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Chapter 5 - Queen in danger

Chapter 5 - Queen in danger


Rachel and Ringel slowly returned from the pond. For the whole trip, Rachel tuned into the singing of the birds and understood what they were saying in their songs. Their chirping was nice to listen to. Birds seemed to spend a lot of time talking about food, and conduct with other birds. Especially fun it was under one tree, where bird parents were encouraging their chicks to a flying practice:

- Your wings are sure to carry you, no worries, and step right up!

In reply, there was tiny chirping:

- What if not? How do you get back to nest then?

- Isn’t it feeding time? Let’s eat first!

- I have my stomach full, I couldn’t fly right now!

- The sun is shining in my eyes! Let’s see if it’s cloudy tomorrow!

- It is too windy!

- I do not want to learn to fly!

Rachel had never before considered how toilsome it was to get the little chirpers on their wings!

Rachel spotted Mom’s car at the home yard. She wanted to take some flowers to her Mom, so she and Ringel walked through the yard to the tine marsh just behind the yard that grew white, sweetly fragrant wild rosemaries. They were easy to pick because their wooden stems snapped easily broken unlike the stems of many other flowers, and they smelled better than the most expensive perfume, especially in the evening when they started really oozing their fragrance. It seemed as if they wanted to cover the sleeping nature under their blanket of perfume.

There were roses growing on the yard of Rachel’s new home as well. For their fragility the smell came close to that of wild rosemary’s, but the roses were not blooming quite yet, and Mom had firmly instructed not to pick them – even before the family had moved into the house.

Mom loved flowers! She had always wished for an own yard where she could cultivate flowers of all colours and shapes. But she did not like bugs at all. With roses, you are bound to encounter bugs because greenflies also love roses, and every now and then you may confront a strawberry blossom weevil wanting to make a home for its little larvae inside a rosebud.

Mom always put her rubber gloves on before going to the roses. She would carry a large spray bottle with her and squirt greenfly repellent on the rose branches. But Mom was losing the battle. Even if she had sprayed the pesticide on the roses every single day, the greenflies would only momentarily move away to come back the moment Mom went away. Mom really did not regard greenflies among her most wanted friends!

Rachel had never actually figured out why the greenflies had to be expelled from the roses, but she had not much time to think about it either, what with all the summer and now even Ringel to ponder on.

- Do angels like roses?, asked Rachel while breaking the first stem of wild rosemary for her bouquet. – Ouch, said the wild rosemary with a peeping voice.

- Angels love flowers, said Ringel admiring the wild rosemaries. It looked as if the flowers were sending their fragrance to Ringel as golden glitter while Rachel was picking them accompanied by tiny ouches.

- What else do angels like?

- Angels like the same things as humans like but we cannot taste or smell your world. We can only dream how wonderful it must be to smell a flower, or to feel the warmth of the sun or the touch of rain on your skin, said Ringel with a hint of sadness in his voice.

- Oh, can’t you smell these beautiful flowers?, asked Rachel sadly, and breathed in deeply the strong scent of the wild rosemaries.

- No, but they make me feel good.

- But you tasted the bagel and juice? How did they taste?

- I do not know because I cannot taste anything, but they also made me feel good.

- What is this good feeling if you can’t taste it or smell it?, wondered Rachel.

- It is just when everything is alright and you are at ease.

- Then I am feeling good right now, reasoned Rachel and picked one more scenting wild rosemary to her bouquet. (Ouch!, peeped the flower.)

- Let’s go and take these flowers to Mom. Maybe they make her feel good, too!

Right next to the back fence there was a buggie nest that had fallen out of the tree, and next to it, the Buggie Queen. The Queen can be identified by the golden crowns on its wings. The crowns are so heavy that the Queen cannot fly by herself but at least two Buggie Guards have to support her during her flights.

The Queen had been quite alone at the nest when it had all of a sudden fell to the ground. The nest castle had been already old, and when a new nest was already under planning, the old one had not been kept in prime condition.

Luckily, the Queen was as big and fluffy as the Buggie Guards so she did not get one single bruise, but her ego was very much hurt. The Queen had immediately set out to search her subordinates, but instead of them she had run headlong into an ant army on the march! The ants and the buggies were not in friendly terms but wanted a long distance between their nests. And now the ants were here!

