The Orphan Adventure

Once upon a time, very long ago, there was a kingdom. In this dominion there was a king and a queen. Their names were King Charlie and Queen Anne. Also in this kingdom were dukes and duchesses, lords and ladies, noblemen and noblewomen, peasant girls and boys, and princesses. Our story today is about a young princess named Violet.

Violet was a lovely twelve year-old European Princess with curly auburn hair that was adorned with a glowing emerald tiara. She normally wore a simple jade green dress with a mauve sash around her waist and braided her hair into a think rope that lined her back to her knees. She had sky blue eyes that sparkled when she laughed. With her bubbly effusive character, Violet was the kind of person who was always joyful and could cheer anyone up, when they were down. She enjoyed climbing tall trees and scaling the rocks in the surrounding countryside near her family’s castle. Violet owned a silky black house cat and had a caring father and mother who wisely ruled their dominion. At night, she often curled up on her bed and lovingly stroked her cat’s glossy fur. Violet was wise and brave. People respected her because she often served the people in need. She was a beautiful, devoted princess who was loved by all in her kingdom.

One sunny fall day as Violet was walking about the countryside near her family’s castle, she accidently stumbled upon three raggedy children who looked as if they had been crying for some time. Their clothes were torn and each one wore their hair in two thin messy braids. “Who are you?” Violet inquired of them politely.

“My name is Ruth,” one answered timidly. Se was obviously the oldest, about eight. “My sisters are Cora,” she said pointing to the girl on her left, “and Eliza,” she continued, motioning to the other girl on her right.

“We are sisters and – we – have – no place to live,” Cora nervously put in as she burst into tears.

“Why not?” Violet asked.

Still crying, Cora replied, “We have no mother,” She paused to take a breath. “Or father,” she said hesitantly.

“How come?” said Violet, still wondering what they were doing so far from a town. The nearest town was Prairie Town, and it was at least 5 miles away.

“Our father was killed in war and our mother died in the earthquake,” Ruth answered. Violet remembered the earthquake well. She and her father and mother had helped many families who had lost their homes.

“Oh, I’m sorry,” replied Violet in a comforting voice. “Will you be ok?”

“We don’t know,” Eliza said slowly. “Will you help us?”

“I will try,” Violet answered confidently. Surely there was something she that could do would help.

 

That night as Violet and her family sat around the table eating a delicious dinner of roast mutton, potatoes that are so good you just want to eat a whole plate full, and freshly baked French bread, Violet said, “Mother?”

“Yes, my dear,” replied a distracted Queen Anne. The queen then turned to King Charlie and said, “How about using stone to rebuild the town? Then it won’t fall down as easily as the wood buildings did.”

“Uh,” Violet moaned under her breath. Her parents had been talking about what to use to rebuild the town ever since the earthquake had destroyed it four months before. They just couldn’t agree upon what would better withstand another earthquake. ”Mother, I met three girls in the valley today,” Violet said, trying to get her parents’ attention again.

“Oh really?” her father asked. “ Did they walk all the way from Prairie Town?” he questioned.

“I don’t really know, but they said that they don’t have parents, or a home,” Violet answered. She glanced towards her mother who looked up from her parchment full of numbers, drawings, and planning. “May I help them Mother?” the princess asked.

“I don’t see why not,” her mother replied.

“I was hoping that I could help them by finding them a loving family for them to live with,” Violet said hesitantly, hoping they wouldn’t object.

In the morning, when Violet was walking out through the castle gates, she started to regret her parents’ decision to let her go out to find the poor girls that morning. It was bitterly cold and the icy winds that whipped around Violet’s legs sent her skirts flapping behind her, slowing her down. Fortunately, she had brought a thick green shawl that kept her warm.

Trying to forget the cold, she peeked into the fairly large wicker basket her mother had given her before she left. Violet’s mother knew that she might be gone overnight. So, as all smart mothers do, she packed a basket of food. It was filled with two loaves of bread, several thick slices of cheese, a small warm cherry pie, and a large flask of cold water. Taking out the cherry pie, Violet broke it in half and carefully saved the rest for later. Munching on the warm pie, she set out to where she had last seen the girls.

