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

Chapter Four — Unpacking 

“Sleep well, Princess?” asked Burt, walking into the kitchen.

“Yes Sir, and thank you for the pancakes,” Pearl said, getting up and taking her dishes to the sink. “You are a good cook!”

“Yes he is!” said her mother. “Now please get Rob and we’ll all talk to Aunt Beth—she’s probably wondering why we haven’t called her yet!—and then you can help him straighten his room.”

“But I was going to do mine,” said Pearl. “Besides, he’s mean.”

“Pearl, I said go get Robert, right now. And he is quite a bit younger than you and I want you to help him. Thank you,” said her mother, as she stacked dishes in the dishwasher. “Remember, you are a P.O.W.E.R. Princess. You know how to act.”

Pearl sighed, knowing from her mother’s tone that the discussion was over. “Yes ma’am. Can I turn up the praise music while I help him so I can hear it better,then?”

“Okay, just not too loud. Come down quickly and we’ll call her, then you can show him how to put things up. When you guys are done, let me know and I’ll come look. And if you think something needs to be moved, call me. I don’t want you and Robert to hurt yourselves.”

“Okay, Queen Mother. Love you.” Pearl gave her a quick hug, then went upstairs and turned up the peppy praise music on KLOVE, her favorite Christian radio station. She danced around the room a little. “Jesus, please help me be nice to Robert. You know how he is!” said Pearl, then went to help him. 

His door was open, and when she walked in, she saw a mess, but no little brother. “Rob—“ Pearl stopped. She’d been about to make a rude comment, but she felt ike she should not say that. Thank You, Jesus. You are already helping me!

“Rob,” she said kindly. “Where are you? Let’s go call Aunt Beth, and then I will help you get your room done, so you’ll have more time to play.”

She heard a noise, and figured out it was coming from his closet. She opened the door, and he was on the floor, trying to drive his remote control truck up the wall. “Hey, Rob, do you like your toy?”

“Nope, but I’m tryin’!” he said.

“You know Queen Mother told us to clean up our rooms,” she said. LORD, help me to be patient with him. “First we’ll go down and talk to Aunt Beth on the phone,” she said softly, “then we’ll clean your room, so we can ride horses this afternoon.”

“Aunt Beth!” he said, and threw down his truck remote. “And horses! I can really ride one? By myself?” 

Pearl felt good about being nice to him. “That’s what they said. Hey, wanna ride piggy back first to practice? Get on and I’ll take you downstairs!”

“Really?” She thought she saw some joy in his eyes, and it was good to see his grin.

She knelt down. “Sure. Hop on to this horse, cowboy!”

He jumped onto her back.

“Oomph!” she said, and stood up, trying not to say anything rude. “Are you ready?” 

“Sure!” He kicked her sides a bit with his heels. “C’mon, horsey! Let’s go!”

“Ouch, Robert, please be easy on your horsey, Cowboy!”

She stood up with him and started out the door. He hugged her neck, and petted her head. “Sorry, horsey. You are a good horsey!” 

A P.O.W.E.R. Princess is strong, thought Pearl.

She adjusted Robert on her back. She made a whinny sound. A P.O.W.E.R. Princess is as strong as a horse! She giggled at her own joke. 

“What’s funny?” Rob said, as Pearl stepped carefully down the stairs, balancing the extra weight on her back. 

“I’m just having fun, Rob,” she said. “I love you.” 

“Love you too, Sissy," he said sweetly. 

Now why can’t he be like that all the time? She squeezed his leg gently.

When they got to the kitchen, their mother was already on the phone. “Yes, they are doing really well, and we thank you for your prayers, Sis!” 

She put Beth on speaker phone. “Hey kids! I miss you!” said their aunt. “But I know you’ll love it there, and thanks for helping your mom and Uncle Burt.” 

“Yes ma’am,” said Pearl.

“Yep,” said Robert.

“It’s ‘yes’ Rob, remember?” said Pearl.

Beth laughed. “Pearl, I do believe you will be a teacher when you grow up.”

“She already is!” said her mother, and laughed.“ She hugged Pearl, who knelt to let Robert off her back. “She’s a good leader,” Pearl’s mother said. “And she’s doing better at being sweeter.”

