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The Adventures of Princess Pearl, P.O.W.E.R.* Girl! - Chapter Fifteen
by Tonja Taylor
2/18/2020 / Short Stories
Chapter Fifteen — Surprises Plural!
Burt led them out the door and to the barn. He made Watchman stay outside.
It was dark inside after the bright sunshine, but he turned on the light—and there in a pen were four adorable long-eared bunnies!
“Are these the surprises? Hey, can we have one?” said Robert, running over to them.
“Have one?" said Burt. "I’m planning for you to take care of them. I’m giving them to you kiddos to raise, and you can show them at the county fair, and earn money feeding them and such, and even sell them if you want. You may be able to breed them and raise babies, too.”
He picked up a cream-colored one and handed it to Pearl. She and Robert petted it.
“Soft!” he said.
“Put her down for now, Bub,” he said, and Robert gently took the bunny from Pearl, hugged it carefully, and put it in the pen.
Wow, he was so sweet to the bunny! “Good job, Rob!” Pearl said. A P.O.W.E.R. Princess helps others feel good about themselves.
Her brother smiled. “Can I hold the others, Unc?”
"Not now. You kids go get a plastic bowl and fill it with water for these cuties. Also, I’ve put some hay in here so they can make a bed. They just got weaned, and I’ll let you give them some food too.”
He showed them where the food was. “I think all kids should have the chance to take care of animals, cause it really teaches responsibility.”
“Yes, I take care of Vivace, and wow will she bark at these!” Pearl said.
“Pearl, it’s your job to keep your dog away from them,” he said.
Hmm, Uncle Burt looks so serious! Pearl thought.
“I know you love Vivace like I love Watchman,” he continued, “but the animal instincts in our dogs might cause them to kill these little ones.”
“What?” Pearl was shocked. “Vivace would never do that!”
“Remember when the wild baby bunny ran in front of us on the ride, and how Watchman ran after it? He would have killed it if he’d have caught it.”
Pearl shuddered. “I remember,” she said. “I guess he was hunting, huh?”
“As much as we love our animals and have a sort of relationship with them, we have to remember that they are animals—they are motivated by instinct,” he said. “They are in a class way underneath people, for we humans are made in the image and likeness of God.”
“Animals can how us affection, and are often very intelligent," he said. "But they are not humans.”
His voice became more harsh. “If animals kill, it’s not because of jealousy or greed. That’s where they have us humans beat.”
“Aww, Uncle Burt!” said Pearl. “If I’m going to raise them, Vivace will have to be around some time!”
“Just make sure she stays at a distance,” he said firmly.
“Yes Sir.” A P.O.W.E.R. Princess obeys, even when she doesn’t understand or like it, Pearl thought. Gee, Daddy God, being a P.O.W.E.R. Princess is a lot of work! But worth it, right?
Burt looked at his watch. He seemed disturbed. “I expected company by now,” he said.
“Who?” said Robert.
“You’ll see,” he said, mysteriously. “Let’s go back outside.”
At the barn, they saw their mother walking up with the cordless. “For you,” she said, handing him the phone.
“I was wondering where you guys went!”
“Yes,” Burt told the person on the other end. “So no one was hurt? I could have helped you—but all is well? OK. See you in a bit.”
“What happened?” asked Pearl.
“No worries,” he said. “Our company will be here in about an hour.”
“Who?” Robert asked.
“It’s a surprise,” their uncle said, and winked. “But I’m sure you’ll like it!”
“What are you up to, Burt?” their mother asked, and smiled.
“Another surprise!” said Robert.
“You kids can play in your treehouses if you want for now,” said Burt. “And I will call you when the surprises arrive.”
“I’m getting my journal and music!” Pearl said.
“Robert, I need you to help me inside,” said his mom, grabbing his hand.
“I wanna play outside!” he said.
“No, let’s make chocolate chip cookies first. You like them a lot, right?”
“Yum!” Robert said, happy now. He started running toward the house.
Pearl hugged her mother. “Want to come in the treehouse? You’re the only one I’ve invited so far,” she said.
"No, but thank you, my precious Pearl," said her mother. "Love you!"
"Okay, then I'll get my stuff and have some time with Daddy God."
"Great idea, Pearl."
"C'mon!" Robert said, pulling on his mother's hand. "I want some cookies!"
His mother stopped. "Robert," she said quietly, "if you don't behave, there will be no cookies and you will have to take a nap."
He looked scared. "Okay," he said, and hugged her leg.
"Now let's go. You act right and you can help me make some yummy cookies, right?"
"Right!" he said.
They walked toward the door, and Pearl followed them inside.
Vivace greeted her with high-pitched barks. Pearl picked her up and hugged her. "You need to stay here for now, Vivace," she said. "Time for me to go be with God." The puppy whined a bit, and Pearl put her down and patted her. "You can watch while Queen Mother and Robert make cookies. But don't eat any--chocolate is not good for you dogs!"
Pearl quickly walked up the stairs to her room, where she got her art pad and pencils, her journal and mp3 player, then hurried outside.
She passed the stone fountain of an angel holding a water pot, from which the water poured. The fountain flowed all day and all night. The sound is so soothing, she thought. I think I'll draw the water today, just like God's love flowing to me.
As she climbed up to her treehouse, joy surged in her. I AM the Living Water, she heard the Holy Spirit say deep in her heart.
