Chapter 15: Following Lizzy's Adventure
A mild wind brushed through the air and swooshed past Ellie. She shuffled her feet one behind the other and held her hands behind her back. She and Coco zigzagged and swerved across the snow floor and graced past areas of trees, flowers, rocks, and hills with animals going about.
At last, they reached a new site where Ellie decided to stop. “This seems just right,” she said. “Look at all this snow, Alice. It’s perfect for me to make your snow castle.”
Ellie seated Alice next to sleeping Coco. Back at their house, her father had crafted her a snow castle when she was a year old. “I miss Daddy’s castle, Alice. It was perfect, and there’s no way we’ll ever have rooms that great.” Ellie sighed. “I wish Daddy were here. He could get everything done twice as fast and then we’d all play together. I’ll do my best.”
Ellie reached for a clump of snow and scooted it toward herself. She shaped the snow into a palace for her doll and lumped a wall around the palace. She piled and patted snow on top and sharpened the wall’s corners.
She grabbed chunks of ice to form a gate’s poles. She fixed together a bridge and quite fast, chambers and rooms rose up from the palace floor. An open door led the way to the tallest tower, big enough to fit her princess. She took less than a couple hours to complete it.
“It’s all done, Alice. I’ll let you see your new room.” Ellie picked up Alice and placed her in a room.
“Wow, Ellie. It’s so big, and beautiful.” Ellie pivoted around to see Lizzy approaching from behind.
“I left him with Jeffrey so I could catch up with everyone. Now what this palace needs is a carriage and sleigh. I can make them for you,” Lizzy said.
“Definitely. I’ll make the sleigh, and you can make the carriage,” Ellie said.
“So, where’s Coco?” Lizzy asked.
“Over there, sleeping,” Ellie said.
“Oh Coco! She’s the cutest,” Lizzy said,
“Oh yes,” she said.
“Coco reminds me of that bunny that once snuck in our house and went all the way up to our castle.”
“Oh yeah, and that time we made up that bunny game and hopped after each other for hours.”
“Ugh, we have to do that again,” Lizzy said, “your carriage is done. Keep an eye on Coco. In the meantime, I better catch up with the others. I must return to Jeffrey before anything happens to Bongo,” she said.
“Tata, Ellie,” Lizzy said, “I promise to come back soon. We haven’t played with the castle together in so long and I miss those times.”
Seeing as the youngest girl continued to play in her make believe world, we may as well see what’s going on with some of the other siblings. With Lizzy about to head out and around, we shall see what she’ll do. Let’s keep track as she heads down the path, and up to her older brother, Oliver.
* * *
“Hello, Oliver. What are you doing?” Lizzy asked.
“You know, exploring the area,” he said. “And how has your day played out?”
“My day has gone quite swell, thank you for asking. Nothing special or spectacular except I did meet a monkey,” she said.
“A monkey? Where did you meet it?” he asked.
“Well, Ellie and Jeffrey found it while climbing the tree-tops. They named him Bongo. You’ll have to meet him.”
“I guess I will,” he said.
“Catch you later alligator,” she said.
“Leaving so soon?”
“Just swung bye to say hello.”
“Well, hello. Goodbye, Liz,” he said.
She kicked through the puffs as she skipped and galloped down the hills, clumps, bumps, and rocks until she reached her other brother. A book laid in his hands. Lizzy approached him.
“What are you reading, Char Char?” Lizzy asked.
“The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, Liz Liz.”
“The Wonderful Wizard of Oz? My, I love that old tale! Would you care to read a page?” she asked.
“Why not?” he said. He flipped open his book. He read as Dorothy whirled into the tornado, away from her Kansas home.
“She ended up with munchkins,” Charlie said.
“Yep. You should keep reading, it’s a great book. Don’t mind me, I better find Jeffrey before he loses our monkey,” she said.
“What monkey?” he asked.
“The monkey Ellie and Jeffrey found in the trees,” Lizzy said.
“A monkey! Well, I want to see him,” Charlie said.
“I suppose you better follow me then,” Lizzy said. They zipped to the hillside where Jeffrey stayed. They crossed a river of rocks, slid across the frozen lake, and leapt over twigs and branches. They blistered past trees and waltzed over hills of snow. Upon arrival at a patch of logs and a few trees, they found Jeffrey watching Bongo. Bongo swayed around each tree, but Jeffrey’s eyes didn’t keep the pace. Lizzy approached Bongo as Charlie stood back.
When Lizzy neared, Bongo moved to her. Lizzy waved for Charlie to come. “Charlie, meet Bongo,” she said.
“Bongo. I like that,” he said. Charlie sauntered to Bongo and rubbed his head.
“Do you like him?” Jeffrey asked.
“Of course he does. Everyone loves a monkey,” Lizzy said.
“Why don’t I leave you two to play with Bongo. Make sure you don’t leave Jeffrey alone,” Lizzy said.
“Bye, Lizzy,” Jeffrey said.
Lizzy dashed across the twigs and the lake. She stopped when she returned to the river of rocks and found a seat between several of them. She took pebbles into her hands and let them spill down. They each dropped a few at a time, like a waterfall cascading down to a river.
