The Adventures of Princess Pearl, P.O.W.E.R.* Girl! - Chapter One
by Tonja Taylor

Chapter One — The Little Treehouse

“Aarf! Aarf!” barked the little dog, pacing nervously around the base of the tree.

Pearl rushed to the edge of the new treehouse and smiled down at her puppy. 

“Hush, Vivace! I’m writing and I need quiet right now," she said to her dog. "I’ll get you in a bit. This is too high for you, but just right for me.”

Uncle Burt’s German shepherd ran over to see what was going on. Vivace looked like a bit of dancing black fluff next to him, but the dogs got along well together.

"By the way, Viv, I’ll be up here a lot, so don’t get lonely," Pearl told her puppy. 

“Watchman,” she said to the other dog, “I know you’re watching too, like your name says!”

He looked up at her and calmly barked once, as if to say, “You bet!”

Vivace whined a little and sniffed Watchman’s feet, but Pearl knew her little dog would be all right.

She heard a bluebird’s happy call, and saw a tiny flash of blue dart into a tree nearby. “Oh, thank You, LORD! You know how I love bluebirds—they just
remind me of Your sweetness!”

She sat down and turned her new journal different ways. The silver holographic cover caught the light, reflecting changing rainbows of colors and shapes that amazed her, like the many parts of God. 

“For my favorite writer after God,” Aunt Beth had told her. “A new journal for a new life.” Pearl liked Aunt Beth’s warm hugs. And she always smelled good. 

“I’ll miss you, Princess,” Aunt Beth had told her, “but I know the mail goes to the hills of Arkansas where you are. You know I don’t text, but you can do the old-fashioned thing and call me!”

She’d talk to Aunt Beth soon, but first, she wanted to write to her BIFF. On the inside cover of her journal, she wrote, My New Life by Princess Pearl, and put the date.

Dear Jesus, My Best Invisible Friend Forever! Sorry it took me a whole day to even write you, cause I didn’t know where this was at first with all the boxes and stuff when we got here yesterday! Then we went out to eat ‘cause even Uncle Burt was too tired to cook, but You know that don’t You?

Queen Mother says You knew all this was going to happen, cause You know everything and are never surprised. She says that’s good because You work it together somehow and make it all turn out all right for us Your kids and that only You can do that, ‘cause You’re God—The God of P.O.W.E.R.!

But how do You do that? ! Anyway, I’m so glad You know what’s going on. You know things have been kinda crazy down here lately. But I like our new home. And thanks for having Uncle Burt build my la casita de arbol——my special place to talk to You.

And thanks for great weather to be outside. And for making bluebirds! It’s really neat to message you anytime without a cell phone. too! Kinda like Super-text, or something! But I still want one. Can You please tell Queen Mother that? I don’t need one with You, but I think a P.O.W.E.R. Princess like me needs one, huh? 

From her pocket, she pulled out the P.O.W.E.R. Princess Vision List that her dad had helped her write. At the top, from the Royal Book, he had written Nehemiah 2:20, “The God of Heaven will give you success.” 

She hesitated, holding it close to her heart. So much has changed— 

“Daddy God gives us what we want, when we obey Him,” he’d told her. “Psalm 37:4—and having you for a precious daughter was high on my Vision List, Princess!” 

A tear rolled down her right cheek. She squeezed the paper, remembering his voice. She could see his earnest face, and his bright smile.

“We P.O.W.E.R. People still hurt sometimes,” he’d said. “But then we give the hurt to our Big Bro, Jesus. And He gives us His peace. He holds us close and reminds us of all the good things, and there are many good things.” 

“Yes, Daddy,” she whispered. “Love you!” 

She opened the list. “Okay,” she said out loud. “I still don’t have the royal gown or robe or crown. I only have one mattress too, right now—but it’s soft. But I do have Vivace!” 

She put a checkmark next to ‘royal pooch, with a ‘tude, but sweet too.’ 

She looked at the rest of her list. "I still want to ride a Lipizzan, and go on adventures. But I’ll get to do some of those on trail rides and such—maybe this week, if Queen Mother will let me!"

She heard Vivace bark, then she felt a sting on her arm and saw a pebble bounce. Another flew by and almost hit her eye.

She looked over the edge. “Robert!” she said. “Stop! Go back to your own tree house and leave me alone!”

Robert scowled at her from the ground as he waved Vivace away. “Down, dog!” He looked back up and stuck out his tongue. “Who are you talking to? And Mom says set the table! Now!”

He scratched Watchman’s ears. “You’re a real dog!” he said. 

