“As the Lodge Turns” Episode 20: What Makes a Princess

 On this episode of “As the Lodge Turns”…

“You are not the last.”

Who could it be? I have already bested the three who dared question my regality!

As the final contestant enters the circle my heart nearly stops.

It cannot be…Cocoa Bean?!

She stands before the crowd with a new, dignified air. Her nose high in the air, the breeze blowing through her coat, she is transformed! What happened to the little dog that stalked at my heels, desperate for even the tiniest morsels of my attention?

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Why would she do this? Was everything she told me a lie?

“And why do you deserve to be crowned Lodge Princess?”

Cocoa Bean’s eyes glitter with pure confidence.

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“A princess lives in a world apart. There is a quality she possesses that others envy and admire. I have such a quality.”

Buffy appears intrigued. “Oh? I am sure you will not mind demonstrating?”

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“Of course,” Cocoa Bean says, turning to face us.

Closing her eyes and clearing her throat, she stands there for a few moments, leaving us in a state of agonizing anticipation.

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What could she mean, ‘a world apart’? Whatever she claims to possess, I have no doubt we shall be sorely disappointed!

Suddenly she lets out a bark so loud, clear, and resounding like a church bell! From miles away we can hear a chorus of birds respond in kind, so that all around us the world vibrates with powerful sound.

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This sound…I’ve never heard anything like it!

As she trails off she turns her head to stare me in the eye.

 

“I call it my Supersonic Bark! Impressive, isn’t it?”

There is a strange sensation in the pit of my stomach, like a deep burning that rises up my throat. I grimace in spite of myself.

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“I believe it will come as no surprise to you who has won the title. Cocoa Bean, I dub thee ‘Lodge Princess’ – for whatever it may be worth.”

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I…lost?

I’m not…the Lodge Princess anymore?

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What am I without my title? It is all over…

“Princess Scarlett, we’re all proud of you.”

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There he is, always ready to support me. Even though I no longer deserve his respect.

“Bing…I only wanted to prove that I am what I have always tried to be. But now…I have lost absolutely everything! Cocoa Bean tricked me, it is true, but I was prepared to believe what she said. I am the Lodge Fool!”

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“You’re not a fool! You’re the most dignified dog we know, even if you can be a little scary sometimes…”

That voice!

Maya, Kona, and Ellie are all standing around me, cheering me on! I do not like any of the dogs at the Lodge, but if there were any I did like, they would among the few.

“You’ll always be our Lodge Princess!”

I have no words. For the first time…

“Peasant, fetch me a ball!”

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Cocoa Bean struts over to us with her head in the air and an arrogant smile.

“Et tu, Cocoa Bean?”

“I’m afraid I don’t speak Geek,” she says with a haughty laugh.

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Is this how other dogs saw me? No wonder everyone stays away…

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But as distraught as I was, my former opponents have given me a renewed purpose!

“No. I will not fetch you a ball.”

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Cocoa Bean glares at me. “But I won the contest! I am the Lodge Princess!”

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“A title is a title, but blue blood is always blue. It is a philosophy, a way of life! It is how you act, and why. And that is a thing which will never be stripped from me. So I concede. You are the Lodge Princess, Cocoa Bean. But so am I. So are Maya, Kona, and Ellie.”

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She stammers as if trying to refute my statement. I wonder if she was merely attempting to establish her worth like I was…

We are not so different after all.

“Cocoa Bean, it will be strange not having you around. Feel free to follow me again, if you wish, but not as a servant. As a…friend, perhaps.”

L&B

As I leave the crowd I hear her excited footfalls behind me.

“Princess Scarlett, what you said back there was so cool!! Wait for me!”

We may all be Lodge Princesses, but I daresay I am the fairest one of all.

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…to be continued…