 

“There you are!” Violet exclaimed as she set her basket on the ground and folded her shawl neatly on top. She was glad that Ruth, Eliza, and Cora had been able to find a sheltered cave that was etched in the side of a small rock mass. Surprisingly, the girls had been able to start a small fire near its mouth and the cave was warm and dry. It was deep enough to hold about six people comfortably. It looked like Ruth had laid down a thin shabby blanket near the back of the cave to act as a bed.

“Have you come to save us?” Cora asked.

“Yes I have Cora,” Violet said smiling. “Where are Ruth and Eliza?”

“Ruth is just outside and Eliza is with her. I’m bored. Will you play with me?” Cora answered. She began pulling on Violet’s hand impatiently. Carefully, hoping to appease her little friend’s request, Violet replied,

“I need to find your sisters first. Then we will play a game. Did you say that they where outside Cora?” she asked.

“Yup, they are by the creek. But be quick. Please!” Cora pleaded.

“Ok, I will hurry,” Violet agreed as she speedily walked outside. Once outside, Violet scanned the surrounding area for the oldest orphan girl. Seeing her by the trees, she skipped up to her. “Ruth,” Violet said.

“Shh!” Ruth hissed. Violet now noticed that she and Eliza were ducking behind some large overgrown bushes. “Get down!” she exclaimed pulling on Violets’ long skirts.

“What is it?” Violet whispered.

“There are some men on the other side of this bush. They are looking for us. They want to take us to the orphanage.” Ruth quietly answered back. “After the earthquake hit, our town took tally of all the orphans in the surrounding villages. There were so many orphaned children that they decided they would send some kids to other orphanages around the country.”

“That makes sense,” Violet commented.

“It did at the time, but there was a big problem,” Ruth continued. “I found out we would be sent to different places. I tried to find out where each of my sisters and I were going. I discovered that they were sending all the children seven and up to an orphanage in Cardmond. I decided that we would have to runaway before they came for us or I would be taken away. I couldn’t let that happen. I had promised mother that we would stay together after she died. So we ran away that night. We snuck from our house and traveled only at night. We had just decided it was safe to walk during the day when we found you. We were so hungry and tired that we chose to ask you for help. And I’m glad we did,” she said. She finished their story and gave Violet a hopeful smile.

“So, they followed you here without you knowing it?” Violet wondered aloud.

“It looks like it,” Ruth replied. “Get down quickly and be quiet,” she said hastily. “The men are coming closer. They must have heard us.”

“Come over this way, men. Let’s check the rocks. They might be hiding out there,” shouted the leader of the five men. All have the men tromped off toward the cave.

“Phew!” Eliza exclaimed. “That was close. We were almost caught. I think we’re safe now.” Then it hit them all.

“CORA!” all three girls shouted at once.

“We left her in the cave. They’ll find her! Come on! We need to help her!” Violet said. She was very scared.

“What will we do?” Eliza asked softly.

“Just a moment. Let me think,” Violet said slowly. “We’ll need to sneak around them to get to the cave, save Cora, collect all your things, and hide in the woods until they find out we aren’t there. Then hopefully they will go.”

“Men! I think I heard something in the bushes. Let’s go check it out,” the leader of group shouted.

“Oh no,” Violet gasped. “They’re coming for us. Wait! I have an idea. I’ll stay here and distract them with Eliza. Ruth, you go and fetch Cora and your things. Be careful,”

“All right. Do you think it will work?” Ruth wondered aloud.

“I hope so,” Violet replied. “Quickly now… before they come! Be safe.”

“I will,” Ruth said quickly as she ran to the cave.

“Hey you!” one of the men yelled at the girls. “Come over here. There is nothing you can do.”

“Oh dear,” Eliza moaned. “What are we going to do?” Steadily, Violet answered.

“First we will stay calm. Then we’ll hope that Ruth is almost done.”

“Come out now or we will come and get you ourselves!” shouted the man again.

As Eliza and Violet emerged from the bushes, Violet noticed two things. The first was that the five men didn’t look very official. They had dirty white tunics that were tied with a brown leather belt. Second, was each man carried a bow and a quiver of arrows on their backs.

