arnold, security and respect to Connie, and honor and special recognition to her neighbors, but good will and grateful admiration from all of them for himself. Not in a conniving way, but because of his honest love and concern for his subjects.

      At the same time, I believe it’s essential for our souls to keep our eyes wide open for those rare moments of pure joy — whether they happen to us or to anyone else — especially in dark times, when negativity seems to run rampant.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, love your last paragraph! I think as I’ve got older too I’ve learned more about the quality of joy and how to value these moments…or do you think we know joy as children and then life gets in the way and tarnishes our ability to accept these moments as they happen…

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I think as children — from as early as the unrestrained laughter of babies too young to understand why something makes them laugh — we experience joy without necessarily being aware that’s what we’re feeling. I’m not even convinced we go looking for joy or happiness until we’ve experienced enough disappointment and are old enough to realize we can choose to be open to joy and to be happy. I wonder how many children figure that out on their own. I suspect we learn that from wiser people in our lives or from things we read.

          You’re probably right about life getting in the way and tarnishing our ability to accept joyful moments. It’s a good thing we’re never too old to learn we have choices!

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        1. I believe that a world filled with trouble can make people cynical. Now I need to ask if you feel I’ve given readers a reason not to trust these particular characters’ motivations and integrity. If so, what events or statements involving these characters contributed to your sense they might be harboring hidden agendas and ulterior motives? Or does that dIstrust come from a more general suspicion that the author is trying to trick the readers? If that’s the case, I wonder if it’s possible a reader’s cynicism (based on the troubled real world) can project itself onto a fantasy world’s joy because we’ve stopped trusting that pure joy is possible.

          Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha! I was thinking “dime conspiracy theorist” might be short for “dime-a-dozen conspiracy theorist”. Curse you, AutoCorrect!

      Hey, Tre, you know me — I take motherhood’s marvelous moments pretty seriously. Lol. But you make me think there might be a lesson here. Maybe, when we dwell in a world where we watch so many things go wrong, we resist believing any small moment can bring unadulterated joy.

      Now I’m resolved to keeping my eyes wider open for them. *big hugs*

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