Around her arrived birds of all different kinds. Blue jays, blackbirds, and mockingbirds formed a half circle around her. Lizzy didn’t dare glimpse with fear or shift uncomfortably. Rather, she gazed at them as a smile danced across her face. They hummed to the tune of the rocks falling out of Lizzy’s hands. Up in some of the trees on the side, more birds joined the melody. And along with the birds, could be heard the sound of the piano waltzing through Lizzy’s mind from back when she used to practice with her mother.
“How beautiful, darling. It sounds better every time. Now, why don’t I show you a new one to play?” Evelyn said, seating herself on the piano bench. She let her fingers glide across the keys, pressing down on whatever ones sounded right. They whirled across, back, and up on the black keys. A littler Lizzy let her amber eyes cast back and forth to see Evelyn’s fingers move.
“My, that sure seems difficult,” Lizzy said.
“Oh but I know you can handle such a piece. Don’t you worry one bit, we’ll go slower than a slug,” Evelyn said.
“How does it start?” Lizzy said.
“Follow me through the first eight keys,” Evelyn said. She pressed on the eight keys in perfect rhythm. “Can you try?”
“I can try my best.”
“That’s the attitude,” Evelyn said. Lizzy nailed the first four keys in the melody, but she stumbled on the fifth. She guessed and pressed the sixth note, but decided she didn’t know the rest. She shrugged to her mother and giggled. Her mother chuckled too and gave Lizzy another squeeze.
“Let’s do it slower. Follow me on the lower notes. B-A-C-D-E-F-F-F,” Evelyn said. Together they pressed on each key slow, but in tune. They began and ended in sync.
“Wonderful, Lizzy. So improved!” Evelyn said.
“You don’t even know how fast you catch on,” Evelyn said, side-hugging her daughter and pecking her on the forehead.”
“May I try it by myself?”
“I think you’re more than ready.” Indeed she was. Lizzy’s fingers flew through the notes getting each key in rhythm. She did it thrice more to make sure she had it down.
“Shall we move on?” Evelyn asked.
“Today we’ll learn two more parts to practice. Let’s begin with the second. Watch me first,” Evelyn said. She played the next eight notes, one time fast, and repeated it in slow motion for Lizzy. “Would you like to give it a try?”
“Yes,” Lizzy said. She positioned her skimpy fingers over the wide piano keys. She pressed down on each one her mother did. She tried it faster, but tangled the last two keys.
“Excellent try. Let’s do my favorite part of the process—together,” Evelyn said. Together they played G-E-D-F-C-G-A-B. These eight notes sped up from the last, but after a good ten tries together, Lizzy readied herself to do it on her own. She nailed the first two keys, but jumbled the others.
She used three more tries before she got the hang of it.
“Angel, you learn so quickly. I think it’s time we connect the three verses,” Evelyn said.
“I can do that,” Lizzy said.
“Wonderful. Nothing’s too difficult for my dear,” Evelyn said. Lizzy performed the first five notes well, but mixed up an A with a G. She repeated the whole thing three more times, before she’d mastered the melancholic piece.
“What’s that splendid sound ringing in my ears?” James asked.
“I’m playing the piano, Father. Mother taught me the beginning of a new song,” Lizzy said.
“It’s wonderful, sweetie,” James said. He rested one hand on his wife and the other on his daughter.
“Isn’t it?” Evelyn said.
A cry sounded from upstairs. “I better tend to the kids and ensure they’re alright,” James said.
“Let me go. I hate to see them hurt,” Evelyn said.
“Should I go too?” Lizzy asked.
“Oh no, dear. I’d love to hear you practice. It sounds ever-so-lovely,” Evelyn said. She rushed with James up the stairs. Lizzy continued to play the keys.
All the animals joined in; birds chirped and hummed as other animals glanced added their own sounds and squeaks. Lizzy skipped around, circling part of the rocky river. Birds flew from above while bear cubs, leopards, and squirrels caught up from below. Even the deer frolicked through the middle, cutting in front of Lizzy to catch her attention. No animal feared of a predator any longer. Lizzy skipped, swayed, and hopped on one foot and the others mimicked her every move. Bobbing her head back and forth, she joined in the humming and granted each animal a smile.
She skipped one more lap before shuttling a little pile of snow to her feet. She leaned forward and packed it into a sphere. She scuffed and smoothened it. She bent over for another lump of snow, but brought less over this time. She copied what she did with the first one, except made this one smaller.
She repeated this process once more and stacked the three spheres. She carved out two circles for eyes and shaped a smile. She formed a cone-shaped nose and hat.
“There, all done,” Lizzy said. She smiled. “I’ll call you Lynn, my middle name. This way, you can always remember I made you. I hope when other children visit, you can make friends with them too.” She stepped back and grinned at her new friend. She released a breath and admired Lynn.
“Oh my, I better find Oliver before I forget!” Lizzy said, interrupting her own thoughts. She squeezed her coat around her, but did forget to say goodbye to her snowman. Instead, she turned to find her brother. She made her way down the hills to a new side of Green Acres.