The man who called stood with his hands on his hips and glared at the girls. “Who are you?” he said gruffly, pointing at Violet.

“My name is Violet,” Violet answered obediently.

“Are you an orphan too?” he asked. Than he paused and said, “Of course you are. Why am I asking?”

“Excuse me, sir,” Violet interrupted. “May I ask who you are and who gave you the right to just take orphans off of the street? Also, I’m not an,”

“My name is Norbert Busk and I work for the orphanage here in Prairie Town, Carmond, and Greenville. Now, I’ll ask you a question. What makes you think you are so high and mighty Miss Violet? We don’t like people who talk back to their elders,” the man said cutting Violet short. Norbert Busk was a tall, muscular man with a tiny beard at the end of his short pointy chin. He also had a large sword at his waist.

“I’m so sorry sir,” Violet replied sarcastically.

“Ok! I’m ready. Oh, dear!” Ruth exclaimed as she ran out of the cave with Cora at her heels.

“There are the other two girls!” Norbert shouted as he waved his hand towards Ruth and Cora.

“Ok. New plan,” Violet shouted so that Ruth and Cora could hear. “RUN!” All four girls raced into the wooded area near the cave. Once they had hidden behind a tree, and were close enough to talk quietly to each other, Violet whispered, “So, the mountain should be small enough at its base to run around so we can go back to the cave. It’s a good place to hide out. Plus, they won’t think about near the rocks again.” Looking to Cora, she said, “Can you climb on my back? That way we will be able to go faster,” Once Cora had climbed onto Violet’s back, (It took a little time since Cora had some trouble getting situated.) the littlest girl said,

“Violet, let’s go!” Off they went, running as fast as they could. It wasn’t fast enough though. Norbert and his men were catching up. They were getting closer every second.

“Come on, Eliza,” Ruth shouted. “or you’ll get left behind!”

Eliza was, in fact, falling behind. She kept tripping on the roots, tree branches, and vines that were sprawled about the forest floor.

Now the men were so close you could hear them panting as they ran. Violet knew that they couldn’t keep ahead of the men for long. She decided to run to the left and duck behind some of the woodland’s many large bushes. Violet let Cora down of her back and motioned for her to be quiet.

Violet hoped Ruth and Eliza would see what she had done and do the same. They followed her example and crouched next to her on the forest floor. “What are we to do?” Eliza asked. She was bruised, muddy, and her hair was a messy with a jumble of bunch of twigs and leaves.

“Shh!” Violet whispered urgently. “Wait for Norbert and his men to pass.”

“Where did they go?” Norbert shouted. “Keep looking. We will return to Prairie Town in about an hour. You must find them before then.” Then he quickly turned around and went the other way into a denser part of the woods. Everyone else dispersed into the forest.

“ How far do you think we are from the mouth of the cave Violet?” Ruth asked quietly.

“I believe we are about half way around the rock mass.” Violet replied. “If we stay here until Norbert and his men leave to Prairie Town we can then walk around to the entrance.”

 

Once Norbert and his gang had left, the four girls slowly trudged around the side of the mountain. The sun was setting and it was getting quite chilly.

“I’m hungry,” Cora complained as she rode atop Violet’s back.

“I know Cora,” Violet said soothingly. “We will soon be there and eat some of the bread and cheese that my mother gave me. We might also have some pie if you are good.” Sniffling, Cora replied,

“Ok. I will be good. What kind of pie is it?”

“We will have to find out, won’t we, Cora,” Violet answered.

“I see the mouth of the cave!” Ruth exclaimed excitedly. ”Eliza, Cora, Violet, we’re almost there!” As the exhausted girls walked into the cave, Eliza said,

“Look. The fire went out. I’ll go and get some wood to kindle it again. I guess I should also wash up while I’m at it.”

“Thank you, Eliza. It is cold in here,” Ruth said as she spread the old dirty quilt back in its spot on the floor.

“Cora, would you like some bread and cheese?” Violet asked. “I also have some water if you want some. You’ll have to cup your hands as I pour the water into them.”

