A Secret Script and A Capable Carapace
Old Granddad Dandelion must have got hot in his room in the West Wing because he’s been leaving his window open this week. Lady Winterton, although young by human standards – mid 20s – has some surprising archaic notions. One being her refusal to install air conditioning anywhere in the rooms of Dandelion Hall. She says it goes against the originality of the place.
If that were true, we’d all be still doing our businesses in the gardens (the dogs don’t count because they don’t care for flushable toilets), and the butler, Giles, would be swanning about in highly crinkled attire, a long spade under one arm, and a bucket in each hand. Deep buckets.
The first I learnt of the afore mentioned window being left open was when some loose papers, having been carried through it by an abrupt wind, were discovered on the lawn by my noble self. Right there, nestled amongst the long blades of grass and fluffy dandelions. Musing they were, perhaps, extracts of a Secret Diary, or, documents of a highly confidential matter, I read them at once. Whenever someone came past on the terrace, I hid them under my capable carapace. A tortoise is always prepared; one just doesn’t notice it in the slow nod. And, the wink of a beady black eye.
We’ve superb eyesight, didn’t you know?
It is always enlightening to read something that Old Granddad Dandelion has penned. And, it is with some joyous revelation when you can dicipher the meaning – both in terms of handwriting scrawl and language.
Once I came upon a treasure trove of words scrunched up in a tight ball of paper. Dexterity is not one of Lady Winterton’s gifts. Nor is remembering to wear her spectacles, which doesn’t help. The paper ball shot way past the waste paper basket that stands under the 17th century writing bureau at which she sat – and, through the open door – past Cook trundling through the corridor, cradling large turkey in arms enroute to Kitchen – and, finally – I promise you! – past and under the squated slightly parted legs of the butler who was at the time delicately retrieving, with an iron-pressed cotton hanky, a wayward spider from a horse riding boot, further down the corridor. Yes, the very same corridor, where I had previously hibernated. But, that is yet, another tale.
Finally – yes, finally! – the paper ball came to a flying halt. Landing and disappearing inside the depths of a parked rubber boot.
I wasn’t to call Giles the butler for assistance because 1) he doesn’t speak Tortoise; and, 2) being Neatness itself (had he understood me) he would have promptly discarded the paper ball in the very waste paper basket of the original destination. The knowledge of the words would have been lost to me forever.
How could I have lived with that? I, a creature of great intellect and studious thought. Beauty and sturdy grace. And, modesty.
So, I did, really, the only thing I could have done. I climbed the rubber boot. Fortunately, this was easier going than I had afore imagined: the impressive clawks of my capable feet, at the bottom of my very capable sturdy legs, are a marvel in the aid of mountaineering. To this day, the many perforations pierced through the boot, remain; testament to the strength of the clawks and the tenacity of the tortoise who produced them (holes and clawks). To this day, Lady Millicent Winterton still utters disbelief as to how the perforations came to be there. She apparantly doesn’t remember this either.
That silent tortoise watching you with unblinking black eyes, in the distance, is a treasure trove of secrets!
Ah, treasure trove; the treasure trove of words. The paper ball. Where was I? The very moment I had ascended the top then did the boot wobble and tumble over under my solid weight. I with it, or, rather, nearer to the truth, inside it. Thankfully, owing to the rubber walls I only suffered light concussion – which is why I slept the entirity of that afternoon, right there. In the boot. The paper ball, beneath me, alas, making for an inferior mattress.
At some point someone had left open the door of the room opposite, resulting in the spilling of the room’s bright light into the confines of the boot.
And, thus, after uncrumpling the note, I read.
You yearn for me to spill the secrets of the paper ball note?
Alas, I cannot divulge that information. Doing so would be a treachery to those of Dandelion Hall and even Lord Oscar Dandelion would never find forgiveness in his heart for me. And, Chihuahuas have the biggest of hearts.
What about the other notes, the loose sheets of paper that escaped from the open window? After some stretch of time – there was plenty of foot-traffic on the terrace that day – I discovered numerous strange markings on the bottoms of the sheets. When realisation dawned I was at first incensed. And, then I laughed. I laughed so hard that the swaying long blades of grass and the fluffy headed dandelions seemed to laugh with me.
“What’s so funny, Daisy E.?” CoCo asked from where she sunbathed on a recliner on the terrace.
“I had no idea that Old Granddad Dandelion has such wit!” I answered.
Oscar Dandelion walked over. He peered at the sheath of papers, the top one the only one revealing anything: a solitary scribble of a tortoise in the grass, a tall hat atop her head. A bending daisy in the hat.
“Isn’t that you?” He said.
And, then, the wind did blow, grabbing at the papers and flicking through them in a hurry. In amusement we watched a tortoise quickly travel the entire length of the grass until it took off in the sky atop a giant dandelion head.
“ Dear Reader, if you ever find yourself s-l-o-w-i-n-g, just be like the determined tortoise – because a tortoise always gets there in the end. Also, take time to blow the dandelion fluff. ”
Little Lord Oscar Dandelion (International Jewel – and Sandwich Filling – Thief) by Faith McCord. The novel is available as an ebook. (It is not a children’s book, hence a little mature in places).
I’m searching for an agent to have it published the traditional way.
Have you missed any episodes?
Tortsday (Tortoise Tuesday) #4
Tortsday (Tortoise Tuesday) #3
Tortsday (Tortoise Tuesday) #2
Tortsday (Tortoise Tuesday) #1
The World According to Daisy Elizabeth (the post that kickstarted the rest!)
Copyright Faith McCord 2018
Story and artwork belongs to Faith McCord who is the author and artist holding the copyright. This is not a public domain work. Worldwide rights.
What a fun read!
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I’m glad you liked it Magarisa, thanks for reading it 🙂 xo
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So glad to ‘see’ you after such a long time, Faith. 🙂
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Good to see you too my friend 🙂 xo
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Great to see your post back in my inbox! Cheers,H
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Oi! Lol, Love + cheers to you my friend 🙂 xo
Reblogged this on Hell onWheels/Life One Handed and commented:
Welcoming back Oscar Dandelion! Hope so see some of her fur-babies soon!
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Ah thanks Helen 😀