“Wow, yes. We humans are like fountains, when we let Your Spirit flow out, huh? I love You, Daddy God!” she said, and sat down in her favorite spot, with her legs hanging over the ledge where she could see the fountain. The sun was shining and dancing on the water.
“What a beautiful day!”
She remembered the bunnies. “LORD, keep them safe, and help us remember to feed and play with them every day! Hmmmm….Surprise bunnies and more surprises. Can You give me a hint about the second surprise, LORD? I know I’ll like it!”
From her perch in the treehouse, she looked down at the grounds. All was quiet, and except for the happy sound of bluebirds and an occasional car far in the distance, she heard only the refreshing gurgle of water from one level to another.
It is so peaceful here, she thought. Thank You, LORD!
She opened her journal and started drawing the three-tiered fountain. She lost track of time, and was soon finished with her picture. “One level for You, God, one for Jesus, and one for the Spirit. Yeah.” I’ll give this to Queen Mother, to remind her of the water of the Word, Pearl thought.
Watchman started barking and Pearl heard a motor and a car door slam. She heard voices and then what sounded like a horse. She looked toward the paddock, but both Splash and Aurora were there grazing.
She heard a horse neigh, and Splash and Aurora raised their heads, curious. It wasn’t them!
Maybe the surprise is a new horse—my new horse! My Lipizzan, right? WOW!
She grabbed her stuff and hurried down the rope ladder, just in time to see a long pickup truck pulling a horse trailer by the fence. Burt was walking beside it, carrying a paper bag, and driving the truck was a man Pearl did not recognize.
But then she saw someone waving. It was Risa and Robin and Lucas!
She waved back, excited, and ran up to her uncle.
“Hey guys! Did you bring us new horses?”
They nodded and smiled. “Hey!” said Robin. “Are you surprised?”
“Yeah!” She looked through the slats and saw horse tails swishing, and heard horsey whickers. This is so great, God! Thank You!
Burt smiled. “Yep. They are the surprises! Was it worth the wait?” he said, and walked toward the back of the trailer.
Robin, Risa, and Lucas got out and hugged Pearl.
“Great for you, huh?”
“You bet! Wow, Uncle Burt, which one is mine?”
“Hold on, Princess. Let us let them out first, so you can meet them. Robert can meet them after you do. Step back and don’t make any sudden moves. This is a new place for them, and we want them to feel comfortable as we bring them out and introduce the to the humans and Aurora and Splash.”
“And Vivace,” Pearl said.
“Yes, but keep Vivace in the house right now. One thing at a time,” Burt said. "I put Watchman in the barn, so he's out of the way for now."
The other man got out and together, he and Burt opened the back of the horse trailer. The man spoke soothingly, and led the first one out, a strong, sturdy black horse.
It’s not a Lipizzan, she thought, but he’s gorgeous!
“This is King,” said the man.
He stroked the horse’s neck and said, “He is a quarter horse—very calm, very excellent to ride. You will enjoy him. And I am Ricardo, Risa’s brother.”
“Wow!” said Pearl. “He’s gorgeous! And big! Can I pet him? And good to meet you!"
“Of course,” said Ricardo. He loosened the reins to give King more slack.
“Here, give him this first,” said Burt, handing her a bag. “Don’t worry, Sweetie. I’ll teach you to ride him.”
Pearl smiled. Riding lessons—check! One more done on my Vision List!
He looked back toward the house, and saw Pearl’s mother and Robert in the kitchen window. Robert jumped up and down and waved.
Burt chuckled. “I think Charlotte has figured out that it’s better to keep Rob in for a bit,” he said. “God is good!”
Thank You, LORD! thought Pearl.
She opened the bag and saw sugar cubes and apples. “Oh yes,” said Pearl, grabbing a big red one. She held it up to the horse. “Here you go, King.”
King sniffed the apple and took it delicately. He ate it quickly, then put his head closer to her.
She heard Splash and Aurora whinny. “They probably want some apples, too, Uncle Burt. Do you have more for them?”
"Yes, later,” he said. “But we’re getting to know our new ones first. And these two will be in a different section of the pasture for now. They can get to know Splash and Aurora over the fence.”
King put his head toward her and nosed the bag. “I guess he wants another one,” Pearl said.
“Give him a couple sugar cubes now,” Risa said. “Hold your palm flat and let him use his lips to get them.”
“He won’t bite,” said Ricardo. “He’s a good horse. Very smart.”
Pearl nodded and did what he aid. She raised her hand to King, and he carefully used his lips to get the cubes, without his teeth touching her.
She laughed. “It tickles!’ she said.
Ricardo and Risa smiled.
“Yes, and what big lips he has!” said Robin, as they watched him eat. Splash and Aurora whinnied again, and both started running the fence. Watchman was still barking.
“The girls and Watchman are a bit jealous,” Burt said, and laughed.
“But they’ll get attention soon enough.” He took the bag and gave it to Lucas. “
Son, please go give them a treat and pet them a bit, and we’ll continue. Thanks!”
Lucas headed toward the fence, and Pearl looked toward the house. She could see her mother holding Robert, who was pointing and waving again.
Thank You, LORD, that he is not out here right now! she thought. And thank You for sending these neat horses, and for giving my uncle a place to keep them! You are so good!
With the two new ones, that made four horses—one for her, Robin, Lucas, and Robert. They wouldn’t have to share, and maybe they could all go on trail rides together soon!
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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