“Ok. I am thirsty,” Cora said as she plopped down onto the floor of the cave. Cora was gobbling down her food when Eliza came in with some firewood. She had cleaned herself up and looked much better than she did earlier. Eliza had also braided her hair into two thin braids that were neater then before.

“Here is the firewood,” she announced. Then she asked, “May I have some food too Violet?”

“Of course you may Eliza. You can give these to Ruth too,” she said handing Eliza two slices of bread and two slices of cheese. “Would you like me to start the fire?”

“Yes, please,” Eliza answered. Then she carefully gave Violet the wood and received the food. “Here you are Ruth,” she said handing Ruth her portion of the meal.

“May I have some pie now?” Cora asked sending everyone into a fit of giggles.

“You may have some pie now Cora,” Violet replied. “Then you should probably go to bed. You look very tired.”

“Oh, alright. As long as I can have some pie.” Cora said giving Violet a great big hug.

 

After Cora had gone to bed and everyone had finished their dinner Ruth started to cry. As Ruth sobbed, Violet asked, “What’s wrong Ruth? Are you ok?” Violet gave the Ruth a gentle embrace.

“I miss my mother a lot,” Ruth said quietly. “I miss our old house. I miss my old bed. I know it sounds silly, but I miss not having to worry about how I’m going to take care of Eliza and Cora. No offense Eliza, but it is stressful.”

“It’s ok Ruth,” Eliza stated quietly. “I’m going to go to bed. It’s late” After a long silence Violet said.

“Um, Ruth. I was wondering if I could help you, Eliza, and Cora find a loving family that could take care of you and your sisters.” She paused, looking to see her young friend’s reaction. Then she continued, “You see the night before I left I had asked my parents to let me look for you. They thought it was a great idea and they offered to adopt the three of you into our family. Do you think you would like to come home with me?” Ruth was stunned.

“You don’t really mean it, do you?” she asked sniffling.

“Of course I do Ruth. My family said you all could if you wanted. Then you’d never have to worry about Norbert and his bad men. You don’t have to answer now. Think about it. I’d love to have you be my sisters,” Then looking at the dying fire she said, “I’ll go get enough wood to keep the fire going until morning. You should rest Ruth. See you in the morning,” Ruth went to bed and Violet trudged out side into the nearly pitch black night. She was glad of the full moon that lit up the sky. Violet easily found the wood and went back inside to rest too.

 

“Violet! Violet! It’s morning! It’s morning! Come on! It’s time to get up!” Cora exclaimed the next morning as she bounced on top of Violet.

“Ok. Ok. I’m getting up now,” Violet replied. She gave Cora a great big bear hug. “Did you sleep well last night?” she asked. Violet picked Cora from the cave’s damp floor.

“I sure did!” Cora said enthusiastically. “I slept great!”

“I slept ok, but the ground was so hard and bumpy,” Eliza answered.

“Eliza, Violet was talking to me, not you,” Cora complained.

“I was talking to everyone Cora,” Violet corrected. “Did you sleep well Ruth?”

“Yes, I did. Thank you,” Ruth replied. Then moving closer to Violet she said, “Could I talk to you after breakfast?”

“Of course. How about we go by the creek after we eat breakfast?” Violet asked.

“The creek it is,” Ruth said. This time she talked loud enough for everyone to hear, “Now, let’s get something to eat!”

“Alright!” Cora exclaimed. “Bread and cheese, here I come!” That sent everybody laughing.

 

Once breakfast was over, Violet and Ruth walked over to the stream. It was a beautiful little creek that had lots of rocks in it so that you could hear the gentle rippling of the water as it tumbled over the rocks. As Violet and Ruth climbed up and sat down on some mossy boulders, Ruth smiled and said, “Thank you for your offer Violet. It is very kind of you.” Then she burst into tears and rapped her arms around Violet’s neck. “Thank you so much Violet, for all you have done, I’d love to come and be your sister!” Then Violet said,

“That’s great!” Squeezing her friend gently, she asked, “Should we go and break the news to Cora and Eliza?”

