“As the Lodge Turns” Episode 62: Queen Bea?

On this episode of “As the Lodge Turns”…

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From the moment I opened my eyes to this strange world – scratch that – from the moment I took my first breath – scratch that – from even before I came into being, I have always known what is right. What is true!

At first sight, I am merely Beatrice the Scottish Terrier, a member of that nobly humble breed. But a look beyond my glossy black coat and elegant, bushy snout will undoubtedly reveal my unique skill to discerning eyes. Most dogs are easily lost, forever meandering along life’s twisting, thorny paths with nothing but their natural optimism to keep them going. I believe that’s the reason I’m here – not to dig holes, or chase squirrels, or eat treats – no, I was born to guide my fellow dogs down the proper path!

If I didn’t share my flawless judgments with my subjects, where would they be? I shudder to think of it!

Subjects? Is that what I called them? No, I would never! I’m not their ruler…only a superior…the superior, if you will.

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I’m not like some dogs at the Lodge, who believe their little golden presence in the yards is a thing to be mindlessly revered.

You cannot rule – err, guide – without the love of others. What good is cold admiration when you could bask in warm adoration? Some dogs certainly have funny priorities! Oh, I’ve done it again! Wasn’t that a terrific assessment?

No matter, only I can evaluate an assessment’s terrific-ness!

Still…living as a positive influence on those less fortunate is a tad difficult without everyone’s cooperation. Take, for instance – just a random example – that dog over there, by the fence. What’s her name again?

Snarlett? Scarlett? Yes, Scarlett, I believe. Dreadful name. Reminds me of that atrocious human woman in that four-hour movie I once slept – err, sat – through. She was constantly using others, making unreasonable demands, and thinking only of herself – all traits that I strongly detest!

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Whenever I lead the Happy Littles in a game of “steal the ball from Beatrice”, she refuses even to watch, let alone participate. The others regularly ask for my advice; in fact, when I pass by, many of them are quick to pause their conversations in order to hear my opinions. But not Scarlett. She has no need of my wisdom, apparently.

She always sits there with that bored, pinched expression, as if breathing the same air as us is insufferable!

Oh, no, I can see why you might think that, but I can assure you that is most definitely not the case. Her behavior doesn’t hurt my feelings. How could it? I see right through it with my discerning eyes.

Beneath that icy demeanor is a frightened puppy just longing for acceptance, I’m sure of it! And I’m the only one who can free her from her miserable self-imprisonment – yes, of course, that’s exactly what I must do!

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I hurry to the fence where Scarlett is sulking as fast as my efficient little legs can carry me. She’s staring off into the distance, bemoaning her lonely fate no doubt! Oh, it’s wonderful that I’ve come to help, isn’t it?

“Excuse me,” I say, refusing to beat around the bush in spite of the frosty glance she throws my way. “May I speak with you?”

A flash of bewilderment crosses her face, but this fleeting reaction quickly changes to obvious annoyance.

“Since you show no qualms about disturbing my rest, I trust this is a matter of the utmost urgency,” she says, her bark a short huff.

“Oh, I assure you it is. My time is far too precious to waste on trivial affairs,” I say, taking a few steps towards her.

Scarlett’s eyes narrow, but she doesn’t protest. “You may proceed.”

Some dogs think they’re so important, staring down their noses at everyone else with a false sense of their own worth. I feel bad for them, I really do, because when they place themselves on a pedestal they’re likely to miss life’s multitude of modest joys.

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Poor Scarlett! She’s never been shown the proper way to chew a tennis ball, or the best spots to take an afternoon nap. What a pity that we didn’t have this conversation sooner…

“You spend far too much time alone, you know. You’re never going to earn the love and appreciation of your fellow Happy Littles if you insist on keeping your high and mighty attitude. I’m sure you’d be much happier if you joined in our games on occasion, or renounced your regal pretensions. I’d be glad to help you, and in fact, I already have some ideas…”

Scarlett’s whole body shakes as she gets to her feet, but she remains silent.

“…You just leave it all to me. I’ll teach you everything I know and you’ll get along with the others in no time,” I continue, my tail wagging as a vision of these perfect plans materializes in my mind.

“If you have the time to ruminate on such ridiculous notions, then surely that time would be better spent in efforts of self-improvement,” Scarlett says, turning away from me.

Self-improvement…?

What on earth could she mean…?

“I beg your pardon, but what could I possibly need to work on?”

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She pauses, but refuses to face me.

“Perhaps you should consider why your beloved Happy Littles refer to you as ‘Queen Bea’,” Scarlett says in a terse bark.

Queen Bea…?

…to be continued…