A P.O.W.E.R. Princess is wise, thought Pearl. And kind.

“Good job, Pearl. I’m very proud of you,” said Beth.

“You’ve been a trooper through all this, and I know you are a huge blessing to your mom and uncle. By the way, have you guys found the right church yet?”

Pearl’s mother laughed. “Beth! We just got here a couple days ago! But yes, we will be visiting Burt’s this weekend. We’ll be helping his friend Risa and her kids with the Hallelujah Hayride, too. So God is working speedily.”

“Yes, and I’ll be a scary crow!” said Robert. 

Pearl giggled. “Rob, you mean a scarecrow, right? Although you can be pretty scary sometimes!”

Her mother shook her head, but she saw the hint of a smile, and Aunt Beth laughed. “You guys seem to be settling in very quickly and well. God is so amazing, isn’t He? Well, I’ve got to go but thanks for calling. I’m glad to know the phones work in Arkansas, too! Love you, and hey, send me pics online, OK? Especially of the Buffalo River. I’ve wanted to go white-water rafting there for years!”

Pearl laughed. “Hey! Let’s all go! It will be fun!” 

“Uploading pics and sending them online can be a homeschool lesson for Pearl, I guess.” said her mom. “We’ll have to think about the rafting. Love ya!” 

She disconnected and turned to Pearl. “Now, clean up time, kiddos! Take the stuff out of the boxes and put it on the bed. It will be easier to sort that way.”

“Let’s go, Rob,” Pearl said. She tousled his hair. “I’ll help you.”

“Stop!” he said, pushing her hand off his head. He took off and ran up the stairs. “I’ll beat you!” He ran into his room and started pulling stuff out of the boxes. She came in and he looked up at her with his big brown eyes and said, “But where do I put it, Sissy?”

Pearl melted even more. She went up and hugged him.

“Oh, my sweet lil brother, here—“ she took one of his tee-shirts and showed him how to fold it. “Since we’ve already folded it for the dresser, we’ll just put it in like this.” She pulled out a drawer and saw some old crayon marks inside. “Oh look, Bubba, this is when you did some art on your furniture. Remember?” 

He walked over and squealed. “Hey! That’s my cartoon dog and the other dog we used to have. That’s Rover! Ha!” Then he stopped and looked sad. “Sissy,
is Rover in Heaven?”

“I don’t know, Bub,” she said. “But we know Daddy is,” she said, “and if dogs go to Heaven, then I’m sure they’re together. If Daddy is riding his motorcycle,
then Rover is probably chasing him!” She tried to sound light-hearted, but she was starting to feel sad.

Robert burst into tears. “I miss Daddy!” He started sobbing, and ran to his bed and ducked under the quilt. “Why did he have to die?”

Jesus, what do I say? Please help me! Pearl felt tears
well up in her eyes. 

A P.O.W.E.R. Princess is very strong….She sat beside Robert on his bed and didn’t speak. She patted his back through the covers. “Bubba, Daddy wouldn’t
want us to be sad. He’s with Jesus and has the best life of all now!”

“I want Daddy with me!” he said, and started sobbing again.

“Me too,” she whispered. Tears ran down her cheeks and shirt. She didn’t care. Okay, Jesus, my heart still hurts, but I give it to You. Please take it! 

A line from a song that she loved rose up, and she sang it softly, over and over. “You’re faithful, faithful; Father, You are faithful—we have put our trust in You…” and she just sat there and patted Robert's back and cried, not knowing what else to do. As she sang, she felt the loving presence of their Daddy God.

Robert started to cry silently, and she heard him sigh. 

Comfort Him, dear Jesus.  She hugged him. “Dear little brother, Daddy God loves you so much! And so do I!”

He buried his face deeper in the pillow and pulled the covers up over his head, but she felt peace. “We miss you, Daddy,” she said, and wiped a tear from her eye.

“And we love You most, Daddy God! Thank You for helping my little brother," she said out loud. Then she thought, Thank You that even when I can't feel You, I know You are with us forever. Somehow, You will get us through this. 

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 Creative Arts (You Tube, God Tube), their church, and beyond.

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