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The Adventures of Princess Pearl, P.O.W.E.R.* Girl! - Chapter Five

by Tonja Taylor  
2/11/2020 / Short Stories

Chapter Five — God’s Objet d’art 

Their mother walked through the door. “Pearl, I turned down the music.”

“Sorry, Queen Mother, I—“ 

“Shhh … It’s all right, Precious,” her mother said gently. “That was so sweet of you to sing to him. You have a lovely voice.”

Leaning over Robert, she gently pulled the covers off his head. “Sweetie, sit up for me.”

He pulled the pillow over his head as if to hide, and started crying aloud again. She put her hand on his little back and prayed, “Dear LORD, please comfort
my babies.”

He started to sob more loudly, and after a couple minutes of him continuing to cry with her rubbing his back, she said, “Son, move over. I’m going to lie down with you.”

He moved, but kept crying.

She lay on the bed and put her arm under his head and pulled him close to her. He hugged her tightly and became much more quiet, although the tears ran down his face like a stream.

“Pearl, you lay on the other side of me, okay?” said their mother. “We’ll all just rest. Kind of like I did with you kiddos a few years ago when you were much smaller. Remember?”

Pearl obeyed. This is weird, Pearl thought, but I remember. And I’m glad we’re all together. Jesus, please help our hearts stop hurting. And tell Daddy we miss him, she prayed.

“I love you both so much!” said their mother, and hugged them closer. Pearl glanced at her mom and saw silent tears. Her own eyes filled, and they spilled onto her mother’s blouse, but Pearl didn’t make a sound.

They all cried together for a few minutes, then dozed.

Pearl woke to smell barbecue. She felt a little happier now. 

“Yum, Uncle Burt must be cooking again, and I’m hungry,” she said.

The clock flashed 11:30. They had slept almost an hour!

Her mother stirred, and turned toward her and smiled. “I love you, Pearl,” she said, putting her face close. 

Robert had turned toward the wall, and didn’t move.

Pearl admired again the deep green of her mother’s eyes. She liked it when people told her that her eyes looked like her mom’s, even though they were more blue like her dad’s. But she liked green. It was such a soothing color. And her mother’s eyes were very soothing right now.

“I’m so sorry life has turned out like this Dear Heart,” her mother said. A tear escaped onto the pillow. “But God is faithful and good, and things are going to be okay.”

Pearl patted her mother on the shoulder. “Yes, Queen Mother, I know. And Daddy would be proud of you. You are truly a virty—vurtus—uh—you know, like that woman in Proverbs.”

One side of her mother’s mouth rose in a semi-smile, and Pearl was glad. It was time for her mother to be happy again.

“My sweet daughter, you do have a way with words,” she said, and stroked Pearl’s cheek. “I love you, Precious. And you are a virtuous young woman yourself.”

“Virtuous,” Pearl repeated. “Yes, that’s it.”

Robert turned over but seemed to still be asleep. To Pearl, he looked so innocent and vulnerable when he was resting, even younger than he was. 

Pearl smiled, then eased out of bed, and her mother followed and gently closed the door to his room. “Let’s let him rest,” she said, pulling the cover closer up his neck. “I believe this move has been harder on him than on anyone else.”

“I’ll help him put his stuff up later,” said Pearl. “But now I’m hungry.”

“Thank you, Dear. Me too. Smells like Uncle Burt has a good lunch for us.”

“Yes, let’s eat, ‘cause Robin and Lucas will be over later so we can ride horses.”

“Oh, that’s right. If he’s not up in a few minutes, I’ll get him ready,” said her mother. “Also, I expect you and Robin to model the correct behavior with this riding thing,” she told Pearl.

“Listen to Uncle Burt and try not to make the horses gallop across the field or something, all right? The boys may not admit it, but they look up to you big sisters. So help them by showing good sense. If they trot, they may fall and get hurt, and we’re not having that.”

She looked a bit worried, but continued. “When you learn enough of the basics, you can focus more on the riding part. Today, you need to learn to put the tack on and such, and that will help the boys too.”

“Tack? Like, thumbtack?” said Pearl, a bit confused.

“Oh Queen Mother, what is that? And how do I gallop, ’cause it looks like fun. Do I just dig in my heels and go ‘giddy up, horsie’ like in the movies?” She giggled and pretended to be riding.

“You’ll find out,” her mother said, and playfully tousled Pearl’s hair. “I’ll meet you downstairs, Princess. Wash your hands and help Burt with whatever he needs.”

“Yes ma’am,” said Pearl and went to the kitchen. LORD, she thought, I’m so thankful for Uncle Burt and good things to eat and think about! He was piling thick strips of barbecued brisket onto a big plate.

“Wow, Uncle Burt, you are such a good cook!” Pearl was hungry. “Can we eat now?”

He laughed. “I smoked this on the grill, but I bought the rest. I want you guys to eat well and not worry about food. You have enough going on.”

“Can we have some leftover cake for dessert? Or how about for a horsie-do?”

Burt looked puzzled. “Horsie-do? Are you making a bad joke, Sweetie?”

“No, you know! The snacks you eat before you eat!”

He chuckled. “Oh! You mean hors de ouvres!” He made a funny face. “It’s French,” he said. “They spell a lot differently than us! Here, bring me a piece of paper and I’ll show you.”

Pearl grabbed a notepad and pen and he wrote it out. 

“That’s weird!” she said. “I don’t think I could ever learn French!”

“Pearl, don’t say that!” said her mother, walking through the door. “You can do all things through Christ, remember? You could. And actually, you are! Look at the word Burt wrote and pronounce it for me.”

“Or-derves,” Pearl said.

“There! You just spoke French!” said her mother. “See, you can do it! And now, I’m going to teach you an even better French word that describes you and Robert, and everything that God made.” 

She wrote objet d’art on the notepad, then handed it to Pearl. “This word is pronounced ‘ob zha dar’. Say it for me.”

“Ob zha dar,” said Pearl, looking at the word. “That’s weird too!”

“Not weird, Dear, just different. But remember I said it describes you? What do you think it means?”

Pearl studied it. “It has art in it……maybe a painting or something?”

“You’re right about the ‘art’ part. Objet d’art meansm ‘work of art’. You are God’s work of art!

“Good job, Charlotte,” said Burt. “and so are you. Now, would you get Rob? Risa and the kids will be here in a bit.”

“No, I’m going to let him sleep—and heal. You can teach him later.”

“Sure,” Burt said. “Now you guys grab a plate. Oh, Pearl wanted a ‘horsie-do’ of your cake, and that’s how we got into French.”

“I know two French words now,” Pearl said. “And that calls for dessert!”

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, on River Rain Creative Arts (You Tube, God Tube), AnchorFM, their church, the region, and beyond

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