“All right, Robert Redhead,” Pearl said. “Be nice to my dog. And go away. And stop throwing rocks!”

“Your dog looks like a stupid dirty mop!” he said, and threw one more stone at her, then ran into the house.

Watchman trotted after him. 

Brat! Ugh! Pearl thought.  “I am soooooo glad I have my own room and treehouse now! Ignore him, Vivace!” she said, and whistled to her dog. “You are my beeoooteeful puppy, so just forgive Robert, okay?”

"Daddy God, how long before we build our new house, with my own wing so I can get away from him?" Pearl said. "It’s on my Vision List! And why does that brat have to be in my family?" 

She scooted back from the edge and wrote again. Somebody in some faraway country needs a little brother! Maybe the mailman can pick him up today! 

She felt a bit guilty right after those thoughts. “Sorry, Daddy God—help Robert be nicer! If Daddy was here—“ 

Her tears dropped onto the paper, smearing the ink a bit. Okay, Jesus, please take this hurt and help my heart…like Daddy said You would.  

Then she had a happy thought. “Daddy would love to be here with me, wouldn’t he, Jesus? He would sit with me and watch the leaves dance in the breeze and talk about how pretty they are, and listen with me to the waterfalls in the fountain. But he is having even more fun with You in Heaven, right?”

She giggled. “Hey Jesus, if Daddy is riding his motorcycle in Heaven then he can go fast and not have to worry about being run over like here on earth, right, ‘cause it’s Heaven, and like he said, there are no limits? Or maybe he’s riding one of Your beautiful white horses that You have up there, like the one You’ll come back on—like a Lipizzan, only better. And I bet it goes faster than a motorcycle, like the wind—“

She remembered seeing the magnificent white horses a few years before. “Oh yeah, I need to put that on my Vision List, too, right?” 

She added riding lessons to her List, then tried to draw a horse in her journal. She stopped, frustrated. It looks like a cat! I need lessons—fast. Maybe Queen Mother will let me print off a horse from the computer for now. A white one.

She added drawing lessons to her list. 

She looked up again and said, “That reminds me, Jesus —I’d like a horse to ride down here, too, please. I know Uncle Burt has some, but I want a girl horse, please. And how about jumping lessons, okay?”

She wrote art lessons and girl horse of my own to her List.

She jumped as she heard her mother’s voice. “Pearl! I need you down right now.”

“Whoops! I forgot,” said Pearl, as she grabbed her pen and journal and hurried to climb down. “Sorry, Queen Mother. I was just enjoying my la casita del arbol—that’s what Uncle Burt said it was in Spanish—and writing—“

“Yes ma’am,” her mother interrupted, as she petted Vivace. “But the instruction was to set the table.”

Pearl ran to her mom and took the puppy, hugging her close. “I miss Daddy.”

Her mother’s voice was more tender as she hugged her daughter. “Yes, Precious. I know. Me too.” She pulled back from Pearl to look into her eyes, and said in a lighter tone, “But you know your dad would want you to help me and be on time, hmm? Besides, we have special guests tonight.”

Pearl grinned and said, “Special guests? Cool! Who?” She sniffed the air. “Wow, Uncle Burt’s grilling, huh? I bet he’s a good cook!”

“Yes, he is a good cook, and I’m glad he likes to do it. Our secret guests will be here soon, so you need to change clothes.” 

They started walking to the patio door. “I’ll set an extra place with the good stuff,” said Pearl. “And it’s Robert’s turn to stack the dishwasher, right?”

Her mother laughed. “You’re very good at keeping up with his turns to do things! But you’re right. Also, you need to set three extra places, then feed Vivace and change. Be sure and wash your hands, then you can also help me frost the cake.”

“Italian cream, with three layers?”

“You know it!”

“I love Italian cream cake!”

“No, Pearl, you love God,” her mother said gently. “You really like to eat Italian cream cake. See the difference?”

Pearl laughed. “How about both?” 

Her mother smiled and hugged her as they approached the door.

Watchman barked, as if wanting to come in. “You’re an outside dog, Watchman,” Pearl said. “Sorry ‘bout that. But thanks for guarding the place!” She turned back and patted him. “You do a good job, I’m sure!”

Pearl was so happy. What a day, she thought. And it’s not over yet!

Tonja K. Taylor is the author of many works, including THE ADVENTURES OF PRINCESS PEARL, P.O.W.E.R.* Girl! series. She and her husband Clayton minister the Word through teaching, preaching, and the arts, through River Rain Ministries/Creative Arts on You Tube, God Tube), their church, and beyond.

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