It’s hard to believe that time has passed so quickly this year. There were many times I didn’t think I would ever say that and they would just go on forever. If you didn’t join me in the beginning, here is the story of the Princess of Frogs, Toads and all creatures that Hop. Little monkey is growing fast and I am so lucky I get to be here to see it!
So to begin another school year with Little Monkey, here is the next installment of her alter ego:
DARBY AND THE VERY RAINY DAY
In a very hot place, in a tiny house, Emma Delaney was staring out of the window watching the rain fall on the rocks outside her back door. It had been raining for hours, but still it was hot, and she didn’t like that, not one bit.
Emma, ruler of frogs, toads and all creatures that hop, looked over to see who had made the slightly disgusted sigh. At the next window she saw Darby. Darby was a grumpy old soldier that much preferred a good fight to little girls any day. He was standing on his back legs with his front legs on the window sill, surveying the same wet situation as she. Darby liked to stand on his back legs and remind everyone that he was half Meercat and half actual cat. Emma had a bad habit of enjoying the sport of teasing Darby any chance she could (which is probably why he didn’t have much of a taste for little girls, or princesses for that matter.)
“Hello Darby. What brings you to the window today?”
Darby glanced in her direction and then looked back outside.
“I am rather cross at the weather we are having. This certainly isn’t good for practicing my hunting or paw to paw combat skills. How a great warrior is to maintain his prowess in mess like this is just beyond me.”
Emma thought it was funny that he was always so grumpy. He really should be living with Old Toad, if he could stand the smell, as their personalities are remarkably similar.
“Darby, you look like a kangaroo when you stand like that.”
“What?” he yelled and got down on all fours. “What did you call me?”
“A kangaroo, they stand up like that, like you just did. I think it’s funny.”
“Look at this!” He turned to show Emma his big hairy grey bottom. “Look at this Emma Delaney; do you see a big, fat tail? In fact, do you see a tail at all?”
He was right; he had hardly any tail since the half actual cat part of him was Manx.
“I apologize Darby. You are right; you do not look like a kangaroo from behind.”
“Thank you. I would not want to be confused with a silly hopper such as a kangaroo.”
Emma smiled when he said this. Certainly he had not yet met Kiwi, the silliest hopper in the entire kingdom. She wanted to make him feel better so thought she would have him do what all soldiers like to do, talk about themselves.
“Sir Darby, half Meercat and half actual cat, tell me a story about one of your battles. Surely it will help pass the time on this very rainy day.”
“Emma, ruler of frogs, toads and all creatures that hop, that is the best idea you have had. Come over here and sit and I will tell you about the day I fought the twin ninjas from the House of Masa.”
He motioned over to a big, poofy chair with too many pillows and jumped on the seat. Emma squeezed in beside him. She decided not to tell him that he should really reconsider the size of his bottom since he thought it couldn’t possibly be as big as a kangaroos.
“It was late one afternoon, after I had put down the troll uprising of ’07 and I had stopped for a break at my favorite desert oasis. I had a bit of water, some very odd flavored chips and spent some time smoothing my fur back down. That uprising is another story entirely. Never give a troll apples is all I will say! Anyway, I decided to sleep for a bit under a tree and had barely dozed off when I hear the most awful shrieking. I opened my eyes in enough time to see twin black actual cat ninjas leaping towards me from the tree above.”
“What was odd about them?” Emma asked.
“What?” Darby responded, off track and quite confused.
“You said the chips had an odd flavor. Why was it odd?”
“Good grief Emma Delaney! I am getting attacked by twin actual cats and you are only interested in details of my meal?”
“Sorry Sir Darby, I was just a little hungry.”
“Very well. They were cilantro or dill or some such nonsense, very green and smelled like grass which is why I was interested in the first place. I know grass and those chips were not made from grass it turns out. Anyway, follow along now Emma. Twin ninjas, leaping, are you listening little girl?” He looked over at her and she sat up, straightening her fairy dress.
“Yes sir, I am listening.”
“So these cats were screaming ‘woo hoo’ and ‘yee haw’ and landed on the sand in front
of me. I wasn’t sure what to do but with my fast soldier skills, I jumped up on all fours and then stood on my back legs to show them my size and scare them with the evil eye.”
“Not the evil eye?” Emma looked so worried, leaning in and whispering in his ear.
“Yes, Emma Delaney, the very scary, double whammy, evil eye that I learned while in India training with the army of Madras. Funny little creatures in plaid shorts, you would like them I think. Any way, I am up on my back legs, giving the evil eye and they stop, right in their tracks.”
“They were scared?” Emma asked, still whispering.
“It was actually a case of mistaken identity. What might have been an unfortunate set of circumstances turned out to be remedied by my years of military training. They introduced themselves, Harvey de Masa and Jack de Masa, and they were from a far away place called Grapevine. Their mother was a fierce warrior and had passed on her ninja skills but it was no match for my evil eye. Harvey, who was rather large compared to his brother, agreed that they would never again mistake me for the bandit that they had been searching for. They showed me their hiding techniques and I gave them their first evil eye lesson. Keep your enemies close as they say.”
“Who was the bandit they sought?”
“A long fur covered one with rings on his fluffy tail and he wears a mask. They say he is the smartest of all bandits. I hope only one day I am privileged enough to face such a foe.”
”You are very brave Sir Darby. I am glad you live in my kingdom. I think we are much safer with you here.” Emma stood up to give him a curtsey and a bow in respect.
“Thank you Emma, ruler of frogs, toads and all creatures that hop.” Darby jumped down and responded with a similar bow.
“Your story made me hungry. Would you like to share some chips with me?” Emma asked.
“I would be honored Princess, as long as they are not green.” Darby and Emma got their favorite cheese flavored nuggets and went out back to sit on a rock. The clouds were clearing and the rain stopped splashing down.
“I like rainy days Darby. I like when you tell stories.”
“I like that too, Emma Delaney, I like that too.”