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…
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. . .