Sunday, April 20, 2008

The Princess' New Clothes

Well, when I wrote yesterday, we had a new resident. A self-proclaimed Princess who has apparently been quietly hiding among us. She might have revealed herself sooner had our person not mistaken her for a school girl and put her in the academy here. After casting off her school girl uniform yesterday (leaving her rather bare), she refused to tell us her name until she had some clothes befitting her station.

Ms. Merriweather called our person to tell her we had a fashion emergency of the worst kind on our hands. Our person suggested that our little nameless Princess simply put her school uniform back on until she had time to make her more suitable clothes....she mentioned something about having to clean the basement.

Ms. Merriweather pointed out no one ever goes in the basement to see it, however everyone was now seeing the rather bare Princess. She suggested to our person that the Princess needed to take priority over the basement. The little Princess had began to rather pout at this point. She didn't look too pleased with our person at all.
Ms. Merriweather also reminded our person that had she spent more time with the Princess when she first arrived here, instead of making such a hasty judgment about her nature and sticking her in an academy where she didn't belong, we wouldn't be having this dilemma.

With that, our person caved in to Ms. Merriweather's request rather quickly (I think she was looking for an excuse to postpone cleaning anyway). I also think she did feel rather guilty about misjudging the Princess.

So, the Princess and our person spent the day together. The Princess requested a dress of the finest spider web silk and perhaps a few morning dew drops. Unfortunately, the only thing we have on hand is gingham and calico. Plus, our person is afraid of spiders so I don't see spider web silk ever happening. But, our person did what she could with what was available, promising the Princess she would order some small bits of silk (made by silk worms, not spiders) to make up for misjudging her initially. The Princess perked up at that and seemed to warm up to our person a bit (she had seemed to be holding a bit of a grudge).
Our person let the Princess select some fabric...she chose a nice tiny rose print. To make up for the lack of silk, our person at least found some silk ribbon for a sash and hair bow.
The Princess proclaimed the dress "good enough for now, until better can be found." She finally told us her name...Princess Rosina Fayette. Her first name means "little rose" and her second name means "little fairy". I suppose she is a little rose fairy of some sort. We asked our resident fairies, Nim and Nissa, if they had ever heard of the princess. They hadn't, but they explained that fairy Princesses were quite common. Rosina Fayette was most likely simply the princess of a backyard rose garden somewhere who had been displaced. Sometimes people neglect or do away with such gardens, leaving the resident fairy homeless....or in this case, realmless. Nim and Nissa also suggested we avoid mentioning the fact that we knew the Princess was most likely only minor displaced royalty, since fairy Princesses are quite touchy about that sort of thing. They think she has refused to speak the last few years because she was likely insulted our person couldn't tell she was a Princess right away.
The Princess began making herself at home. She seemed to like Ms. Hickory, but didn't care too much for the stove. I think she was afraid she might have to actually use it someday. Ms. Hickory quickly told the Princess that the stove was her property and she was the cook of the house. Rosina Fayette seemed greatly relieved at that. I don't think kitchen chores are very appealing to our Princess.
Rosina Fayette appeared to become fond of Merilwen quite quickly. Ms. Merriweather had already impressed her for standing up to our person for her rights to a new dress and a proper place in the household.
Lily and Mehitabel seemed to take to the Princess quite readily. And, the Princess seemed to take to the piano in the house quite readily. She explained to us she is musically gifted and quite talented at entertaining foreign dignataries. At least we don't have to worry about Princess Rosina Fayette not thinking highly enough of herself.
It will be interesting to see her start travelling with our person a bit. The Princess is hoping to tour some exotic and far off human lands. We thought we would wait a bit before explaining the most exotic place she is likely to see most days is our person's work place down the road....
Hitty Rowan

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Another "New" Resident

We have a new resident in our home...actually, she has lived here in our person's house for quite awhile. Unfortunately, our person mistaked her for a school girl and placed her in "school" with the other youngsters at the Hitty academy. Our new resident had not yet found her voice...sometimes that takes awhile. She has been here for a few years, just quietly watching everything. To be truthful, we rather thought of her as part of the furniture she was so quiet and have really paid her no mind. But, no longer.
Today, she finally found her voice and has decided she wants to be a travel companion. She also cast off her school girl frock and declared she is not a child but a Princess from a foreign court who would like to travel in the style to which she is accustomed. We are not sure of her name as of yet, or where she is from. She is demanding proper clothes befitting her station in life before she tells us. As busy as our mistress is lately, it may be awhile before we know her name. She might get quite cold before then too.
Hitty Rowan

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

The Homecomings Continue

Greetings Again Dear Readers!

