“And then, the most amazing thing happened!”, exclaimed Gramma Feebly.
The Queen said, “I have made sure that the rules developed by my great-great-great-great-great grandmother, oh so long ago, continue to be followed, to this very day. These rules are important for the safety of our family, our home and our way of living so well.
Do you understand, Fatu?”
I nodded my head shyly and gently twitched my twitchers.
“Who’s Fatu, Gramma Feebly?”, asked one of the girls.
“That’s my real name. Yuh don’t think I was always called Gramma Feebly, do you?”, chuckled Gramma Feebly. We all giggled at the thought of her being called Gramma Feebly when she was a girl.
“Shall I continue the story of my meeting with the Queen?”, asked Gramma Feebly.
We all said, “Yes!”
“OK. Well, the Queen said it was quite alright to look at her, and not to be embarrassed.
Well, she was so big that it took me a minute to take all of her in, I’ll tell you.
As I said, the Queen was ten times as long as I was, and twenty times bigger around, too! I know, I know, it seems impossible but that’s the way things work for us.
The Queen’s gallery was perfectly clean, with her bed as comfortably arranged and fit for, well…a queen! A gentle, bluish light made everything look soft, and it was cooler than any place in our great home. It made you feel totally relaxed. Not me, of course. I was definitely not relaxed!”
The Queen continued, ‘I have so many eggs inside me that I have to lay so I have to be “so big’! But, that’s what I am here for. We all have certain, unique talents which allow us to live happily -most of the time! - with everyone else.’
“What about the amazing thing?”, asked Dilma in her excited little voice.
“I’m getting to it, I’m getting there, Miss Impatience!”, Gramma Feebly said with a wink.
“The Queen said, ‘You broke our number-one rule…’
“Never alone, always close to home.”, we all sang back to her.
“That’s right, and don’t you forget it!”, Gamma Feebly went on.
“Well, the amazing thing happened. I knew I was going to be punished and I was cringing a bit, worried about what that was goin’ to be.”
The Queen said, ‘Before I tell you what your punishment will be, I will tell you a secret. You mustn’t tell anybody else. You agree?’
“I said, Yes, Ma’am.”
“The Queen said, ‘Fatu, you are going to live for a very long time and you are going to pass along all the stories of our family. You will be the magical story teller of our family.’
I stammered, “But…but…how…I don’t know…”
‘Never you mind’, replied the Queen. ‘It will all just happen.’
‘Now, about your punishment.’
“I trembled a bit, but after what the Queen had just said, I kinda thought it might not be so awful.”
‘You will tell as many of the girls in our home that you can the first rule of of our hill. The men don’t need to know, right? And, take the garbage out every morning until the next full moon! Is that clear?’
I barely whispered, “Yes, Ma’am. But how will I get to know all the stories…”
The Queen waived a royal leg and touched her twitcher to mine and whispered, ‘It will just happen, you’ll see.’
“Well you can imagine how I felt! I was going to live for a long time and I was going to become THE story teller!”
“I took out the garbage, early every morning, with the Aunties watching closely. The next full moon was only three days later.
“Who’s taking out what garbage?!?” came the grating demand of Shrieker. “Be quiet and go to sleep! Tomorrow will be here soon enough!” Gratch!
Chitkin was coming around to her usual self, leaving Gramma Feebly behind for another night.
“Chitkin, that was quite the story! But, you know, we’ve got to try to find a way to escape from all this”, I whispered as I stroked Chitkin with my twitchers.
“I know, Cello”, Chitkin yawned. “But it will have to wait until tomorrow when I’m awake enough to tell you my plan.”
END CHAPTER #8