The ant army had almost surrounded the Queen by now.

- HELP! HELP!, screamed the Queen from the top of her lungs, but because her lungs were tinier than a pinhead, Rachel had a hard time hearing her from the height of one meter. The ants had even smaller lungs, so their voices went unheard by Rachel.

And not a single buggie emerged for help. They all were celebrating the grand war victory in Rachel’s bedroom.

What happened next, was recorded in the chronicles of the buggies, and the event was passed to little buggies for numerous generations to come.

Gently Rachel took the Queen between her forefinger and her thumb, and pushed the Queen inside the old nest. Then she closed the entrance with a small cone that the ants would not be able to remove and finally she lifted the nest into a crotch of the tree, away from the reach of the ants.

The Queen was safe!

When the buggies grew tired of celebrating, one by one they started to return to their old nest. To their great surprise, they found the nest at the wrong place of the tree, with the entrance blocked. The worker buggies crumbled the cone until it fell off the entrance and the Queen was released to share her horror experience with her subordinates!

When the buggies learned how the Little Person from the blue house had bravely rescued the Queen from becoming a captive of the cruel ant nation, or even worse, the main dish of their banquet, the buggies were embarrassed. They had been only focusing on celebrating and left the poor Queen stay unprotected. Immediately, the buggies held a grand conference and decided to dismantle the half-built castle in the bedroom as an expression of their gratitude to the Little Person’s heroic act of saving their Queen.

Ringel came later on in the evening to check that the Queen had recovered from her ordeal. The Queen and Ringel decided that, because Rachel’s Dad had been stung five times, the Guards would expel the greenflies from the roses for five summers’ time (and the strawberry blossom weevils as well even though they were very infrequent visitors at the yard, but just in case).

Even though Ringel told Rachel of the buggies’ decisions (of which Rachel just commented: “But I just put the buggie back into the nest. That was no heroic act!”), and Rachel told her parents, the parents were still too frightened to sleep in their bedroom that night. They placed two sleeping bags on the balcony, set a mosquito net above it, and slept peacefully under a summer time watching beautiful dreams throughout the night.

For a few days after, Mom would still walk in the yard carrying her spray tightly held in her rubber gloves, but the greenflies had indeed vanished from the roses. Dad’s famous skills in returning buggies into the wilderness went quickly backwards, because every little buggie learned the moment they hatched that this house accommodated a Little Person who had bravely rescued their Queen!

As appealing as the house with its dim and warm corners still seemed to the buggies, they stayed content with watching behind the curtains how the Big Person, the Other Big Person, and the Little Person took care of their daily tasks.

At that heroic night also the wild rosemaries got to stay at the balcony under the mosquito net with the parents, and they continued spreading their sweetest fragrance throughout the short summer night, until they themselves fell into a long sleep.

It took Rachel longest to fall asleep. It had been such a peculiar day. And only now did she realise that she also understood buggie language, and hadn’t she clearly heard the flowers say ouch in a tiny voice?

Rachel was looking intently at the angel picture above the bed (thinking “why do I have a boy angel when those also have a girl…”), and then said her customary evening prayer:

Now I lay me down to sleep;

I pray the Lord my soul to keep.

If I should die before I wake,

I pray the Lord my soul to take

that she had prayed for as long as she could remember. Tonight she added her thanks for the tricky and eventful day to end well after all. Like Ringel might have put it, after all that had happened it “felt good”.

Rachel’s life had been uncomplicated, like life of quite many six-year-olds tends to be. Sometimes days seemed endless and sometimes they slipped by almost unnoticed. Until today she had never had so much to think about. But then again, never before had so many big things happened during one day.

A carrousel of thoughts circled in Rachel’s head. Where had Ring Angel come from? How was it possible that Rachel understood the language of birds and buggies (and had the flowers really said “ouch”)? Who is this Lord she addressed every evening in her prayer, a mate of angels? What really is an angel?

Gradually Rachel started gliding into the world of dreams. Her last thought was: "I wonder if angels ever sleep...?", but the thought ended even before it really started when the door of dreams opened for Rachel.


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