“Oh, yes! Cora will be jumping off the walls like crazy!” Ruth replied.

“Come on!”

 

Once they were inside and had told Eliza and Cora Eliza said, “Are we really going to the castle, Violet?”

“We’re going to the castle?” Cora shouted excitedly.

“Yes, of course we are going to the castle. That’s my home,” Violet answered.

“That’s your home?” Cora exclaimed. “I’m going to live in a castle. I’m going to live in a castle. Wait. I’m going to live in a castle! Whoopee!”

“I told you she’d be excited.” Ruth said smiling. Violet could tell Ruth was very glad as well.

“Ok everyone. We need to start packing up so we can get going,” Violet shouted so that all could hear her.

“Do you think we can get to your castle in time?” Ruth asked. “We walk a lot slower than you do.”

“I just hope we can. There isn’t a lot of places to spend the night, and I don’t have enough food for another meal,” Violet replied.

After the girls had packed up and started walking out of the forest, the sun was high in the sky and everyone was getting hot. As they plodded on they traveled through the wooded area and into the plains surrounding Violet’s family’s castle. “Look!” Eliza exclaimed. “I see the castle in the distance!”

“I see it, too!” shouted an excited Cora.

“It’s about half a mile away,” Violet said. She was also excited to be getting home. Now, all the girls linked hands and ran as fast as they could.

“Wait – a – moment – everyone,” Cora said. Panting, she let go of Ruth’s hand and sat down. “I – am – tired.”

“Come on Cora,” Eliza said. She was bothered that they were so close, but had to stop again. Every so often, all throughout the journey, Cora had insisted on stopping to rest.

“Here Cora, let me carry you,” Violet offered. They started off again with Cora riding on Violet’s back. They had to walk a little slower now, but that was ok since they didn’t half to stop as often.

 

As Violet, Ruth, Eliza, and Cora approached the castle, three things happened. The first is that Violet let Cora off her back so she could race to her mother and give her an immense hug. The second is that Ruth, Eliza, and Cora were introduced to their new home and family. The last thing that happened was the girls were shown their bedrooms. Ruth and Eliza shared a room next to Violet’s bedroom. Cora had her own room next to Ruth and Eliza’s. Everyone was glad that all the rooms were connected with doors. “I love my room!” Cora exclaimed. “Violet, Ruth, Eliza, come see my great room,” she said as she pulled on Violet’s hand. “Violet! Look at my bed!”

Cora’s bed was very beautiful. It was a tall poster bed with thick sheets that made you just want to snuggle into them. There was a fuzzy pink and purple rug on the floor. There were also beautiful pictures on the walls of rainbows and sunsets. “I love it! I love it! Thank you so much Violet!” Cora said giving Violet and her sisters loving excited hugs. “Are we all sisters now Violet?” she asked, suddenly quiet.

“Of course we are, Cora!” Violet said smiling.

“Then,” Cora stated, “it’s time for an official sister group hug!”

 

A few days later, Violet and her parents sat in Cora’s bedroom. Cora was sitting on the King’s lap and the three older girls were sitting on the floor. “You four girls were very brave,” King Charlie complemented. “I will make sure that we find Norbert Busk and his men.”

“Thank you, Father,” Violet said.

“Daddy,” Cora asked.

“Yes, dear Cora,” the king answered.

“Can you make sure all the orphaned brothers and sisters get to stay together? I don’t think Violet has enough time to save all of them.” Cora replied.

“I’ll try Cora, but I can’t promise I can help everyone,” King Charlie offered.

All the girls thought that it was adorable how quickly Cora had started to trust King Charlie and Queen Anne. She adored the king and soon came to call him Daddy. Cora followed him everywhere, from his private study to his courtroom. The king loved it and let her follow him as much as she liked.

Violet, Ruth, and Eliza also got to know each other more. They all liked to play outside and explore. Their favorite thing to do together was telling stories. The stories they made up ranged from knights fighting dragons to farmers finding out they were really royalty. But two things that always remained constant in their stories where that the bad guy was named Norbert Busk and the good guys always won.

 

-The End

 

For His Great Name
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