When You Were Young (Chapter 8, page 2 of 5)

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Chapter 8

They emerged from the dark forest into the bright meadow. "It's so pretty up here," Prudence said. "Look down there, I can see fields and barns and there's a cow."

"That's not a cow. It's a horse," Wendell said.

"It is so a cow. It's too wide for a horse."

Samantha thought the animal down below looked more like a horse than a cow, but she knew better than to say anything. She squinted into the distance and thought she saw the ocean. The majestic view gave her an idea. "Wet's pway castle," she said.

"How do we do that?" Prudence asked.

"We'ww pwetend this is ow twone room and over there is ow dining haw where we have the feasts," she said, pointing to a spot a few feet away. "Ow be the pwincess and Pwoodance can be the duchess and Wendeww can be a knight and tew us stories."

"What kind of stories?"

"About monsters he beat up and things like that."

"I don't know any stories," he said.

"Fine, then you be the duchess and I'll be the knight," Prudence said. Wendell agreed to this and they got started. With Prudence in the knight's role she got to rattle for hours while Samantha and Wendell sat in the grass and listened. They devoured a pretend feast and then Samantha let Wendell try on her slippers and tiara and carry the scepter.

"You're not supposed to have those," Prudence said.

She snatched the scepter away and then tried to take the tiara off his head, but he jumped back a step to avoid her. "I'm the duchess!" he cried out.

The twins ran around the meadow, Prudence trying to tackle Wendell and take the tiara and slippers. Samantha watched them from her spot on the grass, taking off her socks to dig her bare feet into the ground. She wished she could build a real castle up here, a place where she and her new friends could play.

"Kids, it's time to come home," Mama Veronica called from the trees. Prudence had finally managed to catch Wendell and steal the slippers and tiara from him. She pleaded to allow them a few more minutes, but Mama Veronica refused. "You kids can come back here tomorrow."

In her bare feet, Samantha ran across the meadow and into Mama Veronica's waiting arms. "We had so much fun, Mama," Samantha said, telling her all about their game.

"That's good, sweetie. So you had a good birthday?"

"The bestest ever," she said. "Thank you, Mama."

"You're welcome. Now put on your shoes before we get too much farther." Prudence had retrieved her shoes and gave Samantha back the costume slippers. She kept the tiara and scepter; Samantha hoped she gave them back later.

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