“As the Lodge Turns” Episode 63: A Royal Pain?!

On this episode of “As the Lodge Turns”…

Queen Bea?

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Scarlett claims that my fellow Happy Littles call me ‘Queen Bea’, and while I’m sure she has no reason to lie, I simply can’t believe her. The others adore me! Whenever I speak they listen with grave expressions, as if they’re etching my words into their hearts! And when we play, they all insist on following me – I’ve never once had to ask them if they want to join in the fun. They’re quick to chase me all over the yard.

I can’t…I can’t imagine why they would ever think to mock me so!

Well, interrogating Scarlett will do nothing to ease my doubts. If I want to learn the truth, I’ll have to question the Happy Littles directly! They’ll put this nasty rumor out of my mind, and then I can devote my energy to more worthy pursuits.

I spy Cocoa Bean out of the corner of my eye, trotting around near the splash pad. I know that she and Scarlett have had their share of differences, so I can probably count on her for an objective opinion.

“Is it true that you call me ‘Queen Bea’?” I ask without hesitation, staring straight into Cocoa Bean’s startled eyes.

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“W-Why would you think that, Quee – Beatrice?” she asks, desperately trying to cover her slip with a tense smile.

“Everyone else says that that’s what I’m called. Speak up now, I won’t bite you,” I say, puffing out my cheeks.

Her face is the picture of hesitation, but after a brief pause, she begins to answer my question.

“Well…you are a little…well…I mean…personally, I admire dogs that aren’t afraid to take charge, but not everyone…feels the same…unfortunately!”

Despite Cocoa Bean’s tactful reply, her words sting me all the same. Not everyone likes a dog that isn’t afraid to take charge? Preposterous! When a natural leader is in your midst, why wouldn’t you welcome their guidance? It would be foolish to throw away the advice of an expert!

I’ll get to the bottom of this, even if I have to ask every single Happy Little in this yard!

I slump to the ground with a huff, my paws exhausted from chasing lead after lead. My tongue is exhausted from asking the same questions, my ears exhausted from hearing the same answers.

“Sometimes you can be a little…”

Bossy. Nosy. Meddling. Busybody. Control freak. Know-it-all.

High and mighty.

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Was that really how they saw me? All I ever wanted was to help the Happy Littles find their way, no matter what they were doing. I’ve had a clear sense of the world and my proper place in it for as long as I can remember, but not everyone has been so lucky.

Maybe they’re fine, living without my answers…

“Hmph! I see you have made yourself quite comfortable in my spot.”

I know who it is without even turning around. “Yes, it’s quite comfortable down here in the dumps.”

I can almost feel her bristle behind me. So this is why Scarlett doesn’t concern herself with the others. She has convictions that no one else can even begin to comprehend, so it must be simpler to remove herself from their little world.

“I didn’t understand you at all,” I admit, staring into the next yard over. “But now I do. What’s the point of bestowing your wisdom on the masses when they’ll never appreciate it?”

For a while neither of us speaks. My paws itch to move, but my spirit has been so utterly crushed that I can’t manage it. I stay close to the ground, taking in the sounds and scents that mill about through the air.

Suddenly, and to my amazement, Scarlett breaks the silence between us.

“Are you not oversimplifying the issue? You once again apply your assumptions, both to my social preferences and to the feelings of the other dogs. As a result, you lose the valuable opportunity to listen to what your fellows want to share with you. I am a magnificent ruler, this cannot be denied, but I have no desire to be loved by the Happy Littles. On the other hand, you seek validation from those you consider beneath you, and as a result, you will never truly receive acceptance.”

Beneath me? I don’t think of the other Happy Littles as my subjects! I only want to manage them, to point them in the right direction…oh.

She might have a tiny point.

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“Appreciation is not a thing to be won. You have no control over whether or not you are appreciated by others. A genuine desire to help is never motivated by the need for appreciation or adoration.”

Have I been helping other dogs for all the wrong reasons? Inserting myself into conversations, butting into business that isn’t mine, lecturing those who seem to need it…I never intended to bother anyone. But Scarlett is right – though my ideas are perfection and my judgments impeccable, I have been far too eager to foist them on others.

“I really have been a bit…involved in everything, haven’t I?” I ask, though of course I’m already well aware of the answer.

Scarlett takes a seat beside me, though she maintains a degree of distance.

“Though I have no desire to dispel your despair, I must inform you that I have always heard your silly nickname spoken with real affection. Even when you have behaved in a most vexing manner, we all find it exceedingly difficult to dislike you for it.”

She keeps her gaze forward, doing her best not to acknowledge the upward turn of my lips.

“You should contain your enthusiasm. Pride is most unbecoming in queens,” she says, glaring slightly.

“I’m not just any queen! I’m Queen Bea!” I say with a firm bark, springing to my feet. “And I have a lot of listening to do, so I’m afraid I must be off!”

As I’ve thought – no, as I’ve always known, in the depths of my Scottie heart, I was born to lead. Just as my ancestors relentlessly pursued foxes and badgers, I fearlessly chase the proper way of living. Not every dog can see it, you know. Someone has to point it out, or nothing will go as it should.

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But today, for the first time, I realized that in my effort to enlighten my peers, I was placing myself so far above them that I could no longer truly help resolve their problems. I was only seeking my own gratification, and in doing so, abusing and betraying my natural gifts! If I hadn’t talked to Scarlett, I might never have discovered that in thinking and acting that way, I was neglecting my own path…

I suppose even the best queens need a little guidance sometimes!

…to be continued…