There is an old saying you may be familiar with....when it rains, it pours. We certainly have our share of rain in the forecast this week. However, I think that saying rather applies to the happenings within our house as well as without.

Miss Merriweather came calling recently. We were delighted to see her. We old fashioned types need to stick together you know. Mehitabel was telling Miss Merriweather all about her decision to resign as Headmistress of Preble Academy.

Miss Merriweather listened quietly. After Mehitabel was finished with her story, Miss Merriweather sighed deeply. "Yes, my friend, I do understand. It is quite an honor to be Headmistress of an academy, but the burdens of leadership do tend to weigh on one after awhile."

Quite surprised by her downcast look, I asked, " dear Miss Merriweather...surely you too are not thinking of resigning."

"Well, Rowan, not exactly resign permanently. With the Preble Academy for Hitties merging with mine....well, there are plenty of adults to run things smoothly with all the teachers in the house. Not to mention Celebrian and Elrond. Why, I am really not needed that much anymore."

I was shocked. "Not needed! are one of the backbones of the entire household! Even our person would be quite lost without your sound advice...along with us Hitty's collective wisdom!"

"Dear Rowan, you are too kind. The students all love Celebrian and Elrond, as much...perhaps more...than me. And, our person is busy of late and with the academy being located in the dining room now, I really don't get to visit with her as much as we did when I lived here. This was the first house I lived in when I left the doll cabinet, you know. I really didn't like being a grand lady locked in a cabinet. I saw our little mischievous half-Elven Merilwen when she first arrived here and couldn't help but think that child needed more supervision than she was getting. When our person moved me out of the cabinet and appointed me as Nanny to Merilwen, then eventualy as head of a girl's academy, I was so happy. But times have changed, and will change even more with our person's marriage. I just find myself longing for the old days in this house...when times were simpler."
"Well, perhaps another talk with our person is in order. We would certainly love to have you live here."

We talked with our person, and I think she too was eager to have Miss Merriweather back in our house, where she would see her more. The girls in the academy were sad at the news of a second Headmistress taking a leave of absence. But, the girls really have so much company with each other, Elrond and Celebrian, and Hitty grandparents and teachers, that there was no lack of love to fill in the gap. Life at the academy continued on, and Miss Merriweather began settling in with us, and immediately fulfilling her new position as Head Advisor to our person (who sometimes needs a lot of advice).
All seemed well...or so we thought.

Back at the academy, our mischievous Merilwen seemed quite out of sorts. The other girls seemed delighted with the household busting at the seems with little many new companions to play with. While polite to the other girls and sometimes joining in their play, Merilwen didn't seem to have the desire to chatter and play all them time like the others. She began to keep to herself.At times, she would wander down to sit with the adults, but still seemed rather out of sorts.
At lunchtime today, Grandma Gracie called for the girls to come and eat. Merilwen was missing. The teachers searched the academy and house...but no Merilwen. Elrond was informed of her abscence. "Surely," he said, "Merilwen would not venture outside alone. She certainly knows better, especially after her disasterous search for snow a few weeks ago."

He went in search of Merilwen....and found her exactly where she wasn't supposed to be.
"Merilwen, whatever are you doing out here alone? You know better!" Elrond gently admonished.
Merilwen, who can be quite stubborn when she has a mind to, simply pouted and replied, "I just needed some fresh air! I can't breathe anymore in the academy!"
"Merilwen, you can breathe just as well in the academy as outside. Now come along...."
Elrond led the reluctant little half-elven girl back inside, with Merilwen dragging her feet the entire way.

