The Visitor

I took a course in Canadian children’s literature and one of the assignments was to write a story for children in 1000 words or less based on an important event from our childhood. This is the story I wrote. I hope you like it and if this inspires you to write your own autobiographical story link it in the comments.

The Visitor

The queen is coming for tea and there’s still so much to do!

This morning a letter came for me. The letter was decorated with blue and gold filigree and stamped with the royal seal. It said:

            Dear Rachel,

            I am coming for tea today.

            Love,

            The Queen

In case you didn’t know, the Queen is very old. She has short, white hair and she wears dresses all the time. Also, she has a big crown. When I saw her on TV once she wasn’t wearing the crown – she was wearing a big purple hat – but she had probably taken the crown off to get it cleaned or something. I wonder if she lets little girls try it on sometimes. I wrote back:

            Dear Queen,

            I am looking forward to your visit. I hope you like ice-cream. My mom only lets me

           eat ice-cream on Fridays but as long as you promise not to tell her I can serve some

           for tea.

            Love,

            Rachel

So, as you can imagine, I’m very busy today. I think I’ll spend all day getting ready because I’m not exactly sure what time tea actually is. My mom sometimes drinks tea after dinner but I’m not allowed to be outside after dinner so I think it will be before that.

I have to be outside because my kitchen is in the garden. All along the side of my house there is a big garden, it’s rectangular shaped and there’s a huge tree right in the middle. The front of the garden is covered in bright green grass that the neighbours’ cats sometimes come and chew on or lie in. The grass is long and full of dandelions because mom and dad always argue about whose turn it is to cut the grass and then neither of them ever do. I like the grass better long anyway and I think dandelions are pretty. Mom says dandelions are weeds and you shouldn’t blow on them and make their fluff fly everywhere because this helps spread the weeds. I sometimes do it anyway when she isn’t looking. What if the fluff is really hundreds of fairies waiting for someone to set them free? Besides, I have to slit open the dandelions’ soft stems so I can get dandelion milk and use the stems to make a salad.

Whenever I am preparing food I am by the tree because around the tree are all of these big rocks and stones. The biggest rock is as tall as my waist and speckled with different hues of grey; this is a chair where my guests sit. The broad, flat stones are cutting boards. The misshapen stones with crevices and indents are ovens. One special stone has an almost perfectly round hole, about the size of my fist, and this is my pesto mortar. Mom showed me how to make pesto by grinding up basil leaves in her mortar so now I do it in my kitchen. The basil leaves I use come from the back half of my garden; this is where I get all my ingredients. The basil leaves are small, matte green, and oval shaped. I make a lot of pesto because it’s fun to grind up leaves in my mortar with a stick.

Besides pesto leaves, the rest of my back garden is covered in flowers. There are little, tiny blue and white flowers with long, thin stems and big pink flowers with short stubby stems. The blue flowers are usually the main course. Sometimes when I don’t have a real live guest over I make dinner for the fairies. Tiny blue flowers are the fairies favourite; they sip nectar out of them and then munch on the petals. The pink flowers are dessert. They could be anything really; pink cotton candy, pink cake, pink ice cream, but mostly they’re pink ice cream.

Cooking in my garden is like looking out the window of an airplane and watching everyone else get smaller and smaller.

Now I am gathering dandelion stems in the front of my garden. I blow the fluff over the tangled jungle grass and take the stems back to the cutting board, slitting them open with a sharp pebble. I put these on a large, flat rock that will have to serve as a table for today. I’m pretty sure Queens don’t like eating cross legged in the grass. I grab a tuft of grass and add it to the dandelion stem salad. Perfect. The tiny blue flowers are the teacups and I scoop up a couple that have fallen from their perches on the tall stems, one for her and one for me. I rest the blue flowers along the side of my salad; I like the light green and blue against the grey stone. Finally, I pick the biggest pink flower I can find. Ice-cream!

Just as I finish off the plate with some maple leaf napkins I hear something; clip-clop-clip. Horses hoofs against the sidewalk! I strain my ears, the noise is getting louder and I think I can even hear a carriage bumping over the potholes on the end of the street that my mom always says are dangerous but I like holes so I don’t mind.

But then I heard something else,

“Raaaaaachhhheeellll…. Diiiiiiinneeerrrr”

My mom’s voice cut through the sound of hoofs and suddenly I wasn’t so sure if I really could hear them. Just then, I got another letter

             Dear Rachel,

            My carriage has a flat tire from driving over so many potholes. I will come tomorrow               instead.

            Love,

            The Queen

My mom rap-rap-rapped on the window.

“Coming Mom!” I yelled and ran inside.

We’re having pesto pasta, my favourite.

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