“As the Lodge Turns” Episode 18: Princess in Peril?!
On this episode of “As the Lodge Turns”…
Every morning when I enter my kingdom I’m disappointed to find that there are dogs in my yard! What must a princess do to attain that elusive treasure, privacy?
It’s an outrage!
To my satisfaction, most of these common mutts have learned their place by now. They no longer sniff at my posterior with reckless abandon, or pull me into their silly chase games. Most all is right in the world…
“PRINCESS SCARLETT! I have terrible news!”
Such a loud, shrill bark could belong to only one dog: Cocoa Bean.
Recently she has been at my beck and call out of sheer admiration for my nobility, grace, and poise. As the magnanimous royal I am, I allow her to follow and wait on me as she likes. My boundless generosity does not prevent my head from aching whenever she opens her mouth, however.
“What is it?” I ask, turning my head away so as not to seem too interested.
“Well, I was standing over by the pool, sort of half-listening, you know? It’s not really eavesdropping if they’re talking loudly and I’m nearby and I happen to be doing something totally unrelated in the vicinity and…”
“Make your point,” I say, halting her train of thought in its tracks.
She tosses her brown and tan head a little as if to recall the purpose of our conversation.
“Well…I heard that new dog, Maya, talking to Kona and Ellie about you. They said…oh, I could never repeat that, no that would be…oh…”
For the first time I want to hear what Cocoa Bean says next.
“What did they say? Out with it!”
Her eyes turn towards the ground, and her little legs quiver with fear. I lean forward, against my better judgment.
“They said, ‘Princess? Of what? I’ve seen cats with more class than that mongrel!’ Oh no…” Cocoa Bean wails, shaking her head in despair.
I wouldn’t say I am a vengeful ruler. I am not quick to anger or particularly unjust. My dislike for everyone is purely objective.
Still, I suppose confronting those mangy curs will improve my mood!
I run to the other side of the yard, where the three traitorous dogs are laughing and enjoying themselves at my expense. Laugh while you are able!
“Oh, uh, hello Scarlett!” says Maya, staring down at me with big, blue eyes. The other two have the decency to look away.
“Is there anything you wish to say? Perhaps a comment about the legitimacy of my title, or a baseless comparison? Hmm?”
Maya tilts her head to the side, the picture of innocence. She is a talented actress!
“Uh…not really! I’m kind of surprised you’re talking to us though. Usually you tell us to leave you alone…”
These three are shameless! Must I repeat their words? No…that would please them, to see me utterly humiliated.
Only one choice remains, and though I had hoped to avoid crushing them, it seems they would prefer to settle things this way.
“I challenge the three of you to compete against me for the title of Lodge Princess!”
Their eyes widen, and I hear Cocoa Bean scurrying off to fetch Buffy.
“Scarlett, that sounds fun but we’re not really –”
“Enough! I must prove to you once and for all that I am, without a doubt, the most regal,” I say, silencing their cowardly protestations.
“If you must continue with your petty contest, then I shall be the judge of that!”
Buffy’s commanding bark reverberates behind me, and when I turn to face her I am reminded that my own regality pales in comparison. If any dog is suited to determine my qualifications for the title, it is Buffy.
“Yeah! Prepare to be defeated, peasants!” Cocoa Bean says, moving a bit too close to Buffy.
“Mind the bubble,” Buffy coolly reminds her. “Tomorrow we shall decide which among you is most worthy to be called ‘Lodge Princess’! Now, let me be.”
As we disperse I notice him, out of the corner of my eye. There, on the other side of the fence…
He is not dashing, or clever, or even well mannered. But he is a gentleman. He has always addressed me with the respect I am owed, and he values my judgment. Every dog at the Lodge cannot help but like him for his friendliness and humility.
Even I, the pinnacle of nobility, like him. To an extent…
Tomorrow, I must show Bing that I am still worthy of his attention!
…to be continued…