And now, it’s Story time!
(Suitable for ages 12+, and younger with adult approval.)
The fleet of three silver and black Rolls Royce pulled gracefully and silently to a halt outside King Herod’s store. Each car flew flying the Union Jack on a small staff on the front right wing, and the American Flag on the left. The middle of the three, containing Her Majesty, the President, and the General, stopped in line with the steps. Mr Herod, along with security guard Herman and a royal photographer, had moved onto the porch area in front of the store. A passing early morning shower had cleared a short while earlier, and so a red carpet had been quickly clipped into place on the steps. It radiated a wonderful warming hue in the now crisp clean morning light.
The entourage, comprising secret service staff, the Presidential Aide, and the royal Lady in Waiting, assembled quietly around the central car. They were joined by the royal and presidential companions. As Vinny and Jackson were ambassadors in their own right, they were afforded a special red and gold trimmed mat to sit on.
The General had travelled not only as their personal bodyguard, but as an advisor and friend to the young Queen. He had proved to be better than any diplomat, conversing in an easy disarming manner, no matter the audience, in multiple languages. Though not, as he would joke, at the same time. He was also a font of all that there was to know about most subjects and persons of note. And also happened to be and absolute wizard on the dance floor, but only when the need arose!
Once everything outside was set and secure, the General stepped out and, after donning his hat, allowed the parties to exit, saluting as they did. He then escorted them both, with Jackson and Vinny at their sides, up the carpeted steps to greet Mr Herod.
The usual decisive and calm of Mr Herod left him on seeing the young Queen approach. Not for a very long time had he felt this nervous at meeting anyone. In fact, the last time was when he courted the housekeeper that was to later become Mrs Herod. Then, like now, the beauty of the lady before him fuddled his mind and the speech he had memorised disappeared into the ether. Herman recognised the signs, seeing that his employer had paled and was not breathing properly. He discretely nudged him and indicated to him with a deep breath in, and then out that he, Mr Herod, needed to relax and breath.
Thankfully, whilst the stairs were not long, the royal parties progress up had halted as they admired the building’s architecture and façade. By the time they arrived, Mr Herod had recovered a more human colour, remembered his speech, and found his broad, caring smile. After the requisite bow, and very enthusiastic handshakes and pawshakes, he led the way through the store’s great doorway into what he hoped, would be a happy and uneventful event. After all, he mused, everything was planned so what could possibly go wrong….
The young Queen, and President moved steadily along the line of guests who, on being presented by Mr Herod, curtseyed or bowed and shook their hands.
The guests, whilst wealthy, had all been invited because they shared a love of companions, and supported local and national companion charities. A fact that was more than evident in the enthusiasm for the subject in their conversations. Vinny and Jackson, who had wandered ahead of the royal party, had been getting a lot of attention of their own, which made their tails wag an awful lot. As they reached the end of the line, they found Esme’s scent. They bounded up to Jenny, and sat politely before her, and asked if Esme, who was in her arms, could go for a chase around the store. Jenny bent down and petted both dogs and explained that Esme was in her best dress and chasing was not on this occasion practical or appropriate for a lady. “Though,” she said, in a hushed tone to them. “If neither you or Esme have any objections, and you promise no rough and tumble, then you may walk together during the visit. How does that sound?” Esme nodded, and looked at Vinny and Jackson who were both wagging their tails and gave a ‘Wrrruf-wruf, yes,’ in unison.
“Oh yes please,” Esme purred as she looked between her mamma and the dogs. “That would be wonderful. I have never met two such charming and well-mannered gentle dogs. In fact, I have never met any dogs at all, though if these two are every bit as genteel as their human companions then I will be in safe paws. No doubt they will be able to tell me no end of tales about their social lives, and the fashions in America, too.”
Jenny put Esme down, and all three gently sniffed each other. Vinny and Jackson both extended a paw to Esme, who in turn sat and placed a paw on each, thus sealing a friendship that was destined to last a lifetime.
“Oh, I see Vinny and Jackson have made a new friend. And my, that is the most gorgeous of dresses the young lady has too.” The voice came from the Queen who had come to Jenny whilst her attention was on the dogs. She had with a smile on her face and had waited quite happily, watching the interaction between the four of them.
“Oh ma’am–I mean Your Majesty. I must apologise for my lack of attention,” Jenny blurted out, flushing in the cheeks from leaving the Queen waiting. She curtseyed and then forgot whether she should extend her hand to be shaken. The Queen, seeing how Jennifer had reacted, immediately extended a hand to shake hers. Jenny blushed again, and then again when she realised that Esme and the two dogs were sat looking at them, faces turning from one to the other.
“Please, I do hope you don’t mind, but the young gentledogs wanted to say hello, as did the Lady Esmerelda. I do hope it is OK if they mingle for a while, ma’am?”
“But of course……” the Queen stopped and realized that she didn’t know the ladies name. The General was still with the President, talking to a fellow American lady who now lived in London, and her lady’s maid was taking details of one of the other guests as she had been instructed to do. She blushed slightly. “I am so sorry, I, we, have not been properly introduced. The Queen giggled just a bit when she said the words. “I am the Queen, and you are?”
“Gosh, I’m so sorry ma’am. I am Jennifer Darcy, and this is the Lady Esmerelda Darcy,” she said, gesturing to Esme. Esme in turn meowed, and curtseyed by dipping her head whilst bringing one front paw back and behind the other.
“And this is Vincent, but he prefers Vinny,” said the Queen. “And this is Jackson, the Presidents companion. A finer and more travelled Scottish gentlemandog from America you will never meet. Loves to go mousing, I’m told, in the White House. Apparently, the mice there are twice the size of those at Buckingham Palace!”
“Ma’am, and ma’am,” came the smooth and gentle Southern accented voice of the President, who had now, with the General, moved to re-join the Queen. He extended his hand and shook Jenny’s most gently.” I do hope my boy here, Jackson, has been showing your fine lady how a Southern gentleman behaves?” He smiled and his tanned complexion radiated warmth and a sense of humour that made all relax. “Them White House mice are big, but what Jackson really likes is the bigger varmint. He just loves going to the House of Congress, plenty of politicians’ ankles there to bite. Keeps them on their toes, I say.”
“Wrruff, so it does,” agreed Jackson, nodding his head his head quite briskly with a less than apologetic smile on his face. And with that smile, any nerves and embarrassment within Jenny, and the party melted away, and the four burst into laughter. Polite laughter of course.
Mrs Hudson had kept herself very much out of the limelight, and had slipped to the back of the group, wishing for Jenny and Esme to take centre stage. She was after all only a housekeeper and nanny. But Bertie had insisted on introducing her as his guest for the day, and as such she was afforded a place by his side when they progressed to the first floor. The Queen instantly took a liking to Mrs Hudson, recognising in her the charms and sagacity of her own nanny from only a few years past. She thought how very much a pair Mrs Hudson and the General made, or would make if they were married. The thought drifted away as Mr Herod returned to escort the group, to his private lift, and then to the first floor.
To be continued…………
Wow, the Queen was stunning, and that Mr President sure is a cool southern gentleman and a perfect sounding President and no mistake. And look at Jackson and Vinny, two of the luckiest canines either side of the pond! But what about Vinny’s reputation? will it come to the fore and the whole adventure end in a dog fight?
All this, fun and adventure, plus tea scones and sandwiches will be served up in the coming episodes, so stay tuned and enjoy the ride!!!!
This weeks selfie is from a doggie pal called Brick, from the village canine football team called the Woofie Wanderers! He wanted to show off his lighter side. Do you think he succeeded or is it time for a time out?