He returned her to the care of the academy teachers, gently reminding her not to venture into the dangerous outside world alone again.
Now, you would think being personally escorted back to the academy by Master Elrond would be enough to keep Merilwen inside. We were all quite shocked when Hagrid returned her to the academy AGAIN later in the day...she had somehow managed to elude all the teachers and venture outside once more.
Elrond and Celebrian tried to reason with the child, but she would have none of it.
Merilwen can be "a handful" sometimes, but had never been this uncooperative. The more Elrond and Celebrian tried to speak with her, the more uncooperative Merilwen became until she did something no child in the household had ever done before. Merilwen...threw...a........ tantrum.
Celbrian and Elrond, wise though they are, were momentarily at a loss.
"Oh dear, Elrond. Whatever has gotten into Merilwen? I have not been here long, but I've never seen her behave like this..." Celebrian softly spoke.
"Neither have I..." Elrond quietly replied. "I wonder......"

He rose suddenly and headed for the academy door, "I'll be back in a moment...I think I know exactly what our dear Merilwen needs."

I fear Elrond's idea of what she needed might have differed from Merilwen's. Miss Merriweather lost no time in picking the child up off of the floor and heading home...a very unhappy Merilwen in tow.
Miss Merriweather tried to find out what was troubling Merilwen so very much, but only got a footstomping, "It's not fair!" from the child. Merilwen refused to say what was unfair.
Miss Merriweather quickly had enough of Merilwen's behavior and sent her to bed for a nap, thinking perhaps the child was overtired. As Merilwen sobbed her frustrations into her pillow before finally sleeping....
Miss Merriweather went to visit Elrond and Celebrian. Together, they tried to sort out Merilwen's odd behavior."Miss Merriweather, I don't know what exactly is wrong with Merilwen, but I might hazard a guess. First of all, although she does like the other children, I think there are simply too many of them around too much of the time for Merilwen. She is half-Elven, and sometimes needs solitude...time to reflect....time to write poetry, or gaze at the stars....time alone. I suppose I should have thought of that...the other girls delight in constant chatter and company, but not Merilwen. The lack of reflection time has likely made her quite irritable."

"Second...Merilwen's behavior became much worse...when you left. I do believe she misses you."

"Misses ME! My dear Elrond, you know Merilwen holds a very special place in my heart and always will. But, sometimes her thirst for adventure gets the best of her judgement. For her own safety, there are times when I simply must keep a careful eye on her. You know Merilwen doesn't exactly like that."

"Not on the surface, no. But, deep down, she knows you love her and are only trying to keep her safe. I think she simply needs more attention...from one she really does love...and more time for herself. Not that she needs to be isolated from the others...certainly not. They enjoy her company and she theirs...just not all the time. Merilwen needs, not a governess or Headmistress, but more like a Nanny of her very own, as well as space of her own when she wants it."
"A Nanny....that is what I was to her when I first left the doll cabinet. Before I became Headmistress of the academy. Do you really think she"

"Oh, I do indeed!" Elrond quickly replied. "I think she needs you more than you know."

"And perhaps," Celebrian gently added, "You need Merilwen more than you know."

Miss Merriweather's eyes became suspiciously moist. "Well...I think I know a solution to this dilemma."

When Merilwen woke from her nap, she found Miss Merriweather waiting for her. Refreshed from her sleep, Merilwen recollected her behavior the past day or so and suddently felt dreadfully ashamed.

She tried to apologize to Miss Merriweather, but found her apology cut off when Miss Merriweather hugged her tightly....

Miss Merriweather and Merilwen talked for a long time. It seems that Merilwen was feeling quite different from the other girls. She wondered what was wrong with her, when everyone else seemed so happy with the new, boisterous house full of little girls. She tried very hard to be happy with the constant noise and activity, but found herself desperately needing a bit of quiet.

Then, Miss Merriweather left and poor Merilwen simply could not contain her frustration any longer. She went outside to seek some solitude, even though she knew she should not do so alone. But, all the adults in the house were so busy with the other children, there was really no one to ask to accompany her outside.
Miss Merriweather asked Merilwen how she would like to come live with us? Although she could certainly see the other children whenever she wished, Miss Merriweather would be Merilwen's very own Nanny, and she would have her very own space for solitude when she needed it.

Merilwen eagerly accepted Miss Merriweather's offer. She seems quite content again. She even helped Miss Hickory fix dinner, did her homework, and practiced her piano lesson without being reminded.

And at the end of the day, Merilwen and Nanny Merriweather delighted in each other's company before Merilwen quietly and willingly turned in for the night.
It would seem all is well again in our world!

Hitty Rowan