Part one: Princess Elsadore
“Goodness gracious!” came the exclamation. “What happened to you?”
Princess Elsadore squished her toe into the carpet and did not look into Nurse’s eyes.
“Well? If you think you can avoid answering just by looking at the floor, you’d better keep thinking.”
Elsadore sighed. Without looking up, she explained. “We were doing lessons outside and while Tutor was talking I looked over and saw a frog hopping along and I followed it but I didn’t pay enough attention and I followed it right into Papa’s pond.”
Nurse gazed rather placidly, yet slightly sternly, at the girl was she fled through her description.
“Well, that explains the water, but what about the mud and dirt?” Nurse was tapping her foot just the barely a little.
“You see, Nurse, the bottom of the pond is mainly very muddy and my feet squished in and then I fell again and then one more time and when I finally got the edge”--she took a deep breath--“I tipped right over the little wall and fell flat on my front in the dirt path.”
Nurse sighed and shook her head, but Elsadore could see the teeniest but of a smile at the corners of her mouth. Finally, she turned and went into the bathroom calling, “Trina!” as she went. In a few minutes, a nice warm bath was drawn just for Elsadore.
While she took a grand soak in the tub, Nurse went bustling to find Tutor.
“Nurse, I am deeply sorry. I tried to warn her about the pond, but she just didn’t hear me.”
“Ah, but the question remains: why was she chasing a frog during the middle of your lesson?”
“Well, to be fair, I was going over the Age of Quietness. It really isn’t the most exciting….And I suppose I was just a little engrossed in reading Phineas’ description of King Edgert the Peaceful…”
“Oh. Well. That makes the whole scenario just okay.” Nurse pursed her lips. After staring down the poor flustered young man for a moment, she relented. “Tutor, I realize that you are fervent about your lessons; but, you must also be fervently attentive to what Her Miss is doing. She is a bundle of mischief, and your responsibility.”
“I know. I’m sorry. It won’t happen again.”
Nurse didn’t have the heart to remind him that he had said the same thing last week after Elsadore had wandered to the Library window and let in a startling number of pidgeons. She sighed, shook her head, and walked back to Elsdaore’s room just in time to remove her from her grand soak.
Nurse folded Princess Elsadore into her lap, still wrapped in her large, warm towel.
“Now. Missy, what are we going to do with you? Hmm?”
“You could tell me a story, Nurse.” She sat up and turned to Nurse. “I wish Tutor would tell the History the way you tell stories. Then it might be less boring.” She collapsed back onto Nurse. “I know I would listen better then.”
Nurse chuckled. “That may be, my dear; but, you really should choose to pay better attention anyway. Tutor works very hard on those lessons. No story now—it’s almost supper time and we must get you ready.”
Downstairs at supper, Elsadore’s father beckoned her over.
“My dear Elsadore, I have heard a story that cannot possibly be true.”
Elsadore looked at her feet.
“Look at my face, Elsadore. I’m speaking to you.” King Sacha’s eyes twinkled through his stern face.
“Yes, papa.” Elsadore looked up.
“Well, my dear? Is the story true?”
Elsdaore twiddled her toe on the floor. “yes, Papa, it’s true. But the lesson was so boring and there was a frog and the frog was so interesting and it looked at me and I just had to follow it.”
“A frog, eh? Well, I do agree with you that frogs are extremely interesting. Even so, Tutor spends a lot of time preparing his lessons. Is he more important to you than the frog?”
“Then, you should pay more attention to Tutor than the frog, my dear.”
“Yes, papa.” Elsadore hugged her father and raced back to her chair to enjoy the lovely supper.
...to be continued. (c)2007 by Renee Doiron